TOP Calls on County Commissioners Court to Extend Map Deadlines to Allow for Greater Community Input
Fort Bend County, like other counties across Texas, is currently in the process of redistricting. Redistricting is an opportunity that Texans have every 10 years to represent recent demographic changes in the county at the precinct level, according to new data from the census. Redistricting at the Fort Bend County level should accurately reflect the demographics of the community, and to ensure that happens, the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is calling on the County Commissioners Court to extend map deadlines to allow for greater community input. Currently, control of the county is split 2-2, which is both politically and demographically disproportionate. The district is majority nonwhite, with Latinos being the largest community of color, a statistic which should be accurately reflected in the redistricting process.
Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is concerned that the county redistricting process will mirror redistricting at the state level, which weakened the votes of people of color and shored up Republican power. These new maps will have significant political impact for the next decade in shaping not just Fort Bend County politics, but the policies that have the potential to transform how we experience our everyday lives. We need to ensure the votes of people of color are protected and that means drawing districts that don’t dilute their power.
“During the last special legislative session, right-wing state leadership successfully shrunk the political power of communities of color across Texas through the redistricting process. Despite this, one way we can continue to win progressive policies that change everyday lives — from bail reform to COVID relief — in counties across the state is to work with county commissioners courts to draw lines for their precincts that actually reflect the Census,” said Brianna Brown, TOP’s Co-Executive Director. “Our theory of change has always centered on a strong local strategy, in our cities and counties, that builds the political power of communities of color eventually to statewide victories,” continued Brown.
“Although there are impending election deadlines, it’s clear that more time for thorough public input and consideration of that input is needed to ensure that Fort Bend County precinct lines accurately reflect growth and provide fair and equal representation. Taking the appropriate amount of time to slow down the process so the maps can fairly incorporate both community input and census data is critical not only for current residents who call Fort Bend home, but for all future residents as well,” said Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton.
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.
This press release was sent out October 22, 2021.