Common Cause proposed NY congressional maps

The U.S. Capitol (Nov. 19, 2011) The U.S. Capitol (Nov. 19, 2011) Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

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The map lines of New York State's congressional districts are due to change for the 2012 election. These reform maps were created by Common Cause New York, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization.

Common Cause proposed congressional District 1: Eastern Suffolk County

Incumbent within the district: Tim Bishop (Democrat)

Current makeup: New York's District 1 comprises the entire east end of Suffolk County.

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Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 1 remains largely the same, due to only minor population growth in Brookhaven and Riverhead (about 10,000).

Reasons for change: No significant changes. Eastern Suffolk is regionally distinct from the rest of Long Island, so keeping it intact makes sense.

Political Outlook:

Current District 1 2008 Presidential result: 51.4 percent Barack Obama, 47.6 percent John McCain

Common Cause Reform District 1 2008 Presidential result: 51.3 percent Obama, 47.7 percent McCain

(The 2008 Presidential voting is used throughout instead of Congressional voting because the Common Cause Reform Plan combines different existing Congressional districts which all had unique incumbents and races. Presidential voting offers a uniform measure).

Common Cause proposed congressional District 2: Central South Shore

Incumbent within the district: Peter King (Republican) (Seaford)

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Current makeup: District 2 (Israel-D) includes both North and South Shores of Suffolk extending into Nassau at the Five Towns.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 2 confines the district to the South Shore and follows the Babylon-Islip order b/w Babylon-Islip and Smithtown-Huntington.

Reasons for change: Babylon, Islip, and the southern half of Brookhaven are demographically distinct from the North Shore. There is a clear contrast between the North Shore towns of Huntington and Smithtown, where most households make over $75,000 and many over $125,000, and most of Babylon and Islip where the population is more middle- and working-class, and much more ethnically and racially diverse. Babylon-Islip also has lower rates of home ownership, education, and more blue-collar and service-sector workers than the North Shore. Along with South Oyster Bay in Nassau, Babylon-Islip is denser and more developed than the North Shore. In addition, communities in the region identify according to North Shore vs. South Shore.

Political Outlook:

Current District 2 2008 Presidential result: 56.1 percent Obama, 43.1 percent McCain

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Common Cause Reform District 2 2008 Presidential result: 51.9 percent Obama, 47.3 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 3: North Shore

Incumbent(s) within the district: Gary Ackerman (Democrat, Roslyn Heights); Steve Israel (Democrat, Dix Hills)

Current makeup: District 3 cuts across the South and North Shores from East Islip to Long Beach in the south, then swings north splitting the Five Towns to include all of Oyster Bay-Glen Cove.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 3 is confined to the North Shore and stretches from Huntington to Little Neck in Queens. It includes the entire Five Towns area.

Reasons for change: The North Shore and South Shore are distinct communities of interest, varying in wealth, education, home ownership and types of occupation. Long Islanders also often self-identify as North Shore vs. South Shore.

Political Outlook:

Current District 3 2008 Presidential result: 47.2 percent Obama, 51.9 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 3 2008 Presidential result: 51.9 percent Obama, 47.3 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 4: Southwest Nassau

Incumbent(s) within the district: Carolyn McCarthy (Democrat) (Mineola)

Current makeup: District 4 covers the South Shore of Nassau, just over the Queens border, stretching from Elmont to Baldwin.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 4 is much the same, but includes the waterfront communities around Long Beach, currently in District 3, and makes the waterfront villages and school districts whole.

Reasons for change: The reform map better adheres to local political boundaries.

Political Outlook:

Current District 4 2008 Presidential result: 58.0 percent Obama, 41.3 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 4 2008 Presidential result: 58.1 percent Obama, 41.2 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 5: North Queens, East Bronx

Incumbent(s) within the district: None

Current makeup: District 5 covers parts of suburban Queens and the North Shore of Nassau County, just over the Queens boarder to Glenwood Landing.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 5 is similar to the current District-7 (Crowley-D), spanning parts of northern Queens and the southeast Bronx.

Reasons for change: Current District 7 splits the neighborhood of Corona with the current District 5 (Ackerman-D), dividing a sizable and rapidly growing Latino community. Common Cause Reform District 5 is drawn to keep neighborhoods and communities of interest whole and becomes 50.2 percent Hispanic voting-age population vs. 42.1 percent in current District 7.

