New York’s 15th congressional district, which encompasses the South Bronx, will include Riverdale after Gov. Kathy Hochul approved and signed a new congressional map into law last week.
In Riverdale, the medium income is $62,300, compared to the $25,500 medium income in Mott Haven and Melrose. In addition, the poverty rate in Riverdale is 16.5% while Mott Haven’s rate is 39.6%.
Demographically, the two communities are also quite different. Riverdale has a 51.9% Hispanic population, 31.2% White population and 3.1% Black population. Some claim the new boundaries will dilute the clout of Black and Hispanic voters in the new congressional district, as over 70% of the residents of the South Bronx identify as Hispanic and 24.5% identify as Black.
In addition, many South Bronx residents worry that as a result of the redistricting, the issues that are important to them, like asthma, aren’t big concerns in Riverdale, so their voice will be diluted in Congress. In Hunts Point, air pollution ranks the highest in the city, with over 9.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air pollution, causing harm to children and the elderly.
Republicans in New York have sued the state over the redistricting, on the grounds it represents gerrymandering and gives more congressional seats and power to the Democrats.
Democrat Ritchie Torres remains the 15th congressional district representative. In November, he will face re-election in the newly designed district.