BOSTON — Boston election maps are still being sorted out as the deadline approaches for the next election. A federal judge threw out the city council-approved map after they spent months hammering out a final version. The process is getting heated again.
City leaders say the challenge is redrawing these district lines to coincide with the neighborhoods when some of those neighborhoods are also changing. In Dorchester’s Adams Village, small business owners, like Spiro Vlastos, are watching the city council try to iron out new election district maps. “Different parts of the city have different requirements,” said Vlastos. “Different needs and wants.”
Boston City Council needs to finalize new district lines before the end of the month or Fall elections could be pushed back. Mayor Michelle Wu, City Councilors Ruthzee Louijeune, Kendra Lara and Michael Flaherty have all proposed a map. “We are a 13-member diverse body of very strong-willed opinions. We have to find a way to compromise,” said Louijeune. “Being willing to give up some precincts and that is what it’s going to take,” said Flaherty.
The district maps are re-drawn every 10 years, but on this go around the fast-growing Seaport is making the lines harder to draw based on populations and equality. “Was trying to divide public housing, literally right up the middle,” said Flaherty. Councilors now have four maps after a federal judge threw out the last one they approved. The issues stem from trying to keep long-time neighborhoods together when new ones are emerging. “For example, there is a Vietnamese community that wants to stay together in Dorchester as a community of interest,” said Louijeune.
Spiro believes the old and new communities will figure it out like they have been doing for decades. “When things get push to shove, I feel this neighborhood sticks together and they push back, we push back,” said Vlastos.
The City Council is now scheduled to have a full committee hearing on Friday to figure out which map will work best. If it isn’t finalized by the end of the month – the federal judge could step in and do a map for the city.
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