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Redistricting plan needed for black community

Kevin C. Peterson | 10/31/2012, 7:49 a.m.
Unless something dramatic occurs over the next week, the Boston...

A map presented by City Councillor Charles Yancey does this precisely by providing a fifth district of color while also reordering District 3 in Dorchester and District 5 in Hyde Park so that they have higher percentages of people of color.  The Yancey map will also call for immediate district change and not depend on years of waiting and voter mobilization to defeat an incumbent.

Furthermore, by organizing people of color in districts where they are most organized as voters and not subject to domination by strong and highly active white voting blocs, the conditions for electing the first black mayor of Boston is set in place.  The redistricting plan articulated by the Boston City Council and the NAACP maintains the status quo and keeps communities of color divided.

In 1983, city charter reform resulted in the creation of districts so that more minorities could be represented on the Boston City Council. Those effects have not been achieved because of failed redistricting efforts that have kept the city council disproportionately white and male.

Change is needed. Support for five districts over four districts is the only pathway to achieve these important progressive results.


Kevin C. Peterson is executive director of The New Democracy Coalition, which focuses on civic policy, civic literacy and electoral justice.