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Date: 9/20/2021
Subject: TEXANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST UNJUST GERRYMANDERING AT START OF REDISTRICTING SPECIAL SESSION
From: Stephanie Swanson, LWVTX Redistricting Issue Chair



Fair Maps Texas logo banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 17, 2021

Media Contacts: 

Stephanie Swanson, sswanson@lwvtexas.org, 281-795-0011

Valerie Street, vgstreet@ourvotetexas.org, 512-785-1630

Joaquin Gonzalez, joaquin@texascivilrightsproject.org, 210-663-6727

 

TEXANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST UNJUST GERRYMANDERING AT START OF REDISTRICTING SPECIAL SESSION

 

Austin, TX -- Fair Maps Texas will be hosting a virtual press event as the 87th (3) Special Legislative Session gavels in on Monday. The press conference will feature a diverse group of Texans from across the State who have been impacted by our current gerrymandered maps, those who are not usually included at the table when maps are being drawn. These Texans will be speaking on the need for a fair and open districting process, one that fully considers the vital input of communities most impacted.  These Texans are calling for better representation, for it’s the same legislators that were elected under our heavily gerrymandered maps that are passing regressive policies that are hurting all people, especially poor and low-wealth Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian people.


In 2011, Texas drew maps that intentionally discriminated against people of color.  The federal court that reviewed those maps noted the "exclusion of minority member and public input despite the minority population growth, the misleading information, the secrecy and closed process, and the rushed process.” Recently the same panel of judges stated, “Given the record produced in 2011, the State must implement a process that, by any reasonable definition, is ‘fair and open.’”


At this press conference, Texans will stand together and demand that the Legislature use a “fair and open” redistricting process and demand that the U.S. Congress pass all provisions of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, reforms desperately needed in order to protect the rights of voters in the redistricting process.



What: Texans Demand Fair Maps for Texas

Who: Texans from across the state


Gulf Coast Region:

Amatullah Contractor - Deputy Director of Emgage Texas 

Marla Lopez - Mi Familia Vota

Christina Sanders - Director of PoliChic Engagement Fund, Houston, TX

Shirley Ronquillo - Director of the Houston Department of Transformation

Judson Robinson - Houston Area Urban League

Lily Trieu - Asian American Pacific Islander Redistricting Coalition

Jennifer Cantu - Fort Bend, TX

Amisa Ombito - Katy, TX

Cameron Samuels - Katy, TX

Corlie Jackson - Galveston, TX

Lamont Taylor - Corpus Christi, TX 


Central Texas:

Aya Eneli - Killeen, TX

Katya Ehresman, Common Cause Texas, Austin, TX

Dave Cortez - Sierra Club Texas, Austin, TX

Shellie Hayes McMahon - Round Rock, TX

Teresa Carabajal Ravet - League of Women Voters of Hays County

Michelle Cohen - Hays County, TX

Ric Galvin - Texas Freedom Network


North Texas:

Randall Bryant - North Texas Municipal Redistricting Project

Denita Jones - State Tri-Chair of the Texas Poor People’s Campaign, Richardson, TX

Crystal Bates - President, DFW Metro NAACP

Hasani Burton - Dallas, TX


West Texas:

Jesus Valdez - League of Women Voters El Paso



When: Monday, September 20, 2021 at 9am CST

Where: https://bit.ly/TX4FairMaps 


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Fair Maps Texas is a nonpartisan reform effort aimed at fixing the broken redistricting system in Texas. 


We are: ACLU TX, Clean Elections Texas, Common Cause Texas, Common Ground For Texans, League of Women Voters of Texas, March To The Polls, National Council of Jewish Women - Greater Dallas, Our Vote Texas, Texans Against Gerrymandering, Texas Civil Rights Project and Tex PIRG

Press contact: 

Stephanie Swanson, sswanson@lwvtexas.org, 281-795-0011

Valerie Street, vgstreet@ourvotetexas.org, 512-785-1630

Joaquin Gonzalez, joaquin@texascivilrightsproject.org, 210-663-6727