News in New York – NYC Redistricting, Relief Centers for Asylum Seekers, and Urban Agriculture Director

September 26, 2022

NYC Redistricting Maps Rejected

Last Thursday, the New York City Districting Commission voted 8-7 against a new set of proposed City Council maps. The Commission voted no on a plan that would have extended a Staten Island council district into southern Brooklyn. Since New York City’s population grew by nearly 630,000 between 2010 and 2020, each of the 51 council districts must grow population-wise as well. The preliminary draft maps, which were released in July, maintained Staten Island’s three self-contained districts, despite the fact that the borough’s population has grown less than other boroughs since 2010. The vote down came as a surprise to Commission leadership, and the no votes came from appointees of Republican Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli and several appointees of Mayor Eric Adams. The Commission plans to reconvene later this week and hold a public meeting to deliberate new district lines. A final plan is due to the City Clerk by December 7, ahead of next year’s City Council elections.

Mayor Adams Announces Relief Centers to Support Asylum Seekers Entering NYC

Last Thursday, Eric Adams announced that Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers will be opening throughout the city in order to support the hundreds of asylum seekers arriving from Texas and other border states. Humanitarian relief centers will be the “first touch point” for these new arrivals and offer immediate shelter, food, medical care, and case worker services. This inter-agency effort will also connect asylum seekers to a range of settlement options, including connections to New York City friends and family or shelter referrals if necessary. Two of these shelters will open in the next few weeks: Orchard Beach will serve adults only, and a second location is being finalized.

Mayor Adams Appoints Mickie as Director of Newly-Created Office of Urban Agriculture

Last Friday, Mayor Eric Adams appointed Qiana Mickie as Director of the newly-formed Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture. Mickie will oversee efforts to expand the city’s network of community gardens and urban farms. The new office’s creation aligns with the Mayor’s goals for a greener and more sustainable city, particularly in supporting urban farmers and promoting locally grown food. Previously, Mickie founded QJM Multiprise, consulting on various policy, food, farm, and agricultural businesses. She was also the prior Executive Director of Just Food, a nonprofit fighting food insecurity in New York City. In her new role, Mickie will report to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi.

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