District 4 City Councilor Charles Yancey said he was upset that three of his colleagues met on Sunday morning to create a redistricting map he feels cuts up the district he represents. During Wednesday's Boston City Council meeting, Yancey said he'd welcome an invitation next time.
The council is struggling to draw redistricting maps that will pass Mayor Thomas Menino's concerns about residents of color being unfairly concentrated. Menino has vetoed two of council's maps already.
Yancey, who offered his own redistricting map at the meeting (attached map), provoked District 5 City Councilor Rob Consalvo to retort that Yancey didn't invite him to discuss Yancey's redistricting map. Consalvo added he hasn't been involved in many discussions that cut up District 5, which added he didn't expect to be invited, too.
Along with Yancey's map, Consalvo and District Councilors Matt O'Malley and Frank Baker, presented a map. The map they created on Sunday morning while working together at City Hall (and received legal clearance to do so to make sure they weren't violating open meeting laws).
Consalvo said two things have been made clear about the vetoed maps: a new map must unpack District 4; and create more opportunities for people of protected status to have a greater chance of electing candidates. Consalvo referenced a recent meeting with city lawyers and the two letters from Mayor Thomas Menino vetoing two previous maps, as to what guided their map.
Consalvo said the map he and his colleauges put forward offers a greater chance of "blacks and African-Americans to increase their ability to choose a candidate..."
"Roslindale and Dorchester gets split a little bit, as does Hyde Park, but as best as we can keep neighborhoods whole. Mattapan gets reunited with communities it was cut off from 10 years ago, but in District 5 (not 4). There is no way to do it without every neighborhood suffering a bit," added Consalvo.
(For full details of proposed ward changes please see the attached maps and ordinances for both Yancey and the Consalov/Baker/O'Malley maps.)
Said Consalvo, "I lose and gain communities." He added that District 4 moves down to 64 percent people of color, not in the 70s; and that District 5, which he represents, would be 70 percent people of color.
Yancey said he feels there is a mission "to carve up District" which he added seems to be "the passion in city government." He added there's no law that says Mattapan must be divided, as he seeks to have the neighborhood in one district. Yancey said he's pushed for nine equally populated districts, and his proposed map has a 3.6 percent variance of population. He added many others maps have a higher variance of population in districts.
And after the back and forth between Consalvo and Yancey, Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley quipped, "A tremendous warmup for tonight’s presidential debate," before speaking about redistricting.
Both maps were referred to the Committee on Census and Redistricting.
The city has until November to approve a new Boston City Council redistricting map as mandated by federal law. Statistics are based upon the 2010 US Census.