New council lines divide interests

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The new map of city council district lines in Queen.Photo courtesy of NYC District Commission
The new map of city council district lines in Queen.

Small changes will be made to several city council lines in Queens under the first draft of new districts, but some say the lines break up areas with a common interest or concern.

The drafted lines are in sync with data from the 2010 census to even out population distribution throughout each district. A number of Queens residents spoke out about line changes at a public hearing last month, where they asked that some neighborhoods stay intact regarding representation.

A second round of hearings will begin on Tuesday, October 2 and continue through Thursday, October 11.

Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, said that while his neighborhood would not be shifted, Mitchell-Linden would now be taken from the 20th District to the 19th. The problem with this, he said, was the demographic in the area wanted to stay intact because of a shared, common interest.

“They kind of wanted to stay where they were,” he said, referring to the Asian demographic in Mitchell-Linden that is currently represented by Councilmember Peter Koo.

Schrieber said the redistricting should not be politically motivated — to keep an incumbent in or remove someone — but rather should care about the common concerns of a demographic.

“It should be up to us, we decide who our elected officials are going to be,” he said. “I think it’s wrong; it erodes our political system. We don’t get the best representation.”