South Austin has no geographic representation on the Austin City Council when, based on population, it should have at least three city council members. Now the proposed redistricting plans will leave South Austin with three different Congressmen and three different State Senators with South Austin having very little impact on who is elected from these districts.
Meanwhile, down at City Hall, a Council Member actually proposed that an election system with geographic seats with council members still elected At-Large. This off the wall proposal was an alternative to the several mixed district plans (6-2-1, 8-2-1, & 10-2-1) that a majority of the council has indicated they might support and are considering more closely.
Voters in South Austin have a direct impact on who is elected as their State Representative, County Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, Constable, and School Board Trustee. A united South Austin made the difference in Congressman Doggett's last election. For the most part, South Austin will be now stuck with the choices made by voters in Central/West Austin and San Antonio in most of the other contested races that are not either elected on a countywide or statewide basis.
The ironic thing is Central/West Austin got craved up again in pieces just like South Austin this time with this proposed congressional map. The proposed lines for District 25 are a perfect text book example of political gerrymandering and an insult to the citizens of Travis County. The late Congressman Jake Pickle's thirty one years of effective service is conclusive evidence of the value and clout produced by Travis County being represented by one US Congressman.
The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting will be held Friday, June 3rd in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 beginning at 9AM. This will be our chance to speak out against this map. Although I am recovering from surgery from fracturing my left knee cap in three pieces, I am planning on attending and will either speak or at least fill out a witness card in opposition to this abomination. Please join us if you can, this is a very important issue for all of Austin and Travis County.