Massachusetts State Treasurer and Independent candidate for Governor Tim Cahill today announced he would create an independent redistricting commission next legislative session if elected. There have been numerous proposals in Massachusetts that have aimed to achieve such a goal, yet all have failed.
“This particular redistricting cycle is more important than ever and should be more transparent than ever. The unfair practice of gerrymandering is not necessarily an appealing topic, but someone has to address it. As an independent, I have a unique opportunity to bring both sides of the aisle together to finally reach an unbiased solution,” said Cahill.
When the United States Census comes back, Massachusetts will be at risk for losing a Congressional House seat. Estimates reveal that if Congressional districts were redrawn based on 2009 population data, Massachusetts would fall more than 70,000 people short in order to retain its 10-member House delegation.
“It is time to put the partisan politics aside and restore the people’s voice in government, said Cahill. I have always advocated for considering the best ideas regardless of party affiliation to allow our government to serve its citizens most effectively. Voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.”
The current redistricting committee agreed upon by the Legislature during the last legislative session is overwhelmingly Democratic, with 23 Democrats and 5 Republicans. The entire committee is chosen by the Senate President and Speaker of the House.
Cahill’s independent redistricting proposal would be comprised of nine members who would be chosen by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It will create a plan using single-member districts, with boundaries conforming to existing geographic borders of a county, city, or town. The Commission will be prohibited from using party registration information during the redistricting process in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1969, and the Legislature will have two opportunities to approve the final plan.
Tagged with: Tim Cahill