Revised redistribution map would affect South Rim towns, Brockton
After soliciting comments over the past week on proposed redistribution maps for the Legislature, House and Senate leaders on Tuesday completed revised plans that would add a sixth minority-majority Senate district that covers Brockton and part of Randolph.
The map presented to the Special Committee on Redistribution on Tuesday would create a new Senate district with a 54.3 percent minority population that would newly combine Brockton with half of Randolph and Avon, and move Hanover and Plympton out of the district, the Senate speaker Pro Tempore William Brownsberger mentioned.
When asked why the new district didn’t include all of Randolph or Stoughton, Brownsberger said, “We have extended as far as we can given our understanding of the law.”
In addition to the new district of Brockton, Brownsberger said he and the committee decided to restore three constituencies of South Dorchester in the 1st district of Suffolk rather than dividing up Ward 16, and add these constituencies to the district that s’ extends south to Milton.
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Beth Huang, director of the Massachusetts Voter Table and leader of the Drawing Democracy Coalition, called the new Brockton district “a big step forward.”
“It’s not all we wanted, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the next decade,” she said.
The revised maps would redraw the political boundaries for the 200 seats in the Legislature and continue to reflect the focus Democratic leaders have placed this cycle on increasing opportunities for candidates of color to win.
As now proposed, the House would increase the number of majority minority districts from 20 to 33, including four unincorporated districts in Brockton, Framingham, Chelsea and Lawrence, places where advocates see the possibility of electing a person of color. as soon as next year.
On the Senate side, the new plan would increase the number of majority-minority constituencies from three to six.
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The House plans to vote on its redistribution plan on Thursday, while the Senate is expected to wait until next week to vote. Unlike the Senate, candidates for House seats face a November 8 deadline to live in the district they hope to run for in 2022.
On the Senate side, in particular, leaders have reacted to some of last week’s pushbacks against the Senate map project that supporters have called “too cautious” because it failed to take advantage of it. opportunity to design a majority minority district in southeastern Massachusetts which included Brockton with Randolph, and potentially Stoughton.
Members of the Special Joint Committee on Redistribution saw the two revised maps Tuesday afternoon and called for votes to move them forward to the entire House and Senate.
Deputy House Majority Leader Michael Moran, who led the redistribution effort in that branch, said the plan was for the entire House to vote on Thursday, while Brownsberger said the Senate would likely wait until see you next week to give members time to digest the changes.
“People won’t be surprised at much,” Moran said of the house card, which was generally well received.
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After a hearing Friday to seek comment, Moran said some changes to the House’s draft map included a proposed reconfiguration of majority minority districts in and around Framingham and New Bedford to make those “majority minority seats stronger.” .
Moran said the House map the committee was considering would completely restore Foxboro to Bristol 1st District represented by Republican Representative F. Jay Barrows, rather than adding part of the city to the district represented by Democrat Ted Phillips .
Representative Dan Hunt, a Democrat from Dorchester who chairs the Ward 16 Democratic Committee, had threatened legal action for the neighborhood split, and Brownsberger said after touring the neighborhoods over the weekend, he agreed he didn’t It didn’t make sense to separate these quarters.
Brownsberger said the revised Senate map “also adjusts the boundaries to more closely match the Hispanic neighborhoods of Haverhill,” but continues to propose that the town of Merrimack Valley be split in two to create a new incumbent Senate district in minority majority anchored in Laurent.
The predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods of Haverhill are intended for the new Lawrence-based neighborhood that also includes Methuen, but separates Lawrence from the predominantly white suburb of Andover.
Haverhill leaders, including Rep. Andy Vargas and Mayor Jim Fiorentini, criticized the town’s split plan as a project that would dilute the voting power of Haverhill’s Hispanic residents and reduce the town’s ability to elect anyone. ‘one of the city in the Senate.