WEEKEND EDITION

What the Next City Council Will Likely Look Like

| November 20, 2012 12:14 PM

The CUNY Mapping Service shows on the left, the current City Council districts, and on the right, the proposed new districts. Courtesy of the Center for Urban Research.

The next City Council will likely be demographically similar to the current one, though there may be an increase in both Asian and Latino membership.

That is one of the main takeaways from a review of the new Council lines approved by the city’s Districting Commission on Thursday but not released to the public until the following day.

A further look at the plan shows that it continues to protect incumbents, but was adjusted to accommodate some of the preferences of community and minority group advocates and others who complained loudly about the preliminary plan.

In addition, Lisa Hadley, a noted analyst of voting patterns in the context of redistricting, assessed the plan for any vulnerability to challenge by the Department of Justice and by Minority Voting Rights advocates and found that it unlikely to raise any issues.

Incumbency Protection

On average the new districts retain slightly over 87 percent of the population of the current districts, and 41 districts have at least 80 percent of that population.

Overall the plan continues the time honored tradition of incumbency protection, but it is worth noting that such concern for incumbents has been found by the Supreme Court to be a legitimate basis for redistricting.

However, there were noteworthy changes to districting lines that addressed concerns of critics.

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