Are We Voting Yet?

Well, it looks like we’re headed toward having some elections. According to Michael Li, the parties have submitted proposed election schedules, but there’s no doubt many of us aren’t happy with the end-result.

On Tuesday, LULAC joined with the NAACP and three other groups in asking the Washington court to expedite its ruling on whether the Texas Legislature‘s original maps violate the federal Voting Rights Act. They hope that a favorable ruling from the Washington court will compel the San Antonio court to go back and alter districts ruled to be in violation.

The San Antonio court, however, is not bound to make changes to the 2012 maps based on what is handed down from the three-judge panel in Washington. In that scenario, Vera said the next step would be appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, but even lawyers for the same minority groups acknowledge a victory there to be a longshot.

Under the court’s latest map, Democrats say 11 of the state’s 36 congressional seats would be minority-opportunity districts. A surge in population over the last decade awarded Texas four new congressional seats, which are likely to be evenly split among Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans largely cheered the maps as a victory. According to an analysis by the state GOP party, Republicans lost only one state House seat from their original map and projected they could win as many 20 of the 31 state Senate seats.

Joey Cardenas from Texas LULAC had his own take on the court-ordered maps.

If the Department of Justice approves the maps adopted today by the Federal Court of the Western District of Texas, we have a victory! Plan C-235 is slightly better than plan C-226 which was the plan that both the Latino Task Force and the State agreed were adequate and for which MALC later called two key districts, CD-35 and CD-33 not unconstitutional. In plan C-235 Latinos will gain two districts, one with raw population and the other with HCVAP numbers.

That’s one way to spin it, Joe. Joey’s my good friend, but I’d have to agree with my compadre Greg‘s on what happened to the Gulfton area now in CD-7. There are a whole lotta Latinos who have been left to suffer in districts occupied by the worse the right-wing has to offer.

But I’m also drawn into Congressional District 7. Ya know, because all them Gulfton Hispanics really have a lot in common with Hedwig Village and Jersey Village. Draw your own landscaping/nanny/ housekeeper jokes. But I don’t see any of those Village folks dining at the China Star Buffet or any of the numerous and wonderful taquerias in my neighborhood. CD7 starts the decade as 58.7%-40.4% McCain-Obama.

Truth be told,  I like the opportunity to build in CD-7, and there’s no doubt that Gulfton and SW Houston need a shot in the arm when it comes to outreach and development in 2012. But there’s no doubt that a lot more could have been done to create a new Latino district in the Houston area. Barring any delays, this rendition of CD-7 will surely allow for a lot of outside the box thinking in organizing and outreach.


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