Lloyd Doggett: the man many Austinites proudly call their U.S. Congressman, the man others wrongly think represent them, and the man who won't lose. In 2003, Texas Republicans tried to get rid of him. He had to move, but he still managed to hold a seat in Congress. Even this year, in the Republican wave of Republican waves, he managed to hold on. Even when the map-drawers split Austin, there will be at least one Democratic seat in the area — and Doggett's going to get it.
But as much as I love Representative Doggett (and as much as I wish I could call HIM my Congressman instead of one Lamar Smith), it's not about him. It's about us, the people of Austin, receiving the right representation.
At 10 AM today, the voyaging House Redistricting Committee will finally gather in the state's capital. I hope our city shows up, too. From the advisory:
The House Committee on Redistricting, the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence will be holding a series of joint public hearings at various locations around the state this year. The purpose of these hearings is to allow citizens interested in the redistricting process to offer public comment and communicate directly with legislators.
The Austin redistricting hearing will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in E1.030 the Appropriations Room in the State Capitol. The hearing will begin at 10am.
Anyone who lives in this city will confirm that Austin has a character of its own. Hell, anyone who comes here just for a year or two will tell you that, too; even if they're one of the odd folk who don't like this city. Austin's more of a coherent community than most other cities, and it would be only right and fitting to return to coherent representation.
Austin's a weird and progressive city. There's no reason we shouldn't have a Congressman to embody the ways our weirdness turns into liberal policy choices. As anyone can see with Congressman Doggett, we'll get our man whether the mapmaker wants us to or not. And there's no reason to burden rural Texas with the Austin boy, either.
The question is: this year, will they listen?