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AWA Opposes the Proposed Assembly Maps for Brooklyn’s Asian Districts;

Urges the Redistricting Commission to Maintain the 2022 District Lines

(Brooklyn, New York) - According to the 2020 NYC Census, the highest population growth was in Brooklyn, up 9.2% in the past 10 years. This was unquestionably fueled by the Asian community which grew 43% or by 420,000. The Assembly districts in effect for the 2022 election have proven to elect assembly members who uphold the values that the Asian community supports. In particular, we support maintaining district lines for assembly districts AD47 and AD49 which represent Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Gravesend, where 35-59% of the districts are Asian.

A visual inspection of the proposed maps show bizarre jaggedly-shaped districts with narrow corridors that are inconsistent with general redistricting principles, and show signs of cracking, gerrymandering and thumbs on the scale to manufacture election outcomes. Of specific concern is the removal of Dyker Heights from district AD49. We know that many Asian immigrant families in Dyker Heights have a great deal of community connection with Sunset Park; they eat, shop, and patronize services in the thriving business district along 8th Avenue.

The more established Asian immigrant community in Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Gravesend have been served well by a cohesive district represented by Assemblyman William Colton, who was just re-elected in November and has dutifully served this district since 1996. Asian residents here are connected by the main 86th Street business corridor that runs from Bensonhurst to Gravesend.

The proposed map breaks up the Asian communities in district AD47 and AD49 and places them into a newly drawn AD46. While Asians will be about a third of the new district by population, we are gravely concerned about the under representation given our low eligibility and voter registration rates, compared to other ethnicities.

In summary, community integrity needs to come before partisan concerns. We urge the Independent Redistricting Commission to maintain the integrity of the districts used in the 2022 elections. We believe that the Brooklyn Asian communities are encouraged by the assembly members we elected in November 2022 and believe we will be well served by their legislative priorities and constituent services.

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