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2020 Census Data Boosting Civic Pride In Westchester County, But Has Some Concerned About Redistricting

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New information from the 2020 Census is both cause for celebration and a source of anxiety.

The numbers are boosting civic pride and political power for some communities, while others worry what they'll mean for redistricting.

From imported hot sauces to specialty soft drinks, the growing Hispanic market in Westchester County can find something to their taste at New Rochelle Farms.

"We've had to carry products from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico. It's pretty challenging," owner Jose Filipe told CBS2's Tony Aiello.

Filipe says the numbers translate to buying power.

The Census shows the Hispanic population in Westchester County growing 30.1% since 2010, helping to boost the population of the county past 1 million people for the first time ever.

"I think it's exciting to see that Westchester's becoming more diverse, and it's exciting to see that the Latinx population is feeling comfortable living here and raising families here," New Rochelle Councilmember Yadira Ramos-Herbert said.

She says it also challenges government to work through any obstacles in engaging and serving the Hispanic population.

Hispanics also helped power Yonkers to a milestone; it surpassed Rochester as New York's third-largest city.

"We're a city on the rise, and it just confirms that we are up-and-coming, and we are a wonderful place to be. Development on the West Side and on the East Side. I couldn't be happier. It's awesome," Westchester County Legislator David Tubiolo said.

On the downside, New York is losing a seat in Congress. Advocates want to make sure the upcoming redistricting process does not shortchange downstate communities of color.

"The redistricting process should not be about political interests. It should be an opportunity to draw fair maps to give representation to communities that have been underrepresented for years," said Ivan Garcia, an advocate with Meet the Road NY.

New York is using a new system to draw legislative district lines this year, designed to minimize political interference from Albany politicians.

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