Massachusetts State Rep. Mike Moran hosted an open meeting on the mandatory redistricting of House, Senate, Governor's Council and Congressional district boundaries last night at the .
“Redistricting is done every 10 years by our legislators and has been criticized for not being open and transparent in the past,” said Moran to a handful of residents who learned about the redistricting process last night. “One of our goals is to open the process.”
Framingham resident Laura Medrano said she came to the meeting, because she wanted to hear about the process.
“I wanted to know how it is going to work,” Medrano said. “We are looking forward to a process that is more forward and transparent.”
“We are coming out to cities and towns at public hearings in the next few months,” Moran added. “We are getting a dialogue going.”
Dates and times for the 12 public hearings around the Commonwealth to solicit testimony from the public on the redistricting process can be found on the state's website: www.malegislature.gov/redistricting.
Videos of the 12 scheduled public hearings will also be available on the website for residents who cannot make any of the hearings.
Moran, along with state rep. Chris Walsh, said the state will be losing one district, according to the U.S. Census Bureau numbers for 2010.
Massachusetts will go from 10 congressional representatives to nine by 2012, Moran said.
Each congressional seat will represent an additional 95,000 residents by 2012, which would mean a legislator would represent 727,514 people.
“There was not much surprise with the census numbers,” said Moran, the co-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting.
The state saw a 3.1 percentage growth in population, where Framingham saw a 2.1 percentage increase in population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Framingham population in the 2010 U.S. Census is listed as 68,318, which is up 1,408 people, from the previous census numbers, 66,910 people.
Moran explained that Congress will not lose any of its 435 seats but there will be a re-appropriation of seats in each state according to several factors, including school districts, zip codes, and watersheds.
Resident Tom Tierney said he cares about redistricting and the [legislators] in charge of the election laws.
Tierney asked about when legislators draw individual precinct boundaries.
“The way we have done it in the past,” Moran said. “We will be redoing the precincts by the end of June. Cities and towns work from the Census Bureau numbers to create the precincts.”
Resident and Framingham Public Access volunteer Norma Shulman was also concerned with precincts changing.
“House districts should not be wavy or muddy,” Shulman said. “It’s complex for people to understand.”
Shulman said she used to live in precinct 3 and was part of Natick’s House district, but there was no convenient way to get to Natick.
Moran said Framingham is too big to have just one representative but not big enough for two representatives just for Framingham.
“The way Framingham lies on a map is in a tough geographical spot,” Moran said.