Wonky Wednesday: Syracuse’s 3rd Common Council District.

Welcome back to #WonkyWednesday.  Each week I take a deep dive into the electoral and registration data that make up Onondaga County and New York State.  Over the next few weeks I will be investigating the City of Syracuse.  Usually I dedicate #wonkywednesday articles to races happening in the current year, however there are no races in Syracuse this year.  I am continuing my run of Syracuse articles to highlight the Syracuse Independent Redistricting Commission will be holding 3 more public meetings over the next 3 weeks to develop their draft redistricting plan.  This citizen led redistricting process depends on you to give input before they redistrict the five common council districts that make up our city.  At the end of this article, I will post the next meeting times so you can attend.  This week I am focusing on the most populous Common Council District, Common Council #3.

In the 2020 Census the 1st Common Council district was reported to have 28,932 residents in the 2020 Census.  This means the 3rd Common Council district is slightly under populated, and the 2nd least populated district in the city. The racial makeup of the Common Council 3 according to the census is 49% white, 35% Black, 8% Hispanic, 3% Asian and 5% other.  The racial makeup of the district, though technically majority minority, is the 2nd least racially diverse in the city.  Voter registration wise it is 59% Democratic, 13% GOP, 23% Blank or non-enrolled.  At 15,516 registered voters it contains the most registered voters in the city despite its smaller population size.

This is the last district other than the 1st common council district to elect a GOP representative.  In 2011 current County Executive Ryan McMahon left the 3rd Comon Council District to run for the County Legislature and it has been Democratic ever since.  Looking at the trend since 2009 we can see this district truly is changing.  Democrats have gained 228 voters since 2009.  Once again though the change is in GOP enrollment decline.  The GOP has lost 1,175 voters since 2009 and is solidly in third place.  The N/E has had modest gains of 218 voters since 2009.  All registrations are currently on the decline which is normal in a post presidential year, we should add voters as the midterms and approach to the next Presidential year in 2024 are underway.

The third Common Council district stretches over 5 different wards inside the city.  It has parts of the 11th, 12th, 14th, & 19th wards.  The only ward totally enclosed in the district is Ward 13.  This is a district dominated by the Valley section of Syracuse which makes up the 13th & 14th ward.  Strathmore in the 11th & 12th ward is a much smaller segment of the district.  Once again every ward portion of the district is dominate by Democratic enrollment and the GOP lagging in 3rd place behind the non-enrolled.

For our #wonkywednesday articles this year we will be using 5 races to compare how the subjects of our articles perform.  We will be using the Presidential, State Senate, and Congressional races to see how our subject performs in a high turnout federal year.  We will also use last year’s Supreme Court Race for a base on how the voters in the district react in a low turnout year.  For the City of Syracuse, I am including last year’s mayoral race as well.  The 3rd Common Council district a solid Democratic performing district in both high and low turnout years.  In 2020 Biden won this district by 58.9 points, Rachel May won this district by 49.60 points, and Dana Balter won by 40.05 points.  In 2021 Anthony Brindisi performed well here winning by 44.84 points and Mayor Walsh won this district by 34.83.  This was the 2nd best district for Mayor Walsh in 2021.

The City of Syracuse Independent redistricting Commission will meet 4 more times over the next six weeks to hear from the public on what they want from their new districts.  They will be holding hearings at each of the city high schools.  The first redistricting was held on Friday March 18th at ITC High School, and the second at Fowler PSA on March 26th.  You can watch the live stream from Fairmaps CNY here.  The next three meetings will be April 7 at Henniger High School at 7pm, April 24th at Corcoran High School at 4pm, and April 28th at Nottingham High School at 7pm.  You can give testimony about what you would like to see in your city for the next ten years.  In May they will release draft maps and another round of hearings will begin.

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