Texas Redistricting Commission bill submitted

Craig Tounget

Craig Tounget

Common Ground for Texans hosted a community conversation on Sept 6, 2014 titled “Should Austin’s redistricting plan be duplicated in other Texas cities?”  Craig Tounget, the former Executive Director of the Austin Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, participated on our panel.  After the 2020 census, districts will be redrawn.  Who should be in charge, citizens or politicians?  Now, Mr. Tounget is moving forward with his state-wide initiative, Texas Citizens Redistricting Initiative, to make sure that voters choose their elected officials rather than politicians choosing their voters. 

Rep. Donna Howard, D–Austin

Rep. Donna Howard, D–Austin

Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) continues to submit legislation calling for a Texas (bipartisan) Redistricting Commission (HJR 32) consisting of seven members:

  1. one member appointed by the member of the Texas Senate with the most seniority
  2. one member appointed by the member of the Texas Senate with the most seniority who is of a different political party than the member described under (1)
  3. one member appointed by the member of the Texas House with the most seniority
  4. one member appointed by the member of the Texas House with the most seniority who is of a different political party than the member described under (3)
  5. one member appointed by an affirmative vote of note fewer than three of the commissioners selected under (1-4) above.
  6. two members appointed by the member appointed under (5), who must be retired federal judges appointed to the federal bench by presidents of different political parties.

Although this joint resolution (HJR 32) does not call for a citizens’ independent redistricting commission, it is one step closer to reaching that goal.

Wikipedia, the modern day encyclopedia, has a listing of the 13 states that use either bi-partisan or non-partisan redistricting commissions to exclusively draw electoral district lines.  Questions have been asked whether a redistricting commission process independent of the state legislature is constitutional.  In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission decided that in the affirmative.

Texas is conspicuously absent from this table.  Shouldn’t we help make this a reality?

This entry was posted in Electoral reform, Legislation, Redistricting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Texas Redistricting Commission bill submitted

  1. Christopher Sebilia says:

    this is great. Now it would be great to know how we can help make this a reality? Who in the legislature should we be calling etc?

    • JoanneR says:

      I will be tracking Donna Howard’s House Joint Resolution 32. House committees have not yet be posted. When we know which legislators are on which committees, we will know who to call. Keep watching.

  2. Eric Vormelker says:

    Redistricting committee:
    Chair: Rep. Cindy Burkett
    Vice Chair: Rep. Eric Johnson
    Members: Rep. Drew Darby
    Rep. Ana Hernandez
    Rep. Armando Martinez
    Rep. Will Metcalf
    Rep. Tan Parker
    Rep. Eddie Rodriguez
    Rep. Drew Springer

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