The New York State Legislature has finished redistricting our political maps based on the 2020 Census. This includes the New York State Senate, the state Assembly, and the federal Congressional districts for the House of Representatives. What has changed in Bay Ridge? Are you in a new district? Check our maps to find out.
House of Representatives (Congressional District NY11)
Our Congressional seat has generated the most buzz. Republicans gerrymandered Texas, North Carolina, Iowa (and more) in 2022. This put political pressure on State Democrats to redistrict New York in a way that minimized possible losses.
Whether this is a genuine Gerrymander is up for debate. Even a “fair” redistricting would have disadvantaged Republicans. The old 2012-2022 district lines had been gerrymandered in Republicans’ favor; undoing it has hurt their political prospects. Whether it has gone too far is a matter for state courts. Radio Free Bay Ridge believes that such gerrymanders should be banned nationwide, not state-by-state.
Republicans have already started a legal challenge to these district lines. It is unlikely to succeed. Past attempts to undo the Republican gerrymanders in New York always failed. Federally, partisan gerrymanders are legal; only racial gerrymanders are banned. The New York State Constitution is stricter thanks to changes made in 2014. It is here that Republicans hope to undo the new district lines. Either way, the legal challenges likely won’t affect the upcoming election. Petitioning for candidates to get on the ballot begins in March.
The Redistricting of Western Sunset Park
NY11, our congressional district, has seen major changes. It no longer goes east into Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst. Instead, it runs north through Sunset Park up to Park Slope. Critically, Sunset Park has been split in half along vaguely racial lines. The Hispanic western section is now part of NY11. The Asian eastern section has been placed into Jerrold Nadler’s NY10 District.
There are many progressives pointing out that this weakens the Hispanic vote and places the burden of flipping a district onto people of color. Western Sunset Park is now sandwiched between mostly-white Bay Ridge and Park Slope. Political alliances built within Sunset Park now have to work across congressional lines. The old district, CD7, was 37% Hispanic and 31% White. Now Sunset Park finds itself in NY11, which is 22% Hispanic and 55% White.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done to center Sunset Park’s voice in NY11 going forward.
Unifying Northern Bay Ridge
But what has changed in Bay Ridge? In short, Northern Bay Ridge finally gets unified with the rest of the neighborhood. The area near the Gowanus Expressway on-ramps in the 60s has long been cut apart politically. This has often led to it being ignored when it comes to trash pickup, basic city services, and federal infrastructure investment. It is strongly working-class and Middle Eastern. The area was formerly represented by three congresspeople. It is now entirely within NY11.
This trend of unifying Northern Bay Ridge doesn’t stop at the Congressional level, however…
NY11 District Changes At A Glance:
- Currently Represented By: Nicole Malliotakis (R)
- Change in Bay Ridge Residents in NY11: +10,965 people
- Registered Bay Ridge Voter Change: +4,586 voters
- Bay Ridge Partisan Breakdown: +2,716 Democrats, +538 Republicans (Net +2,178 Democrat)
- Added Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 51047, 51060, 51061, 51062, 51077, 64082
New York State Senate (Senate Districts SD22 and SD23)
Bay Ridge’s State Senate district has seen similar changes. It no longer stretches into South-Eastern Brooklyn. Instead, it moves north along the R line to Downtown Brooklyn. But does anything change in Bay Ridge?
The answer is yes. Northern Bay Ridge is now part of Senate District 22. This area is more working-class and contains many Middle Eastern and Asian residents. This includes the Bay Ridge Towers, which had been part of Diane Savino’s Staten Island district. The Towers have long been excluded from Bay Ridge politics. It’s great to see them have a local voice. They may finally bring the needs of high-density housing into the local political discourse.
It still excludes some places you’d expect to be part of Bay Ridge. The Owl’s Head Waste Treatment facility is still part of the Staten Island district. So does the Shore Road promenade west of the Belt Parkway. Traditionally, State Senators have ignored this dividing line, so it likely won’t affect things much. Gounardes, for example, campaigned on getting federal money for reconstructing parts of the promenade. We should note, however, that the new district has much smoother lines than the old district, and the Belt Parkway is much more clearly acting as a dividing line than before.
SD22 District Changes At A Glance:
- Currently Represented By: Andrew Gounardes (D)
- Change in Bay Ridge Residents in SD22: +6,719 people
- Registered Bay Ridge Voter Change: +3,597 voters
- Bay Ridge Partisan Breakdown: +2,090 Democrats, +518 Republicans (Net +1,572 Democrats)
- Added Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 51024, 51026, 51047, 51060, 64081, 64082
New York State Assembly (Assembly Districts AD46, AD64 and AD51)
Most pundits would say that the State Assembly map has changed the least. The State Assembly has long been controlled by Democrats. The State Senate flipped to the Democrats after almost a century of Republican control. No such change occurred in the Assembly. In fact, the previous agreements between Republicans and Democrats in Albany allowed for Democrats to control the Assembly maps, and Republicans to control the Senate maps.
But it is the State Assembly that has caused the most change in Bay Ridge. 8,903 Bay Ridge residents will wake up and find themselves in a new district in 2023. The Assembly districts cover the smallest areas, and Bay Ridge remains carved up between three different districts.
