Boston is retaining its status as a majority-minority city, with 53 percent of the population identified as minorities, according to a Menino administration assessment of U.S. Census numbers from 2010. That is an increase from 51 percent in the 2000 Census.
The city’s population grew to 617,594 residents, an increase of 28,453 people since the 2000 Census and the first time Boston cracked 600,000 residents since the 1970s, according to the mayor’s office.
Overall, Suffolk County, which includes Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, picked up 32,216 people, leading to a total population of 722,023 people.
State lawmakers will be using Census figures released this week to redraw the Bay State’s political lines, including House, Senate, and Congressional districts. Because of the state’s population shifts in comparison to the rest of the country, Massachusetts is losing one of its ten Congressional seats.
State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, the vice chair of the Senate committee on redistricting, confirmed that Boston had an increase in population but offered a cautious reaction. “Yet, it’s premature to draw any precise conclusions as to how these population changes will affect district lines,” Chang-Diaz added in a statement.
According to Secretary of State William Galvin, the new numbers lawmakers will have to keep in mind when redrawing the political lines include about 163,700 people for each state Senate district, and 40,900 for each state House seat. The nine Congressional districts, once they are drawn, are expected to hold about 727,500 residents each.
In other Census findings, the number of Massachusetts residents who identified themselves as Hispanic rose 46 percent over the last decade; the number of residents who identified themselves as Asian rose by the same amount.
In a decline of 2 percent from the 2000 census, about 5.26 million residents identified themselves as white. Some 6.6 percent of the population, about 434,000 people, identified as black, a 26 percent increase from 2000 numbers.
The Legislature’s redistricting committee last week released a hearing schedule, with some meetings, including one planned for Roxbury, still in the works. The schedule so far:
• Sat., March 26, 10 a.m., Springfield High School. Mon., March 28, 6 p.m., Lynn City Hall. Mon., April 11, 6 p.m., Clark University, Worcester. Mon., April 25, 6 p.m., Pittsfield City Hall. Monday, May 2, 6 p.m., Massasoit Community College, Brockton. Wed., May 11, 6 p.m., Framingham State University. Mon., May 16, 6 p.m., New Bedford Public Library. Tuesday, May 31, 6 p.m., Greenfield Community College. Monday, June 6, 6 p.m., Quincy High School. Mon., June 13, 6 p.m., Lawrence High School.
Feeney haul is $6,000 this month
City Councillor Maureen Feeney picked up the fundraising pace this month, taking in about $6,500 so far, according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
The District 3 councillor, who held a fundraiser at Beacon Hill’s Scollay Square restaurant earlier this month, received $100 from former Senate President William Bulger, $250 from former Boston Redevelopment Authority official Harry Collings, and $50 from former Boston superintendent Michael Contompasis.
State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, who is married to Reporter managing editor Bill Forry, donated $200 to Feeney’s campaign account, while the Greater Boston Real Estate Board gave $250. Local merchant Anthony Paciulli, of Meetinghouse Bank in Lower Mills, donated $150.
Earlier this year, she loaned her campaign $1,500, according to campaign finance records.
In office since 1993, Feeney has not formally announced whether she’ll run for another two-year term, though two unsuccessful City Council At-Large candidates are jumping into the District 3 race: Doug Bennett and Marty Hogan, with both pasting their signs in shops around the neighborhoods.
Patrick travel, Menino tenure come in for a breakfast ribbing
Gov. Deval Patrick’s overseas travel and Mayor Menino’s longevity were in the crosshairs of roasters at the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston on Sunday.
“Governor, give me a hug, I missed you,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo. “Don’t you ever leave me alone with the Murrays ever again,” he added, referring to Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and Senate President Therese Murray.
Senate President Murray brought props, including a poster of the “Home Alone” movie with Lt. Gov. Murray’s face pasted onto it, and Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Steven Grossman looking over his shoulder.
Mayor Menino, who won a fifth four-year term in 2009, had a video poking fun at his various accidents which have required knee and elbow surgeries. “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him,” a voice intoned as clips from the 1970s show, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” played on the screens at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
The rumors of his demise have been exaggerated, Menino said after taking the stage. “Sorry, all you wannabes.”
South Boston’s city councilor Bill Linehan sang “Tommy is Here to Stay” to the tune of “Charlie on the MTA,” with lyrics like “He’s the mayor who’ll never retire,” and a reference to a City Council full of “young guns chomping at the bit.”
During one of the breakfast’s many breaks for songs, Boston City Councilor-elect Tito Jackson, who is replacing Chuck Turner, joined Congressman Stephen Lynch, Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Dorchester) and Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston) at the podium for a rendition of “The Wild Rover.”
The annual breakfast is hosted by state Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston).
Quote of Note: Rep. Moran
State Rep. Michael Moran, a Brighton Democrat who chairs the House Redistricting Committee, had the following reaction when Secretary of State Galvin incorrectly stated on Tuesday morning that Boston had lost residents in the 2010 Census: “What I lay awake about and worry about is, I don’t want a single number to come out of my office that isn’t accurate,” Moran told the State House News Service. “I’m not rushing to get a headline. Billy got up this morning as early as possible so he could look at those numbers and be the first one to say what they were.” Galvin, a fellow Brighton Democrat, later held a second press conference, apologizing for getting the numbers wrong and releasing the correct numbers.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Material from State House News Service was used in this report.