Mapping Demographics and Voting in Boston

final vote margins in majority-minority

A month ago, I wrote a piece for CommonWealth about how both of Boston’s mayoral hopefuls were mining communities of color for votes. Marty Walsh and John Connolly had fared equally poorly in these neighborhoods in September’s preliminary, collecting votes in majority-minority neighborhoods at roughly half the rate they did in majority-white neighborhoods.

I did some followup work on this after the November 5 election, and found that one of the main reasons Walsh topped Connolly was because he topped Connolly by 20 points in majority-minority precincts, despite trailing by 11 in majority-white precincts.

final vote margins in arroyo barros richie

The magnitude of these differences really pops visually. At the top of the page, I mapped the candidates’ vote margins in majority-minority precincts; above, vote margins in precincts won in September by Felix Arroyo, John Barros and Charlotte Golar Richie – the three minority candidates who endorsed Walsh.

Here’s an interactive version of the majority-minority map, here’s the corresponding map of results in majority-white precincts, and here’s the interactive Arroyo-Barros-Richie map.

Scenes from #Mayor4LivableBos



Last night I had the terrifying assignment/honor of co-moderating a Boston mayoral forum on transportation and livable communities. A gazillion people showed up and I somehow managed to not pass out on stage. Storify wrap-up is here; Facebook photos are here. Thanks to the 8 mayoral hopefuls who attended, and the 28 (!!!) groups that sponsored the forum.

Hands Off Hands-On Development


My latest for the Globe looks at a development skirmish over in the Fenway, where Hizzoner is saying “It’s not my fault” that a developer wants to build on the same scale as buildings going up across the street, and that it’s not City Hall’s job to make developments pencil out. Problem is, City Hall does things to pad developers’ pockets all the time. The issue is figuring out when the mayor wants to play hands-off, and when they want to get involved. It changes from day to day.

Read the whole thing here.