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Menino Vetoes Second Redistricting Map Due to Racial Inequity

Menino says the map creates an over-concentrated area of protected groups in District 4.

On Monday Boston Mayor Thomas Menino rejected the second redistricting map submitted by the Boston City Council, once again citing concerns of an "over-concentration of protected groups" in districts.

Menino said District 4, currently represented by Charles Yancey, is especially over-concentrated. In his veto letter, the Mayor wrote: "Under both maps passed, almost 70 percent of District 4's voting age population is Black and almost 95 percent is Non-White. In a city where diversity is found broadly, I had asked that you to endeavor to avoid over-concentration of minority voters, and I make that same request again." (See attached letter.) District 4 includes Dorchester and Mattapan.

Menino vetoed the first redistricting map on Sept. 6 (see attached letter) citing the three same reasons he cited for vetoing the second map today:

  1. Avoid the over-concentration of protected groups in any district
  2. Provide reasonable opportunities for voters of protected groups to achieve proportionality in representation on the Boston City Council
  3. Use a group's voting age population (or citizen voting age population where available) within a district as a percent of the total voting age population in that district as a basis of your evaluation of potential voter strength

This second map was proposed by District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson and co-created by District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley. This map, like the first one vetoed, was supported 7-6 by the council.

Boston City Councilors had already expressed fears about possible litigation being brought against the city, if a redistricting map did not meet legal standards.

Boston has until November to approve a redistricting map. Updates are required by law every 10 years based upon U.S. Census data.

The Census and Redistricting Committee has called for a hearing to take place Friday at 11 a.m. at City Hall.  

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