In regard to the current special session redistricting is on the menu
and in response to the inquiries we have gotten
Here's the info sheet thats been generated to answer
What is GERRYMANDERING?
[and why should I care about it?]
Gerrymandering is when politicians manipulate district lines to keep themselves or their own political party in power. Both parties have done this in the past. Gerrymandering takes away your voice, your vote. No one knows your community better than you. Your ability to advance the issues you care about—
Covid response, healthcare, education, public utilities-- are all hampered by gerrymandering.
Here’s a more in depth look at the impact of Gerrymandering https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-maps/texas/
And here is a stirring letter sent by Fair Maps Texas to the Texas House of Representatives Redistricting Committee with specific requests for transparency in mapping discussions and decisions : https://drive.google.com/file/d/15VTq0NloPb0L-BVnBE09s3QWXY4iww7W/view?usp=sharing
Texas Independent redistricting
IS POSSIBLE and practical. 12 States are already doing it! But we need to convince [elect] sympathetic folks to our state legislature in order to develop a FAIR PLAN for voting districts in TEXAS [note: this means working to Get Out The Vote [GOTV] too]
At the national level:
The For the People Act (HB1/SB1) would end rigged congressional maps nationwide by mandating independent redistricting commissions in every state
The US House passed the legislation
And the US Senate has a new bill The Freedom To Vote Act which has many of the same safeguards for our voice and freedoms
What can we . . .you . . . all of us . . . do?
1. Contact the Texas Senate and House redistricting committee members
These are the folks collecting info and data from us NOW …to draw the maps that will affect us all…
so please write, text, email and/or call to ask for FAIR MAPS in your own words
or something like:
Redistricting is an integral function of our democracy. When redistricting is used by incumbents to artificially preserve their majority, our democracy [read neighborhood /community /region/state and country] suffers.
In order for our democracy to function, the public needs to have a voice in the process.
Therefore, I am asking that this Committee commit to holding a public hearing with public testimony on any maps before they are passed.
They must give the public time to view, understand, and comment on proposed maps before this hearing
I also want the legislators who draw the maps to explain why they chose to draw them the way they did, and to not hide any communications they have had regarding drawing the maps.
In order to build trust that the maps have not been unfairly manipulated, I ask that the legislature doesn’t look at partisanship when coming up with maps.
This is an opportunity for the Texas Legislature to finally get this process right and avoid millions of taxpayer dollars and years of lawsuits,
The 2021 redistricting process needs to be fair and transparent.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me
[Text thanks to https://txcivilrights.org/ ]
Here are the committees
SENATE : https://senate.texas.gov/cmte.php?c=625
2. The U.S. SENATE’s new bill: THE FREEDOM TO VOTE ACT
contains many of the bold policies in the For the People Act -- It expands our right to vote, stops partisan and racial gerrymandering, helps get big money out of politics, and makes government accountable to the people it serves.
Please email, call and /or text our two US Senators with clear and loud support for this bill
3. We are invited to testify in response to proposed redistricting maps!!
Our advocacy efforts have paid off! Because of our letter asking for public hearings, and because so many people showed up and demanded that they #ShowUsTheMaps, both Redistricting Chairs in the House and Senate have now committed to showing the public the maps.
The next step in this advocacy process is to urge both Committees to allow public comment on the maps and to take the public's input seriously.[thanks Stephanie Swanson, LWVTX Board Member and Census & Redistricting Issue Chair]
Please see this link for more on how to do this: https://www.reformaustin.org/redistricting/texas-senate-2021-new-redistricting-maps/
Until we can establish independent redistricting committees in Texas, Here are several [of the many] organizations that have up-to-date information & ongoing actions
• Fair Maps Texas https://www.fairmapstexas.org/
• All on the Line www.allontheline.org
And then, there’s us Rosedale Huddle RIGHT HERE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD !!!!
The Huddle is a group of neighbors who banded together in 2017 to change the political narrative in Austin , Texas and the nation. We write thousands of postcards, we advocate in the legislature, we knock on doors, we make calls and a lot more. We offer training & will help you find your niche. There is something for everyone! We invite you to contact us, and attend a meeting
Let’s get to work !