Voters in forty percent of the city's 51 districts are looking at new names as they pick their council members – thanks mostly to term limits. In some key races for open seats, it's a battle of political power bases. And some incumbents are facing challenges that illustrate demographic shifts in neighborhoods.
In Robert Jackson’s seat in upper Manhattan you have two forces – redistricting and demographic changes – shaping up for a really interesting field. The remade district encompasses Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights, West Harlem, and more than a dozen really diverse candidates are vying for the seat. Mark Levine is the favorite, with the most money and endorsements. He’s a white Jewish candidate who helped found the Barack Obama Democratic Club in Upper Manhattan, married to a woman born in Puerto Rico. There are also African American candidates, Dominican candidates, and Zead Ramadan, who would be the first Arab American council member.
The Brooklyn council district encompassing Sunset Park, South Slope and Red Hook has a race that mirror the changing populations in the neighborhood. Councilmember Sarah Gonzalez is running for her third term. Her Puerto Rican roots reflect the neighborhood's history, but Sunset Park is increasingly Mexican American. Her challenger, Carlos Menchaca, would be the first Mexican American council representative in the city, and he's running with money and political connections, after his stints working for both Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Find your district, and its election story, in the map below.