Westchester County Legislative District Maps Redrawn
BOL Chairwoman Catherine Borgia
In a special meeting on December 13, the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted 14-2 to adopt new County legislative district maps. The maps were drawn and amended three times throughout the past year in consultation with redistricting experts from the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz and through general public input. In total, the BOL hosted five public input sessions, a public hearing, and allowed for comments to be submitted in writing, as well.
Redistricting is required every 10 years after a new census. The 2020 U.S. census revealed that Westchester County’s population had increased, putting the county over the one million mark for the first time in history. Because the increase is greater in some parts of the County than others, the work was to readjust legislative districts so that the population of each are as equitably split as possible. This readjustment ensures equal representation for all residents and will reflect local municipalities more accurately.
The new maps were generated to address areas of the County that have grown large, diverse populations. These new maps establish a Black-majority district in Mt. Vernon (CLD-13); Yonkers forms one minority-plurality district (CLD-16) and one Hispanic-majority district (CLD-17). Expanded borders created a minority-plurality district in New Rochelle (CLD-11); and there is a minority-opportunity district created in Port Chester (CLD-6).
Chairwoman Catherine Borgia stated, “After over a year of listening to feedback from proactive and engaged voters, I am proud of the maps we’ve put forth. It has not been a simple process, but with community involvement, we’ve managed to create boundaries that allow communities to grow comfortably for the next ten years.”
In addition to addressing diversity parameters, the new maps make several communities whole which have been segmented in prior maps. These communities include the localities of Peekskill, Briarcliff, Sleepy Hollow, and unincorporated Greenburgh. Making these changes will make the respective districts more compact without compromising other redistricting parameters.
Majority Leader Christopher Johnson iterated, “A fundamental part of our democracy is making certain that all voters are represented equally and fairly. Westchester’s growth in population and diversity demands that we increase the voting power for all communities through redistricting.” He continued, “It is my hope that Westchester residents see themselves reflected in those representing them in this Body.”
The newly adopted maps will go into effect in time for County legislative races in 2023.