DoJ: Texas's New Election Maps Seek to Deny Hispanics Voting Rights, Especially in DFW

Categories: Politics
statelectionmap1.JPG
Overnight, several Friends of Unfair Park sent different versions of the same story, which says: The state quite deliberately submitted to the Department of Justice new election maps that discriminate against the Hispanic voter -- especially in Dallas-Fort Worth. As in: "There is direct and circumstantial evidence that the development and passage of these redistricting plans were tarnished by the prohibited purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates."

Just in case anyone thinks the Department of Justice just rubber-stamps redistricting maps.

The DoJ actually hired its own redistricting expert, Theodore Arrington, to take a look-see at the submitted maps, and he concluded state officials quite willfully drew new maps to keep Hispanics from voting for Hispanic candidates. Some highlights (?) from the massive filing that follows:
This significant impact is highly relevant to the discriminatory purpose analysis. Moreover, there is other evidence of the impact of the proposed plan on the State's minority population. As pointed out by Dr. Arrington, the State ignored the substantial increase in the minority population, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in proposing a plan that actually reduced minority electoral power. ...

The proposed House plan uses visually subtle but no less direct methods to effectuate a retrogression in Hispanic representation in Dallas-Fort Worth and Harris County. Specifically, these counties exhibit wide variation in district populations to protect incumbents from districts drawn prior to ten years of explosive minority population growth. ...

Proposed districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were purposely manipulated to decrease current and future minority voting strength. ...

Specifically with regard to proposed District 23 and some districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (Dallas and Tarrant Counties), the minority population was purposely manipulated to decrease current and future minority voting strength. ...

In addition, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the State has pulled strangely-shaped minority population areas out of certain districts in order to submerge them in larger Anglo populations and to reduce minority voting strength.
Well, you get the point. Worth noting: The DoJ, which is seeking to kill the map, offered its filing the very same day Dallas sent to Justice its new council districts map, which has also been accused of being retrogressive and drawn to protect incumbents. DOJ's Texas Redistricting Filings

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
30 comments
Jpotrammell
Jpotrammell

This is something that always happens. The party who is in power when the census comes out is the party that control of how the districts are drawn.That is how it is done in most states. In 1990 census, the democrats control the Texas House and Senate and they drew districts that favored them.That was the beginning of the end of the white democrat in the south. (Rick Perry was a democratic who back Al Gore for president in 1992). BTW that's when district 30 was drawn and Eddie Bernice Johnson won. The district was drawn to elect a African American. Later the courts rules the race can not be the main reason in gerrymandering. But they didn't say it could not be gerrymandered for political party. In Texas and most of the South most white people are republicans and most non whites are democrats. So for republicans to strenghten their hold, you draw districts that vote strongly republican. Which with the execption of Austin and Uptown in Dallas is white people. In Austin the area was split up because of the San Francisco white liberals that live there. In Florida republicans draw hispanic areas there that have large Cuba American population that tends to vote Republican. If you look at the redistricting process in most states the same fighting is going on. In Illinois the democrats and fighting with each other. The black members of congress are fight to keep their number of seat in congress even though hispanics have a larger population in the state. Sounds like a city I live in

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Just Severe Gerrymandering right there. Why Does Oak Cliff belong to a Ellis County District? How does Lake Highlands, Mesquite belong to East Texas? The House map is much worse.

scottindallas
scottindallas

per the headline, "DoJ: Texas's New Election Maps Seek to Deny Hispanics Voting Rights, Especially in DFW;"  I ask, what do you think those maps are for?

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

The emails Lamar Smith sent are pretty relevant (TPM link). Reporting on them might help the fools here understand you're writing about Congress and not the City Council. (One might think maps clearly showing areas outside the city would do that, but apparently one would be wrong)

bbetzen
bbetzen

This same exact pattern was repeated with the final Dallas City Council map chosen by 9 of the 15 City Council members. A city with a white population that is less than 29% of the total population has approved a map wherein 43% of the city council districts are white majority districts before there is any election!  The city council map sent to DOJ has 5 districts that are over 50% white and one "coalition" district with a solid white majority of 42%.    This is all BEFORE the voting happens. 

If redistricting is done correctly the distribution of the population should match the distribution of the districts. Who can or cannot vote should only make a difference in the voting booth. 

That needs to be repeated: "Who can or cannot vote should only make a difference in the voting booth!"

Redistricting should create a level playing field where everyone is counted the same.  Gerrymandering is the manipulation of this level playing field to manipulate the power of the voting booth before any vote happens. It is said that 85% of US legislative districts are now gerrymandered to this extent. Thus we have the inaction in Washington!

The power should only be in the voting booth, NOT at the redistricting table.  Our soldiers are not dying to defend the right of the redistricting table to run our nation.  The power of the redistricting table should ONLY be to create the level playing field so all potential, not actual but potential, voters have an equally powerful vote. When the redistricting table manipulates the potential power of the vote, as it obviously has here in Dallas, and all across our nation, something is very wrong. 

Details on filing comments to DOJ about the Dallas City Council map submitted are at http://dallasredistricting2011...

pak152
pak152

What will be even more amusing is when a minority/majority district eg Hispanic majority district elects someone different than what the district was created for.

