Press Release: Boston Redistricting Plan Fails to Reunite Mattapan

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Aug 22, 2012 No Comments ›› The Commisioner

Boston City Hall (August 22, 2012) – Seven Boston City Councillors today voted 7-6 in favor of Councillor Bill Linehan’s redistricting map, which fails to reunite Mattapan and which also fails to create a fifth District of Color in the City of Boston.

The new map was supported by Boston City Councillors Stephen Murphy, Rob Consalvo, Mark Ciommo, Salvatore LaMattina, Bill Linehan, Matt O’Malley, and Frank Baker.

“It’s basically a status quo/incumbent protection plan,” said Councillor Yancey, who last month urged 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 also critiqued Councillor Linehan’s map for dividing the Lower Mills neighborhood in Dorchester and for its violation of the spirit of the one-person, one-vote requirement. By law, each of the 9 redrawn Boston City Council districts must have an overall population of 68,621 with a deviation range of 10 percent. Linehan’s barely-legal plan has a 9 percent deviation range.

Councillor Yancey’s map, which would reunite Mattapan and pave the way to achieve five districts of color, only has a 3.2 percent deviation range. The map would create a fifth district of color by combining the largely Latino population in East Boston with the largely Asian population in Chinatown.

Speaking last month on the Callie Crossley Show on WGBH 89.7FM, Councillor Yancey complimented Massachusetts State Representatives for their redistricting process, which doubled the number of districts of color in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 10 to 20. “We have a great opportunity to have a map with five districts of color, rather than the four that we currently have today in the City of Boston,” he said.

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.

The 2010 Census shows the City of Boston’s population is 53% People of Color and 47 percent White; yet Whites have the majority of the City Council district.

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

“Otherwise we may miss an opportunity to reunite Mattapan and to increase the number of districts of color from four to five, and to have a city council that truly reflects the make-up of the City of Boston,” he said.


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