Community Board 11 leaders are calling the city’s redistricting commission not to break up several northeast Queens communities that the board serves with new City Council district lines.
Jerry Iannece, the board’s chairman, wrote a letter to the commission this week to voice concern that new proposed lines would split Bayside Hills between two districts and Auburndale between three districts.
“It’s gerrymandering at its worst,” Iannece said. “I think it’s wrong and it’s political. Bayside Hills is split down the middle and Auburndale is split between three separate districts.”
Shirley Limongi, the public affairs manager for the redistricting commission, said the proposals were merely the beginning of a process to draw new district lines.
“The preliminary draft map was drawn based on census population and it is the beginning of the conversation as to where the community would like to have the district lines redrawn," she said.
Under the proposed lines, Bayside Hills would be shared by the 19th and 23rd Council districts, while Auburndale would be split between the 19th, 20th and 23rd.
“I don’t care where Bayside Hills goes, but it should be held intact in one district,” Iannece said. “And the housing stock and local issues in Auburndale are different from those in the 20th district, which is downtown Flushing.”
He said Council members that represent the various districts would need to write an official complaint to the redistricting commission for the proposed lines to be changed.
Susan Seinfeld, district manager for CB 11, said the board wanted the commission to “maintain traditional communities with similar interests and concerns.”
“If you draw lines and bisect a community, you’re not serving that district well by putting part of it in with another district with different priorities,” she said. “Everyone wants to keep cohesive neighborhoods with identities and not split them up.”