Drawing Democracy Update: May 24, 2021

Tonight’s the night! The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting is holding a public hearing for residents of Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District at 5:30 pm. If Congressman Jim McGovern is your representative, this includes you!


It’s not too late to sign up to testify and tell the committee what they should know about your community during the redistricting process. You can sign up here to give oral testimony. While we strongly encourage you to testify at the hearing, you can also submit written testimony here throughout the summer. If you don’t live in the district, you can still tune in to the livestream to learn more about the process.


We also have new information about additional upcoming hearings:

  • Tuesday, June 8th at 12 pm for residents of the Eighth Congressional District (Rep. Stephen Lynch). Sign up here.

  • Monday, June 21st at 6 pm for residents of the First Congressional District (Rep. Richard Neal). Sign up here.

  • Thursday, July 8th at 6 pm for residents of the Third Congressional District (Rep. Lori Trahan). Sign up here.

We need your help to ensure the voices of our communities are heard during redistricting. This is critical for a fair, transparent process that results in equitable representation for communities of color, immigrants, and low-income people in Massachusetts. There will be more public hearings for the rest of the state over the course of the next few months and we will continue to keep you updated about how you can make your voice heard.


Important Updates

  • A federal appeals court overturned the recent dismissal of the case of Ohio v. Raimondo, which challenged the delayed redistricting schedule, and recommended that the Census Bureau provide periodic status updates on its progress towards an August 16 data release.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau recently provided additional details illustrating exactly how the redistricting data that will be released on August 16th will look. The Bureau also shared that it has spoken with data platforms including Redistricting Data Hub to ensure compatibility of the August data.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau has released a Which Data Set is Right For Me? fact sheet, which compares decennial census data, population estimates, and American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year and 5-year estimates.

  • Check out this redistricting guide for Black, Latinx, and Asian American communities compiled by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

  • Earlier this month, the American Statistical Association provided another update on data quality indicators.


Important Dates

  • May 24, 2021 at 5:30 pm: The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting holds a public hearing for residents of Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District. Sign up to testify virtually here. Livestream will be available here.

  • May 28, 2021: Deadline for public comment on the Bureau’s latest differential privacy test data via email at 2020DAS@census.gov. This will likely be the final opportunity for the public to influence how differential privacy will impact redistricting data quality.

  • June 4, 2021 at 2 pm: National Conference of State Legislatures’ next 2020 census update meeting, which will focus on the latest updates on data delivery, differential privacy, the April demonstration data, and more.

  • June 8, 2021 at 12 pm: Public redistricting hearing for residents of the Eighth Congressional District (Rep. Stephen Lynch). Sign up here.

  • June 15, 2021: Statutory deadline for new wards and precincts to be drawn in Massachusetts (subject to further review steps). Since wards and precincts are supposed to be based on redistricting data, we anticipate this deadline will be pushed back.

  • June 21, 2021 at 6 pm: Public hearing for residents of the First Congressional District (Rep. Richard Neal). Sign up here.

  • July 8, 2021 at 6 pm: Public hearing for residents of the Third Congressional District (Rep. Lori Trahan). Sign up here.

  • September 30, 2021: Projected deadline for delivery of detailed redistricting data to the states by the Census Bureau. The Bureau has stated that this data may be available as early as August 16, though if so, it would be in a less user-friendly format.

  • November 8, 2021: Deadline for Massachusetts State House candidates to begin residence in their district in order to qualify for the 2022 State House elections.