By Daniel Katzive
Primary night came and went with little fanfare on the Upper West Side. Elsewhere in the city, there were headlines to be made. Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated Central Park Five, won the primary for the New York City Council 9th District in Central Harlem with over 50% of the vote. Incumbent district attorneys in Queens and the Bronx easily fended off primary challenges.
But in City Council District 6, Gale Brewer passed through primary day unchallenged, and in District 7, which covers part of the Upper West Side north of 96th Street, the incumbent Shaun Abreu also faced no opponent. The Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, was elected in 2021 and does not face reelection until 2025. As a result, civic-minded Upper West Siders who dutifully checked their polling sites on the NYC Board of Elections website found the simple message “There is no Primary Election for this District.”
Both Brewer and Abreu will have their names on the ballot when we come to the general elections on November 7. According to the Manhattan Republican Party’s website, the candidate facing Gale Brewer for the District 6 seat in November will be Diane di Stasio, whose campaign website profile identifies her as the Managing Director for the Ellison Ballet Foundation and who puts crime and safety at the top of the issues she hopes to address. The Republican party website does not list a candidate for District 7. According to the Board of Elections website, the party committee has until July 27 to file a nomination.
Some Upper West Siders may be surprised to learn if and when they arrive to vote in November that they suddenly live in District 7 and not District 6. Gale Brewer is a ubiquitous presence throughout the Upper West Side and, as the former Manhattan Borough President, she has strong name recognition. But, while attendees at the 24th Precinct Community Council meetings know that Brewer attends and speaks there regularly, about half of that precinct, including the precinct station house itself, sits in Abreu’s District 7, which extends north up through Morningside, Hamilton and Washington Heights.
With redistricting going into effect, the demarcation line between District 6 and District 7 has shifted even further south this year. As the map above shows, Riverside Drive and West End Avenue north of 96th Street, as well as a few blocks east of Broadway south of 96th are now in District 7 rather than District 6. On the other end, District 6 has now gained a few blocks around Columbus Circle to the south.
Correction: We originally misstated the years of DA Alvin Bragg’s election and reelection. They are 2021 and 2025, respectively.