Proposed redistricting map in Boston falls on color lines

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 A coalition of black, Latino and Asian organizations released a redistricting map Monday that seeks to radically redraw the city’s political boundaries and increase minority influence on the City Council.

The map proposes splitting Chinatown from South Boston’s District 2 and adding the neighborhood to a newly drawn District 8, which includes the South End and the Fenway. The map also calls for re-drawing Dorchester’s Districts 3 and 4, adding more black, Latino and Asian voters to District 3 and more whites to District 4.

Advocates say the redrawing would create four districts where people of color make up a clear majority of the voting age population, giving them a stronger voice on the council.

“Ever since City Council districts were established, there hasn’t been a lot of progress beyond two district councilors,” said Sean Daughtry, noting that the city now has a population that is 53 percent people of color. “Why doesn’t our council reflect that diversity? A lot of it has to do with the way the districts are drawn.”

Currently, Districts 4, 5 and 7 have a majority voting-age population. African American councilors have represented 4 and 7 since they were drawn in 1982. Robert Consalvo, who is white, represents Hyde Park’s District 5, which now has a voting age population that is more than 60 percent black and Latino.

But with the current district lines, people of color have had little success running in Dorchester’s District 3.

Daughtry points to District 4, now represented by Charles Yancey, which is 94 percent black and Latino.

“It’s a very stark example of packing,” he said, using a legal term that describes how minority voters are crammed into one district to dilute their strength in another.

Because so many of Dorchester’s black and Latino residents are in District 4 — most of which lies between Dorchester Avenue and Blue Hill Avenue — District 3, which mainly cleaves to the east of Dorchester Avenue — has a voting age population that is nearly 40 percent white.

The coalition’s map shifts the line between Districts 4 and 3 from its north-south axis to and east-west dividing line which runs roughly from the Freeport Street exit on 93 to the southern end of Franklin Park.

The lines of Roxbury’s District 7, Hyde Park’s District 5 and the West Roxbury/Jamaica Plain District 6 would remain mostly unchanged, as would Allston Brighton’s District 9 and District 1, which includes the North End, Charlestown and East Boston. Read more here.