February 29, 2012
“For months, there has been countless speculation and innuendo concerning the future of our City’s Congressional districts. Almost all of this discussion has revolved around carving up the Bronx in order to benefit other counties.
“Over the past few years, the political leadership of the Bronx has been united as never before, and we remain united on the issue of redistricting. We will not stand for any Congressional redistricting plan that dilutes the voting power of the Bronx for the benefit of another county.
“The Bronx, through vibrant housing and economic development initiatives, has worked to bring more residents back to our borough. Past censuses have shown that people were slowly returning to the Bronx and new immigrants were making the Bronx their home. The 2010 census shows that the work that was done has been successful.
“New congressional district lines should mirror the success that has occurred in the Bronx. Emerging new and well-established communities should not be divided to dilute their growing electoral power.
“We will not stand for any plan that would slice the Bronx into many small pieces. For decades, the Bronx has had at least one Congressional district entirely within its borders, and this should not change.
“With that in mind, our current Voting Rights Act district, represented by Rep. Jose Serrano, must be respected and remain wholly within the Bronx. Both Rep. Serrano and Rep. Eliot Engel are lifelong Bronxites who have represented parts of our borough for their entire careers. If the Bronx were to lose their collected seniority in Washington-and the clout that comes with it-it would do our borough tremendous harm.
“Any attempt to diminish our political power to benefit another borough is an insult to our leadership, our communities, and our years of hard work.
“We speak with one voice on the issue of Congressional redistricting, and our message is crystal clear. The people of the Bronx have a right to be able to determine who their representatives will be. Any attempt to undermine that right through redistricting will be perceived as an effort to set back the considerable gains we have made over the past decade,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.