As if it were a puzzle with pieces scattered in different parts of a table, this is what the new looks for many 10th Congressional Districtwhich was born after the redesign of the congressional maps of the Big Apple, approved last month by the State Supreme Court.
The new political model of the city built walls of the new District 10 between a wide area that includes neighborhoods as diverse as the Lower East Side, Chinatown, East Village, Soho, Noho, Battery Park City, the financial district, in Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn, such as Gowanus, Park Slope, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Borough Park.
The move made District 10which remained in the Upper West Sidewhere Congressman Jerry Nadler currently holds the seat, merged with District 12 into one, now facing Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and other new candidates.
The change in the electoral map affected New York at the level of congressional representation, since it lost one seat, with a delegation that will go from 27 to 26 members.
Facts about the new 10th congressional district They show that the Latino and Asian communities have a large predominance, but the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and white communities continue to be superior, where according to analysts, the majority of voters are liberal and progressive. The Census reveals that 48.6% are white, 21.6% Asian, 19.2% Hispanic and 5.6% black.
Although the new district will just be released next August 23, when the primary elections are held to find out who will win the nomination of their parties to compete in the general elections in November, it has already become a political ring; in a scenario where more than a dozen candidates face each other for that seat and voters declare themselves uninformed.
And it is that New Yorkers from the new district, where diversity of cultural origins, economic income, population groups, ages, educational levels, languages and even interest in political contests reign, do not seem to know much about the important congressional novelty.
On streets like Clinton, on the Lower East Side, outside places like El Mago, Donnybrook Bar, and Fara Pizzeria, Latino voters like John Martinezwho declares himself an active voter, who is concerned about the impact of the elections on his community, confesses that he has no idea of the changes.
“Until today, I thought that the congresswoman on this side is Carolyn Maloney. I barely found out about that change and I am worried that in the end, when the voters go to vote, they end up choosing the least beneficial option for the district, because it will be new to see new people on the ballot,” said the 26-year-old.
“If they made a change to those maps, they should at least spend money educating and informing our people, especially here where there are many voters who speak mostly Spanish. I find it very worrying,” added the student.
Information is missing
Several minutes from there and across the bridge, walking near the Los Tres Potrillos restaurant in Sunset Park, a neighborhood with a large Latino presence, Zoraida Moreno she confessed that she was not aware that there are elections next month but also said that she did not understand anything about the district maps.
“I voted in June and I thought that it was not necessary to vote more until November. I don’t know who to vote for then. The truth is that so far I eat breakfast,” said the mother of a Colombian family, claiming to be unaware of several of the candidates who are campaigning to get the first seat of the renewed District 10.
“Around here we have not seen anyone, or at least I have not seen a campaign. Surely they are interested in going to speak more in Manhattan because people go out to vote more and they will believe that because this neighborhood is an immigrant neighborhood, there are not as many votes for them, “added the voter.
Joseph Castelblancooriginally from Guerrero, in Mexico, and who has lived in Sunset Park for more than 20 years, on the contrary mentions having found out that there are other candidates, some that he already knew, but he confessed to not knowing anything about the change of District.
I have always voted for Nydia Velázquez, and I thought that De Blasio and those others that I have heard who are interested in the seat were going to compete against her. Now yes, as they say in my land, I made balls. So I don’t know who I’m going to vote for”, said the worker of a driving company.
And when it comes to putting the needs of this district and the vision of the elections to come on the table, activists from Sunset Park such as Vicky Riverafrom the Mixteca organization, declare themselves a little skeptical and warn that whoever wins, it will be necessary to put pressure on them to promote effective changes.
“We have seen a lot that the Government does not see the realities, the real needs of our people. Here we need more health, more transportation, security… employment is scarce, wage increases, because according to what is high, the truth is that with this overflowing inflation, it is misery”, comments the resident of Sunset Park.
“That is why we have to raise our voices, demand to be heard, because with the economy that is fatal, the lack of political intervention that is required and the lack of action by politicians, we have to wake up, do like babies, that if they don’t cry and scream they won’t be fed,” added the Mexican, while saying that there are so many needs in her community of Sunset Park that there must be a comprehensive plan that begins with the federal government to improve the quality of life for all.
