City Sends Word That the Justice Department Doesn't Object to Its Redistricting Plan

Categories: City Hall
2013DallasCounciMap.jpg
Like it or not, this is the map that will be used in the 2013 city council elections. The giant version is here.
It's possible we're not yet done with issues concerning the city of Dallas's new council-districts map. Lawsuits, after all, have been threatened by Hispanic leaders demanding five majority Latino districts. But some two weeks after several city officials went to D.C. to visit with Department of Justice officials about the new map, which the council barely passed in early October and puts Delia Jasso and Scott Griggs in the same district, City Hall sends word: Far as the Department of Justice is concerned, it's good to go.

This is release just sent by Dallas City Hall:
Today the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division notified the City of Dallas that it does not interpose any objection to the Redistricting Plan for the Dallas City Council approved on October 5, 2011. The approved districting plan will go into effect for the 2013 City Council election.

Tom Perkins, Dallas City Attorney, stated that the pre-clearance indicates that the plan does not create a retrogression of the rights of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice, as protected under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

"I am pleased with the outcome," said Mayor Mike Rawlings. "This confirms that the redistricting plan approved by the City Council increases the opportunities for minority representation. It is my belief in the future we will see a majority of minority council members sitting around the horseshoe."

"I would also like to thank the Chair of the Redistricting Commission, Ruth Morgan, and all of the members of the Commission for their service to the City and their hard work," added Mayor Rawlings.

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15 comments
sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

Bill Betzen is a Hypocrite, I am glad he states "should" because political jurisdictions are PROHIBITED from redistricting based on ethinic percentages as a guiding principles. Bill's map packs the blacks in southern Dallas into three districts and BRAGS about having thr highest percentage of blacks 55-65% when the DOJ establishes a benchmark in Dallas of FOUR districts with 40% or more. The voters in these districts have a 10 year history of electing the person of their choice.

Betzen cracks a minority coalition district in Northeast Dallas by configuring a percentage of blacks into Preston Hollow and calls his effort "integration." Where is the opportunity for North east minorities to elect the person of their choice.  Betzen cracks the minorities and creates 4 white districts 2. Lake Highland neighborhoods and 1 Preston Hollow and 635 and Hilcrest and then tries to pretend to Hispanics that there should only be four white districts

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

The difference between redistricting and voting must be understood.  If you have a population that is 29% Anglo then about 29% of the districts should reflect an Anglo majority.  If 42% of the population is Hispanic, then 42% of the districts should reflect a Hispanic majority. If 25% of the population is Black then 25% of the districts should reflect a black majority.  But if you engage in cracking and packing districts, the classic tools of gerrymandering, then this balance is lost, and not by accident. 

It is only when you go into the voting booth that citizenship and the ability to vote should count. People who want to confuse redistricting and voting have another agenda.  

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

So, if you demand a district be "white," you are a racist, but if you demand it be "hispanic or black," you are for civil rights?

Make up your damned minds, people. Either you go by grouping by race, or you go by grouping of eligible voters, or you go by neighborhoods.

I think 7 for "white' may be high, but you know, until I see THOUSANDS, and I mean THOUSANDS of Hispanics actually VOTING, not LIVING, not shopping, but VOTING, then I will worry that rights have been violated. You could literally have an area where you have 50,000 Hispanics, and maybe, just maybe, about 13,000 could vote by citizenship and/or age. Over time, more will be either born in the USA  or become citizens under immig reform, but for now, Hispanics have the lowest turnout ratio in Dallas. Raising a stink by the same 4-5 people will not make a movement.

And BTW, be careful what you ask for. Voting one in on the basis of one's race will get you just as many criminals as when the whites were in power. Terri Hodge? Don Hill? Will the Hispanics really rise up and elect someone who is not a Medrano, Garcia or an Alonzo? If not, you might as well stick with what you have now, 'cause nothing else will change.

.

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

It was strange that today my family was watching the classic civil rights movie from the '60's, "The Help," when I received notice of this DOJ decision.  It was evidence that things have certainly not changed as much as many people would like to believe since the time this powerful movie was set in. Watch "The Help" and notice what many are saying both in that movie and in the conversations surrounding this redistricting process.  There are too many similarities.  Things have not changed enough in the past 50 years.     

Guest
Guest

 "This confirms that the redistricting plan approved by the City Council increases the opportunities for minority representation."

It is worth noting that Justice Department preclearance is carried out pursuant to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and only determines the presence or absence of retrogression.  All preclearance does is confirm that the plan does not decrease opportunities for minority representation.  It does not confirm that such plan increases those opportunities.  Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act allows a minority community to go to court to demand increased representation if certain factors are present.  We will likely see representatives of hispanic communities in Dallas going to court under Section 2 to get the current map altered.

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

We'd like to welcome Kessler and Stevens Parks to North Oak Cliff.

DC
DC

This is irrelevant, City Halls House of Cards are coming down regardless. Thanks to you whistleblowers! Keep it coming!

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

So people will only vote for folks of their ethnicity or race. That seems like a view reflected in the Help.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Get over it.  We did not want your map.

PO
PO

AND THANK GOD FOR THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bbetzen
Bbetzen

... and that has been the guiding force behind redistricting maps in the south for decades, such as the one Dallas just had approved by DOJ.    When will that change?

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