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Sanon looking at yet another rematch with McCarthy in Boston's southern reaches

The Herald reports Jean-Claude Sanon is gearing up for his third try for the District 5 City Council seat (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale) held by Tim McCarthy.

Sanon, who lost to McCarthy in 2013 and 2015, says he has gained inspiration from the example of Donald Trump, whom few experts expected to win last fall.

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Review the Boundaries of Boston Precincts!

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Am I shouting!?

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sadly, the stenographic record doesn't capture that kind of inflection.

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Review the need for the current amount of councilors.

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Are you going to quiz us on them later?

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and snob zoning; why are Boston, Brookline, Newton, Cambridge, Somerville,Quincy all separate municipalities and different counties even though they're right on top of each other? Hell, Boston practically completely surrounds Brookline yet both are different counties and congressional districts don't overlap.

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Unlike other states, Massachusetts has a strong tradition of home rule - cities can't just snap up surrounding suburbs without their permission. So in 1874 or thereabouts, the town of West Roxbury (which included Jamaica Plain and Roslindale) voted to join the city of Boston while the town of Brookline voted against (and that's why Brookline is separated from the rest of Norfolk County - it used to be connected via West Roxbury).

Perhaps it has led to certain inefficiencies in government (like we have 351 cities and towns and each has its own police and fire departments, even if the populations of some of those towns could fit in a couple of school buses, but then again, the MDC, which was set up to counter some of those inefficiencies, wound up a mess in its later years). But there's nothing sinister about it and it retains our somewhat unique commitment to local self governance (even today, Brookline is still run by a town meeting - granted, now an elected one rather than a body open to every voting resident in town).

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Doesn't explain the obviously gerrymandered congressional districts, #4 in which Brookline is a part of, is a particularly egregious example.

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This isn't North Carolina or Texas. Yeah, there are some odd looking things in the Boston area, but it's not to give one party dominance over another (given that we were already basically a one-party state, but that's another topic).

There are two main things going on in the map drawn to account for the fact we lost a congressional seat in 2010: One is that, historically, Brookline and Newton have been in the same congressional district. That makes sense: Brookline and Newton probably have a lot more in common with each other than the neighboring bits of Boston. No, they don't have much in common with Fall River, but again, historically, that district has long stretched down there (the town that keeps getting moved around is Framingham - it seems to shift congressmen or women every 10 years).

The other is that the legislature wanted to create a district where, based strictly on demographics, a minority candidate might have a better chance. So District 7 (Capuano's district) was redrawn to incorporate more heavily minority precincts, even if that means places such as Roslindale (which is always where legislative district lines go to die anyway) and Milton get split in two. That obviously had implications for neighboring districts - especially in Lynch's District 8.

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I give the MA Legislature no credit for anything that isn't self-dealing so I don't really buy your point that because a district has historically been poorly drawn up it is somehow ok. You don't think the 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th are a mess?

Mind you this is a huge, huge national problem which hopefully Obama and Holder will improve (as is their intent) but the fact that the library and the Village Market are in different congressional districts is just totally absurd.

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No, I don't have a problem.

Is it perfect? No. Does it rise to the level of federal lawsuits? No.

But I'm curious. Other than the fact that there are some oddly shaped districts in the Boston area (even if nothing as odd as what you see in some other states), what is your objection? Is there some horrible thing going on that I'm not aware of?

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But explain Lynch's and Capuanos district as something other than diluting minortity voting power in Boston in favor of Southie and 'coastal' Dot and the union towns of the South Shore?

Why not do better? We can't fight NC district battles here but we can provide leadership through better governance.

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Capuano's district is designed so that "minority" voters have the ultimate voice in selecting the member of Congress. Capuano has the advantage of incumbency (and, though I wish I was in Lynch's district, he does an okay job) so this aspect of the district will not come up until Capuano's time is up (either through retirement or becoming an ineffective Congressman.) At that time, look to Ayanna Pressley (or maybe Tito Jackson) to be the next person to hold the seat.

To make such a seat, and let's be honest to ensure that the incumbents go back, earn seniority, and thereby are able to deliver back home, other moves have to be made. As a quirk of how residential patterns have developed in Boston, starting the district in Southie, moving down to the South Shore with Dot Ave as the Boston axis, then swinging up at Brockton to West Roxbury, allows Lynch to keep on getting reelected. Split Boston another way and there's less chance of getting a Black or Latino elected (going on the racist by mostly true theory that white people tend to not vote for Black or Latino candidates.)

So, Lynch gets Southie, the east side of Dorchester, West Roxbury and Roslindale to the west of Washington Street while Capuano gets the rest.

It's total gerrymandering, but it is also totally legal.

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Why doesn't Census data define more precisely the boundaries of, for example, Boston Precincts?