“Children are overwhelmed with things like transportation. Here we have frustration, despair of the people that leads to delinquency, to stealing. There is insecurity here on Fifth Avenue. Knife and handgun assaults have been increased. The task of whoever wins will be hard,” warned the activist from Mixteca.
However, Rivera mentioned that it is necessary for people to go out and vote in order to demonstrate and that whoever is elected for District 10 can know first-hand what the most urgent needs of this population are.
“With these elections there is a lot of misinformation, but people should vote, because the reality is that if the community does not realize the importance of voting, we are going to continue to sleep and the only way they can do something for neighborhoods like this is by raising the voice”, added the Mexican.
A similar perception has political analyst Lucía Gómezwho warned that despite the fact that the new District 10 is a “super Democratic” cradle, so whoever wins in the elections on August 23 will very surely have his seat secured in November, to a certain extent it does not guarantee that the Latino community and the most vulnerable in the district see quicker changes and more effective resources.
“In this district there are many people competing who are new to their areas, who don’t know the realities of families who have lived in Sunset Park or the Lower East Side for years. And if someone wins who does not know the problems of the communities, it will be a kind of setback to solve many needs that exist, because it will take more time to know them and they will not be the same as Nydia Velázquez, because cultivating that connection takes years, “he commented. the analyst.
Gómez also pointed out as a negative point the way in which the District was created and how two primaries were planned (last June and the next one in August), since voters lacked more information and each of the dozen candidates has chosen to do campaign only in towns where he feels strong.
“There are too many elections in a single year and with so many candidates in the race, it is not possible to predict who will win. Anyone can win and whoever wins will do so because of his popularity more than anything else. I doubt that anyone can win with more than 30%, “said the expert on political issues. “The majority of that district is white, Latinos are barely 20% and also they hardly go out to vote. That is why I believe that for the next elections in that district in two years, there will be a need for greater education work so that our people go out to vote and can put up a candidate who fought for it, because if it is not like that, we will continue to be the third or fourth priority and not the first.
On the candidates rattlewhere the current councilor Carlina Rivera is the Latin representation, facing figures like the former Mayor Bill de Blasiothe congressman Mondaire-Jonesthe assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and former Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzmannamong others, Gómez affirms that Hispanic politics has the same chances as its contenders.
“We could see maybe a latin chairbecause many know Carlina and she is a current elected official, but also de blasio could win because they know him as mayor, although there are also people who don’t like many things he did… we don’t know, I think anything can happen and everything will depend on who goes out to vote. That is why we have to vote to be able to choose the best option that helps our community”, concluded the analyst.
Who are the candidates competing for the seat of the new District 10?
- bill de blasio: Former Mayor of New York City for eight years, Ombudsman for four years, and City Councilor for eight years.
- Mondaire-Jones: Current Congressman for Lower Hudson Valley District 17, running for District 10, as redistricting prompted Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of District 18 to run for District 17. He is a co-chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus and one of the first two openly gay members of Congress. He is also a member of the House ethics, education and labor committees.
- Yuh-Line Niou: New York State Assemblyman. She was the first Asian American elected to represent her district of Lower Manhattan since 2016. She is a progressive politician
- Carlina Rivera: Current progressive member of the City Council for District 2, who has done activism and advocacy on housing issues, climate change, and reproductive and immigrant rights. She ran for council president, but failed to get the necessary support.
- jo anne simon: New York State Assemblyman for the 52nd District from Brooklyn. Lawyer and activist for the civil rights of the disabled. She is chair of the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee.
- elizabeth holtzman: Former New York City Comptroller and Brooklyn District Attorney. She was a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974. She co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues.
- Maud Brown: Defense attorney at the Legal Aid Society for more than 20 years. Activist and member of the Manhattan Community Education Council
- Daniel Goldman: Former federal prosecutor who was lead counsel for House Democrats in the first impeachment trial against former President Trump. He ran for New York Attorney General last year.
- yan xiong: Former member of the Army and chaplain. He was the leader of the Tiananmen Pro-Democracy Movement in China.
- elizabeth kim: Applied Behavioral Social Scientist at Spotify and former Jet.com employee. Graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology
- Ashmi Sheth: First-generation Asian-American who claims to jump into the race to power a 21st-century economy and combat climate change. She was the membership chair of the League of Women Voters of New York City. She worked as an associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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