Political Outlook:

Current District 7 2008 Presidential result: 79.1 percent Obama, 20.3 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 5 2008 Presidential result: 79.8 percent Obama, 19.6 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 6: Jamaica and Rockaways, Queens

Incumbent within the district: Gregory Meeks (Democrat), Robert Turner (Republican)

Current makeup: District 6 covers Jamaica and most of southeastern Queens.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 6 is similar but expands into the Rockaways and Howard Beach which used to be part of the former District 9.

Reasons for change: District 6 must grow to meet new population numbers. If the district were cut into Brooklyn and Nassau the majority-non-Hispanic Black voting-age population status could be maintained. However, many civil rights advocates have indicated that it's more important to follow sound redistricting principles than achieve 50 percent at all costs. Common Cause Reform District 6 is 45.1 percent non-Hispanic Black voting-age population compared to the current District 6 at 49.6%, and 45.1 percent would still be a dominant plurality.

Political Outlook:

Current District 6 2008 Presidential result: 88.8 percent Obama, 10.9 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 6 2008 Presidential result: 85.1 percent Obama, 14.5 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 7: West side Manhattan, South Brooklyn

Incumbent(s) within the district: Jerrold Nadler (Democrat)

Current makeup: Current District 7 is an eastern Bronx and northern Queens district most similar to Common Cause Reform District 5. Current District 8 (Nadler-D) is the most similar district to Common Cause Reform District 7.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 7 includes the Upper West Side in Manhattan and South Brooklyn, similar to the current District 8. The unusual shape of this district is partially a result of the need to draw Voting Rights Act-mandated districts in the surrounding areas of Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.

Reasons for change: Common Cause Reform District 7 cleans up the shape of the current District 8, keeping neighborhoods together.

Political Outlook:

Current District 8 2008 Presidential result: 73.7 percent Obama, 25.4 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 7 2008 Presidential result: 73.6 percent Obama, 25.5 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 8: East Side Manhattan, Western Queens

Incumbent(s) within the district: Carolyn Maloney (Democrat), Joseph Crowley (Democrat)

Current makeup: Current District 8 (Nadler-D) runs from the Upper West Side to South Brooklyn and is most similar to Common Cause Reform District 7. Current District 14 (Maloney-D) is the district most similar to Common Cause Reform District 8.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 8 is nearly identical to the current District 14 (Maloney-D), expanded to include more of Queens.

Reasons for change: New districts must be larger in order to meet increased population requirements.

Political Outlook:

Current District 14 2008 Presidential result: 78.2 percent Obama, 20.8 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 8 2008 Presidential result: 78.2 percent Obama, 20.8 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 9: Northern Queens

Incumbent within the district: None

Current makeup: District 9 is heavily gerrymandered, running from northern Queens to southeastern Brooklyn.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 9 is an entirely new district consolidated from the current District 5 (Ackerman-D), District 7 (Crowley-D) and District 9 (Turner-R). The Common Cause reform map creates a one-county Queens district, which consolidates the Asian immigrant areas of Flushing and Elmhurst.

Reasons for change: Current District 5 is a Long Island-Queens combination that puts the densest, most urban, immigrant and low-income parts of Queens (Elmhurst-Corona and Flushing) in the same district as the wealthy suburbs of North Hempstead. However, the area is dominated by older, middle-class suburban neighborhoods in rapid transition to minority immigrant communities. Since 2000, Asian voting age population in Queens has increased by more than 30%. Common Cause Reform District 9 would become 37.4 percent non-Hispanic Asian voting-age population, increasing the influence of this growing community. The district would retain a non-Hispanic White plurality (39.2%), with neighborhoods like Forest Hills, Rego Park and Kew Gardens from the former District 9.

Political Outlook:

Current District 5 2008 Presidential result: 63.1 percent Obama, 36.1 percent McCain

Current District 9 2008 Presidential result: 55.3 percent Obama, 43.9 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 9 2008 Presidential result: 63.5 percent Obama, 35.7 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 10: Northern and Eastern Brooklyn

Incumbent(s) within the district: NONE

Current makeup: District 10 is covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which protects the ability of minority voters to elect a representative of their choice. The district stretches from East New York to Bedford Stuyvesant, skirting Crown Heights, to include a bit of Park Slope.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 10 remains similar to the current map, but expands into "brownstone Brooklyn" to include all of Park Slope, which is currently divided between Districts 10, 11 and 12.

