Cape and Islands residents will have an opportunity to testify about upcoming electoral redistricting plans without having to travel over the bridges.
The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting, charged with creating new political boundaries that will reduce the number of Massachusetts Congressional seats from 10 to 9, while altering at least some Massachusetts House and Senate districts, will convene for public comment on Monday, June 27, beginning at 6 pm, at Cape Cod Community College.
Committee members includes Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) and Representative Demitrius Atsalis (D-Barnstable), both of whom are pleased that the committee is coming to the Cape.
“As a member of the committee, I’d like to commend the co-Chairs, Senator Stanley Rosenberg and Representative Michael Moran, for making sure citizens from the Cape and Islands have an opportunity to attend a local redistricting hearing and testify in person,” said Wolf. “This is an important step in making sure our process is inclusive, and transparent.”
“Given the new census figures, it seems certain that there will be some changes in the boundaries of districts in our region,” added Atsalis. “And so it’s very important to have a hearing here, and share the wisdom of people who understand our communities best.”
The committee has confirmed plans for 13 hearings around the state, several of which have already been held. The meeting on Cape Cod will be one of the last regional opportunities to testify.
In Massachusetts, the state legislature is responsible for drawing district lines for state as well as federal elections. Redistricting takes place every 10 years, based on population changes documented by the United States census. New districts will take effect in the 2012 election cycle.
The committee recently unveiled an extensive and interactive website which includes everything from historical information to schedules of upcoming events, census data, district maps, and contact information for all committee members. Visit it at http://www.malegislature.gov/District
Senator Wolf and his staff can be reached at the State House at 617-722-1570. Staff on the Cape can be reached at 508-775-0162. The Senator also can be contacted via his constituent website, senatordanwolf.com.
State Senator Dan Wolf represents the Cape & Islands District, which includes Barnstable, precincts 1 to 9, inclusive, and 13, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet and Yarmouth, in the county of Barnstable; Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury, in the county of Dukes County; and Nantucket, in the county of Nantucket.