After 100 people objected to Commissioner Rodney Ellis redistricting plan at last Thursday’s Commissioner’s Court, the following day he placed item #336 on the Emergency Agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting.
The item says, “Request by the Commissioner of Precinct 1 to receive public input regarding Harris County Commissioners Court redistricting plans, and consider and possibly adopt an order approving a new district/precinct plan for Harris County Commissioners Court, including any amendments thereto.”
An Invitation from Rodney Ellis to You
So it should come as no surprise that Mr. Ellis sent out the following message today. I’m reprinting it verbatim below and will add a few observations at the end.
But the important thing is that Mr. Ellis wants you to sign up to comment during Commissioner’s Court on his plan, so the world can hear what you think of it.
Every decade, after each U.S. census, states, cities and counties engage in a process called redistricting, where they adjust the boundaries of their governing districts to reflect changes in population growth and other factors.
For the last six weeks, Harris County has held public meetings across the county to hear your thoughts.
Based on what we learned, and in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, we’re proposing new boundaries for county commissioner districts that are reflected in the map posted here [his]. Our plan seeks to keep communities of interest together and brings together areas that have been split apart for years.
For too long this county has been intentionally divided by precinct boundaries that deny people the opportunity to elect representation that accurately reflects the views of the majority of our communities.
In Harris County, we’re committed to a fair and transparent process. That’s why we held public meetings across the county and why we are taking public comment now on the proposed maps.
You will hear some of my colleagues complain – and complain loudly. Sadly, they are more concerned about preserving their political power and getting headlines than they are about getting better representation for you.
You can provide YOUR feedback on the proposed maps in person or virtually. Public hearings on the adoption of a redistricting map in Harris County will be held on Tuesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 28. You MUST complete this form in order to testify.
For questions or assistance with the Appearance Request Form, please contact CommissionersCourt@hctx.net or 713-274-1111. If you cannot attend, you can still let your voice be heard by submitting your written comments to CommissionersCourt@hctx.net.
Redistricting will impact the direction of this county for years to come. We will continue to fight for you to have the fair representation that everyone in Harris County deserves.
I have five comments.
- Denies representation? How does he think Adrian Garcia, Lina Hidalgo and he got elected?
- Communities of interest intentionally divided? A third of the comments last week must have pointed that out as a flaw in HIS map.
- The boundaries in Ellis’ map would cease suppression? During the last presidential campaign Harris County voted 55.9% Democrat and 42.7% Republican. Democrats currently hold 60% of the voting power on Commissioners Court and Ellis’ map would make that 80%. And in the last meeting, Ellis asked to see a map with 100% Democratic precincts! With 80% of the vote, Democrats would have a super-majority and could raise taxes without Republican consent.
- Allows voices and views of people to be reflected by those who represent them? Let’s hear from the people of Cedar Bayou about how they like Adrian Garcia trying to shift $191 million of flood bond money to another area – immediately before redistricting.
- Fair and transparent process? Why don’t we know where Garcia wants to shift the money? The vote on that is tomorrow, right before they take up redistricting!
Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/25/2021
1518 Days since Hurricane Harvey
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.