Understanding redistricting in Valley Stream
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New York state lost two seats in the House as a result of reapportionment following the 2010 census, and one of those seats was lost on Long Island. McCarthy’s 4th District shifts east as of Jan. 1 into territory presently represented by Congressman Peter King.
Part of the western edge of McCarthy’s district will now go to Gregory Meeks, a long-time congressman from Queens. Much of the village will now be part of Meeks’s 5th District. His district spans as far east as Cottage Street in some spots. He also picks up the Mill Brook neighborhood and most of North Valley Stream.
McCarthy will continue to serve the eastern end of the village, along with Gibson, North Woodmere, the village’s “fishhook” and the neighborhood surrounding South High School.
Valley Stream Mayor Ed Fare said he doesn’t mind having two congressmen to turn to, especially for help in getting Valley Stream out of the high-risk flood zone. “It would be nice to have one representative but there is a benefit to having two,” he said. “You have two voices.”
Fare said he and Meeks have already met and spoken several times about issues facing the community, including flood maps. Meeks said that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he will do his best to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create more accurate and realistic maps.
Meeks, who thanked all his supporters in his successful re-election bid, agrees with Fare that having two representatives in the House will be good for Valley Stream. “Carolyn McCarthy and I work very closely together,” Meeks said. “We’ll continue to team up. What’s important to me is important to her because the districts are adjoining.”
Although he officially doesn’t assume representation of the new district until Jan. 1, Meeks said he is already working to serve the residents of Nassau that he will soon serve. He added that he plans to attend meetings and knock on doors to get to know the people over the next few months.