Lawmakers get to redraw state and federal legislative district boundaries after every 10-year census count. A Texas redistricting committee is holding field hearings across the state ahead of 2021 mapmaking, including in San Antonio on Thursday.
This will be the second public hearing for the Texas House Redistricting Committee to gather public input about how lawmakers should redraw political district lines to account for a decade's worth of population growth and demographic changes.
The state's redistricting process had previously been under federal oversight after courts ruled that lawmakers intentionally drew maps to disadvantage racial minorities in 2011. The state was forced to redraw maps in 2013 and years-long legal disputes ensued.
This time around there will be no oversight for Texas mapmaking. Voting rights groups remain vigilant and actively involved in the process, hoping to prevent gerrymandering and discrimination in 2021 maps.
What are the main concerns when it comes to redistricting? What's at stake for Texas voters? Can lawmakers be trusted to draw good-faith maps that accurately reflect the state’s fast-growing racial minority populations?
What happened at the committee's first field hearing? Will public input make a difference in the redistricting process or is it just lip service? How could public discussion be incorporated into future mapmaking?
The Texas House Redistricting Committee's San Antonio public input meeting takes place Thursday, September 12, at 4 p.m. at the Port San Antonio Headquarters. More info here.
Guest: Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, September 12.