In a sweeping proposal, New York lawmakers plan to re-assign 25 blocks of Hell’s Kitchen between 8th and 9th Avenue from Jerry Nadler’s Congressional 10th District to Carolyn Maloney’s 12th District. The move was first reported by Patch.
Under the proposals, Maloney, who currently represents Midtown and the Theater District up to 8th Ave (and up to 7th Ave in parts of the Garment District), will take on approximately 25% of Hell’s Kitchen. The changes also include handing over Port Authority and the Moynihan Train Hall, which previously belonged to Nadler’s 10th District. Maloney will now also represent the Upper West Side from 86th and Columbus Ave down to Central Park, merging a significant portion of the Upper East and Upper West Sides.
Nadler, who has represented the West Side of Manhattan as well as sections of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn since 1992, will now represent portions of the West Side from W122nd St and Columbus Ave in Morningside Heights down to parts of the Lower East Side and Tribeca/FiDi, snaking into Brooklyn’s Borough Park, Windsor Terrace, and Bensonhurst.
The slider above helps compare the current district and the proposed remapping. Map: redistrictingandyou.org
The move is largely seen as a sharply strategic play by Albany Democrats to maintain incumbency in this year’s contentious midterm elections, in which both Nadler and Maloney will be up for reelection. While the cultural makeup of Nadler’s district will become slightly more diverse (changing from a 57.7% to 51.3% white district according to CUNY data), the political makeup remains largely the same — in both his current and proposed new neighborhoods, 77% of constituents voted for Joe Biden in 2020.
The proposed redistricting would be one of the most far-reaching in the country, giving Democrats an advantage in 22 of the 26 House districts in midterm elections. Dave Wasserman, a national elections analyst with the Cook Political Report told the New York Times, “With the stroke of a pen they can gain three seats and eliminate four Republican seats. That’s a pretty big shift, in fact, it’s probably the biggest shift in the country.”
Staten Island Rep Nicole Malliotakis — the only Republican to represent part of NYC — would be redistricted to include several far more liberal neighborhoods of Brooklyn previously represented by Nydia Velázquez, transforming Malliotakis’ district from one where Donald Trump won by 11 points in the 2020 election to one that Joe Biden would have taken by 10 points. Additional proposed redrawing would gain Democratic ground in parts of Long Island and the Hudson Valley ahead of the midterm elections.
While the proposal has not yet passed, there is already little ability for Republican lawmakers to stop it. In 2014, Albany lawmakers assigned the bi-partisan New York State Independent Redistricting Commission (NYIRC) to work through redistricting, but a consensus couldn’t be reached, clearing the way for Democrats to redraw district maps.
In addition, Albany Democrats also have a majority for the first redistricting cycle in decades. The proposal could be voted on as soon as Wednesday and Governor Kathy Hochul has expressed support for Democratic redistricting should it pass both chambers.
New York’s current Democratic stronghold foreseeably paves the way for dramatic redistricting to pass, however the move has elicited strong criticisms that Democrats are using the same gerrymandering strategies that they protest from Republican legislators. While the redistricting is unlikely to significantly change the political landscape of Hell’s Kitchen, the long-term effects of Republican blowback could reverberate around the state and nationwide.