After Uproar, Jeffries Hails Revised District Lines

Draft released by federal court includes Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Assemblyman's Prospect Heights home in new Central Brooklyn district.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, D-Fort Greene, hailed a revised draft of a proposed Congressional district released late Monday night reuniting the neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill with the rest of Central Brooklyn.

"The residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill let their voices be heard," Jeffries said in a statement Tuesday. "[Federal Magistrate] Judge [Roanne] Mann clearly acknowledged that keeping communities of interest together is paramount to a fair and just redistricting process and the court should be commended."

The revision buoyed Jeffries' candidacy for the seat held by Rep. Edolphus "Ed" Towns, D-Brooklyn, since the new lines will be roughly contiguous with the old 10th Congressional District.

However, Towns' Cypress Hills home will still be excluded from much of the district he currently represents—that is, if the lines hold.

Towns, through a spokesman, declined to comment on the redistricting process on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Jeffries joined other African and Caribbean-American elected officials in Downtown Brooklyn, calling on Mann to back away from plans to roll the three neighborhoods into a district that stretched all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

At the event, Jeffries framed the issue not as a case of personal electoral maneuvering but as an effort to defend a stronghold of black and Latino political power.

"This is a victory for the residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill who will benefit from the preservation of historically African-American, Central Brooklyn neighborhoods within the same Congressional district," Jeffries said.

The judicial panel in charge of Congressional redistricting hopes to have a map finalized by March 20, when the petitioning period for House candidates is scheduled to begin.

The primary for Congressional races will be held in June.


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