"Please, Respect": Council Seems to Settle on Combo Platter During Redistricting Meeting

Categories: City Hall
MarvinCresnshawatRedistricting.JPG
Photo by Anna Merlan
Roy Williams, whose lawsuit helped lead to 14-1, addresses the council during Saturday's redistricting meeting.
As the redistricting process goes on (and on and on), you might expect the public to become less involved, especially when a meeting takes place late on a college-football Saturday afternoon. But, in fact, the opposite seems to be true: Yesterday's public forum, like the one in August, was packed, with every single seat in the council chambers full.

Mayor Mike Rawlings opened the meeting by praising the turnout, saying, "There are lots of people at the forum here today who care about the city of Dallas." Part of the purpose of the day, he said, was to talk about "where we've gotten to today and how we've gotten there. ... The process must be open and transparent."

But he was "concerned," he said, "about allegations that the redistricting commission was not so transparent." He assured the crowd that he had asked City Attorney Tom Perkins to look in to the matter, and that the mayor himself had also conducted "personal interviews." "Those allegations are false," Rawlings relayed. "They're rumors, and they're conspiracy thinking. I'm proud of what this commission did and how it did it."

What he was referring to, of course, was redistricting chair Ruth Morgan's concerns about commissioner Domingo Garcia holding private meetings with other commissioners, as well as accusations that the lines were drawn to protect incumbents. "The majority of commissioners didn't know where anyone lived on this council," Rawlings said. "I believed them and took them at their word."

That said, he acknowledged, "There was politicking. ... This was, and is, a political exercise. That's America. This is a healthy political process, and I believe it worked. ... You may disagree, and that's your prerogative. ... But I will not let [the commission's] work go sullied without saying something." He received a long round of applause for that, the first of several.

But the meeting also began with a fair amount of confusion. Several members of the public were annoyed that they had been told by city staff they wouldn't have to sign up to speak, and thus missed out on a chance to get on the speaker's list (there were about 75 people who actually got to talk). Additionally, the city council members began by condensing and discarding several of their 10 proposed amended maps, including a couple of the proposals by council members Dwaine Caraway, Tennell Atkins and Carolyn Davis. But the council was referring to the maps by what "tab" they were on, while members of the public just had a sheaf of stapled-together papers to refer to. This lead to some confusion and rustling in the audience while they tried to figure out exactly which maps were being thrown away.

Ultimately, judging from the public speakers and the comments from the council, popular support seems to be coalesced around two plans: Amendment 2, by Caraway, Davis and Atkins, which would have four strong African-American districts, and what's being referred to as the "combination plan", which was drawn by Delia Jasso, Scott Griggs, Monica Alonzo, Linda Koop and Ann Margolin, but now seems to have potential support from the Caraway and Atkins, because it retains three strong African-American seats, with the potential for a fourth win in a coalition district.

But earlier in the day, Mayor Rawlings also submitted amendments to Bill Betzen's Plan 3, saying it appeared to have the most tightly drawn districts, with the largest degree of contiguity and compactness while still preserving minority representation. "When I looked at this map, this was the one that did the best job with that," he said. He would amend it, he said, by expanding District 14 to include Uptown and extend District 1 north and east of the Trinity River, he said.

At that point, Marvin Crenshaw, whose lawsuit with Roy Williams led to the creation of 14-1, started yelling at the mayor from the audience, accusing him of not working to support a fourth African-American council seat. The mayor looked at him and responded, "We're going to be real friendly here. But if it happens again, I'm going to ask you to leave." When a woman started yelling from the audience an hour or so later, he quieted her by saying, "Please, respect," several times.

When it came time for public comment, Rawlings repeated that sentiment before allowing the public to speak, warning them to address all their comments to him and stick to the subject of the maps at hand. "I won't tolerate histrionics," he said. "I don't want to sacrifice anybody's civil right to speak to the city council."

