Rep. Garnet Coleman to File Alternative Redistricting Maps With Adequate Minority Representation

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Today, in response to Rick Perry's call for a special session to pass discriminatory redistricting maps, Representative Garnet Coleman announced that he will file alternative maps that accurately reflect the minority population growth in Texas as seen on the 2010 census.

Coleman released a statement to that effect today, stating that since the maps initially drawn by the San Antonio panel allowed for minority representation, he will be filing this plan during the special session. That map, known to redistricting obsessives as H302, can be viewed here.  

Here's the Money Quote from Coleman's press statement:

“The San Antonio three-judge panel has previously shown with plan H302 that they are able to draw maps that adhere to Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and allow for adequate minority representation. I am going to file this plan as a demonstration that an alternative plan can be drawn that satisfies the Voting Rights Act. I shall file an additional plan later this week that will also accomplish these goals.”

Representative Yvonne Davis, Democratic caucus chair and vice chair of the House select committee on redistricting has already filed alternative House and Senate maps, which can be viewed here.

Read Coleman's full statement below the jump.  

Statement from Representative Garnet Coleman on Redistricting

“Governor Perry has called us back into special session in order to adopt the interim maps as the permanent maps for the State of Texas.

Based on the narrowness of the Governor's call, no alternative plans may be considered. The interim maps were clearly intended to be only temporary so that the state of Texas could hold elections; they were not intended to address all of the Legislature's failures in adhering to the Voting Rights Act under Sections 2 and 5.

House Committee Hearings on the interim maps are set for this Friday and Saturday, which is not enough notice to allow the public to provide adequate testimony on the interim maps. Even if this were enough time, the narrowness of the Governor's call means that publicly requested changes could not be adopted, effectively shutting out the opinions of Texas citizens.

The San Antonio three-judge panel has previously shown with plan H302 that they are able to draw maps that adhere to Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and allow for adequate minority representation. I am going to file this plan as a demonstration that an alternative plan can be drawn that satisfies the Voting Rights Act. I shall file an additional plan later this week that will also accomplish these goals.

During the first call of the special session of the Legislature, members of color will once again demonstrate that the Texas Legislature is pursuing a course to deny effective representation of racial and ethnic minorities and communities of interest.”

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

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