Jasso Acknowledges She's Drawing a New Redistricting Map to Present to City Council

Categories: City Hall
DeliaJasso_sodablaster_StripCo.jpg
Photo by Patrick Michels
So far, there's been little indication that the council has any interest in reopening the debate over the new council-districts map approved (barely) on October 5 and dispatched to the Department of Justice three weeks later. As you may recall, six council members did ask Mayor Mike Rawlings to add a "redistricting alternative" to the council agenda by no later than December 14. That was on October 27, and since then, nothing -- save for rumors that Delia Jasso's got a new map, which she won't confirm or deny. But ... I do see that Jasso's not about to let it go.

She's written a Letter to the Editor, which appears in today's News, in which she acknowledges she's "persisting in drawing a map that the full Dallas City Council can support -- not with a vote of 9 to 6 -- and that ensures Hispanics are represented." She writes:
I hope the council recognizes that the existing map has diluted the percentage of Hispanic voters in District 1. The narrative that was sent to the Justice Department defines Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as "safe" for incumbents. An amended map would satisfy Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The 2010 census shows a 42 percent Hispanic population in Dallas. With plenty of time and thought, we could have done a better job of drawing new lines for Districts 1, 3 and 4. Instead, there was a requirement to vote the day a map was introduced.

Adding precincts creates an unproven Hispanic District 1. We can resolve these concerns within 60 days after the Oct. 24 submittal of the map to the Department of Justice, as Voting Rights Act guidelines allow.

Ultimately, the Dallas City Council may vote on an amendment to the map. I feel that I have done as much as possible to correct the imbalanced apportionment of council seats.
I've got calls out to the mayor's office and Redistricting Project Manager Yasmin Barnes Tolliver to see where Jasso's proposal currently stands. (Update at 11:21 a.m.: Tolliver writes that "the Redistricting Office has not received a new map being referenced in the letter to the editor.")

Update at 12:07 p.m.: Paula Blackmon, Rawlings's chief of staff, confirms that Jasso did indeed "bring over a new amended map to the mayor's office" yesterday.

But, she says, it's not official: "It's a map showing precinct lines being moved with some numbers." She has asked Jasso's office and the Redistricting Office to get together "to make sure it meets the criteria."

But before it could go before council, the council would have to vote to approve suspending rules that keep previously voted-upon items from reappearing on a voting agenda for one year. And 10 members would have to vote in favor of suspending the rules. Then, says Blackmon, "we have 30 days to put it on the agenda, and we're working through that. I will know more later."
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5 comments
sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

If I recall, Delia Jasso is a columnist. what is this letter to the editor saying.

   "I hope the council recognizes that the existing map has diluted the percentage of Hispanic voters in District 1."

With 74% Hispanic and over 50% voters with Hispanic surnames, how does the map dilute HIspanics.

       " The narrative that was sent to the Justice Department defines Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as "safe" for incumbents."

Incumbency is not guaranteed under the constitution.

      "An amended map would satisfy Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act."

Is she saying that the proposed map will not satisfy Section 5.        "The 2010 census shows a 42 percent Hispanic population in Dallas. With plenty of time and thought, we could have done a better job of drawing new lines for Districts 1, 3 and 4. Instead, there was a requirement to vote the day a map was introduced."

The City of Dallas conducted the longest redistricting in the history of the country. Her appointee to the redistricting commission. Domingo Garcia, is the chair of a STATEWIDE Latino Redistricting Task force, with access to legal and technical assistance, full aware of the legalities of the Voting Rights act. Garcia is politically savy and demonstrated his political skills quite adeptly. His fatal flaw was 1. negotiating with Dwaine Caraway and his politics and 2. incumbent protection of Hunt and Alonzo dynasty.  The white ruling class used their strangle holds on the African Americans and showed Garcia who the boss is. It would have been wiser to give white Oak Cliff a district at the expense of either Hunt or Alonzo. The North Oak cliff residents said that they wanted to stay together, so the council honored their wishes.          "Adding precincts creates an unproven Hispanic District 1."

The Justice department will look at a ten year history of voter turnout andother voter behavioral pattersn

          "We can resolve these concerns within 60 days after the Oct. 24 submittal of the map to the Department of Justice, as Voting Rights Act guidelines allow"

By the time she gets this item on the agenda and the attorneys vet the amended plan, the DOJ will have ruled on the current proposal before them.  If the current proposal does does satisfy section 5, as she says, it will not preclear. Jasso can present her amended proposal then as an alternate map. If the map preclears,Oh well, next time 2013.        "Ultimately, the Dallas City Council may vote on an amendment to the map. I feel that I have done as much as possible to correct the imbalanced apportionment of council seats."

I thought with access to Domingo Garcia, her letter would at least be more factual and legalse. The apportionment of the districts in the proposed plan are within the allowed deviation. Why doesn't she make her concerns known to the DOJ during the public comment period within the 60 days from October 24.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Jasso is perhaps one of the biggest dolts on Council. The 'Carolyn Davis' of Oak Cliff, if you will.

Of course she doesn't want to be in Grigg's district, because she knows she will lose. Big time.

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

"The narrative that was sent to the Justice Department defines Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as "safe" for incumbents."

Really?  I thought incumbency was one of the factors they are specifically NOT to consider.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

More accurately, she doesn't want Griggs in "her" district. And yes she will lose big-time 'cuz all the white folks that vote will vote for Griggs, and the Hispanics in District 1 don't vote anyway.....

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

More specifically, it is the addresses of incumbents that were not supposed to be considered.  However it is well documented, both in the approved map and in the recordings of the meetings, that council addresses were critical in the way the lines were drawn. This and other issues are documented in the letter I wrote to the Department of Justice this week: http://dallasredistricting2011...

It will be amazing if the Department of Justice gives approval to this map.  At least one lawsuit is already being prepared.  I presume others will be filed.

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