Philip Armstrong Opines on Yonkers Redistricting in 2023

I attended both meetings on the rezoning issues facing the city. I was very upset at the Monday or first meeting but after having a chance to study and the much improved explanation by the Council President at the second (Wednesday) meeting. I became aware of the difficulty for the council and the Expert Dr. Beveridge to come up with a zoning plan that would work for everyone. If more time was available its possible that voting districts could be revamped and that would change the locations we voted at in many parts of the city. and would take at least several months to a year to work out to comply with the laws.

The heart of the problem for the Council is the growth of the population of the West side of Yonkers and the loss or failure to keep up on the East side of Yonkers. This and the new law that there can only be 5% difference between population in between council districts.

Most people at the meetings were complaining that their voting precinct was moved from one district to another and many long standing neighborhood organizations would be now forced to deal with more than one council person when dealing with local issues. Other groups went so far as to claim that they were being moved by political reasons but none of these people had taken the time to provide a solution by using the software available.

The council took into advisement the complaints presented by those upset with the proposed map and will attempt to make some changes and present them at a yet unscheduled public meeting.

Few considered the cause of these changes and what future development will have on the city of Yonkers and population.

In the past two years the City Zoning board has approved 520 new units in multi-family housing and has over 900 proposed for the West side of Yonkers. With the average Yonkers household at 3 people this will mean a growth of over 5000 new voters in Districts 1 and 2 over the next few years.

The east side of Yonkers has one large project on Yonkers Ave. near the Bronx River Parkway in district 4.

The East side of Yonkers districts 5 and 6 are on the next Census going to show that they have not kept up growth in population and will once again be very unhappy with Zoning changes in the next rezoning process in 2032.

My personal summary is that we can now tinker with the new maps and make some happy and others unhappy. The only change we control at this time is what will happen in the future by controlling where development takes place in Yonkers.

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