Census and Redistricting working session to be held Thursday

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Oct 9, 2012 No Comments ›› The Commisioner

The Boston City Council’s Committee on Census and Redistricting will host a special redistricting working session this Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am in the Curley Room on the Fifth Floor of Boston City Hall.

The working session, which is open to the public, will provide an opportunity to explore Boston City Councillor Charles C. Yancey’s Ordinance amending Boston City Council Districts, as well as Boston City Councillors Rob Consalvo, Frank Baker, and Matt O’Malley’s Ordinance amending Council Districts.

Councillor Yancey, throughout the entire redistricting process, has been urging his colleagues to support a plan that reunites Mattapan and provides constituents of Mattapan with the same level of respect given to constituents in other neighborhoods such as Chinatown, South Boston, and Mission Hill.

Councillor Yancey has also been urging his colleagues to support a plan that creates five districts of Color. Currently only four districts are majority People of Color.

Speaking during a special redistricting community meeting last Saturday hosted by the New Democracy Coalition and the Leadership Forum at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, Yancey told a room full of distinguished community activists that the new redistricting map should reflect the reality of 2012, in which People of Color makeup 53 percent of Boston’s population. The 2010 Census shows Boston’s population is 53 percent People of Color and 47 percent White; yet Whites have the majority of the City Council districts.

Councillor Yancey asked the audience to stand up to the City Council and to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “If People of Color are the majority of the population, why are we fighting for the minority of the seats?” he asked. The majority of people present at the meeting agreed with Yancey’s plan to create a fifth District of Color in Boston.

Councillor Yancey also urged attendees to respect the integrity of Mattapan, which was divided during the 2002 redistricting process. “We’re talking about building coalitions and keeping other communities together. I think Mattapan deserves the same respect,” he said. Attendees voted unanimously to support the unification of Mattapan.

The New Democracy Coalition was founded by Kevin Peterson in 2001 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the presidential election of 2000. The organization focuses on the simple goals of renewing civic life and expanding democratic opportunities for all. Peterson, in a letter to Council President Stephen Murphy last month, argued that a fifth District of Color should be created to allow for the potential of a Latino or Asian to be elected on the district level.

Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries in response to population changes. The process, which is mandated by law every ten years, must be approved by the Boston City Council and the mayor.

Councillor Yancey, who can be reached at (617) 635-3131, or Charles.Yancey@cityofboston.gov, asks all residents of Boston to reach out to Boston City Councillors and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and urge them to support a redistricting plan that reunites Mattapan and creates five districts of color in the City of Boston.

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