Politic365

 
 


Grito

4:20pm June 12, 2013

Texas Redistricting Special Session: Latinos Set to Lose the Most

2752094916_6cf89c5ae8_b

Texas Governor Rick Perry called a special legislative session at the end of May to adopt the interim redistricting maps ordered by a San Antonio federal court for the Texas legislature and Congress. The special session lasts for 30 days, and so is about half over without any definitive outcome.

The issue with these maps is that they are currently being considered in the court system and are contentious over whether they proportionately represent Latinos, who accounted for over 70% of Texas’ growth during the last decade.

“Despite the fact that the San Antonio federal district court clearly regarded this maps as only interim in nature, the Governor saw it fit to call a special session for an up or down vote on these maps, rather than allow the courts to make a final ruling on the claims by the plaintiffs or allow the Legislature to negotiate in good-faith with minority members,” said State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, Chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus in Texas.

And, he added, the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Texas Legislature intentionally discriminated against Latino and minority voters during the 2011 legislative session while crafting the maps.

Perry has since added transportation infrastructure to the special session agenda, as well as abortion and juvenile justice issues.

Many in Texas believe this is Perry’s and the Republican Party’s move to co-opt Texas’ legislature and congressional districts as the state’s demographics change. Additionally, Since Perry’s move to examine redistricting, several Texas legislators, mostly Democrats representing minority districts, have filed their own alternate plans:

What’s more, Congressmen Pete Gallego and Filemon Vela filed papers with the San Antonio federal court, asking permission to intervene in the case to protect residents in the districts, as well as minority voters in Texas.

“There was a deliberate attempt to minimize the voting rights of Latinos in the 23rd district. Their intent — which was made public in emails — was to make the 23rd district a Latino district in-name-only; they swapped Latinos who vote at a higher frequency with those who vote at a lower frequency,” said Gallego’s Spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña.

“Their main objective was to limit Latino voting strength. The right to vote is one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy. The process shouldn’t shut out entire communities.”

Some political watchers in Texas worry that this move on Perry’s part could hurt Latino voters in two ways: one, preventing them from electing a candidate of their choice, and two, misrepresenting Texas’ Latino population growth.

“The current special session is the Republican attempt to prevent Latinos from getting the representation they deserve,” said Democratic political consultant Anthony Gutierrez.

“Republicans began this process by drawing districts that bore no resemblance whatsoever to Texas’ actual population growth. The courts remedied the maps to an extent but minorities, specifically Latinos, still don’t have the political voice they deserve,” he said.

Martinez Fischer told Politic365 that he believes more Texas House districts are needed in order to adequately address Latino population growth in the state. The people of Texas have expressed in field hearings around the state the desire to see Latino, black and Asian communities represented in redistricting, he said, adding that a special session is a tight time frame to discuss such a complex issue, but, “we hope that the Legislature will join us to give all Texans the representation they deserve.”

Ultimately, whether or not the maps are approved will have a huge impact on the future of Texas politics, seeing as that it’s largely believed that Latinos’ voting power was not maximized in the maps in question. Gutierrez, the Democratic political consultant, made an even grander point, noting that the maps will affect the destiny of the Republican party moving forward in the State of Texas.

“This process will reveal a lot about the Hispanic outreach Republicans keep talking about,” he told Politic365. “Will candidates like George P. Bush stand up to their party and fight for the protections Latinos have under the Voting Rights Act, or will they continue to be accomplices in the Republican attempt to silence Latinos’ political voice?”



About the Author

Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón
Sara Inés Calderón is a journalist and writer bouncing between California and Texas.




 
 

 
cands1

April 7: A Ferguson (65% Black) Jennings (85% Black) Election Chart

Will people vote in seven days in Ferguson?  Next Tuesday, April 7, is a day that will indicate whether or not voting patterns will change for the better in the city of Ferguson.  After almost a year of marches, protests and ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
pence1

Results: LGBT Lobby Demonstrates How Pressure Gets Results in Politics

How Economic Pressure Works.  Wanna watch how green politics on a blue agenda item works in a red state? Watch Indiana right now.  The tipping point is right now as we see Indiana Republicans turn against their own.  As you&...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
16491577129_5c4a442f19_k

Marco Rubio to enter presidential race on April 13

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Florida Senator Marco Rubio will announce that he is going to enter the race to be the Republican nominee for president on April 13: “Senator Marco Rubio plans to announce his cam...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 

Advertisement
 
senator6

6 Black U.S. Senators in 2017?

Six in 2017? Could it happen that there will be six African Americans sworn-in to the U.S. Senate in January 2017? (CA) Kamala Harris (IL) Robin Kelly (MD) Elijah Cummings/Donna Edwards (NV) Steve Horsford? (SC) Sen. Tim Scot...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
pence4

Indiana Governor Just Can’t Say “No” to LGBT Discrimination

In a failed attempt at misdirection, double talk and dodged questions, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made the mistake of saying yes to a twenty minute interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.  What Pence failed to do is giv...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 




3 Comments


  1. Melissa Zamora

    High Five!


  2. [...] One usually needs to demeanour during Texas to see how a Latino comparison in California could impact a vast shred of destiny minority voters. In response to new Hispanic pluralities in the state’s civic counties, a Legislature singular Latino voting strength by redistricting maps that discriminate opposite Latino and minority voters. [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>