Almost immediately, Roy Williams, the other man responsible for 14-1, came up to the mic to tell the mayor that he was going to push for Rawlings to be recalled. Rawlings stayed calm. "Mr. Williams and Mr. Crenshaw made 14-1 happen," he said to the crowd, to a round of applause. "We're here because of them."

After yesterday, there's also no question where the mayor stands on the subject of four "winnable" African-American council seats, which he called "the elephant in the room." The mayor went on to say the he personally supports the idea of four black districts, and promised to "work with the maps to get us to the best place to do that." (But during his public testimony, redistricting commissioner John Loza also implored the mayor to keep in mind the needs of the Latino community, saying that anything less than five districts for them "would be an insult.")

On the whole, Rawlings said, "I feel like we're in a good position. ... We have the choice of several good maps. That's a great challenge to have." That said, he acknowledged the weaknesses of the forum's structure, saying, "It was a good meeting, but it wasn't perfect. I take accountability for that." He apologized to the public speakers who accused him of "disrespecting" the decisions of the redistricting commission by putting forward Betzen's map for consideration again, saying he only wanted to understand "the strengths and weaknesses" of each plan.

Rawlings compared a fair redistricting process to "trying to walk and chew gum at the same time." He promised the council will have a final map to submit the Department of Justice by October 15, and, once more, praised the public for coming out to the forum, even with all the yelling. "It's OK to be passionate," he said. "I want passionate citizens in this city."


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48 comments
bbetzen
bbetzen

It appears that aPlan16d Composite is now the plan.  It already has the names of 8 councilmembers associated with it.  Only 8 votes are needed.  I have taken it and compared it to Map 3 and included copies of both maps on the same 17x11 sheet.  You can see copies of it at http://dallasredistricting2011...

Paul
Paul

I have an idea.  Let's just scrap this whole redistricting fiasco as it does nothing but perpetuate segregation in a legally permissible way.

Yes that's right, the Justice Department sanctioned review of our council districting cannot work unless people are segregated into different areas of the city.

Instead I propose a different way to select those that want to serve on the City council.

But first in order to have a racially balanced council, we first have to have a sufficient number of seats so that we don't have any partial people.

Since we have roughly 34% White, 37% hispanic, 25% AA and 1% other we will need to have 100 council seats.  The Mayor can run at large and be of any race.

Any body who wants to run can then just register and must declare their ethnicity.

Since the concept seems to be that only an AA can represent AAs and Hispanics, Hispanics and so on, for the election you can only vote for a council person of the same ethnicity.  Since there is 34% AA each AA registered voter will get 34 votes.  They can put all of these votes on one person or on different persons of their ethnicity.  Same for the caspers, Hispanics and Others.

Council Candidates must declare their ethnicity and in the case of mixed ethnicity, which group they are going to want to represent.

Absolutely no cross racial voting unless you can demonstrate your ancestry by ethnicity and show percentage of each ethnicity.

We won't follow the one drop rule, but you can decide which ethnic group you vote in, or if you can document percentage, then you do get so many casper, AA or Hispanic votes.

When the votes are tallied, the top 34 white candidates have a seat, the top 37 Hispanic candidates and the top 25 AA candidates ... and of course the number 1 "Other".

Well what if there aren't that many candidates in each ethnic group you say.  Well tough, if you don't want to be involved that is your problem.

Since no one has a particular piece of dirt, the City council can go back to setting policy and the city manager can go back to implementing policy.

As far as I am concerned 14-1 gave us the worst of ward politics and none of its advantages.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

God bless you Bill, there's not a political bone in your body, and that is why your excellent maps will fail.

primi timpano
primi timpano

This very deep, very inside baseball.  Perhaps some explanations from the Dallas Observer?

Joeygreco
Joeygreco

We need more White districts.

Shamrock Keith McPhail
Shamrock Keith McPhail

For those that recall the point of my July 14th testimony to the commission and the two plans I submitted, it was to come to terms with balance between African American and Hispanic districts. Once we answer that question, the mapping options become an easier and less emotional debate. 

