BOSTON — The Boston City Council has agreed on a new city council district map. The process has been quite contentious but in a 10-2 vote the body approved a map. The map now goes to the Mayor’s desk for approval. But even if she vetoes it, the council says it has enough votes to override it.
After the first city council district map was thrown out by a judge because the judge ruled the lines drawn were not done fairly for all voters – City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune chaired a committee to create a new map that was overwhelmingly approved by the city council, 10-2. “It can be a very difficult, nasty process,” said Louijeune. “Let’s be honest, we are elected officials who have to get elected. So the lines will matter to you if it changes the ability for you to win re-election.”
City Councilors Julia Mejia and Kendra Lara were the two dissenting votes. Councilor Lara told us her biggest concern was some of the Mattapan community being cut up. “I don’t think there was a lot of compromise,” said Lara. “I think what we saw was the old guard of the city of Boston to do everything possible to hang on to their power and that comes at the expense of the most marginalized communities.”
The 10-2 approval is a large enough majority to override a Mayoral veto. City Councilor Michael Flaherty says the map had compromises from all of the councilors. “Not everyone is leaving here excited. You didn’t see lots of hugs and high-fives. You got some…eh, okay. It could be worse,” said Flaherty.
These new district lines would be in effect for another 10 years. The city councilors did talk about moving to a third-party commission drawing the maps in the future.
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