The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released a statement today noting that the new congressional and state electoral maps in Texas do not do enough to address Latino growth in that state. According to the release:
The interim congressional and Texas State House maps mark a drastic improvement from the discriminatory maps of the state legislature, but increased opportunities for Latino voters in Texas are still needed.
The original congressional and Texas State House maps released by the legislature did not reflect the significant population changes in the state during the last decade. Latino growth accounted for 65% of Texas’ population increase, and as a result, the state gained four additional Congressional seats. The maps, however, did not provide Latinos with fair representation.
In its revisions, the San Antonio federal court has created two Latino opportunity districts within the four new congressional districts. The Texas State House maps did not provide similar gains in Latino representation. The court-ordered maps represent a step in the right direction for Latino voters, but more remains to be done before the maps are fully reflective of the demographic changes in Texas.
While the courts proceed to issue final maps, Texas’ Latino electorate will need to begin preparing for the upcoming primary elections based on interim maps. We look forward to facilitating the full participation of Texas’ Latino electorate and hope for full and fair representation of the Texas Latino community in the final districts.