Gov. Deval Patrick signed a new Congressional redistricting plan into law Nov. 21 that shifts a huge slice of Jamaica Plain into a new Congressional district.
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 Congressman Stephen Lynch now represents.
The district changes will take effect following the 2012 Congressional election. Currently, Congressman Michael Capuano represents most of JP and Lynch represents a small part of southern JP.
In an email to the Gazette, prior to the passage of the new map, Lynch wrote, “For the past ten years, my friend Congressman Mike Capuano and I have jointly represented Jamaica Plain and the City of Boston. We work very closely on issues that impact the City of Boston and all of its neighborhoods. While the lines on the map may have changed, our commitment to the people of Jamaica Plain has not. We will continue to work on behalf of the people of Jamaica Plain going forward.”
Some Democratic activists including members of JP Progressives, had opposed the plan because they said Lynch is less progressive than Capuano. Lynch voted for the Iraq War and opposed President Obama’s national healthcare plan.
Other activists, including Joel Watson, co-chair of the Ward 19 Democratic Committee, criticized the week-long public comment period for the proposed maps before they were voted on by the legislature last month, and said they did not want to see JP split up.
“I’m just sorry that the Congressional district line proposal did not have a two week public comment period…We are looking forward to working with Congressman Lynch,” Watson told the Gazette following the plans passage.
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.