City Councilor Erin Murphy Calls for Transparency and Language Access Around Council’s Redistricting Process
“The lack of transparency throughout this whole process has been unsettling.” Said Councilor Murphy. “Redistricting is the most important thing we will do as the legislative body of the City, and this process has been rushed. The focus has been on getting it done rather than on getting it right.
The Boston City Council finally received the Committee Report from Councilor Liz Breadon, Chair of the Redistricting Committee, after several requests from Council colleagues, and the public, asking to see what changes she made to the map that she was ready to ask for a vote on the Council floor at the last meeting. The vote was delayed last week only because of several Open Meeting Law Violations and Freedom of Information Act requests that were filed from different community groups across the city. The Chair is planning on calling for a vote at the Council meeting tomorrow, despite substantial push back.
As an At-Large City Councilor, I proudly represent every Ward and Precinct across the City. Redistricting may not directly affect me as a candidate, but it does as a resident of the City of Boston and voter in Ward 16. Despite a directive from counsel, and the principals the City Council adopted, to make the least changes necessary and maintain existing district boundaries, this map does just the opposite. It divides the Boston Housing Authority development of South Boston and unnecessarily rips apart the neighborhoods of Neponset, Adams Corner and Port Norfolk, just to name a few.
“There has been a lack of feedback from our communities during this process. The Council should have offered more public hearings in several neighborhoods across the City, especially in those communities that will be disrupted the most by these changes,” Councilor Murphy voiced. “The priority has been on a rush to submit a map to the Mayor, not on including all communities of interest in this process, which has left our constituents confused and frustrated with the lack of transparency, accountability and equity in language access. I have heard from several people, and communities, that feel they have been shut out of this process and that despite their concerns being shared to the Chair, they are being ignored.”
Councilor Murphy emphasizes, “As a Council, I do not want us to be in court because we rushed a map. This new map will affect political power in Boston for decades to come, so we must get it right for our communities, constituents, and future generations. It is our responsibility as public servants.”