NKD: Redistricting Commission Cut Deals with Lopez, Levin

According to reformers Alex Low and Lincoln Restler of the New Kings Democrats, the New York City Redistricting Commission has cut a gerrymander deal with disgraced Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez and his political protégé, City Council Member Steve Levin.

In a last-minute change to the proposed redistricting map seen as strengthening Lopez's chances of re-election, the Commission moved Lopez's block of Stanhope Street in Brooklyn from the 37th district into the neighboring 34th, where his power base lies.

The Commission's proposed boundaries for City Council District 33, they say, evidence a deal to create a Hasidic "super Jewish district" for the incumbent Levin by breaking pieces of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill off of the 35th district and packing them into the 33rd district.

The Commission, said NKD president Alex Low, owes the public a detailed explanation of what it has done to the 33rd, 34th and 35th Council Districts in the process.

The area in question is bordered by Nostrand Avenue to the east, Dekalb Avenue to the south, Flushing Avenue to the north, and Grand and Classon Avenues to the west. These neighborhoods are in the 88th and 79th Police Precincts, and in Community Districts 2 and 3.

Breaking off a small section of a legislative district and sticking it in another community district or police precinct is usually a recipe for neglect by elected officials, they said.

NKD leader Lincoln Restler challenged the Commission's independence, accusing it of ripping up neighborhoods for political gain, calling on the City Council to restore the 35th Council District to its former boundaries.

Press Contacts: Alex Low (646.402.5825) / Lincoln Restler (347.878.7251); email: newkingsdemocrats@gmail.com.

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