--According to the 2020 Census, 95% of population growth in Texas came from communities of color in suburban and urban communities. The proposed maps do not reflect this fact.
--The 2 new congressional districts that Texas gained after the 2020 Census were drawn to have a majority of White voters. Also, historical districts located in the Houston area that have been vastly restructured. The elected officials currently representing these districts would be pitted against one another in the proposed map.
--The Senate map proposal reduces the strength of numerous districts that are currently electing candidates of choice. SD 9 in Tarrant County and SD 17 in Fort Bend County/Harris seem to be the most egregious examples: there was likely the potential in these 2 sites to increase or maintain minority-preferred representation, and instead, it was undermined.
--The House maps proposal chips away at districts that represent communities of color, threatening their ability to elect a candidate of choice. This would not have been allowed to occur if the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act was still in place.
--Texas is one of the most diverse states in the nation. It is not appropriate to draw maps “color-blind”. Racial data must be taken into consideration when drawing districts that uphold the Voting Rights Act.
--Even without the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act being in place, Texas must still abide by Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment.
Letter to Representatives:
I urge you to vote against the proposed district maps now under consideration. They are not fair to communities of color in Texas. The 2020 Census has shown that 95% of the population growth in Texas came from communities of color in urban and suburban areas. Instead of giving Texas’ diverse communities a voice of representation, the map proposal diminishes their power. The maps bear many of the hallmarks of intentional racial discrimination.
Also, the push towards drawing districts that combine urban, suburban, and rural areas in one district will group communities together with vastly different needs. This goes against the input from Texans on the need for their communities to be kept whole. This seems to be a plan to protect incumbents rather than to truly give representation to those who need and deserve it.
This is not what democracy is supposed to look like. The most basic democratic freedom is the right to free and fair elections. I urge you to vote against the proposed maps and to demand that they be redrawn.