BOSTON – The Drawing Democracy Coalition issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of the first set of 2020 Census data – state population counts which will be used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today’s data showed that Massachusetts’ population has grown to 7,029,917, compared to 6,547,629 in 2011, and confirmed that Massachusetts will hold onto all nine of its Congressional seats. “The Drawing Democracy Coalition extends our gratitude to the Census Bureau for their hard work to release 2020 Census data as quickly as possible while ensuring accuracy and transparency despite the challenges posed by the Trump administration, COVID-19 and severe weather events,” said Beth Huang of the Drawing Democracy Coalition. “While the data released today is important because it determines how many Congressional seats and Electoral College votes Massachusetts has, the remaining demographic data that will be used for redrawing our maps will not be released until at least late August. This leaves a historically short time period for redistricting and makes it all the more important that the public is engaged in the process as early as possible.” The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting will hold a series of public hearings across the Commonwealth, beginning on May 4th at 5 pm for residents of the Fifth Congressional District. Members of the public are encouraged to testify and share what locations, landmarks and gathering places in their communities are most important to keep together. Those who want to give live testimony during the hearing should sign up here and those who want to submit written testimony should use the Contact the Committee form on the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting website. The hearing will be livestreamed here. The Drawing Democracy Coalition brings together Massachusetts’ community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists, with the shared goal of ensuring that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests. The Drawing Democracy Fund brings together philanthropic partners to support grassroots leaders and organizations promoting a transparent and accountable redistricting process and empowering communities by creating fair voting districts. The fund provides financial and technical support to community-based organizations involved in organizing around redistricting.