A 4th AA district would necessarily come from a Hispanic district, or vice-versa. If both sides are willing to sue over the issue, we do not have a workable plan. We must bring that issue to a head to solve our redistricting riddle. Having studied the issue carefully, I do feel that the 4-AA plan is the least fair, as it requires predominately Hispanic areas to be broken up to create the fourth AA district. It also may under-serve the AA populations as it creates (4) weak majorities that will erode if current population shifts continue. It does appear that many of the loud voices in this debate are neither concerned with the citizens of  Dallas or the law, but rather personal political power. http://dallascityhall.granicus...  

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

"He apologized to the public speakers who accused him of "disrespecting" the decisions of the redistricting commission by putting forward Betzen's map for consideration again, saying he only wanted to understand "the strengths and weaknesses" of each plan."

A. Theses people must be really uneducated people that drank the Kool-Aid saying "Keep Me in a Gerrymandered District."

B. They still hate the Mayor.

C. Try to keep Southern Dallas the way it is.

So how can you help 300 or 200 if theres people who don't live in that District Brainwashed people that being in a Gerrymandered District is wrong?

My nightmare came true, people actually wanted Gerrymandered Districts so Blacks can have there 4 seats.

Hey, unless you tell DISD to care about Blacks, and drag Cedar Hill, Desoto people back to Dallas, it's not going to happen. It's just the reality.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

It seems to me that devising race-based seats IS the problem.

So what  happens if, in a district drawn to give blacks an edge, a black candidate is not elected?  What if a Hispanic wins?  Or an Anglo?

This whole process implies that only an Anglo can represent Anglos effectively, etc.

Race-based everything is what is holding Dallas back.It's so 1970s--it's a dysfunctional prison the citizens (who have moved on) cannot escape.It's like we're continually oppressed by people in their 60s who use race to accomplish their no-longer-applicable agenda.

Has anyone but me noticed the waves of people moving to both northern and southern suburbs?   They are tired of the race-based dysfunction. 

Divide the city up into geographical sections and may the best man win.  

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"The majority of commissioners didn't know where anyone lived on this council," Rawlings said. "I believed them and took them at their word."

And because He said it that makes it true.

bbetzen
bbetzen

The real "Elephant in the Room" appeared to be the chart that was handed out to the Council and all 350+ people in attendance. You can see it here: http://dallasredistricting2011...

It provided 15 statistics for each of the 11 maps being considered. These are the critical numbers showing both campactness and the potential to elect minority candidates.  In the one minute time frames given to speak it was impossible to mention this chart as well.  Dallas must not miss the opportunity of a decade to clean up our city council districts so they are more efficient and allow our city to be more accurately represented.  

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

It was amusing seeing Jasso take credit for the "combination plan" when you could practically see Domingo's hand moving her lips. 

Keith McPhail
Keith McPhail

Thanks Bill. We all knew from the onset that this would be the result. You made your stand. As did I. Stay in game, your approach is correct. 

bbetzen
bbetzen

Kieth, I loved your maps as they showed us all some very valuable patterns.  The lesson I saw was that four black districts were possible, but they would all four be very vulnerable districts if the 8 percentage point drop in Black voting age population in those four districts from the past 10 years continued for the next 10 years.  While they would certainly work now, we could also too easily loose 2 or more of these seats to other than Black candidates before 2021.

I disagree with you about a Hispanic district needing to suffer so as to secure a winnable Black district.   Dallas is a big city.  There are other places to work on a winnable Black district without even touching either the 5 strong Hispanic Districts in Map 3, or the 3 strong Black Districts we also have in Map 3.

The two minority opportunity districts now in the Mayors version of Map 3 are both already the strongest such opportunity districts in any Map that also has 8 minority majority districts.   I think they can be improved without touching any of the minority majority districts.   Look at the coalition districts in the Mayor's Map 3.  What do you see in the area of that potential?  I wonder if we see the same thing?

