SECTION 1. Notwithstanding section 109 of chapter 43 of the General Laws, section 2 of chapter 725 of the acts of 1957 or any other general or special law or the charter of the city of Lowell to the contrary, all biennial local municipal elections for the city of Lowell shall be conducted under a district and at-large system, hereinafter referred to as the hybrid system.
SECTION 2. Under the hybrid system, the city of Lowell shall be divided into 8 districts, of which at least 2 shall be majority-minority single member districts where Asian-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos together comprise a majority of the citizen voting age population. These district boundaries shall be drawn in consultation with an independent expert retained by the city pursuant to Paragraph U contained within the terms of the October 9, 2019 amended consent decree in the United States District Court of Massachusetts matter of Huot et. al. v. City of Lowell et. al., Case No. 1:17-cv-10895-DLC.
Any future redistricting of these districts shall be conducted by an experienced and appropriately qualified consultant retained by the city of Lowell to assist in the creation and demarcation of district lines that satisfy Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Any districts shall be designed in accordance with applicable federal and state law, including, without limitation, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
SECTION 3. Under the hybrid system, the Lowell city council shall be expanded to consist of 11 total members, of which 8 shall consist of district seats, 1 member for each district, and the remaining 3 shall consist of at-large seats.
SECTION 4. Under the hybrid system, the Lowell school committee shall be comprised of: 4 single-member district based seats, at least 1 of which shall be a majority-minority single-member district where Asian-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos together comprise a majority of the citizen voting age population; and 2 at-large seats.
SECTION 5. The changes to the city of Lowell’s electoral system as set forth in this act shall not take effect until the city’s municipal elections in November of 2021.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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