Black Texas Lawmakers Say New Redistricting Maps Don’t Fairly Reflect Population Shifts
Black and Latino groups will challenge the maps in court.
(Dallas Rep. Helen Giddings)
Redistricting maps are a topic of bitter partisan debate in states across the nation, and Texas is no different. A second map drawn by the Republican-led state legislature has local African-American and Latino lawmakers crying foul. It’s only natural that the state’s GOP would create a map that works to their advantage, but the population growth reported in the most recent census, minority lawmakers argue, warrants a different approach.
Dallas Rep. Helen Giddings represents a district that has one of the highest Black voter participation rates in the nation. Although her district would retain most of its original configuration, she believes that the proposed House and Senate maps do not accurately reflect the population shift that has occurred in the past 10 years. She told BET.com that it would preserve the current number of local representatives and senators but limits what she calls “opportunity seats.” She is referring to districts that have a large enough proportion of African-American and Latino voters to make a significant impact on who is elected to serve them, regardless of the official’s race or ethnicity.
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