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Say Goodbye to the 8th Congressional District

The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting of the Massachusetts General Court just made available their draft map for the United States House of Representatives.

Cambridge is currently represented entirely in one Congressional District, the 8th. Mike Capuano currently represents all of Cambridge.

The proposed new redistricting plan splits Cambridge in two.

A new Congressional District 5, currently held by Ed Markey, will have a peninsula in Cambridge made up of a little bit of ward 3, most of ward 4, all of wards 6, 7, 8, and 9, and most of ward 10.

A new Congressional District 7, currently held by Mike Capuano, will contort itself around Markey's peninsula. It is made up of all of ward 1 and 2, most of ward 3, some of ward 4, all of ward 5, some of ward 10, and all of ward 11.

Parts of Cambridge will be represented by someone who also needs to balance the needs of Revere, Chelsea and other urban areas -- and other parts of Cambridge will be represented by someone who also needs to balance the needs of Southborough and other suburban areas.

I might be wrong about this, so if you know better please let me know, but I believe that the last time Cambridge was split was for the 1932 redistricting plan. See map below.

The Chairs of the Redistricting Committee are offering to evaluate any comments, suggestions, and proposals to their draft plan over the next three days. Then they will send their plan to the General Court for ratification. Go to www.mass.gov for more information.

STATEWIDE IMPLICATIONS

Attached below is the proposed Congressional District map for the entire state. We used to have 10 Congressional Districts and the new census data compelled a change to 9 Congressional Districts. A quick analysis points to a merging of the current Lynch and Keating districts.

UPDATE: as the dust settles, there seems to be no conflict about a Lynch and Keating District. Lynch will get Quincy (which he will probably like), and Keating will get to run from his home in Bourne (which he will probably like).

In moving from 10 Districts to 9, the Redistricting plan gives every incumbent a district to run from. Olver, from Western Mass, is resigning at the end of his term, before the new maps take effect, so that leaves us with 9 incumbents for 9 Districts.

Will the changes proposed by Redistricting create enough interest to attract serious challengers?