Government and politics in Brooklyn
Each of New York City's five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Charles J. Hynes, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Kings County since 1989. Brooklyn has 16 City Council members, the largest number of any of the five boroughs. Brooklyn has 18 of the city's 59 community districts, each served by an unpaid Community Board with advisory powers under the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Each board has a paid district manager who acts as an interlocutor with city agencies.
As is the case with sister boroughs Manhattan and the Bronx, Brooklyn has not voted for a Republican in a national presidential election since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 79.4% of the vote in Brooklyn while Republican John McCain received 20.0%. In 2012, Barack Obama increased his Democratic margin of victory in the borough, dominating Brooklyn with 82.0% of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney's 16.9%.
|2012||16.9% 124,551||82.0% 604,443|
|2008||20.0% 151,872||79.4% 603,525|
|2004||24.3% 167,149||74.9% 514,973|
|2000||15.7% 96,605||80.6% 497,468|
|1996||15.1% 81,406||80.1% 432,232|
|1992||22.9% 133,344||70.7% 411,183|
|1988||32.6% 230,064||66.3% 368,518|
|1984||38.3% 285,477||61.3% 328,379|
|1980||38.4% 200,306||55.4% 288,893|
|1976||31.1% 190,728||68.3% 419,382|
|1972||49.0% 373,903||50.8% 387,768|
|1968||32.0% 247,936||63.1% 489,174|
|1964||25.0% 229,291||74.8% 684,839|
|1960||33.5% 327,497||66.2% 646,582|
|1956||45.2% 460,456||54.7% 557,655|
|1952||39.8% 446,708||58.5% 656,229|
Six of New York City's 13 congressional districts include parts of Brooklyn. Two of those fall entirely within the borough.
- Ed Towns (D-NY) represents 10th Congressional district, which covers Fort Greene, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York, and Canarsie.
- Yvette Clarke (D-NY) represents the 11th Congressional District encompassing Park Slope, Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Prospect Heights. It was created by the 1965 Voting Rights Act with the intention of increasing African-American representation in the United States Congress. In 1968 the district elected Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to hold a seat in the Congress and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. The district's population of 654,361 is 57% black, 24% white, and 12% Latino.
- Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) represents the 12th district, which encapsulates Bushwick, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, Williamsburg, Red Hook, and Sunset Park, as well as Manhattan's Lower East Side and parts of western Queens.
- Robert Turner (R-NY) represents the 9th District, which includes much of central and southeastern Brooklyn, as well as portions of south-central Queens.
- The West Side (Manhattan)-based 8th District is represented by Jerry Nadler (D-NY). The 8th District takes in portions of south Brooklyn including Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, Boro Park and parts of Bath Beach. It also includes the piers in Red Hook and Sunset Park.
- The Staten Island-based 13th district, was represented by Republican Vito Fossella until he retired from Congress in 2009. Then it elected Michael McMahon, a Democrat. However, in 2010 he was defeated by Michael Grimm, which returned the seat to the Republicans. The 13th District incorporates some of the more conservative areas of the borough, including most of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst and all of Gravesend and Dyker Heights.