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Update: Redistricting

Hey there, we wanted to provide you an update on the redistricting process.

On Monday, April 26, the US Census Bureau released their reapportionment data. This data detailed the total population for each individual state, as well as the number of seats each state will receive in the House of Representatives during the next decade. The news was great for Massachusetts: our population, according to the 2020 Census, rose to 7,029,917. That's a 7.4% increase from our population in 2010, which stood at around 6.5 million. Our population grew at the highest rate in New England, and matched the national growth rate. As a result, we'll keep all nine of our Congressional seats, maintaining our state's power and influence in Washington, DC.

However, this is only the first batch of data that we'll receive from the Census Bureau. By September 30, the Bureau will release their precinct-level data. This data is the most critical in the redistricting process, as it details the demographic makeup of each precinct in Massachusetts. Using this information, the state legislature's Special Joint Committee on Redistricting will redraw the 160 state House of Representative districts, 40 state Senate districts, and eight Governor's Council districts to ensure that residents are fairly represented over the next 10 years. Beginning in 2022, cities and towns across the state will take up this effort in redrawing their precinct lines, impacting how their own city council and school committee districts will look.

The state must not merely use this data to draw districts. Instead, it must use this data to draw the most equitable and representative districts possible. This means drawing as many majority-BIPOC and heavily-BIPOC districts as the data allows for. According to recent research, around 25 House districts are majority-BIPOC, as are four Senate districts. Many more districts aren't majority-BIPOC, but they're growing rapidly and will likely meet that threshold in the coming years. We testified to the redistricting committee on this very issue earlier this month, and will continue to advocate for it through the following months. We believe it essential that our underrepresented communities receive the representation they deserve.

Want to join us in this effort? Over the next few months, the redistricting committee will hold a hearing in each of the state's nine congressional districts. There, residents may speak about why redistricting matters to them, as well as how they hope to be represented on Beacon Hill and in Washington, DC. The first of these hearings will take place on Tuesday, May 4 for the state's fifth congressional district. Congressional District 5, which is currently filled by Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark, includes communities like Framingham, Cambridge, and Revere. You can learn more about the hearing, such as how to provide testimony, here. If you have any questions or concerns, we'd be happy to aid you in this effort. Additionally, we'll update you with the dates of each redistricting hearing as we receive them.

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