Redistricting Committee

Members
  • Betsy DeWitt, Chairwoman
  • Neil A. Wishinsky, Vice Chairman
Mission
The mission of the 2011 Redistricting Committee is to advise and assist the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Brookline in fulfilling their statutory obligation to redraw precinct lines every 10 years. The Board of Selectmen must adopt a new and/or a revised reprecincting plan no later than June 15, 2011.

Background
"The great principle established by [Massachusetts Constitution Amendment Article XXI] is equality of representation among all the voters of the Commonwealth. That is a fundamental principle of representative government... There can be no equality among citizens if the vote of one counts for considerably more than that of another in electing public officers." Attorney General v. Suffolk County Apportionment Commissioners, 224 Mass. 598, 604 (1916) (Rugg, C.J.).

All people should have free, open, and fair access to the electoral process, and every person's vote should carry the same weight. The law requires that legislative districts be redrawn on a periodic basis so that shifts in population will neither unfairly increase nor diminish a particular voter's voice in government. Every 10 years, the legislature and local governments must re-draw boundaries that take into consideration population, communities of interest, and state and federal constitutional requirements, amongst others. The government may not unfairly dilute minority voting strength, nor make race the predominant factor in redistricting absent a compelling state interest.
On May 18, 2011, the Redistricting Committee voted to adopt Proposal 1.2 (above) as its recommendation to the Selectmen. The proposal will be presented to the Selectmen at a meeting in the near future. The Selectmen then have the responsibility of voting a final map.

Reprecincting Information for 2012 Elections
2012 is a reprecincting year for the Town of Brookline. The new precinct boundary lines, based upon the results of the 2010 Federal Census and voted by the Board of Selectmen on June 14, 2011, became effective December 31, 2011. All registered voters affected by these boundary changes will be notified by mail in January 2012 indicating their new precinct and their new polling location - well in advance of the March 6, 2012 Presidential Preference Primary. The precincts affected by these changes are precincts 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.

At the 2012 annual town election, all precincts that have had their boundaries changed will have all 15 Town Meeting Member seats up for election. The order of finish will determine each seat's term of office. The first group of 5 finishers will be for a 3-year term. The second group of 5 finishers will be for a 2-year term The third and final group of 5 finishers will be for a 1-year term. All incumbent Town Meeting Members, including those who were moved into a new precinct because of the reprecincting, will be listed first on the ballot, in alphabetical order and as a "Candidate for Re-election".
At a minimum, the following will take place:
  • There will be 15 Town-Meeting members elected for various terms in Precincts 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.
  • There will be 5 Town-Meeting members elected for a 3-year term in Precincts 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Reprecincting Recommendation History
On June 2, 2011, the Re-precincting Committee voted unanimously to recommend the final 2012 census precinct boundaries to the Board of Selectmen. The Committee presented their recommendation to the Selectmen on June 7. The Selectmen voted on a map, with one amendment, to submit to the Secretary of the Commonwealth on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The Recommended Map with supporting documents can be viewed using the link below. The recommended 2012 precincts are solid colors, the old 2000 census precincts are outlined.