Reading through Chapter 10 Redistricting in Massachusetts
of Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance, and Lobbying Law 4th Edition 2016
it's a question given the advancements in software that will process the Census data for setting accurate Precincts' boundaries
http://www.worldcat.org/title/massachusetts-election-administration-camp...

Federal census data uses “blocks” for population purposes. On the Census Bureau’s website, you can view the census blocks for any municipality. After the decennial federal census results are provided by block, cities and towns draw new precincts using those block boundaries.

Unfortunately Boston is the worst possible example to use since they are exempt from drawing new precinct lines so their existing precinct lines may not follow precisely the block lines.

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Compiling documents in the matter of Boston Wards and Precincts Boundaries
http://bostonwardsprecincts.blogspot.com

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But since you bring up precincts, the City Council will be reviewing the issue this year. They aren't looking at redrawing precinct lines, which would be a long and laborious process and might get messy where redrawing them might conflict with existing legislative district lines, but instead plan to identify precincts that have gotten fat and sassy and then look at creating sort of sub-precincts (so instead of just precinct 18, you might have 18-1 and 18-2), which would achieve the main goal of reducing overcrowding at the polls in large precincts.

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Wards and Precincts go by population, and there has been a population shift in some parts of the city which is why the City Council will be looking at the methods and formulas and boundaries.

The Wards and Precincts are used for several city items including your water bill (they need to know the ward), ISD (because there are several Washington Streets and other duplicates), Trash collection (defines day of the week), and City Council districts are also tied to this.

However, higher legislation is also tied to these areas as well for state representative and state senator and US Congress.

Redistricting in 2010 did shift some fo these boundaries and as a result some city council district lines did in fact shift. For example a decent section of Tim McCarthy's district (5) and a piece of Matt O'Malley's (6) on the edge of Roslindale shifted to Charles Yancey who was then councilor for Dist 4.

In my area I kept my city councilor, but my state rep and US Congressman changed.

Given that was just done, any study would not be enacted for some years to come. I believe that they only take a serious look every 10-years. If that is the case, we'd not expect another shift until 2020.

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In Boston, those haven't changed in decades.

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There have been some minor adjustments over the years, I am not sure why, but there were. Ward 22, precinct 7 took a street from 22-4, and there were some other adjustments to other precincts at the same time. That was in 1994 (yah, I pay way too much attention to this stuff.)

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I live in Ward 18. The people across the street live in Ward 19. Our trash is collected on the same day (the line between pickups is a few blocks away, and in the middle of a precinct). Our water rates are the same. Our base insurance rates are the same (goes by zip code, so parts of 3 wards get charged the same). Public Works (they keep track of the streets, not ISD, though ISD notes it on permits) doesn't care about wards or precincts. The only time it matters is for elections or whatever it is thezak cares about these things for.

So long as each State Senate, State Rep, Congressional, and City Council seat has roughly the same number of people and the lines aren't drawn to dilute minority voting power, the lines don't matter.

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Massachusetts does enjoy the honor of giving us the term. From Wikipedia:

The word gerrymander (originally written Gerry-mander) was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812. The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under Governor Elbridge Gerry (pronounced /ˈɡɛri/; 1744–1814). In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander.[1]
The original gerrymander, and original 1812 gerrymander cartoon, depict the Essex South state senatorial district for the legislature of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[2]

Also notable is that playing redistricting games is what booted King Finneran from his perpetual Speakership.

While preferring a Democratic majority where I live I recognize the weakness of not having good competition. If there were better competition from Republicans that might have a salutary effect upon Republicans throughout the nation. I also recognize that one party rule does not mean that there is single ideological rule. I come from a city that has been majority Democrat for decades but one of its most famous mayors would be very comfortable as a modern, ideologically conservative Republican. I believe that he was a Democrat only because he knew that a registered Republican could not win any mayoral elections.

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This is why we need top two voting on Election Day, like in CA. We'll get more people running for seats with incumbents because there is still a chance to get your name on the ballot on the day where most voters turnout.

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Szaked.....

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Someday for all the current narrative of Boundaries of Boston Electoral Precincts will be available online...

Now available by email via
https://www.boston.gov/departments/elections

Narrative vs. map. City of Boston Precinct Descriptions

__________ Examples __________
Ward Precinct
Description

Ward 1 Precinct 1
Beginning at the junction of the Harbor Line and Cottage Street Extended,
thence through the middle line of Cottage Street Extended and Cottage Street to Everett Street,

thence through the middle line of Everett Street to Lamson Street,
thence through the middle line of Lamson Street to Lamson Street Extended to Porter street ,

thence across Porter Street to roadbed of M.T.A Rapid Transit,
thence through the middle line of said roadbed to Swift Street Extended,
thence through the middle line of Swift Street Extended to Harbor Line,
thence along said Harbor Line to the point of beginning.

