Community Urges Adoption of Councilor Lara’s Redistricting Map

Voting Rights

Moving Boston Forward: Community Groups Urge City Council to Adopt Redistricting Map Proposed by Councilor Kendra Lara

While Councilor Lara’s Map Preserves Years of Hard-Fought Progress Toward Voter Equity, Competing Proposals Undermine Civil Rights Gains

A broad coalition of Boston community groups endorsed the Boston City Council redistricting map proposed by Councilor Kendra Lara.  Those groups, who have sought to intervene in the ongoing federal court case through their attorneys at Lawyers for Civil Rights (“LCR”), include: the NAACP Boston BranchMassVOTE, the Massachusetts Voter Table, the Chinese Progressive AssociationLa Colaborativa, and New England United for Justice (the “Intervenor Coalition”).

Each member of the Intervenor Coalition has actively participated in Boston’s redistricting process since it began in 2022.  Together, that Coalition has fiercely advocated to protect equitable representation for the city’s traditionally disenfranchised communities, and ensure compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.  Only one proposal currently before the City Council would achieve both of those goals: Councilor Kendra Lara’s Map.  

Councilor Lara’s Map, designed to advance traditional redistricting principles like neighborhood unification, is the only proposal that keeps precinct 14-14 in District 5.  Doing so unifies and empowers Mattapan, which is a significant community of interest.  Precinct 14-14 has also played a critical role in establishing District 5 as one of Boston’s opportunity districts, giving the voters of color that live there an opportunity to elect their candidate of choice.  

Removing precinct 14-14 from District 5, as the map proposed by Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune would do, thus represents voter equity backsliding. More specifically, compared to Councilor Lara’s Map, it reduces District 5’s Black population by nearly 2%.  This is a meaningful percentage, especially in a city where elections can be won or lost by a single vote

Several Councilors of color directly raised similar points during the Council’s hearing yesterday and the Intervenor Coalition is alarmed that those Councilors have been virtually ignored. 

Councilor Lara’s Map is the only proposal that assuages all of the Coalition’s concerns, unites communities of interest, and advances other traditional redistricting principles.  To move Boston forward, and reject civil rights backsliding, the City Council must adopt Councilor Lara’s proposal.  Equitable representation in Boston is on the line.