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 three 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 diverse Common Council District, Common Council #5.
In the 2020 Census the 5th Common Council district had 29,717residents. This means the 5th Common Council district sits directly in the middle in terms of population of all five districts and near the ideal average of 29,724. The racial makeup of the Common Council 5 according to the census is 57% white, 25% Black, 10% Hispanic, 5% Asian and 3% other. This makes it the least diverse district of all five in the City of Syracuse. It is also the only White majority district in the City of Syracuse. Voter registration wise it is 57% Democratic, 13% GOP, 24% Blank or non-enrolled. It is also an extremely highly registered district with 15,137 registered voters, the second most in the city.
Like most of the City of Syracuse districts it is a reliable Democratic district. Since 2009 Democrats have lost 279 voters. The GOP continues a steady decline losing nine hundred voters over the same period. The N/E has also lost voters since 2009, losing 169 registrants. Despite all three populaces losing voters this region is getting increasingly Democratic over time as it lost less percentage wise since 009 then the other two. The district is experiencing the same decline in registration the rest of the city is suffering from since the 2020 election and we should see an increase in registration leading up to 2024.
The third Common Council district stretches over five different wards inside the city. It is the only districts that does not contain a Ward entirely inside of it. This district though is dominated by the 17th ward portion. The liberal Democratic enclave of the east side not only has the most registered voters, but the Democratic lean gives the district its heavy Democratic influence. The portion of the fifth ward that is part of the district is the main section of Eastwood and is seen as the other half of the district, though in terms of size it is closer to a third of the district. Small parts of the 4th, 16th, and 19th are add-ons to the district.
For our #wonkywednesday articles this year we will be using five 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 5th Common Council District not only is an exceptionally reliable Democratic district they also vote in large numbers which skews the city heavily Democratic, often making the margin for city wide races. In 2020 Biden won this district by 58.76 points, Rachel May won this district by 51.20 points, and Dana Balter won by 44.13 points. In 2021 Anthony Brindisi performed well here winning by 50.83 points. Mayor Walsh performed well here with 37.57-point margin.
The City of Syracuse Independent redistricting Commission will meet four 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 on Friday March 18th at ITC High School, and the second at Fowler PSA on March 26th, and third hearing was at Henninger High School at 7pm. You can watch the live streams from Fairmaps CNY here. The final two pre-draft meetings will be 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.