New congressional map splits, unsplits communities

Political News
Mass redistricting map

Image courtesy malegislature.gov

BOSTON, Mass. (State House News Service)– Nine cities and towns would become or remain divided across multiple congressional districts, and another seven would newly be unified in a single district under the Legislature’s draft redistricting proposal.

Redistricting Committee Co-chair Rep. Mike Moran said while unveiling the map on Monday that eight communities would be split under the suggested redrawing of political boundaries, but a full list that fellow co-chair Sen. Will Brownsberger’s office provided on Tuesday lists nine municipalities that would be a part of more than one congressional district.

Five of those would be newly split under the proposed map after remaining unified for at least the past decade: Westminster, which would be part of the 2nd District represented by Congressman Jim McGovern and the 3rd District represented by Congresswoman Lori Trahan; Webster, which would be in both the 1st District represented by Congressman Richard Neal and the 2nd District; Tewksbury, which would be in the 3rd District and the 6th District represented by Congressman Seth Moulton; Wellesley, which would be a piece of both the 4th District represented by Congressman Jake Auchincloss and the 5th District represented by Congresswoman Katherine Clark; and Bedford, which would mostly be in the 6th District with a small sliver in the 5th District.

Four other cities and towns that are divided under the map that has been in place since 2011 would continue to have a footprint in multiple districts: Raynham, Cambridge, Boston and Milton.

The draft Congressional map lawmakers rolled out would unsplit Palmer, Abington, Sudbury, Andover, Winchendon, Bellingham and Fall River, the last of which has drawn substantial attention from elected officials and advocates.

Moran on Monday said the Redistricting Committee’s proposal would increase the nonwhite share of residents in Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s 7th District from 56.6 percent to nearly 61.3 percent, partly a result of natural growth and partly due to some communities shifting between that district and the neighboring 8th District represented by Congressman Stephen Lynch.

The Redistricting & You interactive map tool produced by the City University of New York’s Center for Urban Research shows that stretches of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood would move from the 7th District to the 8th District under the draft map, while a chunk of Milton would flip from the 8th District to the 7th District. The 7th District also appears poised to shed pockets of Cambridge in the city’s north, near the border with Arlington, to the 5th District while picking up parts of Cambridge’s Inman Square area.

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