Group wants 2nd Suffolk changes

August 12, 2011
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A proposal from the Massachusetts Black Empowerment for Redistricting would see JP’s 2nd Suffolk state senate district redrawn as part of state and federal redistricting taking place in the wake of the 2010 census.

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, vice chair of the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Redistricting, currently holds that seat. The proposed changes would keep JP in the district.

She declined to comment on the coalition’s proposal, but noted that the boundaries of the district will inevitably have to be redrawn, because it is too large.

“The district has to lose 1,700 people,” she said.

The Black Empowerment did not respond to repeated Gazette requests for comment for this article.

According to media reports and Chang-Díaz, the coalition’s proposal includes creating a new legislative district in Roxbury and Dorchester—including areas currently in the 2nd Suffolk District—and shift the district to cover JP, the South End and the town of Brookline.

Population growth in Roxbury and Dorchester was a major contributor to Boston’s overall population growth in the last 10 years, according to US census data, and one of the main goals of redistricting is to rebalance the districts to reflect population changes.

“I love Roxbury and Dorchester. I love every neighborhood in my district,” Chang-Díaz told the Gazette. “Losing any part of your district is difficult.”

It is unlikely that JP would be removed from Chang-Díaz’s district, because she lives in the neighborhood.

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