New York Could Lose A Seat in Congress Next Year

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by nrkbeta

The New York state is in danger of losing a seat in Congress due to population loss, and New York legislators are looking to drop the seat of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s (D-NY).

Over the last year, so many people have moved out of New York that the state is in danger of losing a seat in Congress before the 2022 elections. According to the Business Insider reports, New York has the highest population decline.

 Just between July 2019 and July 2020, 126,000 people moved out of the New York State. The data also shows that it has been losing residents since the year 2016. However, this year has the most significant drop so far. The coronavirus pandemic may be the reason for the current moves. However, outlets note that New Yorkers have been leaving the state for years.

The second-largest year to year drop in population for the New York state this decade was between 2018 and 2019 when there were over 80,000 who relocated out of the state. 

Last year, Bloomberg reported that New York City, the largest city in the state, was losing 376 residents every day to domestic migration before the city became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in March this year. 

New Yorkers are not even moving far. Several city dwellers moved to Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut, and others were distributed all over the country. 

The New York Post reported that the post office received 295,103 change of address requests starting from March 1 until October 31. Said data was acquired by The Post from the U.S. Postal Service under a Freedom of Information Act request. 

The outlet notes, “The Postal Service data shows only the destination ZIP codes and counties where more than 10 New Yorkers forwarded their mail — and it points to places like Park City, Utah; Jackson, Wyo., and Brattleboro, Vt.”

Other than New York, California and Illinois also lost population coming from their largest cities. Los Angeles and Chicago both marked “daily departures in the triple digits” and both of these cities have also been losing residents since the year 2017. 

Since 2020 is a census year, states that experienced significant population losses and gains will start undergoing “apportionment” in 2021. “Apportionment” is the process where Congressional districts are being reconfigured to better align with the shift in population. And because of the population decline in New York, it might lose a seat in the Congres. 

The Intercept reported that the district of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be affected by the chopping block. However, the Democratic Representative stated that she is prepared to put up a fight to keep her spot. 

The outlet also reported that the 10 member commission is designated to be independent from the legislature. It is made up mainly of state-level Democrats who believe that Ocasio-Cortez is not a team player. This is because she is focused more on national elections rather than state party politics.

The commission further stated Ocasio-Cortez is more focused on building her national presence, and it has been reportedly difficult for her to focus on her local constituents.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by nrkbeta

According to the report of The Hill, at least one member of Congress has been pushing New York party leaders to recruit a Democratic primary challenger to Ocasio-Cortez. However, said news led to a surge of donations to Ocasio-Cortez, suggesting that the most efficient means of ousting her is simply to eliminate her district. 

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez noted that it is generally expected that New York will more likely lose a seat despite the city growing at a consistent, “I don’t know if that means that all of our districts are going to be redrawn dramatically, because they have been historically gerrymandered, or what will happen, but there’s certainly a possibility, if not a guarantee, that my district in the coming years will not look like my district today.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued, “So I think it’s entirely possible, and New York politics being what it is, we have no idea where things are going to go.”