Monday, May 27, 2024

Cambridge’s legislative delegation is working with the state Redistricting Committee and speaker of the house to amend the Nov. 7 proposed Congressional district maps that split Cambridge into two Congressional districts, State Rep. Alice K. Wolf, a Cambridge Democrat, said Monday.

Members of the Cambridge delegation in the House and Senate asked the Redistricting Committee to unite Cambridge in the final maps to be adopted this week, Wolf said, and now they get the chance.

“Cambridge considers itself a community of interest, the type of community that the Redistricting Committee aimed to keep whole. It elects its City Council and School Committee at large because it operates as a unit, notwithstanding many political battles and divisions. Cambridge has been part of the present 8th Congressional district (the new 7th) for at least 70 years. This was Tip O’Neill and Jack Kennedy’s district, with all of Cambridge at its core,” Wolf’s office said Monday in a press release:

Members of the Cambridge community feel angry and disrespected. The irony is that in creating a majority-minority district — a goal that the Cambridge delegation supports — the Redistricting Committee cut out a section of Cambridge that, according to precedent, would actually increase the likelihood of a minority candidate being elected. Crossover voters in that predominantly white area gave then candidate Deval Patrick 6,986 votes to Chris Gabrieli’s 1,390 and Tom Reilly’s 882 in the 2006 Democratic primary for governor.

The Redistricting Committee has had many challenges and it has engaged in a good, transparent process. Its many constraints included reducing a seat, creating a majority-minority district, and making the districts more compact. The division of Cambridge, however, was unexpected and unnecessary.

To support the hard work of the Redistricting Committee, the Cambridge delegation has suggested that a swap be found that would unite Cambridge while preserving the majority-minority district.

This post was written from a press release.