On May 18, Rep. Birmingham was appointed to name a committee of 15 from the Democratic Party in both houses of the Massachusetts legislation to draft a new congressional redistricting bill after the previous redistricting bill was criticized by the Democrats and others, the Boston Herald reported (May 19, 1931, pp. 1, 8, via Geneaology Bank).
The move by a caucus of Democratic members of the legislature came in response to a congressional redistricting bill drafted by a special committee of the legislature, which was criticized as unfair and unsatisfactory, the newspaper reported.
Birmingham called the special commission’s plan a “Gerrymander” and favored redistricting that would result in seven districts in Republican hands, seven in the Democrats hand, and one in the toss-up category.
He said that under the current plan there is too great a population spread in some districts, particularly between districts 9 and 10 and between districts 11 and 12. The 12 district, with a population of 34,000, was too large, and that sever cities, including Cambridge, Salem, Revere, Lawrence, and Chelsea had been divided up too much. He favored a redistricting plan that would keep each city as a unit within the district.
The special commission recommended that the eighth district and the 13 district be combined into a single district with two current members of Congress, Dallinger and Luce, two Republicans, fighting it out for the one seat.
The Massachusetts delegation to Congress was made up of 12 Republicans and four Democrats. The redistricting plan would change that to nine Republicans, five Democrats, and one a toss-up.
Among the prominent Democrats expected to be named to the committee were Senators Walsh and Coolidge, Frank Donahue, chairman of the Democratic state committee, and two state representatives on the national committee.