Court gives Jersey City 120-day extension on redistricting

JERSEY CITY – A Hudson County Superior Court judge has granted the city’s request to postpone redistricting pending the outcome of a challenge to Jersey City’s 2010 U.S. Census numbers.
According to the 2010 census numbers, Jersey City has 240,000 residents. But ever since those numbers were released the city has argued that thousands of residents were not included in this count. The population affects how much government aid different cities receive.
Jersey City hired Social Compact, a nonprofit research firm, to conduct a block-by-block topographic analysis of the city to determine whether any housing developments were missed by census workers last year.
Based on initial results from Social Compact released in August, at least 19,000 housing units in Jersey City were not included in the 2010 census.
Based on the finding from Social Compact the city plans to formally challenge its official census numbers.
By state and federal law, however, census numbers are supposed to be used to redraw political districts based on population changes uncovered by the census count. Locally, Jersey City is supposed to redraw the boundaries for municipal wards A, B, C, D, E, and F. This redistricting was supposed to be completed by Oct. 6, according to City Clerk Robert Byrne.
Last month, however, the city filed an appeal requesting more time while it awaited word from the federal government regarding its census appeal.
Byrne told the Reporter last week that the court has granted the city a 120-day extension while it awaits a resolution to the census challenge. – E. Assata Wright

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