In a letter to retired Superior Court Judge Philip Carchman, the tiebreaker on the New Jersey Apportionment Commission, Mayor Steven Fulop says dividing Jersey City into three legislative districts violates the state constitution.
“The ‘Turnpike Map’ currently under consideration by the New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission (“the Commission”) violates the Constitution of the State of New Jersey by proposing to improperly and unnecessarily divide the City of Jersey City amongst three legislative districts – the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd,” he wrote yesterday.
“The Commission must not approve any proposed map that divides Jersey City amongst more than its two current legislative districts, the 31st and 33rd.”
He continues that Newark, the largest city in the state, and Jersey City, the second largest city in the state, are regarded as “First Class” based on their populations.
“The 2020 Census certified the population of the State of New Jersey at 9,288,994 persons, and the population of the City of Jersey City at 292,449. Per the New Jersey Constitution, the ‘one-fortieth’ figure of the state population is 232,225,” Fulop continues.
“As the only two municipalities whose populations exceed that baseline number, only Jersey City and Newark should be divided into two legislative districts. No further divisions are ‘necessary’ within those municipalities, per the State Constitution, and therefore no further divisions are permitted.”
While the Turnpike map was drawn by Democrats, Fulop and state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), also the North Bergen mayor, have both already come out against it.
Sacco also opposed the Parkway map, the Republican choice, which would move Hoboken and Weehawken from the 33rd Legislative District to the 32nd (the Turnpike map would also move Weehawken but not Hoboken).
“The proposed legislative maps would both create unnecessary disruption within Hudson County and are not acceptable in their current forms,” he told HCV on Tuesday.
These maps are only the first drafts though, as the state apportionment commission held their first hearing on the proposals yesterday and are expected to release new concepts by next week.