Massachusetts lawmakers propose new congressional cards

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State House lawmakers unveiled their plan to redraw the boundaries of the state’s nine congressional districts that would divide two South Coast cities and further diversify Massachusetts’ 7th District – the state’s only majority minority district .

“I think these congressional maps that we are presenting to you today are effortless and show an accurate and fair representation of the census figures we have received,” said Boston Rep Mike Moran, who co-chaired the redistribution committee.

The biggest change proposed by the cartographers would bring together the entire city of Fall River in the district currently represented by first-year U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss, who said he was “thrilled” to bring together a constituency “rich in economic, geographic and diverse diversity. ideological ”.

“Although the basic contours of the Fourth District persist, there is a major change,” he said. Auchincloss – like other lawmakers in the State House – are all running for re-election in 2022.

But at least one lawmaker opposes the change. Senator Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford, said the proposed border change “pursues an unfair and inequitable division that dilutes the collective voice of our region”.

“New Bedford and Fall River are post-industrial, working-class towns with growing minority populations,” Montigny said in a statement. “We share many common economic interests such as offshore wind, commuter rail and advanced manufacturing. Simply put, our interests do not match those of the affluent suburbs of the Boston area or the South Shore. “

Lawyers had asked lawmakers to keep the two cities on the south coast together in order to make the voices of the region’s large minority or majority populations heard.

The 7th Congressional District represented by U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley – the state’s only minority-majority congressional district – would become even more diverse according to lawmakers’ plan.

The proposed changes would not pit any of the state’s nine outgoing Democrats against each other, unlike the last redistribution 10 years ago, when Massachusetts went from 10 congressional districts to nine.

Map changes do not affect Senate seats held by Elizabeth Warren or Ed Markey, who represent the entire state.

Cartographers said the changes in the district boundaries reflect the 7.4% increase in the state’s population according to the 2020 census. More than 7 million people now live in Massachusetts, and the tally reveals a higher population growth rate in the eastern half of the state and growing minority communities.

The committee will take public comments on the maps until Tuesday, November 9. Lawmakers are scrambling to complete the redistribution before the November 17 deadline.


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