District Changes: Rep. Ryan Could Lose Chelsea; Gain Parts of Everett and Cambridge in New House Map

The new redistricting map approved by the House has Chelsea being taken out of Rep. Dan Ryan’s district. While Ryan would lose Chelsea he would gain two precincts in Everett and precincts in East Cambridge and Cambridgeport.

House Bill 4210, An Act relative to establishing representative districts in the General Court, was given initial approval on a vote of 158-1 in the House late last week. The bill now moves to the Senate for approval before it can be sent to Governor Charlie Baker for his review and signature.

Ryan’s loss of Chelsea is an effort by the legislature to create a minority majority district for Chelsea voters following the 2020 US Census. A new state representative district will be created in Chelsea and take effect for the 2022 state elections if signed by Baker.

The new state representative district in Chelsea will be the 11th Suffolk and will be incumbent free for the 2022 election.

The change and creation of the 11 Suffolk district reflects the population changes identified by the 2020 U.S. Census. Legislators are required to redraw the districts every 10 years based on the Census results to ensure a roughly equal number of people reside in each district. With Massachusetts’ population increasing to 7,029,917, the size of each Representative’s district has grown to 43,937 compared to 40,923 in 2011, the last year the maps were redrawn.

New district boundaries for the House of Representatives are being set now in advance of a November 8 deadline because House candidates must reside in their district for one year prior to their election. New district maps for the Massachusetts Senate, Governor’s Council, and Congress will be finalized in the coming weeks, as candidates for these offices are not subject to the same one-year residency requirement.

Members of the Joint Special Committee on Redistricting held 20 hearings and created a website to solicit input from the public on the new House district maps. The committee took those comments into consideration when filing its final recommendations on October 19, noting that it worked to ensure that the new districts “comply with all constitutional and legal requirements,” including prior federal decisions and rulings issued by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

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