Bronx Residents Speak Out Against New District Lines

district mapIn late January, the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) released proposed district lines for the State Assembly and State Senate. Shortly after, LATFOR scheduled a series of meetings across New York state for the public to voice their opinions.

On January 31, Bronx residents had the opportunity to testify in front of a panel at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The panel comprised of LATFOR members, including Senators Michael Nozzolio (R-Finger Lakes) and Martin Malave Dilan (D-North Brooklyn), and Assemblyman and LATFOR Chairman John McEneny (D-Albany).

Three issues with the proposed districts came up at the hearing. The first involved the fracturing of the Morris Park section of the eastern Bronx. After being in the 80th District (represented by Naomi Rivera) for decades, Morris Park is now split between the 80th and the 82nd (represented by Michael Benedetto). The split had a panel of six speakers who opened the hearing outraged. “Morris Park is the center of Bronx Community Board 11,” said Joseph Thompson of the 49th Precinct Community Council. “This split would prevent projects from being done,” Silvio Mazzella of the Morris Park Community Association added. One stalled project is the creation of a Morris Park business improvement district (BID). “Westchester Square (in the nearby 82nd District) and ourselves began this process at the same time, around 2006,” Mazzella said. “While we’re still in the process, Westchester Square’s almost finished.”

(see full Bronx Journal article by Lennin Reyes @

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