Census data drives changes to Paterson ward boundaries
The boundaries of 4 of the 6 city wards have been changed due to U.S. Census data from the 2020 count.
Data showed 1st and 4and The neighborhoods have experienced significant population gains relative to other neighborhoods over the past ten years. As a result, both neighborhoods had to cede populations to other neighborhoods to rebalance political representation. The city is 1st and 4and Neighborhoods will yield areas at 3rd and 5and neighborhoods.
Wards 2 and 6 remained unchanged.
Kevin Zelinsky of Remington & Vernick Engineers, the consultancy that designed the rebalanced maps, said state law requires less than a 10% variance between a municipality’s most populated and most populated neighborhoods.
Zelinsky’s company produced two screenplays.
Scenario One (Click to view map)
In the first scenario, the 1st Ward loses District 10, 924 people, to District 5and Room. And the 4and The ward loses District 11 census blocks 1008, 2003-2005, 2007 and 2008, 745 people, to the 3rd Room.
Scenario 2 (Click to see the map)
In the second scenario, the 1st district loses district 11, 2,245 people, in favor of the 5th district; the 4th arrondissement loses district 5, 1,667 people, to the benefit of the 3rd arrondissement; and the 5th Ward loses District 4 census blocks 1009-1011, 490 people, to the 3rd Ward.
The 3rd arrondissement has experienced the lowest population growth over the past ten years.
“The best course that would be less disruptive to the community and the people would be scenario one,” said Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, who represents the 4th Ward. “It would affect fewer people.”
Cotton said scenario two moves people three wards instead of two wards in scenario one.
The realignment commission, made up of members of the Passaic County Electoral Board and the City Clerk, opted for the second scenario.
Zelinsky said his goal is to rebalance neighborhoods without breaking up communities and neighborhoods. He also did not want to displace elected officials or deprive communities of their rights.
“Paterson, this will be the map for the next ten years,” Passaic County Board of Elections Chairman John Currie said after the ward realignment commission approved the new map Thursday night.
Loss of voters for incumbents
Councilman Michael Jackson, who represents the 1st Ward, won District 11 in 2016. Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, who represents District 4and Ward, won District 5 in 2016. District-level data was not available for all 2020 postal elections. Jackson and Cotton will each lose approximately 70 of their voters to the new map.