City Council analyst John Lisyanskiy officially threw his hat in the ring for Coney Island’s 47th District on December 16 with an e-mail blast to supporters, making him one of two candidates for the district to forego the political hand-wringing over redistricting and jump in the race. Meanwhile, others in what was expected to be a somewhat crowded field for the Democratic nod, are reconsidering their runs – and almost all are urging constituents to turn out to tomorrow’s Districting Committee hearing to oppose the plan.
Lisyanskiy is one of four Democratic contenders vying to replace term-limited Domenic Recchia that have registered committees with the Campaign Finance Board. Lisyanskiy is joined by activist Todd Dobrin; Michael Treybich, an attorney
and deputy legal director for the New York State Young Democrats; and Brian Gotlieb, former chairman of Community Board 13.
Lisyanskiy, who serves as a legislative budget aide in the City Council under Speaker Christine Quinn, jumps in the race with tens of thousands of dollars collected for a 2009 run that ultimately fizzled after term limits were extended. The campaign’s announcement came weeks before the council’s district lines are set to be finalized, a process which could see a campaign’s key constituencies flung into a neighboring district.
But Lisyanskiy said the latest district lines were of little concern in determining whether or not to run.
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The current State Senate district lines in Southern Brooklyn, showing District 27 (former Senator Kruger's district) and District 22 (Golden's). It is known as one of the worst examples of gerrymandering in New York State. The latest proposal is no better.
Looking at political district maps for Brooklyn and the city, you might think you’re gazing at an elaborate jigsaw puzzle. Yet, the process seems to get more complicated, not to mention inequitable, when the lines are redrawn every 10 years.
Nevertheless, the best laid district lines of Democrats or Republicans usually don’t count much towards a representative democracy, but rather for the ruling political party.
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With New York State set to lose two of its 29 congressional seats in the House of Representatives, the Democrats hope a Republican’s seat isn’t one of them.
Democrats are hoping that Bob Turner’s seat isn’t on the chopping block because they strongly feel that they can win it back.
“I believe it’s a Democratic seat and would be won by a Democrat,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the New York Daily News.
Despite Turner’s upset victory in the race to replace Anthony Weiner last year, and the ensuing media reports that claimed it as evidence that area was becoming increasingly conservative, the party believes that the congressional district remains staunchly blue. They also think Turner remains a vulnerable candidate.
Those claims are backed up by Turner’s own weak fundraising efforts. As the New York Observer’s Politicker blog noted, the congressman’s financial performance has been lackluster:
Recently elected GOP Congressman Bob Turner reported a relatively modest campaign haul today, showing just $76,000 raised with $71,000 cash on hand since the last reporting period. This is not an especially large pot of money to to proceed forward in what could be a tough reelection environment for him. For comparison, New York City’s other Republican Congressman, Michael Grimm, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars this cycle and has over a million dollars in the bank.
Other Democrats are also pushing to end the narrative that the area is becoming a Republican enclave.
“This election is going to make a big difference. This is where we draw the line in the sand. This is where we break up the firewall,” said City Councilman Lew Fidler during a meeting of the Brooklyn Young Democrats at Wheeler’s (1707 Sheepshead Bay Road). The councilman noted that any further Republican victories in the area would encourage the party to focus more on ousting other local Democrats, sparking a red wave throughout the borough. “They are not going to turn Brooklyn red,” he said.
The current political boundaries of Kruger's and Golden's districts. Kruger was key in implementing them. Now he supports legislation to make sure pols like him can't do this anymore.
It seems that State Senator Carl Kruger, who faces a long, hard legal slog as he battles corruption charges, has found his conscience – and is beginning to vote it.
The local pol most recently made political observers balk last week, when he called for the creation of an independent redistricting commission in a new newsletter to his constituents, according to the Daily News.
“He’ll make a strong case for an independent redistricting commission to correct population shifts that shortchange New York City in favor of upstate communities,” the newsletter says.
But Kruger is one of the state’s worst offenders when it comes to dubious redistricting. Why the turnaround?
The district boundaries for the State Senate seats occupied by Carl Kruger and Marty Golden. Doesn't it look a little unnatural to you?
Redistricting of political boundaries occurs every 10 years – following the results of the U.S. Census – but it’s usually off the radar of most members of the community. This year, redistricting got a bit of a higher profile when Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned, leading to the now oft-spoken narrative that the winner of his seat is of minimal importance, as the most junior New York representative in federal politics will likely lose his job to redrawn lines and the elimination of a seat.
Well, that’s our seat they’re talking about, and redistricting stands to have profound implications on the way residents of Sheepshead Bay are represented.
Keep reading and find out how to make your voice heard.