WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Saturday, the Texas Senate released the first draft of its district maps ahead of a 30-day special session. In Texas, the Republican-controlled state Legislature is responsible for the decennial process. According to 2020 census data, Texas gained nearly four million residents in the past decade, with growth concentrated in urban centers and their suburbs. Notably, 95% of the Lone Star State’s growth is attributed to communities of color, with the state’s Hispanic population reaching the same size as its white population.
However, the proposal has fair maps activists calling foul. “The map, which doesn’t have a single competitive seat, proves that Republicans have no interest in representing the people of Texas, only in cementing their power in 2022 and beyond,” wrote the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. “There is extreme cracking and packing in urban centers and surrounding areas including in and around: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, including Collin, Denton, Harris, Ft Bend, and Bexar counties,” said Texas All On The Line State Director, Genevieve Van Cleve. “To say that this map fails Texans is an understatement.”
The maps will need to be passed by both chambers of the Legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
Congressional, state House and school district maps also need to be drawn and approved during the special session.