With the November 2 deadline for the City Council and Mayor to approve a redistricting plan for Boston looming, Back Bay/Beacon Hill City Councilor Michael Ross said he’s taking a less parochial approach and will support a plan that meets the needs of the city before his own political needs.
“I’d like it to see a map that first and foremost meets the needs of our city and its voters,” said Ross. “It has to be a map that is fair and gains considerable support across city.”
There have been several maps floating about and rumors of other maps coming down the pike. One idea that was floated but seems to be off the table is taking Charlestown out of Ward I and merging it with the Back Bay—Ross’s current district.
“There’s been some talk about this but the one that would put Charlestown in my district is not in front of the council so it’s really not a viable option,” said Ross. “I think it’s a highly speculative option.”
However, Ross said all of the options so far would impact his district.
“All the maps we have considered would affect my district in some way…some more radically than others,” said Ross. “The map presently in front of council now would have me taking more of the Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Downtown but losing a precinct in Mission Hill and Fenway.”
While some councilors are putting up options that would help to save their political future in Boston’s changing landscape, Ross said the maps have to make sense.
“Look, places like Beacon Hill and Back Bay should remain in the same voting district because many of the issues affecting one does affect the other,” said Ross. “The same can be said about neighborhoods like Mission Hill and the Fenway.”
Ross said these issues could be geographical, educational or quality of life issues.
“It has been a very complex process,” said Ross. “The neighborhoods I serve are important to me and I think communities like Mission Hill and the Fenway as well as Back Bay and Beacon Hill should remain in the same district. With that said in the end we would do ourselves a disservice if we get too parochial and personal by putting our political needs ahead of the needs of the city and voters.”