Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fair & Equal in the Second and Fourth Wards

Last night, Gossips published a flyer being sent to residents in the Fifth Ward by an entity calling itself "Friends of the Fifth Ward." This morning, a reader who lives in the Fourth Ward provided a copy of a flyer that was left, anonymously, on her doorstep. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The back, to which the reader is directed, merely reproduces the language of the proposition as it appears on the ballot, with a giant check mark over the circle under NO, which, of course, you should fill in completely rather than marking with a check if you want the voting machine to scan it properly.

This flyer is not as slick as the Fifth Ward flyer, which shows hands tearing at the giant Fifth Ward and carries the rallying cry "Let's keep our 'Ward'! Let's keep our 'Voice'!" Instead it raises the specter of the minority community and the low to moderate income community losing their representation in city government--a claim that is simply not supported by a comparative analysis of the demographics of the current wards and the proposed wards. 

In particular, the flyer bemoans that fact that the proposed boundaries place Crosswinds "in the more affluent 5th Ward, stifling the voice of those living at Crosswinds." The truth is the Crosswinds is part of the Fifth Ward right now, and although the residents there have been voting as if they were in the Fourth Ward, their numbers have gone to increase the weighted vote of the aldermen from the Fifth Ward, for whom they did not vote. Based on the graphic below, which shows the current state of things, it could be said that the voices of everyone in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth wards are currently stifled by "the more affluent 5th Ward."



  1. This flyer states that census tract 1199 would be "destroyed" by the Fair and Equal map. Hudson has but two census tracts, tract 1200 and tract 1300. There is no tract 1199. Perhaps the flyer meant to refer to a census block. Alas, there is no census block 1199 either.

    I thought when I first read this, that the reference was to the Hudson Terrace Apartments, which is census block 1002. If it was, of course that block has been divided between wards 1 and 2 since the 19th century, with the dividing line an extrapolation of Warren Street. The Prop 1 map in short "destroys" nothing, but simply hews to the existing dividing line along Warren Street.

    I would also note that this complaint never surfaced until this flyer came out. What was wanted was a map that turned clockwise, with the complaint being that Robinson and Mill Streets were moved to the 4th ward, not for a map moving the other way, so that the 2nd ward would take in all of the Hudson Terrace Apartments (a map that would not adequately equalize ward populations, but whatever). And obviously, the 2nd ward lines cannot do both - retain Robinson and Mill Street, and also expand to take in the balance of the Hudson Terrace Apartments as well. To equalize populations, the 2nd ward needs to contract, not expand.

    Finally, regarding the Robinson Street issue, Ed Cross told me personally that he decided not to run for re-election over a year ago, so he will be retiring irrespective of the fate of Prop 1. So that complaint is a total red herring. Yes, unlike this dishonest flyer, Ed Cross is an honest man, and I admire him for that.

    Politics is a dirty business isn't it? I think I need to take shower. Sad.

  2. Didn't the fish farm go belly up?

    1. Good point. The original one, Local Ocean, did, but I think there's another one in the facility now. In any event, the fish farm is in Greenport not Hudson.