[Update 6/19/12 — The New York Times did the right thing this morning, making the correction on the print edition editorial page and on the Times' website. The Post hasn't yet. Also, we've made a correction below ourselves. Riverdale residents who were in the 17th District, represented by Eliot Engel, will still be represented Engel or whoever challenges him in November. But it is now the 16th District, rather than the 17th.]
A week from tomorrow — on Tuesday, June 26 — the voters that know about it and act on that knowledge will participate in an oddly scheduled Congressional primary. Usually, such primaries take place in September at the same time as primaries for the Assembly and State Senate. But due to the complicated and distressing politics around redistricting, this primary will have its own day.
Here in the Bronx, the primary is highly significant because most residents of the northwest Bronx will no longer be in the Congressional District now represented by Eliot Engel (will change from the 17th to the 16th District). Almost all northwest Bronx residents, except those living in Riverdale (still represented by Engel in the 16th), will be in the 13th District.
Daily newspapers have an opportunity — and more importantly, a responsibility — to help educate their Bronx readers about an epic change in who will represent them in Congress.
But yesterday, in endorsing Clyde Williams, a former official in the Clinton administration, The New York Times inexplicably listed the south Bronx as the section of the borough in the new district (even while they took pains to list several of the individual Manhattan neighborhoods in C.D. 13).
There is not a block in the newly drawn 13th Congressional district that is in the south Bronx, even if you define the south Bronx widely as every neighborhood below the Cross Bronx Expressway. The Times’ editorial writers failed to simply look at the maps on-line, or simply check in with their political reporters.
With only eight days to the primary, the Times has a duty to set the record straight. Not just a correction on page 2 that almost nobody reads, but on the editorial page.
The New York Post added to the miseducation in their endorsement of Espaillat, with a headline indicating the new district as the 15th. They need to do the right thing, too.
Meanwhile, here are some links to coverage on the race. First off, click here for last week’s debate on BronxTalk, which included all the candidates except for Charles Rangel.
Here’s a primary news roundup, prepared by Norwood News editor Alex Kratz, with a bunch of links to recent coverage of the race. And here’s a link to more Norwood News coverage of this primary and the candidates vying for the seat.
The Riverdale Press also has a run a bunch of articles on this critical primary race. Check them out here.
And finally, here’s a map of the 13th Congressional District. (To see the maps of other districts in the city and state click here.)