Redistricting properly is simple.
A new 2021 Congressional District Map for United States House in Texas is expected to produce 38 United States Congress House districts that reflect the 2020 Census demographics for Texas.
Thus, about 39.7% of districts (15 or 16) should have a non-Hispanic white majority. The remaining 60.3% of districts (22 or 23) are expected to have minority majorities, as is the State of Texas 2020 Demographics.
It would create a one-person reality, a voice for Texas, without any wrapping or cracking method like that used in gerrymandering, for the first time in decades, if not in history!
Bill R. Betzen, Dallas
Latino communities have closed again
Being in the Mexican community that you see on the streets, local schools, and stores in East Dallas, it’s hard to believe that this community’s congressional votes are zero. In recent times, gerrymandering has become a growing problem that undermines much of the Latin American vote, with their vote being ruled out in East Dallas.
We see this problem with the way the current district map is set up with East Dallas being connected with a large chunk of right-wing voters who vote Republican in the election, excluding the mostly left-wing Latin American vote by placing us in a district that runs to Rusk which is 133 miles away. This gives Republicans an advantage in Congress.
We saw how recent conservative bills were passed by the Texas legislature – such as banning abortions and allowing the carrying of open firearms – that were not supported by my community as a whole. .
Recent congressional district replanning shows no new majority Hispanic districts, although Hispanics are the state’s fastest growing electoral population. Without being addressed, we could see a future in which Latin American communities may never have a voice in Texas.
Mauricio Garcia, Dallas
A game to undermine democracy
There are nine people. Five think “X” is the right thing to do and four think “Y” is. In a democracy, “X” is what is done.
But the nine people live in three neighborhoods. The three districts are knowingly divided so that one district has three “X” believers and the other two each have two “Y” and one “X” believers. Now one district will vote “X” and the other two will vote “Y”.
Despite what the Democratic majority wants, the “Y” will be what gets done. This is gerrymandering and why it and the people who support it are undermining democracy.
Ron Mathis, Plano
Be tough on campaign funding
Re: “Let’s not reject these people – the United States should treat Haitian migrants rather than deny this ‘ultimate’ resource,” by Bruce Yandle, September 26th Opinion, and “GOP is planning its future – Redrawing the lines in 3 blue-shaded districts would aid efforts to re-elect incumbent Republican, ”September 26 report.
The juxtaposition of two major issues for the US Congress on pages 4 and 5 of the September 26 Opinion section was premonitory! Immigration and the 2020 census are issues that have been devastatingly avoided by the body constitutionally charged with managing both. Representatives in the House and Senators have shown no embarrassment about their failure to remake America’s immigration laws. Why? Why can’t current lawmakers take this seriously?
While members of Congress are not redrawing district boundaries for the next congressional election, we can be sure they will try to influence those in their home state who do this. The census requires a response to population movements.
These two questions must be dealt with now. We voters must demand real change in campaign financing for any candidate for federal or state legislatures. Big PAC managers and smart lobbyists got rich at a very high price for us average citizens. Too much time has been spent by these elected officials in raising funds.
It is time for intelligent, educated adults to understand that “pro publico bono” should apply to those who would represent us.
Marvin Noble, Dallas / Preston Hollow
Enough blatant vote rigging
Re: “GOP is charting its future – Redrawing lines in 3 districts in blue would help efforts to re-elect Republican incumbents,” September 26 report and “The Texas Redistribution Dance – Winning 2 Congress seats is easy, but drawing new districts involved delicate steps ”, by Joe Barton, Opinion of September 26.
This article and Barton’s editorial on redistribution were disturbing at best. The Republican goal on the redistribution is to displace minority voters, get rid of minority populations, and shift the balance between white and Asian / black voters to safeguard seats and protect incumbents. It’s disappointing at first glance, but it seems to be the way politics are done in Texas. While their goal is to manipulate votes to skew the electoral process, everyone cited in the article has spoken of the process as casually as of plans for their next vacation.
At one time in America, voters chose their representatives in government. Today, politicians are able to blatantly choose their voters. If your race is tight, just redraw the lines to reduce minority voters, increase the number of whites, and secure a victory. How long will the Texans put up with this?
Hans Voorn, Frisco
A dangerous game for power
Re: “GOP is charting its future – Redrawing lines in 3 districts in blue would aid efforts to re-elect Republican incumbents,” Sept. 26 report.
This article on GOP redistribution efforts highlights efforts to make districts safe for the GOP by reducing the number of minority voters in many local districts. It reflects a party, starting with President Richard Nixon’s 1972 Southern strategy, which focuses on white supremacy. The final step was Trump’s ascendancy and his defense of white nationalists.
Using voter suppression and redistribution laws, with the blessing of the Supreme Court, the GOP in Texas is moving towards apartheid governments in South Africa where a white minority ruled by controlling minorities.
In my opinion, the GOP is a party but with no other positive objective than to achieve and retain power. It is a party that opposes abortion and LGBTQ rights. It is the party of denial by rejecting medical science in the face of the pandemic and refusing to admit the existence of climate change.
With his total dedication to former President Donald Trump, he has grown into an authoritarian-regime party by undermining the integrity of our elections by claiming that any election they lose is fraudulent.
Their redistribution efforts will keep them in power to the detriment of all of us.
Cecil Larry Pool, Midlothian
GOP can’t stop the change coming
Unsurprisingly, the Texas GOP legislature proposed a redistribution of congressional districts apparently in an effort to downplay minority communities across Texas, particularly the Latino community. So much for the big tent strategy the Republicans envisioned just a few years ago.
It appears the GOP is desperate to stay in power by any means necessary, including denying representation in Congress to the minority communities that will likely dominate Texas very soon. And this will happen despite all gerrymandering efforts.
The GOP must remember that what goes around comes around. The GOP cannot surpass the change that is happening in Texas and elsewhere across the country.
Tony Torres, Garland
Funny choice of words, senator
Senator Joan Huffman, who is leading much of the redistribution effort in Texas, said if she included race as a factor in deciding new district boundaries, it would be called “racial gerrymandering.” Funny. How is it that its regular inclusion of the results of previous votes is not an “electoral mandate of the voters?” “
George Dailey, Dallas / West Village
Contorted shapes don’t add up
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in 1964 that he would not attempt to define hardcore pornography “But I know it when I see it …” Much like pornography for Stewart, gerrymandering becomes evident in the eye. Heavily contorted shapes usually indicate gerrymandering, but how do you measure the degree of contortion? Geometry!
A square with a side mile has a perimeter of four miles and an area of one square mile. The ratio of perimeter to square to area is dimensionless: 16 to 1. The square root of this ratio can be called an IC (“contortion index”). For a square, the CI is 4.0. For eight of those one-mile squares forming a square with eight times the area, the CI remains 4.0. If the eight squares have been rearranged into a cross, the area is unchanged, but the perimeter increases to seventeen miles and the complicated shape has a CI of 36.1. An IC does not depend on the surface, only on the shape.
Wouldn’t it be a great student project to calculate CIs for all Texas voting districts before the redistribution is concluded to allow for a quantitative analysis of Texas gerrymandering and a fairer voting process?
Lash Hansborough, Denton
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