Ari Kagan may be getting screwed by New York City Council redistricting

The commission will be publishing its second draft of new maps Thursday, undoing some of the more controversial changes.

Out of 51 New York City Council Members, it seems like just one of them is getting screwed by the new district maps: Ari Kagan. “I strongly disagree and I will fight these lines,” the southern Brooklyn Democrat said Wednesday. His Gravesend home has been drawn into the district primarily represented by fellow Democrat Kalman Yeger, according to maps reviewed by City & State. And much of Kagan’s current constituency has been split into a Bay Ridge-to-Coney Island district that’ll be claimed by Democratic Council Member Justin Brannan (saved from a showdown with socialist Alexa Avilésas Politico reported), and largely new Asian American majority district stretching from Sunset Park to Gravesend – with no incumbent. “I’m very sympathetic to the idea of creating an Asian American district, but it should be done in a logical, fair and just way,” Kagan said. District 43 as drafted “looks like a snake… it should be compact, and it should not break neighborhoods.” 

Given the power of incumbency, Kagan may be able to win the district in 2023 despite the demographics – but he would have to change his residency by the general election. Would he, if the lines stuck? “If you know me, I’m not going to disappear, that’s for sure,” said Kagan, who has run for office many times. “I am definitely running for reelection, that’s a given. But I’m fighting this map and I strongly believe it will be changed.”

The Districting Commission will publish the second draft of maps Thursday morning, and they undo most of the major changes from July’s first draft, as Gotham Gazette reported. But expect the City Council to send it back to the commission for a final edit. Said one council insider: “the chance we accept it wholeheartedly without changes is close to zero.”

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