'Who Represents You' After Redistricting In New York City?


Media contact: Tanya Domi, tdomi@gc.cuny.edu, 212-817-7283
'Who Represents You' After Redistricting In New York City?
The Graduate Center and League of Women Voters Launch Website With Answers
NEW YORK, June 10, 2013—New Yorkers can now find out all their elected officials, many of whom have changed after redistricting, in one location online. The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) has partnered with the League of Women Voters of New York City to provide an interactive "Who Represents Me" database at www.MyGovNYC.org—a free website accessible on any device that provides contact information for all elected officials for every location in the city.

The service can be freely integrated in any website or blog, and also provides links to information about 2013 elections. Anyone can enter a street address at the "Who Represents Me" website, or if they're using a mobile device they can tap the "Use My Current Location" link. The site displays a list of all city, state, and federal elected representatives (as well as NYC Community Board), an interactive map of the district and all districts nearby, contact information for local offices, and links for more information such as email addresses, individual websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages of elected officials. Users can also link to candidate information using the League's own VOTE411.org interactive voter guide.

"Who Represents Me is up-to-date, flexible, and easily accessible from desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets," said Steven Romalewski, director of the Mapping Service at the Graduate Center who developed the service. "Even if you knew your districts before redistricting, now you can easily find your new districts and their exact boundaries."

"We wanted to provide New Yorkers with a simple one-stop shop for discovering elected officials' information and candidates running in their districts during election season." said Mary Lou Urban, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York. "Resources like MyGovNYC.org are what it takes to make participation in government appealingly simple and is a logical approach to increasing voter participation."

The Graduate Center and the New York City League expects that civic organizations across the political spectrum, as well as individuals throughout the city, will take advantage of the service. When a similar service was launched a decade ago (by a nonprofit service formerly headed by Romalewski), groups as diverse as labor unions, neighborhood associations, service agencies, and civic groups made use of the service and shared it widely. Even elected officials who need to help their constituents reach out to their counterparts at other levels of government can take advantage of the convenience of MyGovNYC.org.

Now, using interactive web technologies, the "Who Represents Me" service can be easily embedded directly into other websites, enabling individuals and groups to widely share the service and effectively make it their own. Users can also create a custom link that immediately displays the list of elected officials for their respective locations, such as http://bit.ly/1141MhZ . A comprehensive interactive map at the site shows all the districts representing an area, and people can use the map to select nearby locations.

"Who Represents Me" will be updated regularly through the League's ongoing effort to maintain current data on elected officials across the city. The service is provided as a supplement to the League's "They Represent You" printed guide, available at www.lwvnyc.org.

The service is made available in part through support from the New York Community Trust. It integrates data from the New York State redistricting task force (LATFOR), NYC Department of City Planning's Bytes of the Big Apple project, the Sunlight Foundation, and cartoDB.

About the Graduate Center
The Graduate Center's (GC) mission is to prepare the next generation of scholars for careers in the academy, cultural institutions and public service, to carry out advanced research and scholarship, and to increase public understanding of pressing matters of local and global significance. Approximately 4, 500 students are enrolled in forty doctoral and masters programs, sustained by a wide range of financial support.

Recognized for its scholarly leadership across the humanities, sciences and social sciences, the GC is also a platform for influential public intellectuals, who, through the GC's public programs, inform and enliven debate, and enrich the cultural life of New York City.

About the League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League is strictly a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels neither supporting nor opposing candidates for office at any level of government. The mission of the League is to promote informed and active participation in government.

Submitted on: JUN 11, 2013

Category: Press Room