State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) may no longer live in the reconfigured 16th Senate District, but her decision to seek the Democratic nomination there could make a lot of electoral sense.
More than 100 supporters and elected Democratic officials were on hand outside the Queens Library’s Flushing Main Street branch last Friday. And while state regulations would force the senator to move her residence should she win in November, she and the gathered community leaders were completely at home with each other.
“Much of my old district is in the new one,” Stavisky said. “I know the district. I know the people.”
In the redistricting that took place this year as the result of the 2010 Census, state Senate Republicans said they designed the new 16th to be an Asian-majority district. And numerous elected officials, as well as civic leaders from Flushing’s Asian Community were on hand to urge support for the senator.
“Toby Stavisky has always been there for this community,” Peter Tu, chairman of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, said.
She also received backing from Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who is running for Congress in the 6th District, and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing). Koo said Stavisky understands and embraces the vast ethnic diversity in the district.
Meng and others said Stavisky has built a reputation as a tireless champion of her constituents, and provides a voice that New York City as a whole needs in the Republican-controlled Senate.
“The Senate can be an unfriendly place for New York City,” said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who served as master of ceremonies.
Court arguments challenging the new district lines — which include a new ostensibly Republican-friendly 63rd District near Albany — were made the day before. Stavisky said those are beyond her control.
“We decided not to wait,” she said.