By Ling-Mei Wong
Boston’s new redistricting map highlights growing pains in a vibrantly diverse city. The map was passed 11-2 on Oct. 31, the final deadline for the city council to have a map ready for the mayor’s approval a year before the city election in 2013.
The nine new districts reflect Boston’s changing demographics. District 2 grew to 75,000 people in 2010 from 60,000 people in 2002. To distribute people evenly between districts, District 2 lost four precincts or roughly 10,000 people in the South End, while gaining the Financial District in the north.
“District 2, which is my district, had to downsize due to population growth,” said Bill Linehan, City Councilor for District 2. “My district grew to 75,000 people and I tried to fairly distribute parts of my district to add more diversity to my neighboring councilors.”
With several high-rise projects underway in Chinatown, the population is expected to increase from 8,557 people in the 2010 census. Asian American voters represent 15.1 percent of District 2, the densest concentration of Asians in the nine districts.
Districts 4 and 5 experienced the greatest changes in terms of minority representation. District 5 covers Hyde Park and gained four Mattapan precincts from District 4, making it more diverse. African American voters represent 62.6 percent of District 4 and make up 46.3 percent of District 5, indicating the two highest African American populations in Boston’s districts.
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