Read the full report HERE.
Through grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy by the Drawing Democracy Coalition, we pushed the legislature to create 33 opportunity districts in the House (up from 20 drawn in 2011) and 6 in the Senate (up from 3). Four of those House Districts were drawn without an incumbent (11th Plymouth in Brockton, 11th Suffolk in Chelsea and Everett, 4th Essex in Lawrence and Methuen, 6th Middlesex in Framingham), and one Senate District was drawn to be majority Latinx (First Essex).
On the eve of the primary election in September 2022, we celebrate a 25% increase in the number of candidates of color who seek office in opportunity districts.
In the 5 new districts drawn without an incumbent, 13 out of 15 candidates are people of color, virtually guaranteeing increases in representation of people of color in the statehouse in the next legislative session. These incumbent-free new opportunity districts are a fresh chance for voters of color to elect candidates of choice. The new incumbent-free districts are:
11th Plymouth House District in Brockton
11th Suffolk House District in Chelsea and Everett
4th Essex House District in Lawrence and Methuen
6th Middlesex District in Framingham
First Essex Senate District in Lawrence, Haverhill, and Methuen
Natalia Restrepo, the Civic Engagement Organizer at Chelsea-based La Colaborativa, says, “For La Colaborativa it has always been more than just a seat, it’s always been a fight to have Chelsea’s voice at the state house! The new 11th Suffolk District seat is an opportunity for our families to finally have a voice for the unique challenges we face as a low income, diverse, sanctuary city. It’s a step in the direction of equity!”