Boston

Boston Redistricting Map Still In the Air

The council must approve a new map by May 30 in order to avoid delaying the Sept. 12 preliminary election

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The city council is working down to the wire to create a new redistricting map after a federal judge ordered them back to the drawing board.

The focus is to redraw district lines to adjust for changes in population. The first process took several months, and now the city council is under pressure to come up with an alternative before the end of the month, or risk potential election delays or further court action.

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"Something we have to remember is that voters choose their elected, electeds don’t choose their voters," Boston City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune said.

Louijeune is among those proposing a new redistricting map after a previously approved map was blocked by a federal judge.

"It’s important that we get this right and I believe that we can, everyone coming together. We need to make sure that the elections are happening as scheduled and we can only do that if we vote on a map," she said.

The council must approve a new map by May 30 in order to avoid delaying the Sept. 12 preliminary election.

Diving into Boston's redistricting ruckus and assessing Gov. Maura Healey's administration at 100 days.

Wednesday, the city council approved a petition to extend filing deadlines for district city council candidates in the upcoming election as they work to redraw district lines.

All this is prompted by a lawsuit that claimed that race predominated the city council's decision to move four precincts with largely white so-called "super voters" from District Three to District Four.

Previous attempts at redistricting were contentious.

Erin Murphy was among city councilors who opposed the previously approved map that was blocked by a federal court.

"I was hoping that we did what we should have done last time and worked together off of the base map so we’re going to have to decide a council where we go and if we can’t get it right the judge is going to have to step in and then take it away from us," she said.

"I don’t think folks are coming to the table in good faith, in earnest, being willing to give up some precincts and that’s what it's going to take," Councilor Michael Flaherty said.

Flaherty proposed a map he said would remove Mission Hill from District 8 and unite Mattapan.

Mayor Michelle Wu said her map aims to unite several communities in Dorchester. In a press release released Wednesday, the NAACP and other community groups criticized the city's proposed map, saying the new lines proposed create drastic changes outside of the scope of the concerns of the federal court. The six groups, the NAACP Boston Branch, MassVOTE, the Massachusetts Voter Table, La Colaborativa, the Chinese Progressive Association, and New England United for Justice, added that they are taking legal action so they can have a stronger say in the existing redistricting case before the U.S. District Court.

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