Re-Districting: What it Means for Weston
The Owl subscibes to a Lincoln listserv that has become a-fluttter about legislative re-districting, and what it means for their town. It seems that it has been proposed that Lincoln leave its current district where it hangs out with Waltham, and invade our district, the 14th Norfolk Battalion, whoops, no, 14th Norfolk District. While the Owl thinks Lincoln has a lot more in common with at least northern Weston than with Waltham, we will have to leave that discussion to the Minute Men and Women to our north.
To bone up on your US legislative process (and mine too), I took a little look at Ballotpedia–which does indeed exist. Re-districting is defined there as “the process by which new congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn. Each of Massachusetts’ nine United States Representatives and 200 state legislators are elected from political divisions called districts. United States Senators are not elected by districts, but by the states at large. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States census. The federal government stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.”
For your further reading pleasure, here is the link to the Owl report on the 2020 Census for Weston.
Current State House district map:
The “We-s” of Weston and and Wellesley currently have a chunk of Wayland, which made for nice alliteration, and apparently the new folks at the state offices are not in favor of such thing. Personally, I am totally in favor of booting Wayland after they keep crushing our soccer team. No, I’m kidding. We have a lot in common with Wayland–though we do with Lincoln too.
In case you have forgotten, we are represented by Alice Peisch, who you occasionally see around with open office hours or on a zoom call. She’s a Wellesley resident and we are okay with that. She’s also the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, a Democrat, and a Smith alum, for whatever that is relevant to this post.
New House map:
I really don’t understand why we keep chopping up towns. Like, say, Wayland. Also, Lincoln has one precinct heading north to Peach-Colored District. Weird. I would say that the smallish voice of a smallish town gets more than a little lost when it is split. Again, my political reporter is on leave so I can’t tell you what it all means, only that the budget for color slides seems to be improving at the State House.
Weston is currently represented by Mike Barrett, who is a Democrat and who also the Senate Assistant Majority Leader. Do we not have Whips in Massachusetts? Must brush up on my state information. Mr. Barrett currently represents Third Middlesex which includes the city of Waltham and the towns of Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington, precincts 3, 8 and 9, Lincoln, Sudbury, precincts 1, 4 and 5, and Weston.
New Senate District
Again, Weston sees no change. Everyone wants to hang out with us. The proposed Senate district would include Chelmsford, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston and a portion of Lexington. I’m telling you if the Brits ever get all crazy about invading again, we are in a very very good place with these Revolutionary rock stars. Also I am happy to see those Bedford Buccaneers go–I think they smushed us in the last soccer game, and maybe we can re-league them as well as re-district. I must talk with our Athletic Director, Mike McGrath about this. He loves my emails.
All of these maps and the biographies of legislators are available on the official Massachusetts State Government page here. My guess is that two people will go look at any of this. Looks like no change really for us–just some new pals in the District pond.
By the way, in the off chance that this set-up completely inflames you, it seems there is still time for commentary. There is an online hearing scheduled of the Joint Committee for Redistricting on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 1 pm. Here is the link to find out more. In addition, the Committee will accept public comment on the proposed Districts until 5 pm on October 18, 2021. Please submit any comment here.