Reviewing the Redistricting, So Far

Categories: Politics
DalRedistricting.jpg
Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding counties as divvied up in the Solomons-Seliger Congressional Proposal
Yesterday morning, the state House Committee on Redistricting and the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting released what's known as PlanC125 -- or the Solomons-Seliger Congressional Proposal -- which you can see here. Today, Houston Chronicle Washington bureau chief Rick Dunham, a 30-year veteran of the puzzling process, breaks it down for us. Long story short: "It's about as pro-Republican as is possible." You don't say. Anyway. Far as Dunham's concerned, this is how Dallas and Fort Worth fare in the process so far, which Rick Perry's added to the special session's to-do list:
Contrary to expectations of almost everybody, the new map does not create a "safe" Hispanic Democratic seat in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At best, the mapmakers created an opportunity for a D-FW Latino to compete for the 6th District seat now held by Republican Joe Barton of Ennis.

Fort Worth/Tarrant County Republicans are big winners. They get a new district even though the Houston suburbs had greater population growth. But Tarrant County had the political juice.
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21 comments
Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Was just thinking what a public service the Republicans could do if they moved the line just a few hundred feet and carved Victory Park out of EBJ's district--- meaning that she would have to move back to South Dallas if she wanted to continue serving her district.

The Republicans won't do that, however, because EBJ is a reliable order taker when it comes to votes favoring their special interests.  In return, they let her run her petty scams and just run around being generally ineffective in the service of the Democratic Party.

LaceyB
LaceyB

I'm happy to live in a district now that actually may get a recommendation from the Snooze, rather than pick the least worst, which was EBJ this go-round.

So, the bonus is people get a choice in Ennis?? Drove through there yesterday--total empty pothole. I hardly see this as a bonus.

Dal atty
Dal atty

This map is meaningless.  If they're dumb enough to pass this, a federal judge will be drawing these districts.  Hopefully, for Republicans' sake, someone gives them a little good legal advice before they pass this map.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

You think?  To me, this doesn't look as problematic as the last redistricting, and that whole map was upheld with the exception of one district.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

"Coke" as in cola, y'know what I mean of course.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

The entertwining of districs 12, 26, and 33 is the very definition of Gerrymandering.

DoJ people are going to snort coke out their nose when they see this.

Alexander
Alexander

The Barton district would be 43% Hispanic (39% Hispanic in its voting age population). That wont pass the DOJ smell test. It's just a large enough number to effectively argue their marginalization. 

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

DOJ will trad that district for EBJ's district. Keeping EBJ is place is a much bigger goal for them then the 34th. 

Alexander
Alexander

Incorrect, Hispanic and black voters are considered separately (as are Asians, but I don't think there are any Asian communities in Voters Rights Act states large enough to be considered- Houston may have one by 2020, though). 

And if they were to be considered as a group, then the Metroplex should have 3 majority-minority districts, not one. 

It's about the density of the group, there is a large Hispanic bloc in western Dallas and a large black bloc in southern Dallas. The eastern Dallas and Tarrant County Hispanic communities are likely not large enough or connected enough to guarantee representation, similarly the Tarrant County black community isn't quite large enough. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

It would look funny, but I could see grouping the NW and NE Dallas Hispanos in one district would offer them the best representation they could hope for

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I think this is great news that Uptown and the Dallas CBD are finally released from the dead hand of Eddie Bernice Johnson.  Finally, I'll have a representative who will actually take constituent concerns seriously. Who knows, maybe we won't have to keep picking up our mail all the way over in Fair Park.

Victory Park, however, stays in... since that's where EBJ lives.

JRinDallas
JRinDallas

Yeah, now you'll be with the ever-responsive Pete Sessions whose primary concern and constituency will be the inhabitants of CBD and Uptown. We of the 32nd are also sent a unicorn if we ask nicely via his house.gov contact form.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Having lived in both (without moving), my experience is that Sessions is far more responsive.  But since EBJ's level of responsiveness approximates zero, you have to be careful about how you express the ratio or you risk destroying the universe.

Alexander
Alexander

What does mail have to do with which Congressional district you live in? I ask this earnestly. 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Because mail is a federal matter, congress members have a great deal of sway over matters that are postal-related, especially when it comes to local matters affecting constituents.  My cynical suspicion (which could well be wrong) is that EBJ has leaned on the postal service to service Uptown out of the Juanita Craft post office, "conveniently" located at the near the intersection of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Blvd. (roughly 2 1/2 miles away and separated from Uptown from 2 Interstate highways and a major railroad line) as a way to provide some sort of jobs program to people in the heart of her district.

It was mentioned in this paper previously that EBJ holds the (white) constituents living in the Uptown portion of her district in contempt; so it would be true to form. As an aside, there is another, far more logical post office that could serve the constituents of Uptown-- it is located on Oak Lawn Ave, between Maple and Cedar Springs.

jcs
jcs

Hensarling and Sessions are both white guys who live a mile or less from each other and I live about a mile from them...all in very similar neighborhoods. How can we be in 3 separate districts? You can see on the map where those two just dip in right next to each other to carve out their districts. They even live close enough to each other where if their kids were not in private schools (Hensarling), they would be in the same ELEMENTARY school. That is close.  You can walk from one of their  houses to the others in 10 minutes or less. How can they represent the diversity of Dallas? Minority voters are at a disadvantage, because their votes are diluted by being mixed in with Dist 6 stretching down to very rural area or Hensarling's district that reaches to Deep East Texas. The politicians are picking their voters not voters choosing their representatives.

Alexander
Alexander

Because you live in Lakewood and that's where the white liberals are. Can't have them have a voice. Just ask Lloyd Doggett. For the record Sessions and Henserling live in adjacent precincts. Most proposed plans had Henserling being drawn out of his district. I think at the end of the day that's more likely to happen than not.  

MattL1
MattL1

It's as I feared.  I would move from the 30th to the 32nd without actually going anywhere. 

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Odd.  You sound exactly like me after the Delay plan.  I can't wait to go back to 32.  You liked being in EBJ's district?

jcs
jcs

I liked it too. Hensarling is scary.

MattL1
MattL1

No, but I liked being in a Democratic district...

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