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Congresswoman Johnson blasts Texas redistricting maps in DSN Interview

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Tarrant and Dallas Counties in Redistricting Voting Map presented on Monday by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

By Shawn Williams

In an interview with Dallas South News Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson pushed back against Texas Voting Map C-226 proposed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday.  The maps would produce an additional minority majority district in North Texas when Johnson says there should be two.

“I’m very disappointed that the district which includes African-Americans in Southern Dallas also includes Grand Prairie and parts of Tarrant County.”  She said the new map “packs” District 30 -which she currently represents- with minority voters.

Congresswoman Johnson said she was not consulted about the map but her office did field calls from U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo.  The Star Telegram quotes Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project saying Abbott and legislators “cut a deal with Cuellar. It’s dishonest.”  The Lone Star Project, which advocates for Democratic issues, says the Attorney General’s map “Likely Gives Anglo Republicans Control of All Four Additional Texas Seats.”

Trey Martinez Fischer of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus called the map “a beginning point, not an end.”

“African-Americans and Latinos do not have the attention of people drawing the maps,” Johnson said, citing opposition from the LULAC, NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus and the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus.  She said the map abuses African-American voting rights and purposely destroys Black voting strength.

Johnson also mentioned how the map does not fully represent Texas’ population gains in minority communities.  ”Over the last decade, minority populations accounted for 80% of the growth in Texas. It would be unconscionable to support any map that does not reflect these population growth trends,” she said.

In addition, Johnson stated the map also picks and chooses who will be eligible to run in the new 33rd district created for North Texas. She said looking at the map shows “arms” that are aimed at including some potential candidates while excluding others.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Johnson said the residences of some Latino leaders were “purposely drawn out of” the new district.

Previous legislative district maps drawn by San Antonio federal court which was overturned by U.S. Supreme Court

“Specifically, the residences of Councilwoman Pauline Medrano, State Representative Roberto Alonzo, State Representative Rafael Anchia as well as prominent community leader Domingo Garcia were all drawn out of the so-called Latino opportunity district,” Johnson said in the statement. “Instead, each of the aforementioned individuals will all be residents of the majority African-American, 30thCongressional District.”

Johnson’s residence was drawn into the 30th District, which wasn’t the case in the original Texas Legislative map. She said the new map has taken many economic development projects she’s championed out of the district.

The Congresswoman says it all comes down to politics, and even if a Black or Latino candidate is elected, they won’t necessarily act in the best interest of their constituents.  ”We don’t have a record of any Republicans voting for the interest of minority communities,” Johnson said.

Johnson says her office has traditionally tried to act on behalf of minority communities throughout North Texas and other parts of the state since there are no other African-Americans or Latinos elected to U.S. Congress from these parts.

“I’m the only person (in Congress) who votes with the views of people of color from Amarillo to Austin,” Johnson said, “and that’s a matter of record.”

  • Rafael

    Thanks for this informative article. Obviously the Republicans are creating a district for Republicans and not for Latinos. Why did the Republicans and Abbott draw out every elected Latino leader ( Alonzo, Anchia,and Medrano) out of the new district? Because they do not want a Democrat to win this seat. Thanks to the Democratic Congressional Delegation and especially Congresswoman Johnson for standing up for us all!

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