New congressional districts have left Queens residents a bit shaky about who will represent them, as several neighborhoods have been grouped into Brooklyn areas.
Howard Beach — formerly part of Congressional District 9 — is now in Brooklyn’s redrawn District 8. Running for the congressional spot are State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries and City Councilmember Charles Barron. Barron received an endorsement from current Congressmember Ed Towns, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Jeffries has also received the support of the Queens Democratic Party’s Howard Beach District. Frank Gulluscio, the district’s leader, said there had been some worry by residents that they were now grouped into a predominately Brooklyn district. After speaking with Jeffries, however, Gulluscio said he was assured that the politician, if elected, would fully represent his Queens section and residents’ concerns.
A rally in support of Jeffries is being held at the Lindenwood Diner on Friday, June 15 at noon.
“He has reassured myself and others that he is going to be our congressman all the time,” Gulluscio said.
Congressmember Bob Turner — who currently represents the area — is seeking New York’s U.S. senate seat against incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Woodhaven, however, will become part of Congressional District 10, along with downtown Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Before redistricting, only about two blocks of Woodhaven were included in the zone.
Running for the District 10 spot are: incumbent Congressmember Nydia Velazquez; City Councilmember Erik Dilan; economist Dan O’Connor; and activist George Martinez.
Residents have expressed some worry about being represented and the redistricting of their area.
Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, said divvying up Woodhaven has made it hard for the advocacy group to direct residents to the right representative.
“We’re the only Queens portion of that [district],” he said. “So obviously there’s concern there – we’ve been split apart from Queens.”
Wendell brought up the point that District 7 is now part of the same district as Chinatown and other neighborhoods that may have differing needs: “Now we’re Chinatown east.”