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.”