Houston City Council voted today on the all-new council district map put forth by the Mayor’s office which included changes suggested by local consultant Robert Jara and other Latino leaders. The vote was 14 to 1, with Anne Clutterbuck being the sole anti-map vote.
At least one reaction was positive from one of the detractors of the original map, CM James Rodriguez, as was seen on his Twitter:
My colleagues and I just passed the City of Houston’s redistricting plan! Thanks to Mayor Parker for a very thorough and open process.
My reaction? Well, it will be tough to elect a Latina/o in this district just based on Latino population, and much like I mentioned about the Mayor’s original map, it will take some coalition building for any candidate to win a seat. Given how Latinos have spread out around the City, it seems that in more than a couple more districts the Latino community will need to be sought out for support by any candidate. And that’s a good thing.
The Chron had an interesting op-ed about today’s vote supporting the map.
Big kudos to all involved, especially some highly intelligent friends of mine who also presented maps, including one which proposed five Latino population districts.
Ultimately, we (Latinos) still need to vote–a lot! Representation means you also get involved in your communities and even call out your elected officials when you see something that doesn’t seem right or is needed. For some this may have been a very political “going through the motions,” but for others new to the process I hope it was a wake-up call for mass civic participation beyond the redistricting process.