Drawing Democracy Response to House Maps
The Drawing Democracy Coalition strives to achieve fair districts that equitably represent communities of color, low-income people, and immigrants through a transparent process and maximum community engagement. After reviewing the maps proposed by the Joint Committee on Redistricting, here's what we found after reviewing the House map (and find our response to the Senate map: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/drawing-democracy-response-to-senate-maps)
We support the proposed House map, which creates four incumbent-free majority minority districts that will lead to new opportunities for representation by January 2023, but request two major changes:
The 16th Suffolk House District, a new opportunity district in Revere, includes many neighborhoods with BIPOC and immigrant residents but leaves Shirley Avenue in 2-2- the beating heart of the BIPOC community in Revere, in the majority white 19th Suffolk House District. Many nonprofit organizations and agencies are based along Shirley Avenue. Revere 2-2 has changed substantially because of development along the waterfront. Adding census blocks along Shirley Avenue in 2-2 but leaving out the large waterfront developments north of Shirley Avenue and east of Northshore Road would keep the beating heart in the new opportunity House District.
The 11th Bristol and 13th Bristol House Districts split the Cape Verdean, Black American, and Guatemalan communities in New Bedford. By consolidating Ward 4 into the 11th Bristol House District, New Bedford will have a stronger opportunity district. As currently proposed, the slim majority of BIPOC residents in the 11th Bristol is unlikely to elect a candidate of choice, especially when overpowered by the predominantly white precincts in the north side of New Bedford (Ward 2).