JP's legislators are making last-minutes attempts to change a redistricting proposal that makes some residents unhappy.
The state is undergoing an historic redistricting process after Census figures caused the loss of one Congressional seat.
The plan on the table would change JP's representation in Washington by splitting the neighorhood between districts now represented by Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, both Democrats.
Some residents see Lynch as too conservative for JP, and have contacted their state reps to complain, as the Gazette has reported.
As outlined in a , State Rep. Liz Malia (D-Boston) has offered an amendment to instead have all of JP in the renamed 7th District, the one now represented by Capuano. In this scenario, Charlestown would switch from what is Capuano's district to what is now Lynch's district.
State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez also has an amendment. It would solve the concern differently, by switching precincts between the renamed 7th District (the one held by Capuano) and the 4th District, now represented by Barney Frank (D). Under this proposal, Taunton and Raynham would move into the new 8th District, a seat now held by Lynch.
Sánchez said he is seeking a solution where JP can share be with a neighbor that shares its progressive values.
Malia said she supports both her amendment and that of Sánchez, whichever one can pass.
But Malia, saying prospects for her amendment are very uncertain, signalled that many JP residents might need to get ready to be in Lynch's district.
"Political discourse is made much richer when people on one side of the fence have make arguments [to those on another side]," she said in a phone interview with Patch.
Malia said that redistricting has been handled very well and is something the state can be proud off — even if some individual communities don't get everything they want.
"In the big picture, the entire package is so important and so well done," said Malia.
Both Malia and Sánchez say a top priority is to preserve a strong "majority minority" district, the new 7th.
Asked the odds of his amendment passing, Sánchez said he's working vigorously.
"I'm talking to everybody," he said. "We'll see what happens."
In the original proposal — the one before any amendments — here are the wards/precincts that would go from what is now Capuano's district to what is now Lynch's district:
Ward 11 — 9, 10
Ward 19 — Precincts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
If you don't remember your precinct, you can look it up on the city's web site: http://www.cityofboston.gov/elections/voter/
Once the State House has voted on the redistricting, the issue would go to the State Senate, where aides to State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz have said she will likely propose an amendment addressing JP being split up.
“I’ve been hearing from residents throughout Jamaica Plain about having their neighborhood divided, and also because I believe this amendment will create a better map," Chang-Díaz wrote in a statement. "The amendment furthers both the Committee’s goal of strengthening the state’s only majority-minority district and its goal of keeping together communities with shared interests. And importantly, it does not break the Committee’s legal guideline of having zero difference in the total population of each congressional district.”
Chang-Díaz has been a key leader in the redistricting process, as vice chairman of the commitee that made the initial proposal.