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:
- Avoid the over-concentration of protected groups in any district.
- Provide reasonable opportunities for voters of protected groups to achieve proportionality in representation on the Boston City Council.
- 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.