In the Merrimack Valley: Regional Interests In Redistricting

These ten districts will be downsized in to nine districts as a result of the 2010 Census. (Note: Include Middlesex above with Essex.)

A headline in  yesterday’s MetroWest Daily News asks: ” Is there political gamesmanship in Mass. redistricting?” Redistricting in Massachusetts – and elsewhere – is always political – it’s the nature of the beast. While the historical negative of redistricting – “gerrymandering” – takes its name from the action of a Massachusetts governor back in 1812, the shaping of a legislative district toward one party or another wasn’t anything new. The “finagling” element of reapportionment carries a stain in Massachusetts politics even to the present-day. Lawmakers responsible for this current round of reshaping congressional and legislative districts talk transparency, multiple state-wide public hearings and “public process.”

Another element for consideration that interests me is a call for fairness and commonality. Commonality would seem a plus for the district I care most about – the Fifth Congressional District. Ever a target for overhaul and even elimination as seen under the Finneran regime – the Fifth has that common core that should see it expand as necessary but revolve around the common core of the Merrimack Valley.

In the MetroWest article, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas makes her point to hold the Fifth District together:

“There is a clear rationale to the Fifth District, which is connected by its urban areas, the rivers that run through it, and by the shared geography and history of the district’s cities and towns – most of which have been part of this district for decades,” Tsongas said. “Accordingly, I will make the case to the Legislature and Gov. Patrick that the current configuration of the Fifth District should be maintained to the greatest extent possible.”

Read the full MetroWest article here.