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Ms. Hasan- If you would like to know I'm currently a Broadcast Journalism major. You take the chance to bring a good map for the city where I know many people who likes it. I know a friend who lives in East Dallas, and Plan 3 would put him in East Dallas, now he's still with South Dallas which really doesn't have anything in common. It won't be a waste of time come 2021 agian, less painful but we can all learn something. You were just doing your job where people wanted to be in a gerrymandered district and thats fine, what can you do? Yes, I know the fighting going on with Blacks loosing there seat, but ethier agian find a way to bring them back to Dallas and fix the schools. That is why the numbers are down for them and just the reality of numbers. Right now, my focus is still on DISD and was since the start. But, redistrcting is a very important issue as well which I'm a Registered Voter in Dallas County maybe for another 3 Years.

I think we need to show this movie in District 8 http://www.gerrymanderingmovie... 

For Meetings, and at this rate if Gas becomes $10 a gallon in the next 10 years, I rather just walk down the street, then go 30 miles for a meeting. I've only gone to DISD Meetings that would end up in East Dallas or somewhere else since Nancy Bingham has never hosted a meeting in her district for Budgets and Redistricting while the others have.

Oak Cliff Res.- Pretty much all it just is Politics which has annoyed me for all of theses years. I really wonder what people would think if 2 and 14 were in One District, that was just a random thought that I had.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Omar, the public confusion over Map 3 comes from that fact that very few people realize that it received more first and second place votes from the Redistricting Commission that either Map 16 or Map 5.  The only problem was that 12 of those 13 votes were second place votes. The Commission only counted first place votes, and Map 3 was out.  The other two maps both received more first place votes and more last place votes than Map 3.

Omar, we will never have to return to gerrymandered districts so as to have 3 strong Black districts and one very winnable 4th seat, and possibly even a 5th.  I think it can be done.

Regarding your concerns about DISD, it is the greatest challenge facing Dallas, as is the public school system in every major urban area.   But Dallas has made tremendous progress.  Look at the numbers at  http://schoolarchiveproject.bl... .  They will show you very concrete documentation of progress over the past 5 years in Dallas.  That pattern now must NEVER stop.  As it continues families will begin to move both back into Dallas and out of the public schools that are also struggling at this time.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Actually the districts are gerrymandered to give Hispanics so-called 5 seats although 1 seat (District 3) has always elected an anglo after many Blacks and Browns have run for it and if it keeps its gerrymandered form will continue to do so.  Also District 2 is gerrymandered to save a Hispanic district.  what does Love Field have to do with Samuel Grand?  so the gerrymandering is not for blacks, it's for browns. cplan16 ammendment 2 has 4 black districts, 5 hispanic districts and has the second lowest miles of districts according to Mr. Betzen. blacks can get 4 seats without gerrymandering...

bbetzen
bbetzen

DISD Teacher, U.S. history is filled with documentation of why you do not ignore race so as to erase racism.   If race really does not make any difference, then our leadership bodies would equally reflect our citizenship.  Sadly that does not happen and we are still needing to assure it does due to what you call "race-based seats."   Who is elected is not the issue.  Equal opportunity is!  

Every race can appropriately represent any other race.  But IF everything truly was equal then Dallas City Council would be 34% Anglo, 25% Black, and 37% Hispanic, or close to that.  That pattern is not yet established.  We must redistrict so that pattern has the best potential for happening.  We are only talking about potential.  If you draw the least gerrymandered and most compact districts, generally this should happen in current Dallas.  However, all compact districts are also NOT equal.  Under the term "compact" some very manipulative districts can be drawn.  That is why this entire process must be very public.

The biggest single factor driving people out of Dallas is probably the public school system.  I just retired from that system.  It is certainly improving, and that is well documented.  But it is one step forward, one step back.  The current cuts are a big step back.  But progress is happening and that is certainly a separate issue from redistricting.  Some statistics that document that improvement are at http://schoolarchiveproject.bl...

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Thats why I'm so glad i'm not in Dallas.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Compactness? Really? Who cares about compactness? People care about neighborhoods. Your motives are far from pure. All one has to do is look at your map to see that. You did a good job for your district and your neighborhood and you protected your incumbent and you put the rest of the city in a grid pattern.  I think your map would hold back opportunities for minorities for another ten years. I think the Dallas Morning News likes your map for that reason.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

The only time District 8 is gerrymandered is in plan 3...

