The city escaped the harsh redistricting lines drawn by the legislature’s mighty pen when it was decided on Tuesday to keep Chelsea as it is in the current district maps.
First revisions of the voting districts had Chelsea losing a ward and precinct to East Boston – which would have resulted in a split district of sorts.
“I am pleased the committee on redistricting has changed its mind and kept Chelsea whole,” said Chelsea Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
His words echoed those of a large number of Chelsea residents and activists who did not want to lose their place in this city as voters here.
The state’s redistricting committee, led by Representative Michael Moran (D) Brighton, proposed slicing Chelsea’s voting blocks, divvying up one section of the city and realigning it with East Boston. Chelsea’s historic Ward 1 Precinct 2, in the waterfront neighborhood of the city, would have become part of East Boston to form a new voting block. Physically this area would have still been part of Chelsea but would no longer be represented by Eugene O’Flaherty.
Tuesday at the Redistricting Committee meeting, Representative Moran said the groundswell of community opposition forced him to remove the proposal from the table.
“I too am very pleased at Rep. Moran’s decision,” said Roy Avellaneda – a leading activist.
O’Flaherty said he agreed with the efforts of the redistricting committee in creating as many majority/minority districts as possible.
“I am, however very pleased the committee decided to restore Ward 1, Precinct 2 back into my district. This is the way it should be,” he added.
The Chelsea Collaborative also celebrated the decision following heated efforts to have the redistricting changed.
Juan Vega was instrumental in mounting his forces as well.