Reasons for change: The reform district makes Park Slope whole while maintaining a black majority seat. Due to the increased size of new Congressional districts, the district drops from 59.5 percent non-Hispanic and black to 52.8 percent, but maintains the majority in compliance with the Voting Rights Act

Political Outlook:

Current District 10 2008 Presidential result: 91.1 percent Obama, 8.6 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 10 2008 Presidential result: 93.5 percent Obama, 6.1 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 11: Central and South Brooklyn

Incumbent(s) within the district: Yvette Clarke (Democrat)

Current makeup: District 11 is covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which protects the ability of minority voters to elect a representative of their choice. It is a compact, non-Hispanic black voting-age population majority district (52.9%) in south-central Brooklyn stretching from Crown Heights to Flatbush.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 11 is similar but moves substantially south and east in accord with shifts in the black population. The district no longer divides the Brooklyn's brownstone belt, maintaining a base in the Flatbush area of black Caribbean immigrants. The district remains majority non-Hispanic Black voting-age population at 50.8%.

Reasons for change: The district shifts to the south and east in compliance with the Voting Rights Act while not splitting the neighborhoods of brownstone Brooklyn.

Political Outlook:

Current District 11 2008 Presidential result: 90.5 percent Obama, 9.0 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 11 2008 Presidential result: 78.9 percent Obama, 20.7 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 12: Woodhaven, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Lower East Side, Sunset Park

Incumbent within the district: Nydia Velazquez (Democrat)

Current makeup: District 12 is covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which protects the ability of minority voters to elect a representative of their choice. The district combines the Latino neighborhoods of North Brooklyn with the Lower East Side and Sunset Park. It also combines Manhattan's Chinatown with the one in Brooklyn's Sunset Park.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 12 maintains the general shape of the current map, but better conforms to neighborhood boundaries. The district maintains 40.1 percent Hispanic voting-age population while increasing Asian voting-age population to 20.1%.

Political Outlook:

Current District 12 2008 Presidential result: 86.0 percent Obama, 13.1 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 12 2008 Presidential result: 85.3 percent Obama, 13.9 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 13: Staten Island, South Brooklyn

Incumbent within the district: Michael Grimm (Republican)

Current makeup: District 13 includes all of Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 13 is similar to the current map but includes Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, and Mill Basin.

Reasons for change: Like all the Congressional districts, District 13 must expand. The additional Brooklyn neighborhoods added are conservative, mostly home-owning communities that used to be part of District 9.

Political Outlook:

Current District 13 2008 Presidential result: 48.7 percent Obama, 50.5 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 13 2008 Presidential result: 49.3 percent Obama, 49.9 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 14: West Harlem, Washington Heights, Northwestern Bronx

Incumbents within the district: Jose Serrano (Democrat), Eliot Engel (Democrat)

Current makeup: Current District 14 (Maloney) covers the East Side of Manhattan, expanding into a smaller portion of Queens. Common Cause Reform District 14 is a combination of parts of current District 15 (Rangel-D), District 16 (Serrano-D), and District 17 (Engel-D).

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 14 is a new district shape that includes the Northwest Bronx and West Side of Northern Manhattan to form a majority Hispanic seat with a 54.5 percent Hispanic voting-age population.

Reasons for change: The Hispanic community of the Bronx is currently concentrated in District 16 (Serrano-D), which is 65.5 percent Hispanic voting-age population. The Common Cause reform map balances the Hispanic population between two districts to create two Hispanic-majorities in Common Cause Reform Districts 14 and 15. With the exception of the affluent Riverdale area, the neighborhoods of this district have much in common: dense neighborhoods of tenements and row houses, a working class population, subway lines, and two major north-south highways.

Political Outlook:

Current District 15 2008 Presidential result: 93.2 percent Obama, 6.2 percent McCain

Current District 16 2008 Presidential result: 94.7 percent Obama, 5.0 percent McCain

Current District 17 2008 Presidential result: 71.8 percent Obama, 27.6 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 14 2008 Presidential result: 89.9 percent Obama, 9.4 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 15: Harlem, South Bronx

Incumbent within the district: Charles Rangel (Democrat)

Current makeup: District 15 is covered by the Voting Rights Act which protects the ability of minority voters to elect a representative of their choice. District 15 (Rangel-D) consists of all of Manhattan north of 96th Street. It is currently 43.8 percent Hispanic voting-age population and 26.5 percent non-Hispanic Black voting-age population

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 15 redraws District 15 to include Central and East Harlem plus much of the South Bronx area currently part of District 16. Hispanic voting-age population would increase to 52.1 percent and non-Hispanic and black voting-age population to 36.5%.

Reasons for change: The Hispanic population in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx has grown by over 20 percent since 2000. The Bronx is now a majority-Hispanic borough, but only one majority-Hispanic Congressional seat exists in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. At the same time, all districts must increase in population size without causing "regression" to the voting rights of blacks in Harlem. The Common Cause reform map seeks to resolve this potential conflict by drawing three new majority-Hispanic districts (5, 14, and 15), while also increasing the non-Hispanic and black percentage of District 15. Because Common Cause Reform District 15 increases the non-Hispanic Black percentage as well as the Hispanic percentage, it avoids regression and would not adversely affect the ability of black voters to participate in the political process and elect a candidate of their choice.

Political Outlook:

Current District 15 2008 Presidential result: 93.2 percent Obama, 6.2 percent McCain

Current District 16 2008 Presidential result: 94.7 percent Obama, 5.0 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 15 2008 Presidential result: 95.4 percent Obama, 4.3 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 16: Northeastern Bronx, Southern Westchester

Incumbent within the district: none

Current makeup: Current District 16 (Serrano-D) is a majority Hispanic Bronx district. Common Cause Reform District 16 is most similar to the current District 17 (Engel-D), which combines parts of the northern Bronx and southern Westchester in a shape that snakes up the Hudson and hops the Tappan Zee Bridge into faraway Rockland County.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 16 combines parts of District 17 (Engel-D) from the Northeast Bronx, Mount Vernon, and Yonkers with parts of current District 18 (Lowey-D) from southern Westchester, including New Rochelle, Eastchester, Mamaroneck, Rye and Port Chester. Common Cause Reform District 16 removes Rockland County from this district. The district would remain about as diverse as the current District 17 (30 percent non-Hispanic and black, 24 percent Hispanic).

Reasons for change: Current District 17 is an awkward synthesis of unrelated communities of interest. The district combines the black communities of Williamsbridge and Wakefield in the Bronx and Mount Vernon in Westchester, with the distant suburbs of Rockland County. Moreover, the district is divided along many demographic and geographic indicators. Socioeconomically, southern Westchester areas like Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck and Port Chester are demographically like the northern Bronx (lower incomes than the affluent suburban residents to the north, less likely to own homes, less likely to have college degrees, and more likely to be employed in blue-collar jobs).

Political Outlook:

Current District 17 2008 Presidential result: 71.8 percent Obama, 27.6 percent McCain

Current District 18 2008 Presidential result: 61.7 percent Obama, 37.5 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 16 2008 Presidential result: 71.2 percent Obama, 28.2 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 17: Westchester, Rockland

Incumbents within the district: Nita Lowey (Democrat), Nan Hayworth (Republican)

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 17 is mostly closely equivalent to the current District 18 (Lowey-D) which covers southern Westchester and a small part of Rockland County in Clarkstown and Haverstraw. The current district is noncontiguous, hopping the river in an area where no bridge exists.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 17 expands to the north and west to include all of Rockland County and almost all of northern Westchester except for Peekskill and Cortlandt. The district loses Yonkers, Eastchester, New Rochelle, most of Mamaroneck and Rye to the redrawn Common Cause Reform District 16.

Reasons for change: Central and northern Westchester have much more in common with Rockland than do southern Westchester and the Bronx.

Political Outlook:

Current District 18 2008 Presidential result: 61.7 percent Obama, 37.5 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 17 2008 Presidential result: 58.2 percent Obama, 41.0 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 18: Mid-Hudson Valley

Incumbent within the district: NONE

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 18 is mostly closely equivalent to the current District 19, which spans the Hudson and includes parts of Westchester, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 18 consolidates the cities of the Hudson Valley (Peekskill, Beacon, Newburgh, Middletown, Poughkeepsie) into a single more compact district.

Reasons for change: Residents of the five small cities of the Mid-Hudson share many demographic and socio-economic commonalities. The new district becomes more compact.

Political Outlook:

Current District 19 2008 Presidential result: 50.6 percent Obama, 48.3 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 18 2008 Presidential result: 52.4 percent Obama, 46.5 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 19: Catskills, Upper Hudson Valley

Incumbents within the district: Maurice Hinchey (Democrat), Chris Gibson (Republican)

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 19 is a synthesis of current District 20 (Gibson-R) and District 22 (Hinchey-D), which both appear to be incumbent gerrymanders that connect far-flung regions of the state including the Southern Tier, the Catskills, the Mid-Hudson Valley and the North Country.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 19 merges large parts of both districts into a single regional Catskills and Upper Hudson district.