CityAttorneys
CityAttorneys

City Attorney Office - You said if you had to see the inside of a courtroom on this issue, that you were confident in your position. Have fun in the courtroom! You got your wish, with an opponent that has an endless budget. Good Luck!!! 

RTR
RTR

Hey City Hall and all Dallas Politicians - The gig is up. All the shenanigans from City Hall to Dallas County, etc.........We are fed-up with all of you and taking ACTION. Your days of discrimination, segregation and other hate crimes are over. 

Bobthekb
Bobthekb

Is this not more about the Hispanic American taking a voting district from the African American and the European American agreeing to side with the African American in place of the Hispanic American ?

Here All Week
Here All Week

 It is quite obvious from the map that the DOJ doesn't know Jack about Jack (county).

Bing
Bing

As long as that Congress is in Austin.

Jay
Jay

Hmmm do you really think that the Dallas council districts will not be up for discussion or put under the same spotlight by the DOJ when they share these same deficits? Your comments are useless. The fact is there is a problem in the city of Dallas as well as at the state level.

scottindallas
scottindallas

not really sure what you are claiming.  Are you suggesting that districts should be drawn like a perfect demographic grid, cutting neighborhoods arbitrarily?  Or are you saying that they should be equal with regard to racial make-up?--those districts would have to look like straws connecting South Dallas to North?  I think it would be impossible to draft a map that doesn't offend one precept or the other.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Bah! Ridiculous!

Everyone knows that the Council Chamber Table is not the place for this fairminded "playfield leveling" you speak of. This is the place where the moneyed and connected members of society gather to temper and quell the "unpredictable" democratic urges of the proletariat. We do this by diluting their collective voice and ability to influence policy. For their own good, of course.

Sincerely,

Dallas City Council.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

This is the State of Texas map, not the City of Dallas and to the 2 people that liked the comment are just as stupid as the writer...

md
md

We need to do more to make our elections more Latino friendly. For instance, in Mexico, Mexicans must apply to the "Electoral Roll" by personally submitting an official form that includes their signature, fingerprint and photograph to a field office of the Federal Electoral Registry. They are then issued a voter ID card that has their photograph, fingerprint, and a holographic image to prevent counterfeiting. We should do the same.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Yeah, this 30th time round is gonna end it all.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Sure, but are they wise about Wise? Will they be callin' about Collin?

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

There is a decent change the city will get addressed by the DOJ. There is a 100% chance the state and federal seats will. Did you read this article? Did you read the DOJs statement?

My comments are not useless, the Smith emails are the key to the DOJs case. They explicitly use racial language to describe how to draw lines.

bbetzen
bbetzen

scottindallas, due to the 71% of Dallasites who are minority it is very easy to both have compact districts and districts wherein minorities are the majority in well over 71% of the districts.  That was achieved with the wPlan03c map at http://www.dallascityhall.com/...

It is also possible to go the other way and have whites as the majority in well over 43% of the districts with minorities only the majority in 57% of the districts. However, when you do that you add about 40 miles of boundary lines, for a total of about 498 miles, due to the extra gerrymandering needed.  That is what the approved map did. The approved map and statistics are at http://www.dallascityhall.com/...

These are some of the reasons why the Department of Justice probably will not approve the map that 9 city council members approved and sent to the Department of Justice a week ago today. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I think what he is pushing is that HIS map should be the one selected.  Personally, I'd suggest having a council of entirely at-large candidates.  No districts, no gerrymandering, no neighborhood specific interests on the council.  If Pleasant Grove, Lakewood, East Dallas, Oak Cliff, North Dallas, etc want a neighborhood council, let them charter one and elect reps for it.  Look at the attention the LGHA garners from the current council.  As an added bonus, with all at-large reps, one couldn't blame the council makeup or performance on racism.  The blame would have to go squarely on the voters.

CityAttorneys
CityAttorneys

Your arrogance is exactly like those at City Hall! And that my friend, is the exact reason holy hell is being brought down on them. I guess you think Dallas will be exempt from the same JUST actions against Texas? Dead wrong - so who is "stupid"? Arrogance kills!!! 

heart and soul
heart and soul

I missed the part where anyone said this was a City of Dallas map. It makes sense that if DoJ had a problem with this map they will have a problem with the city map. They are both retrogressive.

Oak Cliff Res., you calling everyone that doesn't agree with you stupid does not make them stupid. It just makes you look stupid. Just FYI.

Montemalone
Montemalone

What is this, a  Central Market commercial?

(I won't go there because of them)

heart and soul
heart and soul

Your comments are useless. No one is confused about what map we are looking at and no one needs your help or name calling. Go take a nap.

Paul
Paul

We used to have at large council members but when Judge Buchmeyer ruled, he said that this was contrary to law and he mandated the 14-1 plan.

Besides this discussion is about the Federal Congressional Districts, not the Dallas City Council districts.

I 'like' the way that district 26 snakes down to south FW and district 33 reaches around to grab Arlington.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

Golly, it must be difficult shopping when you won't go to places that have commercials!

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...