More maps: Redistricting commission releases new draft Assembly maps, proposing big changes for southern Brooklyn

new assembly maps
The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission voted last to release a new draft map for state Assembly districts.
Map courtesy NYS IRC

It’s the redistricting process that never ends! The state’s Independent Redistricting Commission last week unanimously voted to approve and release a new draft Assembly map that could make some big changes to Brooklyn’s representation in the lower chamber. 

New York’s once-a-decade redistricting process has stretched on for months as the parties battle it out over district lines — after the Independent Redistricting Commission failed to produce new maps for the state Senate, Assembly, and the House of Representatives by their deadline in January, the Democratic-majority state legislature took over and drew their own maps.

Those maps were gerrymandered in favor of Democrats — and Republicans immediately took the issue to court, where a Steuben County judge ruled that the state Senate and congressional maps were unconstitutional and appointed a Special Master to re-draw them in time for the August primary.

albany assembly statehouse
The new map would make some big changes to Brooklyn’s state Assembly districts — including in southern Brooklyn, where the midterm elections shifted the political landscape significantly. AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The Assembly map held up a little longer, but, in June, an appeals court ruled that it too was unconstitutional and had to be redrawn in time for the 2024 elections — but that the legislature-drawn maps could be used in the 2022 election, as it was too late to reschedule the primary. 

From the top down

The new proposed maps leave some Brooklyn assembly districts virtually unchanged — but a lot could change in districts along the borough’s borders.

In northern Brooklyn, Assembly District 50 — which currently contains Williamsburg and Greenpoint and is represented by Assemblymember Emily Gallagher — is cut neatly in half. The proposed AD50 spreads over the western half of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, while the eastern half becomes part of Queens-centric AD38, which would include parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Glendale, and Rego Park.

Maritza Davila’s Bushwick-centered AD53 is shifted slightly southeast to include a larger part of Ridgewood, Queens. 

AD44, currently represented by Robert Carroll, loses some territory in Kensington but gains a significant chunk of Park Slope, Gowanus, and Carroll Gardens, all Democrat-friendly nabes.

The most important changes are slated for the southern shore, where the midterm elections swept out several long-term Democratic incumbents last month. 

The current AD46, where Republican Alec Brook-Krasny last month beat out incumbent Democrat Mathylde Frontus, includes a large part of Coney Island, a sliver of Bensonhurst, and parts of Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton. Coney Island — minus Sea Gate — is the most heavily-democratic part of AD46 — much of the redrawn district leans red. 

All of Coney Island is in AD45 in the proposed map, along with part of Gravesend. Last month, voters in AD45 elected Republican Michael Novakhov over another longtime incumbent Democrat, Steven Cymbrowitz. Both the old and proposed new versions of the district are mostly Republican, though the addition of deep-blue Coney in the proposed maps could shake things up.

ad46 assembly map
The proposed AD46 (right) cuts out the Democrat-heavy Coney Island, which could make the district even less of a Democratic stronghold. Map courtesy NYS Redistricting and You

Finally, Assemblymember Helene E. Weinstein’s AD41 could change quite a bit — the proposed map stretches the district south into Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park, chopping off its northernmost portion in Flatlands. Without the Democratic-leaning Flatlands, the district may not be such an easy win for Weinstein or other Democrats eyeing the Assembly. This year, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin won 63% of votes in the district that includes Marine Park. 

What’s next?

Early next year, the IRC will hold a series of public hearings to gather public feedback on their proposals — the in-person Brooklyn meeting is scheduled for 4pm on Feb. 15 at Medgar Evers College. The commission will then incorporate the feedback into their plans and, if all goes well, will send them to the state legislature for approval.