Drawing Democracy Criticizes Congressional Map for Failing to Unite Fall River and New Bedford

Coalition advocated for uniting immigrant communities of Fall River and New Bedford into Ninth District

The Drawing Democracy Coalition is today criticizing the Congressional map proposed by the Redistricting Committee Co-Chairs for failing to combine Fall River and New Bedford into the same district. In response to significant feedback from community members and community organizations, the Coalition’s Unity Map proposed uniting Fall River and New Bedford in the Ninth Congressional District, thereby uniting the similar immigrant communities in the two cities and providing better opportunity for them to elect candidates of their choice.

While the map proposed by the legislature today fulfills the Coalition’s request to unite Fall River, it puts the entire city in the Fourth District and keeps New Bedford in the Ninth. As such, voters in Fall River might continue to see their voting power weakened by wealthier suburbs of Boston, like Brookline, Newton and Wellesley.

“The Coalition for Social Justice and Drawing Democracy spoke with many community members about redistricting, and we heard loud and clear that they didn’t want Fall River to be split between two Congressional Districts, and that they wanted Fall River and New Bedford to be united in the same district,” said Dax Crocker, Democracy HUB Coordinator for the Coalition for Social Justice, a Drawing Democracy Coalition Steering Committee member. “While we’re glad that the Redistricting Committee’s proposed map makes Fall River whole, it also misses a critical opportunity to better ensure that the immigrant, working-class communities of Fall River and New Bedford are united and empowered politically to elect candidates of their choice. We are incredibly disappointed that the legislature did not listen to the voices of the people of Fall River and New Bedford, and we urge them to reconsider.”

The public comment period for the Congressional map will run through Tuesday, November 9th. Comments can be submitted through the Redistricting Committee’s website. A public hearing on the map will be held on Tuesday, November 9th. The Drawing Democracy Coalition urges community members to make their voices heard through the public comment period and public hearing.