Woodhaven Residents' Block Association

City Council Redistricting

The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association firmly believes that whenever possible, the entirety of the neighborhood should be represented by a single representative at each level of government. Woodhaven is a cohesive community, which means that common issues affect the whole neighborhood, not just a fraction of it. Having a single representative at each level of government would help ensure that our collective voice is heard, not diluted. Multiple representatives make it difficult for residents to know who's representing them and whom to ask for help.

Woodhaven's current City Council representation is split roughly evenly between Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Council Member Eric Ulrich.  Our currently divided representation is not optimal.

Every ten years, the lines of New York's City Council districts are redrawn.  This once-a-decade process is now underway and is being conducted by a body called the New York City Districting Commission.  In September 2012, the Commission put forward its initial proposal.  These preliminary maps united almost all of Woodhaven in a single City Council district.  The WRBA submitted testimony to the Commission, applauding its proposal and urging tweaks to ensure that 100% of Woodhaven would be included in a single district.  Our press release on the proposal is available here, and the full text of our testimony to the Commission is available here.

In mid-November 2012, the Commission released what was expected to be its final proposal.  Startlingly, the Commission chose to divide Woodhaven in the revised maps.  Not only was Woodhaven split into three residential areas spread over two districts, but much of the areas represented by Crowley and Ulrich would be switched, maximizing the confusion and unfamiliarity for City Council Members and constituents alike.  In a press release, the WRBA blasted this proposal and called on City Council members to vote against it.  This column expressed the WRBA's surprise and displeasure at the Commission's about-face.

In a surprise twist, a gerrymander in Brooklyn led to enough outrage that the Commission withdrew its proposal and went back to the drawing board.  The WRBA calls on the Commission to use this opportunity to correct its shabby treatment of Woodhaven and to unite our neighborhood, as it had originally planned to do.

On January 14, 2013, a contingent of Woodhaven residents attended the Commission's Queens hearing at LaGuardia Community College.  Here are pictures and videos of Woodhaven's participation at the hearing, and here is media coverage showing that the WRBA's presence was felt:
  • Leader-Observer, "Woodhaven Takes Fight to Districting Commission," 1/17/2013
  • Times Newsweekly, "Battle To Keep Areas Together," by Sam Goldman, 1/24/2013
  • Queens Tribune, "Residents Want Council Lines Redrawn," by Luis Gronda, 1/17/2013
  • The Forum, "Woodhaven Squawks Over Redistricting," by Ross Barkan, 1/17/2013
  • Queen Chronicle, "It's back to the old redrawing board," by Michael Gannon, 1/17/2013
  • Queens Courier, "Residents fight against redistricting division," by Terence M. Cullen, 1/16/2013

Below are more links to coverage of our fight to unite Woodhaven at the City Council level:
  • Times Newsweekly, Editorial: Woodhaven and Redistricting, 1/17/2013
  • Times Newsweekly, "United Front To Close The Divide," by Robert Pozarycki, 12/21/2012
  • The Forum, "WRBA Calls for Woodhaven To Be in One District," by Luis Gronda, 12/20/2012
  • Queens Courier, "WRBA will keep up fight for unity," by Terence M. Cullen, 12/20/2012
  • Times Newsweekly, "Panel Erases District Plan," by Robert Pozarycki, 12/7/2012
  • Queens Chronicle, "City Council redistricting map arises anger, controversy among civic leaders," by Domenick Rafter, 11/29/2012
  • DNAinfo, "Woodhaven Community Group Blasts New City Council District Map," by Nigel Chiwaya, 11/29/2012
  • Times Ledger, "New Council lines inflame Woodhaven," by Steve Mosco, 11/29/2012
  • Queens Gazette, "WRBA Condemns City Council Redistricting Final Proposal," 12/5/2012
  • Leader-Observer, "Woodhaven continues to be split in two," by Andrew Pavia, 12/5/2012
  • Times Newsweekly, "Carving Up Woodhaven," by Robert Pozarycki, 11/23/2012
  • Queens Courier, "Woodhaven on redistricting: Send lines back to the drawing board," by Terence M. Cullen, 11/27/2012
  • Queens Tribune, "Council Redistricting: Final Lines Draw Praise, Criticism," by Ross Barkan, 11/21/2012
  • Times Newsweekly, "New Council Maps Jeered," by Robert Pozarycki, 11/30/2012
  • Queens Politics, "Second Round Of District Lines Are Far Worse Says Civic Group," 11/28/2012
  • Gotham Gazette, "What Is Going On With City Council Redistricting? A Primer," by Ross Barkan, 1/6/2013
  • Queens Chronicle, "City Council Districting Commission should try again: Speaker Christine Quinn," by Peter C. Mastrosimone, 11/30/2012
  • Capital, "A Council redistricting body finds its way," by Azi Paybarah, 11/30/2012
  • Capital, "Can Christine Quinn fix a Council map just by asking?," by Azi Paybarah, 11/30/2012
  • Times Newsweekly, "Woodhaven Civic Supports Council Maps," 10/18/2012
  • Queens Chronicle, "Woodhaven civic likes redistricting," by Josey Bartlett, 10/18/2012
  • Queens Gazette, "WRBA Supports City Council Redistricting Proposal," 10/17/2012
  • Times Newsweekly, "Working To Keep Woodhaven United," by Alexander Blenkinsopp, 10/11/2012

You can also click here to learn about our work for Woodhaven in State-level redistricting, and click here to learn about our efforts regarding congressional redistricting.