Release: "Texas Redistricting" Submits Compact Congressional Map
Texas Redistricting Submits Compact Congressional Map Click here to view the map.
Austin, Oct. 1, 2021: Texas Redistricting – a citizen activist group whose 900 members advocate for redistricting reform introduced a district map proposal into the Legislature on Tuesday. Texas Congressional Compact Map 2020 stands in stark contrast to the “Huffman Plan” released by the Senate Special Committee on Redistricting last week.
“The most compact districts on any political map in my 80 years as a Texan!” exclaimed redistricting reform advocate Fernando Florez. “No gerrymanders. As a veteran, the compact map honors my service.”
Unlike the Huffman Plan, the “Compact Map” has no egregious snaking of precincts through metro areas. No packing and cracking of voters. One glance at the two maps quickly reveals the map where politicians have picked their voters. “Compact, contiguous, and proportional districts with minority representation were our guiding lights,” described Texas Redistricting mapper, Byrwec Ellison. “The Harvard and MIT experts at Dave’s Redistricting provided an excellent base map. We smoothed out precinct borders leftover from past gerrymandering, and now we invite all Texans to suggest improvements to our map.” Ellison elaborated, “The Compact respects the integrity of urban and rural counties. District borders are smooth, not characterized by jigsaw-shaped voting precinct boundaries. Urban centers are drawn in a rational manner.” “It gets even better,” interjected longtime political independent Jeff Harper. “We gave incumbent protection and seat maximization on behalf of any political party zero consideration in drafting the map. Yet as it turns out, the 16 solidly Republican seats with 13 solidly Democratic seats somewhat contours the 52% to 45% statewide Republican tilt in recent elections. Best of all from the vantage point of an independent, there are nine parity districts - in the 45-55% range of competitiveness – including two districts with a split less than 50-50. Competitiveness for a change!”
Linda Curtis, a founder of the non-profit, non-partisan League of Independent Voters of Texas (LIV), explained, “Parity districts attract moderate independent candidacies, which in turn elevate the public dialogue. Unlike the rancorous partisans who occupy gerrymandered districts and polarize the public debate. Candidates in parity districts will face punishment at the ballot box if they do that. Independents fed up with opportunistic partisanship will not vote for the extremists.” To top it all off, there are 23 majority-minority districts out of 38 total congressional districts - 60 percent in a state with a minority population of about 57 percent, promising with regard to meeting Voting Rights Act requirements. Moderation with strong minority representation, perhaps the most elusive mapping objective of all. Yet the compact map clears the hurdle. Contact: Jeff Harper 512.999.2791, email@example.com
The media is also invited to join an online forum sponsored by LIV with Board Member, Jeff Harper, and LIV Advisor, Mark Miller about the map and the redistricting special session on Monday, Oct. 4, 7 pm. The forum is sponsored by LIV. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.
Media and community are invited to visit our Redistricting page at LIV.