The process to redraw the state's legislative and congressional districts reaches the public arena today, when the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting holds its first meeting.
Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst and Representative Michael J. Moran of Boston, the committee co-chairmen, will preside over the panel's first organizational meeting at 1 p.m.
The session will take place in Gardner Auditorium at the State House.
Afterward, the chairmen will unveil a redistricting website, as well as a schedule for their proposed public hearings.
The release of the US Census each decade triggers redistricting, since both legislative and congressional districts much reflect population apportionment.
Massachusetts lost residents during the past decade, so it is losing one congressional seat, going from 10 seats in the US House to nine. Those remaining districts much be expanded to accommodate.
Districts for both the state House and Senate must also be adjusted to accommodate population and demographic shifts.
The new districts must be establish for the 2012 elections.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.