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

You are wasting you time, he will not get what you are saying.  The young man has tunnel vision.  He can't see the forest for the trees.

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Actually, in the start, 2 would of been really different and would of been lost so that the Grove can be its own district. As always, we all know what happened and we can just go on from there. I really think the point about Love Field and Samuel-Grand has to do with Politics as I see it, since people fight for what places and bulidings they want in there district. Of Course, NW Dallas and East Dallas are different areas. Now, the fight is about the Blacks loosing seats for the Grove.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I strongly disagree with you one 2 points:1.  The district is NOT improving.  Testing days have spiraled out of control, there is still an unresponsive and incompetent bureaucracy crushing the campuses, and the thugs continue to rule the comprehensive campuses.  Your sense of "improvement" is based on numbers that are very much disputed by many people.

2.  The outward color of the city council does NOT need to match the outward color of city residents for there to be excellent representation and city govt.  DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE A PERSON'S SKIN COLOR MAKES THEM A BETTER REPRESENTATIVE?

Sadly, I think you do.Laws have changed.  Society has changed.  Very, very few people differentiate people according to race.  EXCELLENCE should be the goal, not some superficial "rainbow" of skin colors on a dais so people can falsely assure themselves that all is well.

In spite of race-based elections, all is NOT well for much of south Dallas bc skin color doesn't equal excellence.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

You are absolutely right.  The people in Kleberg/Rylie wanted to remain in District 8.  The compactness didn't matter to them with the exception of Omar.  They never had a problem coming to Oak Cliff and Oak Cliff didn't have a problem going there for events.  Mr Bezten's map ignored the wishes of the people with the exception of his neighborhood.  When his neighbors got upset about not being included in the district, he changed that portion of his map. Had he listen to people from the south the way he did the people from the north his map would have been in the final two.  Amendent 2 is Bezten's map with modifications. 

Poker Face
Poker Face

I care about compactness, too.  Most neighbors don't even know one another.  Individuals living in a neighborhood seldom share common views on issues.  Tell me that all the individuals in Uptown think alike.  Or, Lower Greenville.  Or, Lakewood. 

Rawlings is doing everything possible to try to get a good map.  He's trying to work with the entire City, unlike some councilmembers who are only thinking of their own re-elections, or in the case of a those who are at term limits and are hoping to put forth their favorite successors.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Neighborhoods care about compactness.  It is what puts them together. What does compactness mean to you?  Could you be more specific as to how Map 3 could hold back minorities for another 10 years by not only giving them as many or more minority majority districts than any other map, but also making the average of those minority voting age percentages larger than any other map?  Map 3 is three percentage points higher for average Black voting age population and one and 1/2 percentage point higher for Hispanic voting age population. Did you study either the chart analysis posted on the Redistricting Commission web site for each map, or the chart made from those statsistic at http://dallasredistricting2011... ?  Both of them show the same data.

Ms Freedmans
Ms Freedmans

The 1991 map, started with gerrymandering with District 2 and 14 of the TOP and district 14 moved District 2 down and District 7 out the way, at the same time in 1991 my Community was be erased {FreedmansTown} because of no representation, but ain't nobody saying NOTHING!

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Actually the fight is about the blacks loosing a seat.  Pleasant Grove can have a seat without blacks loosing a seat.  What is your major?

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

And again, a Hispanic is fighting to keep her gerrymandered district to include Love Field and Samuel Grand, so don't say that blacks want gerrymandering.  Please tell me what black district in any map is gerrymandered?  And don't say Amendment 1 because that map is off the table now.  I can tell you atleast 2 hispanic districts in each map that are however gerrymandered...

bbetzen
bbetzen

I agree with your points one and two above.  But strongly disagree with the idea that the district was a total disaster under Hinojosa.  Like all school leaders, it was a mixed bag. But under Hinojosa it was a mixed bag that was MUCH better than any of those who went before him in DISD for well beyond a decade before he arrived.  Look at the four measurements of student movement that are documented at http://schoolarchiveproject.bl...

