The new map, along with “anti-gerrymandering” legislation proposed by the Republicans last month, is the latest repudiation of a Democratic plan critics charge is “blatantly designed” to weaken GOP political control.
Republicans said Tuesday that their map is “politically blind,” with districts that are “more contiguous and compact” to keep communities from being “splintered” apart in separate districts. The GOP map at first glance more closely resembles the 10-year-old current map than the one proposed by Democrats last month.
GOP Councilman Dennis Shepherd on Tuesday criticized Democrats for proposing a map with zigzagging boundaries that, he said, make his Fourth District look like “Cape Cod” to capture more Democratic voters.
“The original maps were obviously drawn with no public input” Shepherd said, “and were admittedly politicized with the sole purpose of re-electing incumbents and disenfranchising challengers.”
The public will have a chance to comment on both proposed maps at a 7 p.m. council Intergovernmental Committee meeting tonight at City Hall. A final vote is not expected for weeks — but will likely come before the November elections.
Democratic City Councilman Christopher Johnson said Tuesday the council will consider both the Democratic and Republican proposals before making a decision.
Democrats released a map on Jan. 19 showing their proposed new boundaries. Yonkers redraws those boundaries every decade following the release of updated U.S. Census data.
Democrats control the mayor’s office and the council for the first time in 40 years.
CAPTION: Republican Yonkers City Councilman Dennis Shepherd, right, discusses his party’s competing redistricting plan at a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 19, at City Hall. Shepherd is pictured with GOP Councilman Mike Breen, left, and Republican Council Minority Leader John Larkin. (Colin Gustafson/The Journal News)
The Republicans proposed map …