This season, newly elected City Councilman Chaim Deutsch will be doing more than moving into City Hall. Redistricting left his home just outside of the district, and city law requires him to move within the boundaries of the community he represents.
Prior to the November 5 general election, he moved out of his Midwood two-story home on 2714 Avenue I and into a two-bedroom apartment 12 blocks away on 1656 East 19th Street, but, according to a Daily News article, his wife and four youngest kids have stayed behind in the original home. The paper reports:
Last year, the Redistricting Council chopped a major section of primarily Jewish voters in Midwood out of the district while at the same time adding the heavily Russian-speaking area of Luna Park, Trump Village and Bright Water Towers into the district.
That district was gerrymandered in an effort to elect a Russian representative to the City Council, political analysts said.
But Deutsch, an Orthodox Jew, proved to be widely popular in the district and handily defeated three Russian candidates during a bruising election cycle.
At least one unnamed source, though, says Deutsch is gaming the system, and has not moved into the apartment – an allegation the city says is unfounded.
But critics charge that 2714 Ave. I remains his primary residence—noting he was seen lighting a menorah at the two-story, three-bedroom home.
Deutsch insisted that he lit a menorah at both dwellings on Chanukah but only said the blessing at his apartment, as per Jewish law.
Council lawyers have investigated and approved his residency status.
Deutsch, a Democrat, won the race for a seat on the New York City Council for the 48th District back in November. He bested Republican David Storobin and Working Families’ Igor Oberman.