A lawsuit was filed today by a group of plaintiffs, including Houston City Councilmembers James Rodriguez and Ed Gonzalez, as well as DosCentavos.net contributor Dr. Reynaldo Guerra.
CM Gonzalez released this statement:
“The proposed map cracks communities of interests and dilutes the voting strength of Latinos in Precinct 2. Despite the fact that Latinos drove the overwhelming growth of the population since the last census and now constitute over 40% of the population in Harris County, Latinos are poised to lose the only seat on Commissioners Court where they have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice,” said Council Member Gonzalez.
He followed, “The inclusion of a suburban community, Kingwood, into Precinct 2, is neither necessary nor justified. Alternate maps have been drawn by members of the community that show that it is possible to increase the population and voting strength of Latinos in Precinct 2 without adversely impacting neighboring Precincts from electing a representative of their choice.”
“We need a map that is representative of the County and that is fair for Latinos,” concluded Gonzalez.
As a resident of Kingwood and Precinct 4, I would have to agree with the Councilman. In fact, I would go further and state that the inclusion of Precincts 758 and 760 (north of the San Jacinto River) directly contribute to the Precinct’s decimation as a Latino opportunity precinct.
DosCentavos.net will be following the lawsuit and the litigation. Harris County can either comply with the Voting Rights Act and deliver a representative map, or it can spend tax dollars in defending a politically-motivated redrawing of Harris County.
Mention is also given to Harris County’s election and voter registration practices, which stand to further target Latino voter registration. Frankly, this goes beyond Precinct 2 to all four precincts, so I’m glad that this will also be heard.
Here’s a copy of the lawsuit: