Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Federal magistrate judge Roanne Mann posted her final recommended congressional maps online late Monday. The plans show only slight changes from the original draft maps. Most notably, Mann reconfigured the Voting Rights Act-protected majority black districts in Brooklyn. Local lawmakers and community organizers were upset over the first set of maps they say unfairly divided communities that had traditionally been represented in the same district.
Mann's new maps appear to rejoin the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods with the western-most district currently represented by Congressman Ed Towns.
Participants in the federal case that kick-started the court's drawing of new congressional lines will have until Wednesday to file their objections. The three-judge panel will convene on Thursday March 15 and hold a public hearing to receive feedback on the proposal. The anticipation is the court will vote agree on lines before the start of petitioning for the congressional primary on March 20.
Meanwhile, New York's legislature has put forth maps for its own set of seats. No congressional plan has been presented by lawmakers, which may be the final sign the legislature is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to draw the state's congressional lines.
UPDATE: One of the most vocal critics of the magistrate's draft maps was Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who is running for congress against Towns. He and other Brooklyn lawmakers had been the most critical of