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Could Roslindale, long carved up among legislative districts, finally get its own state rep?

Mike Freedberg reports that based on its fast growing population, Boston could be in line to pick up two new state-rep districts in redistricting after the 2020 census.

He says it's past time that Roslindale - which is traditionally the place where district lines go to die - should get to make up the largest piece of a one of those new seats. And as long as he's doling out a district to the neighborhood, he lists several possible candidates for the new seat.

Currently, Roslindale is split between three state representatives - Russell Holmes, Angelo Scaccia and Liz Malia (it is also split between two state-senate districts, two congressional districts and three city-council districts).

One possible reason Roslindale might not get its first state rep since Marc Draisen left in 1995: Much of Boston's population increase has come from new development, but Roslindale has been one of the turtles of Boston neighborhood development - even West Roxbury has seen more growth. Freedberg says that based on projections, each new district will need about 44,000 residents. Roslindale could very well fall well below that.

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We should also remember that Chelsea will most likely have the 44k to be able to host our own seat.Other non Boston communities may have had similar shifts, especially in areas where maybe those communities have built faster than their Boston counterparts across the city line.

The argument is going to be made to the State House that our city is not physically or culturally connected to Charlestown and has increased in our own resident count.

As an independent city it is very important that we be allowed to have a seat we have a better chance of getting someone from 02150 into in the future. We love our current State Rep but we also would love to have a unified district when it comes to elections. Although if a city like Chelsea was to snag its own seat that would mean the Charlestown seat would need to absorb from somewhere else. When you add up all those border swaps all around Boston you could in theory see those two extra seats vanish or depending on what the map looks like on the South Shore they could in theory lose a seat too if enough neighboring towns put on extra residents as compared to their adjacent Boston neigberhoods.

In that vein I would implore the State House and powers that be take into account overall growth for the past decade and reward those communities that took on extra residents. NIMBY sentiment is so high right now and communities that have engaged more to take on the housing crisis have residents that feel like they have not seen the benefit. Since many neighberhoods and cities fight every proposal some communities may have lost residents or not grown. If the State House stood up during this process and gave a weighted preference by zip code that would send a powerful message to other communities. Either help ease the housing burden or lose your political power. I say by zip code because large communities like Boston have some neighberhoods that have exploded (like East Boston and Dorchester) and other that have not, those that have taken on the extra residents should be shown more favorability in the process.

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Nika Elugardo also represents part of Roslindale.

This stuff is so confusing. How do we get anything done in city government around here? Might be a topic for another informative adamg explanation post. Sample title: "Precincts and Districts and Wards, Oh My!"

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How do we get anything done?

Simple. The mayor makes a decision and it gets done. On rare occasion, when necessary, the city council rubberstamps it and he throws them a bone like repaving a street or new playground equipment.

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Roslindale is carved up among four or five state reps (Rep. Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury also represents a piece of Roslindale), and three district city councilors (McCarthy, O'Malley, Campbell). Elected officials from other neighborhoods forget about Roslindale precincts and ignore Roslindale concerns when parts of Roslindale represent such small slivers of their territory. (Why waste political capital on an afterthought when the heart of your district lies elsewhere?)

During redistricting in 2001 and 2011, elected officials carved up Roslindale the way Stalin and Churchill carved up Eastern Europe after WWII, because Roslindale had no resident in elected office to speak up for the community. Now, Roslindale resident Michelle Wu has an opportunity to right that wrong when redistricting comes up again after the 2020 census.

It's also time to acknowledge that racial gerrymandering is not necessary to get minority candidates elected to local offices in Boston. The recent city election proves that the way to get minority candidates elected locally is to run strong minority candidates and strong campaigns. It's time to stop the racial gerrymandering at Roslindale's expense and make Roslindale whole again.

Roslindale is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Boston and should not be split apart just to give a few white precincts to white elected officials from other neighborhoods and a few black precincts to black elected officials from other neighborhoods. A multiracial Roslindale district would make for more inclusive politics in Boston, spawning candidates who can appeal to all races and not just their own tribe.

Roslindale remains a community without a voice of its own and deserves better.

It's also time to acknowledge that racial gerrymandering is not necessary to get minority candidates elected to local offices in Boston. The recent city election proves that the way to get minority candidates elected locally is to run strong minority candidates and strong campaigns. It's time to stop the racial gerrymandering at Roslindale's expense and make Roslindale whole again.

Roslindale is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Boston and should not be split apart just to give a few white precincts to white elected officials from other neighborhoods and a few black precincts to black elected officials from other neighborhoods. A multiracial Roslindale district would make for more inclusive politics in Boston, spawning candidates who can appeal to all races and not just their own tribe.

There's a whole lot of privilege and assumptions packed into these paragraphs. Yikes.

Part of Roslindale is in the 10th Suffolk district, with Ed Coppinger as the rep

Nika Elugardo also represents part of Roslindale, so that's at least four state rep districts under the current scheme.