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New York - 16th District

Incumbent -- Jose E. Serrano (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 16th, which covers the distressed neighborhoods of the South Bronx, is the nation's poorest district in terms of median household income and is one of the least educated. More than one-third of families live on a household income of less than $15,000, and the area is plagued by urban ills and low rates of home ownership. Some South Bronx neighborhoods have begun to turn around, thanks to grass-roots community work, federal funding and commercial redevelopment efforts.

The South Bronx, inundated by a post-World War II influx of Hispanics to New York City, has elected men of Puerto Rican origin to the U.S. House since 1970. The 16th's strong Puerto Rican influence is complemented by African as well as South and Central American immigrant communities. The district's 2 percent non-Hispanic white population is the nation's lowest.

Subsidized economic development organizations have built several downtown developments of single-family and low-rise housing on vacant lots. Light manufacturing firms also have set up shop, replacing some of the heavy industry that moved out decades ago. The Fulton Fish Market, which moved from Lower Manhattan to Hunts Point, is the nation's largest grouping of seafood wholesalers.

The new, $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium opened in 2009 and replaced one of New York City's iconic landmarks. Local businesses rely on the economic benefit of catering to the droves who visit the "Bronx Bombers," but full redevelopment of community and park space promised as part of the stadium construction plan has been delayed. Fordham University also is in the 16th.

The 16th is one of the nation's most strongly Democratic districts -- it gave Barack Obama his highest percentage in the 2008 presidential election (95 percent) -- but like many districts with large minority and immigrant populations, voter turnout tends to be low.

Major Industry

Health care, light manufacturing, seafood distribution

Cities

New York (pt.), 693,819

Notable

The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx (the writer's last home) is owned by New York City.

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