New Draft Assembly Map Released
New York State’s Independent Redistricting Commission has voted to move forward with a new draft Assembly map. There are several changes from the map that was used for this year’s elections. Notably, one of the newly drawn districts would combine the Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island, and Long Island City and Astoria waterfronts. The formerly-gerrymandered District 101, which spans seven counties from the Lower Hudson Valley to Utica, has also been eliminated to be more compact. Lower Manhattan and Staten Island have also been separated in the new map, though they are currently together in District 61. The Commission will hold public hearings between January 9 and March 1 on the newly drawn map, before the final map is due to the state legislature on April 28. The map will be in place for the 2024 elections.
Adams Plan to Provide Care for Individuals with Severe Mental Illness
Mayor Adams announced a new plan to address the mental illness crisis in New York City. The plan includes an 11-point legislative agenda of priorities for the upcoming Albany agenda, targeting gaps in New York State’s Mental Hygiene Law. He has also directed law enforcement agencies and emergency medical workers to hospitalize people on the streets or subways with severe mental illness, regardless of whether or not they are a risk to themselves or others. While this policy is aimed to target crime in subways, it has drawn early criticism.
Bassett Stepping Down as Health Commissioner
New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett has announced that she will be stepping down next month. Bassett noted that she is departing “so the next commissioner can have the chance to lead this great department for a full 4-year term under the leadership of Gov. Hochul.” She also stated that she will be returning to the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, where she previously worked as a professor. Bassett first joined Governor Hochul’s administration in September 2021, and was the first Black health commissioner to be appointed in New York. Budget director Robert Mujica and Thruway Authority executive director Matthew Driscoll also recently announced that they would be leaving the Hochul administration.