Reasons for change: The new district is more compact and connected along communities of interest.

Political Outlook:

Current District 20 2008 Presidential result: 50.7 percent Obama, 47.6 percent McCain

Current District 22 2008 Presidential result: 59.2 percent Obama, 39.2 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 19 2008 Presidential result: 53.3 percent Obama, 45.0 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 20: Capital Region

Incumbent(s) within the district: Paul Tonko (Democrat)

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 20 is similar to current District 21, which is based in the Capitol region and includes rural Schoharie County.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 20 is centered on the three Capitol Region cities -- Albany, Troy, and Schenectady -- and their suburbs. Common Cause Reform District 20 drops Schoharie County and instead adds the suburbs of Saratoga County.

Reasons for change: The new district is more compact and more closely connects communities based on regional and shared interests.

Political Outlook:

Current District 21 2008 Presidential result: 58.1 percent Obama, 40.0 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 20 2008 Presidential result: 57.9 percent Obama, 40.2 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 21: North Country

Incumbent within the district: Bill Owens (Democrat)

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 21 resembles current District 23 (Owens-D) which takes in most of the North Country but extends far south to Fulton County and across Oneida Lake to the whole of Madison County.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 21 forms a single district for the whole of the North Country region, adding the parts of District 20 and District 24 that currently extend into the region from the south and removing the prongs that extend into Fulton County and Madison County.

Reasons for change: The North County is currently divided between three Congressional Districts: District 20, District 23, District 24. The region is really a self-contained community of interest, unique to the rest of the state.

Political Outlook:

Current District 23 2008 Presidential result: 51.7 percent Obama, 46.6 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 21 2008 Presidential result: 51.9 percent Obama, 46.5 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 22: Southern Tier

Incumbents within the district: Tom Reed (R, Current District 29)

Current makeup: Current District 22 (D, Maurice Hinckey) stretches from Poughkeepsie in the Mid-Hudson Valley all the way into the Southern Tier, including Binghamton and Ithaca. Most of this district is absorbed in Common Cause Reform District 19. Common Cause Reform District 22 is most similar to the current District 29 (Reed-R), based in the Southern Tier

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 22 is an entirely new district shape drawn to cover the Southern Tier region including Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira.

Reasons for change: The Southern Tier is currently divided between three congressional seats: District 22 (Hinchey-D), District 24 (Hanna-R), and District 29 (Reed-R). The current District 22 and District 24 are "region busting" gerrymanders which divide communities of shared interest and identity.

Political Outlook:

Current District 22 2008 Presidential result: 59.2 percent Obama, 39.2 percent McCain

Current District 24 2008 Presidential result: 50.3 percent Obama, 47.9 percent McCain

Current District 29 2008 Presidential result: 48.2 percent Obama, 50.4 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 22 2008 Presidential result: 51.6 percent Obama, 46.7 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 23: Mohawk Valley

Incumbents within the district: Ann Marie Buerkle (Republican), Richard Hanna (Republican)

Current makeup: Current District 23 is a North Country based district. Common Cause Reform District 23 is completely new and not directly comparable to any existing Congressional district.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 23 is an entirely new district shape drawn to cover the Mohawk Valley region, an area defined by its industrial history and connected by the New York State Thruway, Mohawk River and Erie Canal.

Reasons for change: The Mohawk Valley is currently divided between three congressional seats: District 23 (Owens-D), District 24 (Hanna-R), and District 25 (Buerkle-R). Syracuse is currently in District 25, which extends to the west into rural Wayne County on the shores of Lake Ontario, and all the way to the suburbs of Rochester. Syracuse is better suited to a district which includes its fellow small cities, Rome and Utica, situated closer to the east in Oneida County.

Political Outlook:

Current District 23 2008 Presidential result: 51.7 percent Obama, 46.6 percent McCain

Current District 24 2008 Presidential result: 50.3 percent Obama, 47.9 percent McCain

Current District 25 2008 Presidential result: 55.7 percent Obama, 42.6 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 23 2008 Presidential result: 55.2 percent Obama, 43.1 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 24: Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario Shore

Incumbent within the district: None

Current makeup: District 24 includes parts of the North County, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 24 is an entirely new district based around a distinct geographic and socio-economic region -- the mostly rural areas of the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario shore.