Coney Island’s AD46
First up is AD46, represented by Democrat Mathylde Frontus. It remains a Coney Island / Bay Ridge district, though it has expanded north from 79th Street up to 74th Street. This brings it just short of the stretch of 5th Avenue considered Little Palestine in Northern Bay Ridge. In exchange, AD46 gets a bit smaller on the west. A chunk of the district between 91st Street and Fort Hamilton High School is given to AD64.
Frontus ends up losing the expansive Shore Hill Apartments in this swap. Shore Hill is a senior facility and one of the few Mitchell-Llama developments in Bay Ridge. Shore Hill is what makes the immediate area politically purple, with a slim majority of Democrats.
Staten Island’s AD64
Most of the gains and losses from AD46 are traded with the similarly-numbered AD64. Staten Island’s South Shore dominates this district. Republican Michael Tannousis represents AD64, following in the footsteps of Nicole Malliotakis.
AD64 gains Shore Hill and the low-density shorefront areas around it. It loses a large chunk of central Bay Ridge as Coney Island’s AD46 moved north. In a domino effect, that means AD46 ends up moving north as well, but by a smaller amount. It heads north a block or two from Ovington and Bay Ridge Avenue to 68th Street.
These blocks, however, are dense. Ovington and Bay Ridge Ave contain mostly apartment buildings. They are among the highest-density blocks in Bay Ridge (along with Shore Hill). It isn’t enough to offset the five blocks lost in the 70s, but Tannousis only loses about 918 Bay Ridge constituents. And despite losing overall population in Bay Ridge, due to the higher voter registration in these areas, AD64 gains about nine registered Bay Ridge voters. As far as party enrollment goes, it’s a big win for the GOP: a net loss of 144 Democrats, and a net gain of 106 Republicans. Along with expansions on the Staten Island side, Tannousis’s district has become solidly GOP.
Sunset Park’s AD51
Continuing the chain of dominoes, Tannousis’s two-block expansion north to 68th street eats into AD51. Currently represented by DSA-friendly Democrat Marcela Mitaynes, AD51 loses nearly 5,771 Bay Ridge residents, and about 2,629 voters, mostly Democrats.
AD51 now consists of only the blocks east of Owls Head Park until 6th Avenue, in one clean dividing line.
In the end, the changes on the Assembly level make Bay Ridge’s Assembly lines a bit straighter. There are fewer random turns, and it is easier to explain the boundaries. The major dividing lines are Colonial Road, Ridge Boulevard, 74th Street, and 68th street.
AD46 District Changes At A Glance:
- Currently Represented By: Mathylde Frontus (D)
- Change in Bay Ridge Residents in AD46: +6,689 people
- Registered Bay Ridge Voter Change: +2,620 voters
- Bay Ridge Partisan Breakdown: +1,756 Democrats, +180 Republicans (Net +1,576 Democrats)
- Added Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 64085, 64086, 64087, 64088, Part of 64083
- Removed Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 46051, 46052
AD64 District Changes At A Glance:
- Currently Represented By: Michael Tannousis (R)
- Change in Bay Ridge Residents in AD64: -918 people
- Registered Bay Ridge Voter Change: +9 voters
- Bay Ridge Partisan Breakdown: –144 Democrats, +106 Republicans
- Added Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 46051, 46052, 51059, 51076, Part of 51047, Part of 51060, Part of 51061
- Removed Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 64085, 64086, 64087, 64088, Part of 64083
AD51 District Changes At A Glance:
- Currently Represented By: Marcela Mitaynes (D)
- Change in Bay Ridge Residents in AD51: -5,771 people
- Registered Bay Ridge Voter Change: -2,629 voters
- Bay Ridge Partisan Breakdown: –1,612 Democrats, –286 Republicans
- Removed Bay Ridge Electoral Districts: 51059, 51076, Part of 51061, Part of 51060, Part of 51047
Frequently Asked Questions
No. You are still represented by your former elected officials. The changes will only take place when the results of the 2022 November election are final! You always get a chance to vote for your elected representative.
Nobody knows. That will be up to the courts. However, time is a major factor. The census was delayed due to COVID-19 and a major lack of funding by the Trump presidency. A failed and deadlocked NY State redistricting commission delayed things further. Since the GOP lawsuit will likely take its time to wind its way through the courts (most likely getting appealed), it is very unlikely the lawsuit will affect the 2022 election. The most likely outcome, if the GOP lawsuit succeeds, is that new district maps will be drawn for 2024.
Not yet. Municipal elections do not happen until 2023, so city government has time before it needs to redistrict. The last time redistricting happened in 2013. In the summer of 2012. the city formed a formal Districting Commission. Members of the commission are appointed, some by the mayor, some by the majority party in the City Council (Democrats), and some by the minority party (Republicans). We expect to hear more about the new City Council districts later this year.
Yes. Normally, City Council members have a four-year term. But because of redistricting, Justin Brannan’s current term is 2022-2023. He will need to run again when the City Council seats are redistricted.
Nope! The Community Board boundaries are pretty firm, and have been in place for decades. Since they aren’t electoral, and consist mainly of appointed volunteers, they can remain unchanged. You can learn more about our local Community Board, Brooklyn CB10, in our episode “Bay Ridge’s Little City Hall“
No. Despite some political figures complaining that they were “cut out” out of a district, New York State law only requires that a person lives within the county (i.e. Brooklyn) during redistricting years. Living within the district itself only applies in non-redistricting years.
Redistricting & You is a great resource. It provides excellent maps and interactive maps that explore the new districts. Since we only focus on Bay Ridge here at the podcast, check them out for a wider perspective!