BOSTON (AP) – Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Monday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
The map avoids any major changes to district lines, in large part because the state maintains the same number of constituencies – nine. This eliminates the need to unite districts and possibly force sitting MPs to quarrel with each other.
One controversy arose in the 4th House of Representatives, which is now in the hands of US Democrat Jake Auchincloss.
The Drawing Democracy Coalition, an umbrella group of interest groups, blamed the map for failing to unite Fall River and New Bedford in the same neighborhood.
The group had argued that comparable immigrant communities in the two cities should be in the same neighborhood to increase their political power and give voters a better chance of choosing candidates of their choice.
Although the map proposed by the legislature unites Fall River, it puts the entire city in the 4th district and keeps New Bedford in the 9th district. As a result, the group said, Fall River residents could continue to see their vote weakened by Boston’s more affluent suburbs, such as Brookline, Newton and Wellesley.
“The Coalition for Social Justice and Drawing Democracy talked to many members of the community about reorganization and we heard loud and clear that they did not want Fall River to be divided between two constituencies and that they wanted Fall River and New Bedford to be merged into the same district. Said Dax Crocker, director of the Center for Democracy for Social Justice, a member of the Drawing Democracy Coalition.
Auchincloss welcomed the proposed new parliamentary lines.
“Even though the baselines of the 4th district remain, there is one big change,” Auchincloss said in a written statement. “I am thrilled that all of Fall River will now be in the district.
Auchincloss said he has worked with local officials and state police to ensure Fall River returns from a pandemic.
“The voters of the fourth will continue to come from urban, suburban and farming communities. They will continue to vote for both blue and red. “They will continue to travel to both Boston and Providence,” he said.
The card would also increase the share of people of color living in the 7th State House of Representatives, which now represents one black member of the delegation, US Congressman Ayanna Pressley.
The redesigned neighborhood, established after the 2010 census, was intended to include a majority of voters in the minority. It was previously represented by US Congressman Michael Capuano until Pressley defeated him in 2018.
All nine members of parliament are Democrats.
Ten years ago, the state was forced to cut 10 districts to nine, this time fate escaped when Massachusetts announced enough population growth – to over 7 million – to keep all nine seats.
One goal of a special joint committee on restructuring. who came up with the proposed map, is to have the same number of people in each district – about 781,100 each.
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