Growing Texas Latino community deserves fair electoral opportunity

SAN ANTONIO, TX - Today, MALDEF, along with other partners in the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, unveiled initial proposed Texas congressional redistricting maps at the State Capitol in Austin.

The maps are part of two non-partisan redistricting plans focused on ensuring fair electoral opportunity for Texas Latinos; the plans present Latino opportunity districts that MALDEF and its task force partners believe are required under the federal Voting Rights Act. The plans do not make political decisions about how districts should be drawn in other areas of the state.

The U.S. Census reported that in 2010 there were 9,460,921 Latinos living in Texas. These plans are a critical recognition of that fact. The plans create a new congressional district based in Hidalgo and Starr Counties in the Rio Grande Valley, making it possible for voters in those fast-growing counties to elect their chosen representative.

Similarly, the plans propose the creation of a new majority Latino congressional district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are more than 1.3 million Latinos in that area, representing thirty three percent of Dallas and Tarrant County residents. Yet there are currently no majority Latino congressional districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. These plans will afford Latinos the opportunity to elect their preferred candidate in the North Texas region.

MALDEF and its task force partners respected communities of interest in these new redistricting plans by unifying counties and neighborhoods with common characteristics. The districts unite populations with substantial economic and social commonalities; ensuring that the millions of Latinos who make up the communities represented will have a strong and effective voice in Congress.

In 2006, MALDEF successfully argued before the Supreme Court in LULAC v. Perry that the Texas congressional redistricting plan diluted Latino voting strength and violated the Voting Rights Act.

Speakers at the event included, Nina Perales, MALDEF’s Director of Litigation; Luis Figueroa, MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney, Texas State Representative Roberto Alonzo, Texas LULAC President, Joey Cardenas; the State Commander of the American GI Forum of Texas, Larry Perez; Vice President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Lydia Camarillo; Domingo Garcia, former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem; and Paul Jimenez of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

MALDEF’s Proposed Texas Redistricting Plan C108

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MALDEF’s Proposed Texas Redistricting Plan C109

View The Map

View The Reports

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund