Mapping out what's next for Boston's redistricting scramble

Boston City Hall, built in the Brutalist architectural style, is seen in Boston on Friday, August 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
Boston City Hall, built in the Brutalist architectural style, is seen in Boston on Friday, August 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

The Celtics are heading back to the NBA’s Eastern Conference, thanks to Jayson Tatum’s historic 51-point Game 7 performance and a raucous TD Garden crowd that included everyone from Julian Edelman doing his best Ben Affleck to that court-side fan wearing those extremely big goofy red boots. (Where do I get a pair?)

Next up: The Miami Heat. Game 1 is Wednesday night, back at the TD Garden. But first, let’s get to today’s news.

Mayor Michelle Wu is urging the Boston City Council to act quickly this week on a new redistricting map. After a federal judge put a hold last Tuesday on the council district map that was approved last year, Wu’s office put forward their own map late Friday in the hopes of giving the Council something to work off of.

  • What’s next: Wu is formally submitting her map to the city clerk this morning. The council’s civil rights committee is then scheduled to take up the subject this afternoon and tomorrow, before the full council meets for its weekly meeting Wednesday.
  • The deadline: According to Wu’s office, the Council needs to pass a map by May 30. That’s because they say it’s the latest possible date to avoid delaying the Sept. 12 preliminary election. (While the city aims to push back some nominating deadlines, Wu’s office says May 30 would still allow time for the elections department to certify signatures on print and mail ballots.)
  • What Wu’s saying: “We are on a pretty compressed window here, so we need to save some time for our back and forth in an amendment process, so I wanted to put forward a map that I am prepared to sign as a starting point for discussion.”
  • The balancing act: The majority of councilors who supported the blocked map sought to make sure Black voters aren’t packed into a few districts. However, attorney Ana Munoz told WBUR’s Morning Edition they were “a bit too frank” about using race as the top factor when drawing those lines. Listen to her full interview about the fine balance councilors must now strike between the state Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
  • Wu argues her map strikes that balance by keeping neighborhoods united — particularly in Dorchester’s contested Adams Village and Neponset area. Read more here. 

Cambridge city councilors will consider a policy tonight that would release the names of police officers involved in fatal police shootings — including those involved in the January shooting death of local student Arif Sayed Faisal.

  • The policy is being floated by Councilor Quinton Zondervan. However, Cambridge Day reports it’s unclear if his proposal has the support of fellow councilors.

PSA: Police are searching for a missing 4-year-old from South Boston who went missing Sunday at Castle Island. Officials say they’ve been searching the island and the water around it.

Well that de-escalated quickly: The teachers union in Wellesley voted to ratify a new contract Friday night, a day after the town’s school committee raised concerns about a potential strike this week.

  • Wellesley Educators Association President Kyle Gekopi told WBUR’s Amy Sokolow the tentative agreement “demonstrates measurable progress” on the union’s core priorities. Here’s what the new contract includes.

Reminder: The Red Line’s Braintree branch — and the commuter rail lines that run along it — are shutting down early again this week.

  • From around 8:45 p.m. until the end of service, shuttle buses are replacing the Red Line between JFK/UMass and Braintree.
  • Shuttle buses will also sub in for the commuter rail’s Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth and Middleborough/Lakeville lines starting at 7:30 p.m. That means the last South Shore-bound train out of South Station leaves at 7 p.m. Plan accordingly!

P.S.— Our Cognoscenti team is now on Instagram! Give ’em a follow. (And if you haven’t already, follow the main WBUR account too. You’ll get fun informative graphics and videos, from an introductory guide to induction stoves to unique look inside Boston’s recent “SatanCon.”)


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Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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