The Boston City Council voted 11-2 last week to support a third redistricting map that will most likely be signed by Mayor Thomas Menino in the next few days. The new map removes City Councilor Sal LaMattina from Beacon Hill and ads Councilor Bill Linehan. Linehan and Councilor Mike Ross will now represent Beacon Hill.
The North End, East Boston and Charlestown will remain in LaMattina’s district after Menino vetoed two previous maps in September.
However, LaMattina lost Beacon Hill Ward 3, Precincts 3 through 6 as well as Downtown Crossing and the Financial District to Linehan.
The new map offered by City Councilor Tito Jackson focused mainly on precincts in Mattapan and other minority communities.
The last map offered by Jackson and City Councilor Matt O’Malley that was vetoed by the Mayor in September also had LaMattina losing Beacon Hill Ward 3, Precincts 3 through 6. Under that plan Linehan and Ross would have shared Beacon Hill. This is what ultimately happened last week when the Council voted to accept the new redistricting map.
“In the end we voted on a fair redistricting plan,” said LaMattina.
Since the beginning of the process LaMattina didn’t hide his desire to keep his district intact.
“I’m glad we were able to keep a lot of districts the same while expanding voting districts for minority communities,” said LaMattina. “I’m a little disappointed I lost Beacon Hill, Downtown crossing and the Financial District because I really enjoyed representing these areas. There was always a lot going on with development and education in these areas and a lot of challenges I was hoping to continue to tackle. I do believe Councilors Ross and Linehan will ensure that Beacon Hill is well represented.”
Menino for his part agreed that the previous plans did not do enough to remove roadblocks for voters in minority neighborhoods and said the earlier maps limited minority groups from electing candidates of their choice.