Congratulations Chip! You’re an inspiration to us all. My brothers, many of our friends and I look up to you. You know how to get the job done. Hopefully this is just one of many giant steps you will continue to make. The torch has been passed to you! Keep it lit!
This very strong willed sister (Nancy Lockhart) is proof that if you are doing what is right and good, you will always be rewarded for your efforts. Kuddos to Ms. Nancy Lockhart.
In February, the Census Bureau will release its population numbers for Massachusetts. As a result, all political districts — city, state and federal — will be redrawn.
The last time this occurred, the results were adverse to Boston’s black communities, with U.S. House legislative boundaries splitting neighborhoods, and our power diluted (and destroyed) at the state Senate level.
At the City Council level, a nearly successful attempt was made to cripple both black districts. Grove Hall almost became a part of a South Boston-based district, and most of Mattapan was split from black Dorchester neighborhoods. Only the combined efforts of Councillors Chuck Turner and Charles Yancey prevented the destruction of our political base.
The problem was that the last time around those redistricting activists working for the community weren’t from the community. In the absence of community input, our interests were ignored and our concerns were dismissed.
The proposed redistricting from the 2010 Census will be even more important to black Boston.
This time, in addition to redrawing political districts, there will be an attempt on the part of the City of Boston to equalize (by defining a specific number of residents per precinct), renumber and redraw its precincts prior to crafting new political boundaries.
This won’t necessarily operate detrimentally to our interests if the community is engaged in the process. We will, however, have to operate proactively and learn from history.
If the community doesn’t collectively work in its own interests, based on open access to the new population numbers, no one will do it for us.