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[This Just In]

Keeping the Eighth together


When US Representative Marty Meehan of Lowell decided to seek another term in the House instead of running for governor, it may have settled one question surrounding House Speaker Tom Finneran’s redistricting plan. But aggrieved communities are now complaining about the new congressional districts the Speaker wants to place them in.

Cambridge city councilor Marjorie Decker has filed a council order calling on the state legislature to reject Finneran’s proposal; she wants her city to remain in the Eighth Congressional District, now represented by US Representative Michael Capuano, instead of moving into Barney Frank’s Fourth District. Decker and other Cambridge progressives believe Cambridge should remain with neighboring Boston and Somerville. And while Decker says she welcomes Finneran’s creation of a minority-majority district, she thinks Cambridge should be a part of it. " Restoring Cambridge to the Eighth Congressional District still achieves the goal of a minority-dominated district while recognizing Cambridge’s historic alignment with the other urban centers in this historic district, " says Decker. " After all, this is the district of Tip O’Neill and John F. Kennedy. "

In Lynn, meanwhile, Mayor Patrick McManus and other North Shore leaders gathered to protest the proposal to move that city from the Sixth Congressional District into the Eighth.

For Finneran’s part, he says he’s focusing on " three noble goals: create compact districts of communities of interest; establish the state’s first ‘majority/minority’ district; and respond to the enormous population growth within southeastern Massachusetts, " according to a statement issued Monday. Finneran added that he looked forward to working " with the entire congressional delegation, members of the House, mayors, and interested parties over the summer to finalize the House proposal. "

Look’s like he’ll have a lot of people to work with.

Issue Date: July 26 - August 2, 2001