RI Redistricting: New Plan Revealed Amidst Controversy
It appears the overwhelming backlash of the re-districting proposal had some sort of an impact.
Thursday, there were major changes made to the plan Congressman Langevin ripped, one that clearly hurt him and favored Congressman Cicilline.
Now, two of the three republican leaning towns in Northern Rhode Island are no longer on the move.
The new map proposal moves Burrillville, while Smithfield and North Smithfield are staying in district one. Will it make everyone happy? No, but for some people it's a lot better than the proposal on the table earlier in the week.
The new map is less drastic, but still moves 75 thousand voters. It also shifts Burrillville to Representative Langevin's district. North Smithfield and Smithfield stay put.
“We looked at what we proposed last week and we thought if paired it back a little bit, didn't throw all three towns into the district, and we could bring down the number of people who would be moved,” said Kim Brace who's in charge of putting the map proposals together for the commission.
Some of those maps, clearly favoring Congressman Cicilline, but when we asked Brace if he was influenced by Cicilline, he said no.
That answer, however, did not have some people at Thursday's public forum convinced, calling the proposal purely political. Common Cause Executive Director John Marion said the new map quells some of his fears.
“People were upset about a plan that came out Monday night,” said Marion, “They had their voices heard. That plan was changed largely to alleviate what people were concerned about, that lines were drawn for political reasons.”
He says the new map is more fair because it keeps Smithfield and North Smithfield in Cicilline's district, two towns he struggled with in the 2010 election. It also divides Providence more evenly between Langevin and Cicciline.
Congressman Langevin's people tell us they're reviewing the map before they respond to it. The commission votes on the new congressional map Monday night.