New Redistricting Plan Marks Victory for Latinos in Texas
11/28/2011 - 15:00 ||
After an arduous battle surrounding a controversy over the state’s congressional redistricting, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) released a statement recently about a new court-proposed plan that promises Latinos increased electoral opportunity in Texas. According to MALDEF, a new redistricting plan was released by three federal judges in San Antonio that will improve the representation for Latinos in Texas.
This comes after months of heated controversy surrounding Texas and the new Census numbers. As we reported earlier this year, the state saw a huge increase in its Latino population; minority groups in general accounted for more than 80 percent of the population increase. This increase led to the state receiving four new Congressional districts, but how the districts were drawn fueled great disagreement among different groups, including MALDEF. In a lawsuit filed by MALDEF against Texas this past summer, the organization claimed that the state legislature unfairly denied Latinos the ability to elect candidates of their choice – despite the growth of the Latino population earning the state new congressional districts.
The new court-ordered congressional redistricting plan, according to MALDEF, includes restoring two congressional districts and creating two new ones.
In an interview with Latina.com earlier this month, Texas State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, spoke about the state’s redistricting battle. “We have had to fight and challenge our way through everything, whether it’s access to public health or textbooks to read in the classrooms, to our voting rights,” Martinez Fischer said. “So this is something that is part of the constant struggle that Latinos have in states like Texas.”