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Texas This Week: Michael Li on how redistricting map gives boost to GOP incumbents – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-10-17 12:43:29 –

In the days remaining in the special session, Texas legislators are summarizing the work on the constituency change, but experts say there is a problem with the map.

Austin, Texas — This Week’s Texas In this week’s edition, Michael Lee, Brennan Center for Justice, Learn about the new political map drawn by the Texas Parliament. In addition, this week, lawmakers passed a controversial bill on youth sports, the governor added another item to the call, and the constituency change process is nearing its end.

Three Things You Should Know About Texas Politics

Legislators pass a bill on youth sports

After hours of emotional debate on Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives approved House building 25, Public school students are required to play in sports teams depending on the biological gender of the birth certificate issued at or near birth. Proponents ensure that the bill does not lose the opportunity for biological girls to win scholarships and play, while opponents argue that it targets transgender children. Say there is. Legislation is a top priority for Vice Governor Dan Patrick, who passed the Senate at each Congress meeting this year. Patrick also pressured Governor Greg Abbott to add it to the agenda of the special session. The Senate did not waste time taking action on the legislation on Friday. Senators suspended the rules to allow the Commission to discuss and vote on the bill, and the Senate passed the bill. The bill has been amended to remove the definition of biological gender, so we will return to the House of Representatives for final approval.

Governor Greg Abbott adds an item to the agenda of the special session

The 87th Texas Parliament’s 3rd Special Session must end by Tuesday and the Governor must end on Friday. Added another item to the agenda At the request of the Vice Governor. This allows lawmakers to hand over tuition income bonds. Bonds, backed by tuition and fees, but traditionally paid by the state, allow universities and universities to fund construction projects. Over time, lawmakers voted to give money to several higher education institutions the same day the issue was added to the phone.

Related: Governor Greg Abbott adds “improving higher education” to the agenda of the special session

Congressman advances subdivision map

An important issue that lawmakers are addressing in this special session is the change of constituency. The Texas House began discussions on the new map on Tuesday and voted to approve it around 3:30 am Wednesday morning. The map retains Republican control of the Chamber of Commerce, but Republican leaders in Texas say they are endangering some seats. The Senate last week approved the map, along with a map of the Texas area of ​​the US House of Representatives. The Texas House picked up the map on Saturday.

Brennan Center for Justice Michael Lee, Texas New Political Map

In addition to handing over a new map of the Chamber of Commerce, lawmakers took action this week to approve a new map outlining the Texas political district of the US House of Representatives. Texas has added two new seats thanks to population growth, but critics say none of the new maps reflect that increase being driven by the minority. Michael Lee is a senior adviser to the Brennan Center for Justice and focuses on subdivision. He joined KVUE and talked about a new map of Texas.

Ashley Gudo: You and your colleagues are following the repartitioning process that is taking place in Texas. In your expert opinion, are there some problems with the maps you’ve seen so far, or is there a gerrymander?

Michael Lee: “There are many warning signs on the maps Texas has passed, especially the state legislature and parliamentary maps. In fact, they are defensive gerrymanderers whose Republicans are robbing their competitive seats. Table. But I think their defense against what really matters most is the gerrymandering defense that is primarily achieved at the expense of the color community where 95% of the state’s growth exists. [has come from the] The last 10 years. Nonetheless, Texas doesn’t create new opportunities for the color community, either on the Senate map or on the Congressional map, but it actually goes backwards, right? For example, in the Dallas / Fort Worth region, the proportion of Latin Americans in one district drops from nearly 50% of the voting age population of citizens to about 43%. And in many places it is retreating, which is truly remarkable and brave and can lead to proceedings on how maps were deliberately discriminated against and in violation of voting rights law. there is. “

Gudo: Before we dive into the map, let’s talk about how gerrymandering occurs. What exactly are cracking and packing?

Li: “That is, the essence of Gerrymandering is that you don’t want to portray a district where your party wins at 80% of the Gerrymandering party, because you are using voters very inefficiently. You want to. Is that you want to spread your party. Do you want to place voters in as many districts as possible so that you can get, for example, 52% or 53% of the districts? You can use it efficiently. At the same time, what you want to do is you. You want to centralize the voters of the opposition to some districts or break them apart. Either way, you are their political It limits its influence. Therefore, when concentrating opposition voters in the district, it is called packing. It breaks them down, called cracking, and both of these are on the map of Texas. You can see what’s happening. For example, look at the map of the new District 22 Congress in the Houston area. Minority voters are in Districts 22 and 7. Very minority, but It’s actually joining the minority voters in Fort Bend County. To Houston voters, they weren’t really part of the same district. They’re very different types of voters, and they’re a minority. You’re really a district voter because you’re a sectarian and very democratic, right? Here’s an example of packing. On the other hand, in the Dallas Fort Worth area, the Latin community splits between many different districts. So, for example, a large block of Latin Americans in Irving, Texas, is drawn from District 33, represented by Congressman Mark Vizy, and placed in District 6. This district is mostly rural and in the south. Dallas. That means these suburban Latin voters are in the white districts of the countryside, which is an example of cracking. And a variety of maps of Texas. You can see that the same thing is happening in various places. “

Click here to view the latest version of the US House of Representatives Texas Map..

Gudo: Well then New map of the Texas Senate.. It secures Republican control of the Senate for the next decade. Critics say it creates a district for former senators who lost their Democratic seats in the last election. It will also take up the area that was in Fort Worth and crack Fort Worth voters. So what we were talking about in the suburbs was the addition of seven local counties to that one district. Is the criticism we see about this map fair?

Li: “Yes, I think this is a good example of what happened in Fort Worth’s Senate District 10. Historically, it was a district only in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. And in reality, the district is a district. The state didn’t have to do much to it because it was almost completely populated, and it could really have left the district alone. In Tarrant County, put them into other districts. Place and divide into large pieces along racial and ethnic boundaries, and add about 328,000 people to the district, most of them white, far more rural, and elections in Senate District 10. Minority voters who had the ability to actually control the outcome of this are no longer doing so. “

Gudo: Looking at the house, This map As a reflection of population growth. But one of the Democrats in our sights, James Talarico, says he was gerrymandered from his district. This was once a Republican district, but is one of the upside-down suburban districts. What does the house map show?

Li: “Well, the house map is also a gerrymander, isn’t it? That is, there are a few more gerrymanders than the Senate and Congress maps due to additional restrictions. For example, in a larger county house district, don’t leave the county. That is, the number of minority voters has increased a bit, as opposed to dividing the minority voters on the House map. As a Senate map or a parliamentary map, but nevertheless, Republicans Obviously there is an opportunity to be taken off the table wherever possible, and the suburbs are a classic example. A minority of voters in Killeen are cracked to prevent it. [gerrymanders], And I think it’s really emphasized. Because in a state like Texas, neither Democrats nor Republicans can gerrymander without targeting the color community. Democrats still get only about 25% or 28% of Texas’ white votes. And the problem with white Democrats is that they tend to live in the same neighborhood, sometimes in the same house, in the immediate vicinity of white Republicans. Therefore, unless you draw a line on someone’s bed, it can be difficult to defeat that aspect of gerrymandering. On the other hand, the separate settlements allow you to group or split the colors of the community to move the partisan dial up and down. And gerrymandering in states like Texas applies throughout the South. Most often it happens at the expense of the color community. “

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Texas This Week: Michael Li on how redistricting map gives boost to GOP incumbents Source link Texas This Week: Michael Li on how redistricting map gives boost to GOP incumbents

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