Legislature OK’s JP Congressional split

November 18, 2011
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Despite last-minute efforts by Jamaica Plain’s entire state legislative delegation, the state Senate this week passed a new Congressional map that moves a huge part of JP into Congressman Steve Lynch’s district. The House also approved the plan and Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign it.

The plan drew fire from JP Progressives and the Ward 19 Democratic Committee, among others.

State Rep. Liz Malia and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz proposed House and Senate amendments that would have rejoined the neighborhood. State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez put forward a proposal that would have allowed the precincts—which are all on the southwest side of JP—to join the more liberal district to the west currently represented by Barney Frank.

Presuming that Patrick signs off on the plan, it will take effect in the 2012 election cycle. Under the new map, 10 voting precincts covering the Forest Hills, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica Pond areas, Central JP and part of Hyde Square will be in the district that Lynch now represents.

Lynch currently represents a few precincts in Jamaica Hills, but the rest of JP is in Congressman Michael Capuano’s district.

The state Legislature’s Special Committee on Redistricting proposed the shift to ensure that the majority of the voting age population in that district are people of color.

Because Massachusetts’ population grew more slowly than the rest of the country’s, the state was obliged to give up one Congressional district. That means all of the districts are now renumbered. Capuano’s district was formerly District 8 but would be now District 7; Lynch’s would go from 9 to 8.

The JP precincts in the new 8th District are Ward 19 Precincts 1-6, 8 and 9; and Ward 11, Precincts 9 and 10.  To view a ward and precinct map of JP, see cityofboston.gov/maps/pdfs/ward_and_precincts.pdf.

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