Ward 1 Precinct 2
Beginning at the junction of Everett Street and Orleans Street,
thence through the middle line of Orleans Street to Porter Street,
thence through the middle line of Porter Street and Porter Street Extended to Lamson Street Extended to Lamson street,

thence through the middle line of Lamson Street to Everett Street,
thence through the middle line of Everett Street to the point of beginning.
...

Ward 22 Precinct 13
Beginning at the junction of Bigelow Street and Washington Street,
thence through the middle line of Washington Street to the Newton Line,
thence along said line to the roadbed of the Boston and Albany Railroad,
thence through the middle line of said roadbed to Charlesview Street Extended,
thence through the middle line of Charlesview Street Extended and Charlesview Street to Bigelow Street,

thence through the middle line of Bigelow Street to the point of beginning.

Compare Boundaries of police districts
http://worldmap.harvard.edu/data/geonode:boston_police_districts_f55

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Have you contacted your city councilor to ask him or her to address your concerns?

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And Massachusetts Legislators' staff!

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You started it: So let's stick to Boston precinct lines, which are decided by local officials.

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If you would, please post the two documents in re
Boston Elections Department Announces Results of Comprehensive Review of Ward and Precinct Assignments
http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/Default.aspx?id=20488

Precinct Descriptions as of January 2016.pdf
Board minutes for new precinct narratives Jan 2016.pdf

Council District 5 for example...

City of Boston Precinct Descriptions as of January 2016

Ward Precinct
Description

Ward 14 Precinct 5...
...
Ward 14 Precinct 14...
...

Ward 18 Precinct 1
Beginning at the junction of Morton Street and West Selden Street,
thence through the middle line of West Selden Street to Faunce Road,
thence through the middle line of Faunce Road to Constitution Road,
thence through the middle line of Constitution Road to Dania Street,
thence through the middle line of Dania Street to Viking Terrace,
thence through the middle line of Viking Terrace to Linvale Terrace,
thence through the middle line of Linvale Terrace to Gladeside Avenue, thence through the middle line of Gladeside Avenue to the property line of the Boston Sanatorium,

thence along said line southeasterly, thence southwesterly,
thence southeasterly to River Street, thence through the middle line of River Street to Gladeside Avenue,

thence through the middle line of Gladeside Avenue and Gladeside Avenue Extended to the Neponset River,

thence through the middle line of Neponset River to a point opposite to a point opposite of the property line between 100 and 108R River Street,

thence along said property line to the property line between 100 and 108 River Street, thence along said property line to River Street,

thence through the middle line of River Street to Groveland Street, thence through the middle line of Groveland Street to Maryknoll Street,

thence through the middle line of Maryknoll Street to Morton Street,
thence through the middle line of Morton Street to the point of beginning.

Ward 18 Precinct 2...
...
Ward 18 Precinct 23...
...
Ward 19 Precinct 11...
...
Ward 19 Precinct 13...
...
Ward 20 Precinct 2, 4, 8, 9...
...

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I've met both of these guys, and they both seem decent enough. McCarthy, in my eyes, has done a good job as City Councillor, even though he finds campaigning every 2 years beneath him (of course, Angelo Scaccia, who is old enough to be his dad, can still do it.) I don't see McCarthy losing.

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1. what has McCarthy accomplished in two years? Not impressed.

2. Jean-Claude does seem like a good constituent guy in a a Rob Consalvo sort of way but is not councilor-material (IMHO).

3. Wish Virak would run for councilor but he has his eyes on Scaccia's seat; first time I ever saw Angelo campaigning in the neighborhood since Virak was nipping his heels; and the next election could bring welcome change in that seat.

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1. He's a constituent service guy, so there are a lot of little things that add up. 2 years ago one of his things was putting in a roundabout (trust me, it doesn't rise to the level of calling it a rotary) at Mypoia and Braeburn Roads in Hyde Park. I once sent him an e-mail at 11 PM. He replied at 11:10 PM (and the issue was resolved the next day.) People don't ask too much from their councilors. The at large ones need to prove more, as they represent the entire city, and it is easier to pick off one of 4 than a single person. McCarthy just needs to respond to the local folk's local needs.

2. It's a tough call. Until he does the job, we cannot judge him. Once again, the power of incumbency.

3. Yup. I never met the guy, but it was good to see him run (and I really like Scaccia.) I hope he stays active.

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1) he's fine but totally replaceable. Why not hope for better than average?
2) He was a backer of Steve Murphy so in the end probably is more interested in the access politics of his office more than, you know, improving his district.
3) He wants to have less accountability by having his term doubled.

Not a bad person but we can do better.

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