Sunday, June 12, 2011

If We're Sane and Rational, Western Mass has 1 Congressperson

Western Mass is a beautiful, historic part of this state -- which just so happens to have a small population. The population of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties is 815,000 people, which in the new political map of our state (in which Congressional Districts must house roughly 770,000 people) is barely enough people to contain one congressional district, never mind two.

A few towns closest to Central Mass could easily be tucked in with a Worcester County-based district that makes far more sense than the maps do today, never mind how they'd looked in a warped future in which we protect two congresscritters over the people of this state -- who deserve districts that make geographic and demographic sense.

While all of the district lines across the state are going to have to change by more than 10% of their population, one of the districts is going to have to disappear. Turning Western Mass into one, strong congressional district will ensure its population has strong, Western-Mass focused leadership, while also allowing the rest of the state's congressional district borders to shift around a little bit and relieve some of the stress. It's not unfair to Western Mass, and it's the right thing to do for everyone.

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