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Massachusetts lawmakers release congressional district map


Lawmakers on Monday proposed new lines for the state’s nine districts in the United States. Special Joint Commission on Redistribution

BOSTON (AP) – State lawmakers on Monday released a new map of the congressional districts of Massachusetts.

The map avoids any large-scale dramatic changes to district boundaries, in large part because the state has retained the same number of congressional districts – nine. This avoids the need to combine districts and potentially forces incumbent lawmakers to clash.

A point of contention has come in the state’s 4th Congressional District, currently held by U.S. Democratic Representative Jake Auchincloss.

The Drawing Democracy Coalition, a group of rights organizations, criticized the map for not merging Fall River and New Bedford in the same district.

The group had argued that similar immigrant communities in the two cities should be placed in the same district to increase their political clout and provide a better opportunity for voters to elect candidates of their choice.

While the map proposed by the Legislative Assembly unites Fall River, it places the entire city in the 4th arrondissement and keeps New Bedford in the 9th arrondissement. As a result, the group said, Fall River residents could continue to see their voting power weakened by wealthier Boston suburbs like Brookline, Newton and Wellesley.

“The Coalition for Social Justice and Drawing Democracy spoke with many members of the redistribution community, and we heard loud and clear that they didn’t want Fall River divided between two congressional districts, and that they wanted May Fall River and New Bedford be united in the same district, ”said Dax Crocker, Democracy HUB coordinator for the Coalition for Social Justice, member of the Steering Committee of the Drawing Democracy Coalition.

Auchincloss welcomed the new district lines proposed by Congress.

“Although the basic contours of the 4th arrondissement persist, there is a major change,” Auchincloss said in a written statement. “I am delighted that all of Fall River is now in the district. “

Auchincloss said he has worked with local officials and state lawmakers to ensure Fall River recovers from the pandemic.

“Voters in the fourth will continue to come from urban, suburban and agricultural communities. They will continue to vote blue and red. They will continue to travel to Boston and Providence, ”he said.

The card would also increase the share of people of color living in the state’s 7th Congressional District, currently represented by the only black member of the delegation, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley.

The redesigned district, created after the 2010 census, was intended to contain a majority of minority voters. He was previously represented by U.S. Representative Michael Capuano until Pressley defeated him in 2018.

The nine members of the state congressional delegation are Democrats.

Ten years ago, the state was forced to reduce 10 districts to nine, a fate avoided this time when Massachusetts reported enough population increase – to just over 7 million – to keep all nine. seats.

One of the objectives of the Special Joint Committee on Redistribution. who came up with the proposed map, is to have each district house the same number of people – around 781,100 each.

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