Lets talk about those measurements. They document very real improvements in DISD that started in about 2005!   Show me where I am wrong!  I do not think you are up to it.

This is a very critical argument.  Our children's future depend upon it!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

But I do agree with you that it is the school district driving people out of Dallas.

Again, that's bc the district has become a race-based hot mess.

Or were you one of the people out there calling for a Hispanic superintendent since the district is majority Hispanic?  After all, shouldn't a Hispanic better serve Hispanic kids than some white guy?

Look how well Hinojosa turned out for all the Hispanic kids.

Race-based is a destructive lie.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Oh and Rawlings doesn't care about politics or anything? Please. Mayor good, council bad? I don't think so. More like the mayor is clueless. He came to the process really late you know.

Ms Freedmans
Ms Freedmans

Plenty of vacant land in Freedmanstown[district 14] and in District 7 where black lived 20 years ago and everything comming up is for whites.They will soon have South Dallas around fairpark.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Heart, the vote I was talking about was the vote to go from considering 3 maps to go down to just two. Map 3 and 16 should have been the ones.  Instead, Map 5 was selected even though it received the most last place votes of any map.  A weighted system should have been used.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Mary, you are correct that both District 5 and 8 had increases in population. However, in 5 the Black population decreased by 3.393 and the Black percentage fell from 54.35% to 47.25%.  The good news in District 8 is that both total numbers grew, total population and Black population.  However, the Black population grew at a slower rate so the total percentage dropped from 57.21% in 2000 to 52.13% in 2010.  I certainly hope the improvements in DISD continue, and accelerate, so that we quit loosing Black population, and all other families as well.  Until we see things changing we need to project that the decrease in Black population will continue.  The one area of Dallas where I think it is growing is in the Woods, served by the Duncanville District.  That is why I placed them in District 5, to take advantage of that growth.  That is also why the Black districts in Map 3 were so much stronger that the other Map 16 plans.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Your comments goes with your name.  You definitely wrote with heart and soul.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

If you truly believed that your map was the best for the city, then why did you change it to put your neighborhood back into District 8. It was because your neighbors wanted to remain in the district and they let you have it.  Why listen to some and not others.  Were your neighbors driven by a political engine.  If they were, then why did you change your map?

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

I don't know about 4 but district 5 and 8 had population increases.  With all the vacant land in District 8, that probably will continue in the next 10 years.  It seems that your packing is based on the presumption that this trend will not continue.  Nobody knows the future.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

You cared more than the rest of the people.  You have that I know what is best for you attitude. 

heart and soul
heart and soul

Bill, I am sure you are a nice enough guy but you are also a hypocrite and you are starting to sound like a really sour loser.

First off no one cares about your silly twisted math that claims that map 3 should have been recommended. There is nothing wrong with the process. The recommended map got the most firsts and not by a little but by a lot. There is not even a reason to look at second place votes unless there is a tie for first. There wasn't. Your map wasn't recommended. OK. Geez, get over it.

Second you break up fewer neighborhoods by drawing lines that break up fewer neighborhoods.  Who cares about compactness or having the shortest lines? What are you building here a quilt? Who cares if it is pretty?

Finally, there is simply no such thing as a non-political map so get off your soap box. OK. You didn't draw a line through your neighborhood? Why not?

Oh and the non-politically motivated public is not speaking. That is the thing about the non-politically motivated. They don't speak. They don't vote either.  Your map speaks for you and a few that don't like the current map. So how about you call for an end to your fatwa, Bill, and quit trying to smear those that don't agree with you.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Oak Cliff Res, District 7 has not "had 46% over the past 10 years"  If you look on slide 70 of the orientation given to the Dallas City Council you quickly see that the District 7 Black population of 42,999 represented 53.12% of District 7 population in the 2000 census.  By the 2010 Census the Black population in District 7 had dropped by 8,795 or 20.45%!  However, since the population in the entire district had also dropped, Blacks still represented 45.81% of the population.  Another 10 years like that and District 7 will NOT be a winnable district by the Justice Department definition of 40% that you quote.

