Ward 4 Chair Jonathan Cohn Explains the Redistricted City Map
When you went to vote back in November, you might have noticed a new name for State Senator or State Representative. That’s a result of the redistricting that followed the decennial census in 2020.
In late 2021, the Massachusetts House and Senate voted on new legislative districts, and the Boston Elections Department passed new precinct lines for select wards in the city to harmonize voting locations with the new maps. Ward 4 saw some of the most change.
Last decade, Ward 4 was divided between the Second Suffolk (Sonia Chang-Díaz) and the Second Suffolk & Middlesex district in the State Senate. In redistricting, the desire to make the Second Suffok a majority-Black district led to the elimination of most of its South End precincts. Ward 4’s South End precincts are now represented by Sen. Nick Collins (D-South Boston). The only parts of Ward 4 still in the Second Suffolk, with new Sen. Liz Miranda (D-Roxbury), are Precinct 9 (Alice Taylor Apartments) and Precinct 11 (Northeastern University).
The only part of Ward 4 still in Sen. Brownsberger (D-Belmont) is Precinct 12, located along the Back Bay Fens along Fenway and Hemenway Streets from Boylston Street toward the MFA. The rest of the East Fens as well as the stretch of Back Bay along the Prudential is now represented by Sen. Lydia Edwards (D-East Boston).
It gets similarly messy for our new state rep districts. Ways & Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz (D-North End) now only has a shrunken Precinct 1 in the South End, as he needed to lose territory due to growth Downtown. Most of his former South End territory is now represented by Rep. Jon Santiago (D-South End), who shed Back Bay and Fenway precincts to Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-Back Bay). As Rep. Chynah Tyler (D-Roxbury)’s district gained territory in Mission Hill, it lost some Fenway territory to Livingstone as well.
In November, Mayor Michelle Wu signed new district lines drawn by the Boston City Council for this year’s elections. The changes in Ward 4 were less drastic, but some of our neighbors will still see new District Councilors on the ballot this fall.
If you lived along St. Botolph or across from the Christian Science Plaza and used to vote in District 7 (Tania Fernandes Anderson), you will now be in District 2 (Ed Flynn). The same goes for voters who live between Titus Sparrow Park and Massachusetts Avenue in Ward 4. On the flip side, voters on West Canton Street, West Brookline Street, and Pembroke Street, as well as their borders along Warren Avenue and Tremont Street, will now be represented by Councilor Anderson instead of Councilor Flynn.
Voters who live in the Berklee campus buildings on Mass Ave and the neighboring streets of Clearway, Belvidere, and Saint Germain will now be represented by Ed Flynn instead of Kenzie Bok (District 8), and Councilor Bok’s former constituents along Symphony Road will now have Councilor Anderson.
Redistricting is messy, so if you have any questions, you can always check out http://wheredoivotema.com. Know who your elected officials are because they should hear from you.