U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano will retain East Boston in his district, which will now be the 7th Congressional District under the new redistricting plan released this week by the Massachusetts House’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting.
Capuano will pick up the working class city of Everett, Milton and Randolph but lose the North End, parts of Jamaica Plain and half of Cambridge—three Capuano strongholds.
“I did not want to lose an inch of my district,” admitted Capuano during a phone interview Monday. “But I understand why this has to be done. I would have gladly added the new cities and towns to my district but would have liked to retain North Jamaica Plain and Cambridge.”
Capuano will take over Everett from Congressman Ed Markey but said it’s a place similar to Somerville, Chelsea and Eastie so it makes a lot of sense that it would be moved into the 7th Congressional.
“I know Everett very well and have a lot of good friends there,” said Capuano. “It’s a working class city with a diverse population like East Boston and Somerville so I look forward to working there on many of the same issues residents in other parts of my district face.”
There were some rumors floating that Capuano might lose Eastie to Markey or gain Revere and Winthrop and hold onto Eastie. In the end he said he was glad the neighborhood remained in his district.
“We have done a lot of work in Eastie with airport mitigation, federally funded construction projects like the new bypass road and health center so I’m glad East Boston remains in the district,” he said.
As far as making inroads in the newly added parts of his district Capuano said he will do what he has always done and that is be a visible Congressman.
“We will get out into those communities right away and let the people there know they have a voice and are well represented in Washington,” he said.
While the new redistricting map is a preliminary plan and may change, the chair of the committee, Representative Michael Moran posted a letter to the citizens of the state on the Redistricting website asking for public comment on the draft plan – the first time this has ever been done in Massachusetts.
“We believe that the draft Congressional maps incorporate many of the ideas presented to the Committee during the thirty-one hours of testimony given by over 400 groups and individuals at 13 public hearings and the 120 comments that people submitted through our website,” said Moran. “We now ask for your help again. Please give us your comments and suggestions on the draft districts maps for the United States House of Representatives. We will evaluate your proposals over the next three days before the Committee makes a recommendation to the General Court. A public comment period on the draft Congressional maps is the first time this has been done in Massachusetts. This is an important component in what many have described as the most open, inclusive, and transparent redistricting process in the history of the state.”
The public is invited to view and comment on the draft Congressional maps on the Committee website (www.malegislature.gov/redistricting).