Please look at population growth and decline patterns. You can see that slide # 70 that I quote above on the Redistricting Commission web site at http://www.dallascityhall.com/...

bbetzen
bbetzen

heart and soul, Map 3 received more first and second place votes by the 15 Redistricting Commission members than either Map 16 or Map 5. Both Map 16 and Map 5 received more last place votes than Map 3.  They also received more first place votes and that left Map 3 out.   Does that sound like a strange voting sytem to you?

I have attended redistricting hearings several times this year.  I have attended every single one of the 10 community Dallas City Council redistricing hearings wherein the public was asked for their opinions.  I have also attended both Texas House and Senate redistricting hearings.  The testimony is very similar:  "Do not break up my neighborhood."    How do you do that for everyone?  Lines must go somewhere!

You break up fewer neighborhoods by making lines as short as possible.  Then fewer folks live near district lines.  That means districts are compact!  You also use freeways, rivers, railroad tracks and major 6-lane streets as boundaries as much as possible and avoid residential streets with a passion.  That is what I have done with Map 3 in Dallas.  That is probably why 20% of the speakers Saturday, who independently on their own came to speak in support of Map 3.   The others who came to testify in support of any other of the 11 Maps were called out by campaign email lists or other lists used by policial supporters of various council members. Map 3 is not being pushed by any politician who used any mailing list to get out followers.  Almost all of the other Maps were supported by politicians who used their campaign email lists to try to generate speakers.   As a non-political map, I think something very positive happened Saturday.   The non-politically motivated public is speaking. We do not want politics as usual. We want Map 3!  WE WANT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD REPRESENTED, AND WANT TO KNOW OUR REPRESENTATIVE.  That is the cry made from gerrymandered districts.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Justice Department preclearence only requires "black districts" to have a minimum of 40% VAP to be considered winnable.  Just as District 7 has had 46% over the past 10 years and out of 5 elections always voted in a black person, even going into white areas of Ferguson Rd and Hispanic areas of Pleasant Grove.

bbetzen
bbetzen

If you are saying Dallas that cannot have three strong Black districts and still have a very winnable 4th district without hurting those first three, you are wrong!  Dallas can certainly have 3 Black districts that can each survive the next 10 years even if the same pattern of population change happens as happened the past 10 years!  That means that Dallas can loose an average of 8 percentage points in the Black voting age population in these districts and every one of these districts will still survive as a strong Black district.  Why?  Because the weakest of those districts, District 5 in Map 3, is starting out as a 55.4% Black viting age district. It is also in an area where Black population has grown for the past 10 years! The other two Black majority districts are all over 66% and certainly safe.    We do NOT have to endanger this strengh to have a winnable 4th district elsewhere.  Compactness allows that.  Sadly the current plan cPlan16d by Caraway/Davis/Davis/DMPT/Atkins has a plan wherein three of the four Black districts are all below 52.13% Black.  With an 8% reduction, as we suffered these past 10 years, these districts would all be below 46%.  If any of them had a 12% reduction, such as happened the past decade to one district, we would be in real trouble!  Do we gamble with the heroic progress made these past 30 years?

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

There is a big difference however when you say that your map has the 3 strongest black districts, when you can shed it's strength and combine with other hispanic and/or white districts to make 4 black districts while maintaining neighborhood interests and compactness. I would rather take a weaker and still winnable 4 over the strongest 3 anyday. plain and simple the three are so strong because they are packed...

heart and soul
heart and soul

Compactness doesn't mean anything to me. Neighborhoods matter. Yes I could be much more specific about how your map hurts minorities but why bother.Your map isn't going anywhere. While good for you it just hurts too many others. That is why it failed to be the map recommended.

You have been told what is wrong with your map. It is just numbers. Numbers don't vote people do. figure it out. Then imagine that everyone wants for their neighborhood what you want for yours.

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