Reasons for change: The Finger Lakes region is currently divided among 5 different congressional seats: District 24 (Hanna-R), District 25 (Buerkle-R), District 26 (Hochul-D), District 28 (Slaughter-D), and District 29 (Reed-R). The Common Cause reform district map is more compact and demographically unified.

Political Outlook:

Current District 24 2008 Presidential result: 50.3 percent Obama, 47.9 percent McCain

Current District 25 2008 Presidential result: 55.7 percent Obama, 42.6 percent McCain

Current District 26 2008 Presidential result: 46.5 percent Obama, 52.0 percent McCain

Current District 28 2008 Presidential result: 68.4 percent Obama, 30.3 percent McCain

Current District 29 2008 Presidential result: 48.2 percent Obama, 50.4 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 24 2008 Presidential result: 47.4 percent Obama, 50.9 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 25: Rural Western New York

Incumbent within the district: Hochul (Democrat)

Current makeup: Current District 25 runs from Syracuse west to the Rochester area. Common Cause Reform District 25 is another entirely new district that contains parts of the current Districts 26, 27, 28 and 29.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 25 is a new district drawn for the rural towns and small cities of western New York as well as Buffalo's outer suburbs.

Reasons for change: The Buffalo region is currently divided between four congressional seats: Districts 26 (Hochul-D), 27 (Higgins-D), 28 (Slaughter-D), and 29 (Reed-R). Each of these districts is considerably underpopulated due to the increased size of Congressional districts and a substantial drop in population. So this is where New York should lose a second congressional seat.

Political Outlook:

Current District 26 2008 Presidential result: 46.5 percent Obama, 52.0 percent McCain

Current District 27 2008 Presidential result: 54.2 percent Obama, 44.0 percent McCain

Current District 28 2008 Presidential result: 68.4 percent Obama, 30.3 percent McCain

Current District 29 2008 Presidential result: 48.2 percent Obama, 50.4 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 25 2008 Presidential result: 45.3 percent Obama, 53.0 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 26: Rochester Region

Incumbent within the district: Louise Slaughter (Democrat)

Current makeup: Common Cause Reform District 26 is most closely equivalent to the current District 28, which includes Rochester but then runs 100 miles along Lake Ontario to pick up part of Buffalo. It is colloquially known as the "ear muffs" district.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 26 is a new more compact district consisting solely of Rochester and its suburbs. The Rochester metropolitan area is currently divided between four congressional seats: District 25 (Buerkle-R), District 26 (Hochul-D), District 28 (Slaughter-D), and District 29 (Reed-R).

Reasons for change: The current lines separate Rochester and Buffalo from their suburbs and isolate the towns along the coast of Lake Erie. Buffalo and Rochester are each the core of a distinct regional economy and can support separate districts.

Political Outlook:

Current District 25 2008 Presidential result: 55.7 percent Obama, 42.6 percent McCain

Current District 26 2008 Presidential result: 46.5 percent Obama, 52.0 percent McCain

Current District 28 2008 Presidential result: 68.4 percent Obama, 30.3 percent McCain

Current District 29 2008 Presidential result: 48.2 percent Obama, 50.4 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 26 2008 Presidential result: 58.8 percent Obama, 39.9 percent McCain

Common Cause proposed congressional District 27: Buffalo Region

Incumbent(s) within the district: None

Current makeup: Current District 27 (Higgins-D) includes most of Buffalo and then heads south along Lake Erie into rural southwestern New York to Jamestown. Buffalo and its suburbs in Erie and Niagara counties are currently divided between three Congressional seats.

Common Cause map change: Common Cause Reform District 27 keeps the City of Buffalo and its suburbs whole.

Reasons for change: Buffalo and its suburbs in Erie and Niagara Counties are currently divided between District 26 (Hochul-D), 27 (Higgins-D), and 28 (Slaughter-D). However, Buffalo represents a distinct community of interest. Although Common Cause Reform District 27's non-Hispanic Black voting-age population is lower than in the current District 28 (26.3%), it would be impossible to maintain this percentage in the current shape and grow by the required 106,000 people necessary to meet the 2010 district population requirements. In either scenario, the non-Hispanic Black voting-age population would drop below 20%.

Political Outlook:

Current District 26 2008 Presidential result: 46.5 percent Obama, 52.0 percent McCain

Current District 27 2008 Presidential result: 54.2 percent Obama, 44.0 percent McCain

Current District 28 2008 Presidential result: 68.4 percent Obama, 30.3 percent McCain

Common Cause Reform District 27 2008 Presidential result: 63.4 percent Obama, 35.0 percent McCain

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