Proposed Redistricting Plan Could Mean Changes for Councilors Ross and LaMattina’s Districts

A map showing redrawn city precincts as proposed by the plan sponsored
by City Councilor Linehan.

If Mayor Thomas M. Menino signs off on a redistricting plan that the City Council passed by a vote of 7-6 Wednesday, Councilors Mike Ross and Sal LaMattina could see a shift in their constituencies.

The city is required to redraw the boundaries of its nine districts every 10 years based on U.S. census data. The latest plan, sponsored by Redistricting Committee Chair and District 2 Councilor Bill Linehan, would move 12 precincts in seven districts. Among the ramifications of the plan are breaking up Mission Hill and West Roxbury while keeping Chinatown in one district.

The proposed redistricting map has come under fire for allegedly “packing” a large number of minorities in a small number of districts, and the Chinese Progressive Coalition is now vowing legal action if the mayor approves it.

“Large citywide concerns were raised by a very credible coalition that caused me to vote against it,” said Ross, who represents District 8. “The end result was we were told if the map were passed, we could end up in court. Some would say we’d end up in court with any map put forward, but I disagree. Who knows? In the end, it might pass, but I wasn’t comfortable voting for it.”

Under the plan, a precinct in Mission Hill presently included in District 8 would return to District 6, but Ross’ constituencies in Beacon Hill and the Back Bay would remain unaffected.

Meanwhile, if the plan passes, LaMattina, who represents District 1, would relinquish Ward 3, District 6, which includes a small portion of Beacon Hill, to District 2.

LaMattina, who voted in favor of the new map, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

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