Drawing Democracy Coalition Letter to Senate President and House Speaker
January 13, 2021
Dear President Spilka and Speaker Mariano,
As you know, the General Court is responsible for redrawing electoral district boundaries for state legislative districts and congressional districts this year. How these district lines are drawn influences who runs for public office and who is elected. The district boundaries are in place for the next ten years, and their policy impacts can last well beyond that. As leaders of the Drawing Democracy Coalition, we are optimistic that the 2021 redistricting process can be just as successful as the 2011 process if not more so, and bolster political power and participation in underrepresented communities.
The Drawing Democracy Coalition brings together the Commonwealth’s community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists, with the shared goal of partnering with you to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests. We anticipate that, on the tail of the 2020 elections, Bay Staters will be eager to continue participating in our democracy and to advocate for the needs of their communities through a transparent and engaged redistricting process.
Our coalition has welcomed a fruitful, ongoing collaboration with Senator Brownsberger and Representative Mark, the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Redistricting during the 191st Session. During this new session, we look forward to being a continued resource for the Joint Committee on Redistricting, in order to maximize the participation of community members in public hearings, provide input on the draft maps, and more.
With this goal in mind, we strongly encourage the appointment of a Joint Committee on Redistricting that reflects the rich racial and geographic diversity of our Commonwealth. A diverse committee will lead to the best process and outcome for all stakeholders, and will allow all communities in Massachusetts – especially historically underrepresented communities – to play an active role in the redistricting process.
We would also like to extend our warm congratulations to Speaker Mariano. We look forward to working with you, President Spilka, and the Joint Committee to ensure a collaborative and participatory redistricting process in 2021.
Caroline Bays, Progressive Massachusetts
Jordan Berg Powers, Mass Alliance
Tom Callahan, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance
Nancy Coan, Lowell Alliance
Yun-Ju Choi, Coalition for a Better Acre
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, MassVOTE
Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Lawyers for Civil Rights
Deb Fastino, Coalition for Social Justice
Geoff Foster, Common Cause – Massachusetts
Jasmine Gomez, Access Strategies Fund, Co-Chair of the Drawing Democracy Fund
Isabel Gonzalez-Webster, Worcester Interfaith
Rahsaan Hall, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
Beth Huang, Massachusetts Voter Table
Lydia Lowe, Chinese Progressive Political Action
Joe Kriesberg, Massachusetts Alliance of Community Development Corporations
David Moy, Hyams Foundation, Co-Chair of the Drawing Democracy Fund
Perry Newman, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation
Sovanna Pouv, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
Steven A. Tolman, Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Mary Tauras, Lowell Votes
Gladys Vega, La Colaborativa
Danielle Williams, Prophetic Resistance
Judy Zaunbrecher, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts