BOSTON (10/27/2021) – Today, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate to pass S.2560, An Act establishing senatorial districts. This bill, and the redistricting map it describes, redraws the Commonwealth’s 40 senatorial districts based on statewide population shifts and data from the 2020 census. The new map doubles the number of majority-minority Senate districts, from three to six, and will be in effect until the next redistricting cycle following the decennial census in 2030.
Under S.2560, the 4th Middlesex district, represented by Senator Friedman since July of 2017, remains composed of the same city and towns: Woburn, Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, and precincts 1, 2, and 4-7 in Lexington. However, Lexington constituents living in the 4th Middlesex district may change slightly due to shifts in precincts determined at the municipal level.
“I am proud of the Senate’s redistricting plan – it does an excellent job of promoting more civic engagement through equitable representation,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I am equally proud that our 4th Middlesex district will remain largely unchanged. It has been an honor to serve and work with the residents of the district since 2017, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to represent these great communities and their residents in the Senate.”
The new Senate district map was the result of months of work that involved broad public input. The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting held 19 public hearings, including hearings in nine different languages. The Committee also conducted numerous meetings with advocates and legislators and maintained a website with case law, statistics, and ultimately, draft and final maps.
During its work, the Special Joint Committee carefully identified and sought to meet its legal obligations under the Equal Protection Clause, the Voting Rights Act, and other relevant law. It also followed traditional redistricting principals, with an emphasis on keeping municipalities whole. In a move hailed by Massachusetts municipalities, the new Senate map reduces the number of towns and cities split between two or more Senate districts from 21 to 11.
The new Senate map also increases majority-minority representation throughout the Commonwealth, including the strengthening of a Black ‘ability-to-elect’ district in Boston and the creation of a Hispanic ‘ability-to-elect’ district in the Merrimack Valley. The new map includes the creation, strengthening, or preservation of four ‘opportunity-to-elect’ districts in the Chelsea area, the Brockton area, Springfield, and Boston.
The Senate bill will now go the House of Representatives for approval. Complete details of the Senate map can be found at malegislature.gov/redistricting.