Updated: Mar 14, 2021
Do you believe that the party that happens to be in the legislative majority at the time the census is taken should be allowed to draw lines that overwhelmingly favor their party’s candidates in the general elections for the next 10 years?
Do you believe that the electoral process for Texas would deliver better results, if both parties were made to put forward their best candidates in primaries to compete for support in November in competitive districts?
Do you really believe the only way you can defeat an incumbent is in a primary? Do you really think that’s the way we will get better leaders? Or isn’t it more likely that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was correct when he stated “extremes to the right or left of any political issue are always wrong”?
Isn’t it time we should at least try a new system already proven effective in 15 other states? It is time for a non-partisan redistricting commission appointed by the Texas Legislature and instructed to use MATHEMATICS to draw electoral districts! It should be made to adhere to these six criteria in descending order of importance:
1. Compliance with the United States Constitution and The Voting Rights Act of 1965.
2. Electoral districts that are roughly equal in size.
3. Electoral districts that appear compact and contiguous.
4. Electoral districts that respect communities of interest.
5. Electoral districts that incorporate visible geographic features; including, city, town, and county boundaries and undivided census tracts.
6. Electoral districts that are electorally competitive as long as aforementioned criteria are satisfied.
This Commission shall be prevented from considering incumbency or candidacy. The places of residence of incumbents and candidates shall not be identified or considered.
The work of the Commission shall be presented to the Legislature for its official approval. Any changes must be by recorded vote after open discussion.
It is now time for Texans to express to your Representatives and Senators your opinion and hear theirs. This is a political question, not a legal question. The Texas 87th Legislative Session is currently underway. Let them and all of us hear from you.
Charlie Stenholm is a member of The 134 PAC Advisory Board and represented Texas 17th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress from 1979 to 2005.