Massachusetts Redistricting Maps
STATEMENT ON MASSACHUSETTS REDISTRICTING MAPS
Today, the State Legislature released proposed redistricting maps identifying the reconfiguration of Massachusetts’ Senate and House of Representatives districts. The proposed maps are encouraging. Senator William N. Brownsberger and Representative Frank A. Moran have clearly worked hard to incorporate community voices and perspectives, not to mention balancing a wide-range of other — often competing — interests.
With respect to the Massachusetts Senate, at Lawyers for Civil Rights, we would like to see the creation of not just one Black-majority district in Boston, but also the formation of a coalition district focusing on Black and Latinx communities. Modeling confirms that the coalition district can easily be drawn and placed adjacent to the proposed Black-majority district. The coalition district would provide more opportunities for people of color to have meaningful representation and to elect candidates of their choice. We hope that this change will be made when the map is finalized.
As the Senate map gets finalized, we are also actively encouraging State House leadership to maximize opportunities to empower highly diverse communities such as Haverhill and Brockton.
Turning to the proposed map for the Massachusetts House of Representatives, we are encouraged by the creation of 33 majority-minority districts. Early analysis, released publicly by Lawyers for Civil Rights and Professor Maxwell Palmer of Boston University, confirmed that more than 25 majority-minority districts were possible. The proposed districts — some incumbent-free — enhance and materially increase the quality of representation for communities of color.
In terms of next steps, Lawyers for Civil Rights is now reviewing the proposed maps to ensure compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act and we will make analysis available to the Drawing Democracy Coalition and other community partners to democratize the redistricting process.