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Common Councilors hear from residents both for and against new city districts

The final map created by the Syracuse Independent Redistricting Committee.
Syracuse City Redistricting Commission
The final map created by the Syracuse City Redistricting Commission

Syracuse Common Councilors heard from city residents both for and against approving newly proposed district maps Tuesday evening.

The Syracuse City Redistricting Commission submitted its final draft map to the council to vote on earlier this summer. The council has been hosting meetings to ask questions of commissioners and gather feedback from the public before taking action.

Jacqueline Lasonde , one of the volunteer city redistricting commissioners, is asking councilors to reject the map. Lasonde said the current map leaves the Toomey Abbott Towers and Carriage House apartments out of the district that covers the Southside; waiting 10 years for the next redistricting process is not an option.

"Oh if you don't like it in 10 years, we don't have ten minutes, we don't know when our time is, and that's very insulting in the wake of I-81 and all these other things that we consistently fight against," Lasonde said.

Meanwhile, city resident John Meyer thinks the maps should be approved. He said he was ecstatic to see the Washington Square neighborhood included with their neighbors on the Northside.

"We saw that the Northside would be put back together. After 50 years we would no longer have to try to convince somebody from Tipp Hill what the Northside today was like. Northside today is a multicultural experience," Meyer said.

He worries that if the council rejects the maps, it could jeopardize the new Northside district and its representation.

Councilors can’t adjust the maps themselves. They can approve them as is or vote for the commission to create a new map. They have to make their decision by October.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.