Chang-Díaz, Malia push to mend Congressional split

November 15, 2011
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Local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and state Rep. Liz Malia are seeking to reunify Jamaica Plain’s Congressional map, which would be split between two new districts in a plan that could be approved by the state legislature as early as today.

Chang-Díaz told the Gazette that she and Malia are sponsoring an amendment to the plan that would put most of JP back in the Congressional district currently represented by Michael Capuano.

The other district is currently represented by Stephen Lynch. Lynch already represents parts of southern JP, but under the un-amended plan his new district would include much more of the neighborhood.

The plan has met with local criticism because it splits JP and because the district Lynch represents is seen as being less liberal than JP.

“You always know the redistricting line is going to fall somewhere, but I would not have expected it to split JP,” Chang-Díaz said. While she is Senate vice-chair of the committee that created the plan, she said the proposed map was finalized by the chairs. She did not see it until just before it was released last week, she said.

Chang-Díaz told the Gazette that the reunification plan would put parts of Charlestown into Lynch’s district instead.

The split is a side effect of the creation of a minority-majority district that leaves out some majority-white areas of JP.

Chang-Díaz urged residents concerned about the split to contact the redistricting committee chairs, state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (stan.rosenberg@masenate.gov) and state Rep. Michael Moran (michael.moran@mahouse.gov). Information about the plan and a forum for public comments is available at malegislature.gov/district.

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