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Council Set to Vote on Redistricting Map

Monday, November 19, 2012

The City Council is set to vote on a revised plan for redistricting that could change who will represent some neighborhoods in the city for at least the next decade.

The maps, redrawn every 10 years following the census, was unanimously approved by the council's redistricting commission last week.

The most significant changes may to be to upper Manhattan, where the black and Latino populations have shifted notably; and in Richmond Hill in Queens.

Andrew Beveridge, professor of Sociology at Queens College, said the map will likely not change the way the city is governed nearly as much as term limits. His analysis of the map found that a typical district retained 87 percent of the population of the former map. 

Unlike at the state level, the City Council redistricting is not done by the legislators themselves but by a commission. Beveridge said while that's a slight improvement, it doesn't ultimately make that much of a difference. 

"The commission is dominated by the legislature. Five are appointed by Democrats. Three are appointed by the Republicans. Then the appointments by Mayor Bloomberg also include a number of people who've had a lot of legislative experience, so I think they're very careful to take into account the preferences of the incumbents," he said.

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