Roosevelt Islander Online: Queens Community Board 2 Hosting Virtual Zoom Meeting On Proposed NYC Council Redistricting Of Roosevelt Island And Sliver Of Upper East Side From Manhattan To Queens Thursday August 11

Under a preliminary plan for NYC Council redistricting, Roosevelt Island and a sliver of the Upper East Side will be moved from
NYC  Council District 5 in Manhattan

currently represented by Julie Menin to NYC Council District 26 in Queens
represented by Julie Won.  

Queens Community Board 2 is hosting a virtual zoom meeting tomorrow evening, August 11, on the
redistricting of Council District 26 to include Roosevelt Island and portions
of the Upper East Side.You’re invited to attend.

Also, the NYC Redistricting Commission is holding the following public hearings on their Preliminary NYC Council Redistricting Plan.

Roosevelt Island resident Joyce Short is organizing local efforts to keep Roosevelt Island in a Manhattan City Council District. According to Ms Short:

Our Community Board is planning on opposing the redistricting of Roosevelt Island in City Council. According to the most recent proposal, if redistricting takes place, we will be redistricted with Queens West and represented by the City Council Member in Queens, Julie Won, not Julie Menin in Manhattan. We believe this change is problematic for our community for several reasons:

  1. Our children’s educational facilities are PS/IS 217 and other public and private schools in Manhattan. We fall within School District 2 for elementary school and middle school children. We need a Council Member whose area includes our school district.

  2. Many of our school children commute by tram, which is a unique and vital link to Manhattan. Most of our working population also commute by tram to the mainland, not Queens, each day for employment. Our residents commutation needs are met by maintaining a close association between the mainland and our island.
  3. Our City Council Representatives provide considerable funding for PS/IS 217 including it’s Green Roof. In addition, they support the quality of life programs we need such as our Little League, NY Junior Tennis and Learning, our very active Senior Center, and additional projects and services. They are the life-blood of our community and our Council Member has a history of support.
  4. The cost for policing Roosevelt Island is principally covered by Island residents, through land-leases paid to RIOC. Our first responders are Public Safety Officers that are Peace Officers with the State of NY, NOT police officers from Queens. Our crime statistics are more consistent with our current Manhattan connection rather than with Western Queens. Our NYPD protection could diminish when determined by comparing us with the stats of Western Queens.
  5. Roosevelt Island was conceived and built as a “Manhattan Utopian Community” by Mayor John Lindsay. We are a Manhattan community, not a Queens community. Our area code is 212, not 718. We have a Manhattan zip code of 10044. We are a Manhattan Island under New York City’s City Charter. Item 52-C in the City Charter states that district lines shall keep neighborhoods intact.
  6. We are a Manhattan stop on the subway system, our other major transportation link.
  7. Our newly built and highly utilized public library is part of the Manhattan library system.
  8. Roosevelt Islanders frequently call on our City Council Representatives for constituent services, particularly, for help in landlord/tenant matters. Our cases are heard in Manhattan’s landlord/tenant court. A Queens City Council Member will be unable to provide the level of effective assistance our residents will need in housing matters.
  9. Unlike Queens, we are a highly residential community with very few commercial enterprises.
  10. Our operating funds are derived in a very different way than in Queens. Even our public services such as grounds keeping and street cleaning are not covered in the same manner as Queens.
  11. Our community shares with mainland Manhattan the unique issues of being an island, with all the environmental protections that requires.
  12. Our community fought for protections in the development of Cornell Tech which is only one third complete. We need to maintain the same vital City Council oversight that protected our community during the first phase of construction.
  13. Western Queens fought against the development of Amazon while Roosevelt Island bargained in good faith for the creation of Cornell Tech. Our perspective and needs regarding development are vastly different.
  14. Our community has already been divided for Federal and State Legislative representation. Further division will additionally weaken our ability to have a collective, legislative force to represent our interests.
  15. Throughout our entire existence as a residential community, our residents have considered themselves Manhatanites.

Last Saturday, Ms Short gathered approximately 80 Roosevelt Island residents 

for an info session and letter writing campaign opposing the NYC Council redistricting of Roosevelt Island  from Manhattan to Queens.

Stay tuned for more info on the proposed NYC Council redistricting of Roosevelt Island.


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