House Passes Order on Special Joint Committee on Redistricting
(BOSTON) – State Representative Christopher M. Markey (D-Dartmouth) yesterday joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in voting to continue an order passed on March 5, 2009 to establish a Special Joint Committee on Redistricting.
“With plans for unprecedented transparency, I believe the Special Joint Committee will proceed in an inclusive manner that will earn the people’s trust in the redistricting process,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “The task of redistricting affects folks all across our state. Through an open process, the Special Joint Committee will work closely with the people of Massachusetts to redraw district boundaries.”
“The Massachusetts Constitution gives the task of redistricting to the legislature,” said Representative Michael Moran, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws. “I for one take this roll very seriously. This Committee will actively encourage participation in the redistricting process by federal, state, and municipal officials, public interest groups, and any concerned citizens. The drawing of new district boundaries will not begin until we hear from all those who want to contribute to the process and we learn from their opinions.”
Representative Markey, who represents the Ninth Bristol District encompassing all of Dartmouth and parts of New Bedford, Freetown, and Lakeville, said, “We are certain that, through this process, everyone’s voice will be heard. At the end of the day, this Special Joint Committee is another great example of the government reform currently underway. The people of the Commonwealth can be assured that reform is happening and that this particular process will be open to all.”
The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting will solicit testimony at a minimum of 12 hearings throughout the Commonwealth. The Committee will also host a website to provide redistricting information to the public, publicize the hearing and meeting schedule, and provide a means to contact the Committee to submit questions, comments, or materials.
The 2010 Census resulted in Massachusetts losing one congressional seat, forcing the state legislature to divide the state into new congressional districts. Due to changes in population, the redistricting effort will also alter state House and Senate districts.