So many people have left New York over the last year that the state is in danger of losing a seat in Congress ahead of the 2022 elections — and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) seat is reportedly the one New York legislators are looking to drop.
Business Insider reports that New York leads the nation in population exodus. Between July 2019 and July 2020, “126,000 people moved out of New York state,” and New York now leads the nation in population loss.
“New York has been losing residents since 2016, according to the data, but this year was the most significant drop by far. The second biggest year-to-year population drop for the state this decade was between 2018 and 2019 when more than 80,000 people left the state,” the outlet notes
The coronavirus pandemic may be to blame for recent moves, but New Yorkers have been leaving the state in droves for years.
Bloomberg reported last year that New York City, the state’s largest city, “was losing 376 residents per day to domestic migration in 2019 — an increase of more than 100 per day from the previous year — before it became the epicenter of the country’s virus outbreak in March this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest survey of population shifts.”
New Yorkers aren’t even moving far. The New York Post reports that “the post office received 295,103 change of address requests from March 1 through Oct. 31, according to data the Post obtained from the U.S. Postal Service under a Freedom of Information Act request. While many city dwellers decamped to Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut, others scattered across the country.”
“The Postal Service data shows only the destination ZIP codes and counties where more than 10 New Yorkers forwarded their mail — and it points to places like Park City, Utah; Jackson, Wyo., and Brattleboro, Vt.,” the outlet notes.
California and Illinois both lost population, led by their own largest cities. Los Angeles and Chicago both saw “daily departures in the triple digits” and both have been hemorrhaging residents since at least 2017.
Because 2020 was a census year, states who had major population losses and gains will begin the process of “apportionment” in 2021 — reconfiguring Congressional districts to better align with population shifts. New York lost so many residents since 2010 that it’s likely to lose a seat in Congress.
According to The Intercept, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district may be the one on the chopping block, but the Democratic Socialist is prepared to put up a fight to keep her spot.
“In 2014, New York approved a constitutional amendment establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which is set to take over the redistricting process starting in 2020,” the outlet reported. “The 10-member commission, meant to be independent from the legislature, is made up of individuals selected by leaders from the state Senate and Assembly, and the original eight members pick two additional members.”
That commission is made up, largely, of state-level Democrats who, The Hill noted last year, believe Ocasio-Cortez isn’t a team player because she’s focused on national elections and not state party politics — or state party fundraising, a typical expectation. She’s also focused on building a national presence and it’s reportedly been difficult to keep her focused on her local constituents.
If she does get redistricted out, it’s possible that she could primary a national Democrat, even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
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