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City Councilors React to Mayor Menino's Veto of Their Redistricting Map

After 16 months of trying to come up with a map, it was vetoed by the mayor, sending the Boston City Council back to the drawing board.

 

After passed by the City Council, councilors say they're ready to create a new map that will represent all people fairly. Menino said the plan left people of color concentrated in few districts.

Ayanna Pressley

City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, who voted against the map on Aug. 23 (), said she knows the Council can do better.

“We know the diversity of this city is only growing. Our final map needs to go further to increase equitable representation, voice, power and influence in city elections,” said Pressley, who warned her peers during the Council's vote the city could face a lawsuit if a non-inclusive map were approved by the city.

Bill Linehan

District 2 City Councilor Bill Linehan, who chaired the council's redistricting committee and voted for the map, told Boston.com, “It’s unfortunate that we spent 16 months working on this, and the way this has been set up, a sleight of pen from the mayor sends us back to square one." Linehan did not immediately return a phone call to Patch.

Tito Jackson

District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson, who voted against the proposed map, had presented a rival map with District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley. They said their map would move 10 precincts instead of 12, keep the South End closer to rest of the district and keep South Boston together. 

"We live in a more diverse city than ever in the past," said Jackson during the Council's vote, "54 percent of color. Each precinct and district should reflect that increased diversity. When I see a map that moves two of the three most diverse precincts from District 2 - that makes me not want to vote and support that map..."

Matt O'Malley

O'Malley, who voted for the redistricting map, said, "I look forward to working with my colleagues and trying to find a responsible map that keeps neighborhoods whole, and finding a compromise that is fair and equitable going forward."

O'Malley said he hopes the council will revisit the map he and Jackson submitted. "But it’s a very difficult issue. Redistricting is always a complex issue and we want an open and fair transparent process."

Stephen Murphy

Council President Stephen Murphy, who also supported the scotched map, said in a statement that the mayor gave "thoughtful review and suggestions for further discussion. It has always been the intention of the council and the committee to create a map that represents all interests of the city."

Felix Arroyo

At-Large Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo, who voted against the map, also released a statement: “I am grateful Mayor Menino vetoed the redistricting map. I voted against the map because I believed we could do better. This is an opportunity to pass a map that best reflects our City and ensures everyone can have a voice in our government.”

 

The city must redistrict by November, a year before the next municipal election in 2013. Redistricting happens across the entire country every 10 years based upon the U.S. Census.

don warner saklad September 08, 2012 at 08:49 AM
a) The Redistricting maps need to be labeled with the NAMES of the BORDERING streets of the DISTRICTS. That way folks can understand the maps easier. That way it's easier to see where a District ends and another begins. b) Online overlay maps need to be put on the web to compare proposed Districts with one another and with current Districts. Another example of how Boston City Council Communications fail to be robust understandable documents. Over 100 Boston City Council staff yet Council staff specialists are limited http://www.bostonherald.com/projects/your_tax_dollars.bg?src=Boston2011#page=1&results_per_page=20&order_by=annual_salary%20desc&src=Boston2011&action=get_data&payroll_search=&department=Boston%20City%20Council

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