I’m writing a story due today for tomorrow’s paper about the 4 “minority” districts that AGR has proposed for Northeast, East and Southeast Austin. I wanted to get your group’s thoughts on what AGR came up with, since you have also suggested your own map. If one or both of you could give me a call today, I’d appreciate it.
I would prefer to speak to you through email on this issue, because I believe that my stance as the editor of the North Austin Community Newsletter could easily be mis-construed.
First, I want to make it very, very clear that I fully support a North Austin district that will give our Hispanics and Latinos the opportunities they have been denied for so long. I also fully understand why AGR created the North Austin Hispanic district as they did (the district in red - please the 10-1 page at www.lovenorthaustin.com for the map if you have not seen it).
AGR went purely by statistics and tried to create a distict they thought would best meet the questions the Voting Rights Act raises in regards to Hispanic minorities:
-How do you best draw a district that ensures there are enough Hispanics to vote?
-How do you balance the one person, one vote requirement with a population that may have a sizable population of individuals who actually cannot vote? (for example, Hispanics under 18)
-How do you draw a Hispanic district that will be compact and contiguous, per the requirements of the Department of Justice
The problem is this district raises as many questions as it seeks to answer:
-Why does the proposed district have such a disproportionately large amount of affordable and multi-family housing stock in comparison to other proposed districts?
-Why does the proposed district have such a small amount of parks, hike and bike trails, and green spaces in comparison to other proposed districts?
-Why are many of the North Austin AISD schools that are struggling being clustered so heavily in this proposed district?
-Why does this district have so little open land in comparison to other proposed districts? How will this district address current community needs such as park and recreational space, and provide for future community needs like more residential housing and schools, if there is limited open space?
We can take the low bar approach. We can draw this district as currently proposed and we would be completely within the Department of Justice's guidelines per the Voting Rights Act.
My questions to you and to everybody engaged in this process is this:
Is this the precedence we want to set as the capital of Texas? Or should we raise the bar and hold our city's geographic districting process to a higher standard than the one the Department of Justice says we need to meet?
editor, North Austin Community Newsletter
Reference Materials, Please download:
A series of meetings will begin this month and continue into November. The ICRC will conduct three meetings in each Travis County Commissioner precinct. Each of the meetings will focus on the geographic area within the city limits of that precinct.
Austin residents living in the precinct are especially encouraged to attend.
August public meetings include:
• Aug. 14 – 6:30 p.m.
Millenium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St.
Focus on Travis County Commissioner Precinct 1
• Aug. 17 – 10 a.m.
Little Walnut Creek Branch, Austin Public Library, 835 W. Rundberg Lane
Focus on Travis County Commissioner Precinct 2
• August 21 – 6:30 p.m.
Travis County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Court Building Community Center Activity Room 8656A Texas 71 West
Focus on Travis County Commissioner Precinct 3
• August 28 – 6:30 p.m.
Austin Community College South Campus Mulit-purpose Room, 1829 W. Stassney Lane
Focus on Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4
The 14-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission was formed to draw the map for 10 single-member City of Austin Council districts.
City of Austin voters approved Proposition 3, a City Charter amendment commonly referred to as “10-ONE” in November 2012. The Charter amendment provides for the election of City Council Members from 10 geographic single-member districts with the Mayor elected from the City at-large, beginning with the November 2014 election.
For additional information about the 10-ONE process visit www.austintexas.gov/10-ONE.
Remaining 6 chosen for 14-member redistricting commission
The 14-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, charged with
drawing City of Austin Council districts, is complete with the selection of six
people to ensure the panel’s diversity.
The initial eight members,
determined by a random drawing by the City Auditor in May, selected the
remaining members June 13.
The six newest members of the commission are (names link to Commission
•Henry W. Johnson
•Ryan Rafols (designated to fill the required
They join Magdalena Blanco, Marano Diaz-Miranda, Rachel Farris, William
Hewitt, Carmen Llanes Pulido, Arthur Lopez, Anna Saenz and Maria Solis.
The 14 Commissioners were chosen from a pool of 60 that met certain
The first meeting of the full body will be at 6:30 p.m.
June 26 at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Road in the Assembly Room.
The Commission will discuss hiring of personnel such as legal counsel, technical
staff and support staff.
The Independent Citizens Redistricting
Commission is expected to determine the boundaries for the 10 single-member
Council districts by December 2013.
City of Austin voters approved
Proposition 3, a City Charter amendment commonly referred to as “10-ONE,” in
November 2012. The Charter amendment provides for the election of City
Council Members from 10 geographic single-member districts with the Mayor
elected from the City at-large, beginning with the November 2014
For additional information about the 10-ONE process visit
The first eight have been chosen to serve on the Independent Citizen's Redistricting - and one is from 78758!
First meeting is scheduled for 5/31, 6:00 PM, City Hall -- Boards and Commissions Room.
Applicant Review Panel to make final recommendations to City Council for
Citizens Redistricting Commission
The panel charged with recommending who potentially should draw the 10
geographic Council districts will present its 60 names to the Austin City
Council on May 16.
The Applicant Review Panel for the City’s first Citizens Redistricting
Commission has narrowed an initial pool of 444 people. Each Council Member may strike one applicant from the list of 60.
The remaining names will be placed in a drawing for eight spots on the
14-member Redistricting Commission. City Auditor Kenneth Mory will conduct that drawing at 12:30 p.m. May 22 in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall, 301 W. Second St.
“We had an incredible applicant pool of well qualified residents,” said
Applicant Review Panel Member Caroline Limaye.” It was very difficult to narrow
down the list to 60. We’d like to encourage those that applied to please stay
involved and engaged in this very important process and time in our
Once the eight members have been confirmed, they will select the remaining six.
It is expected that the Citizens Redistricting Commission will determine the
boundaries for the 10 single-member Council districts by the end of the
The three Austin residents serving on the Applicant Review
Michele DeFrance, Senior Auditor, Texas State Auditor’s Office.
Caroline Limaye, Auditor, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Carol Feller, Auditor.
According to the City Charter, each of the Applicant Review Panel Members
must live in Austin; be licensed by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy;
and have at least five years of auditing experience.
For additional meeting information and back-up materials on the Applicant
Review Panel’s work, visit www.austintexas.gov/10-One.
About the 10-ONE Redistricting Process
City of Austin voters approved Proposition 3, a City Charter amendment commonly referred to as “10-ONE,” in November 2012. The Charter amendment provides for the election of City Council Members from 10 geographic single-member districts, with the Mayor elected from the City at-large, beginning with the November 2014 election.
The amendment calls for the creation of a three-member Applicant Review Panel and a 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission.
The City Auditor was tasked with initiating and widely publicizing an
application process and taking all reasonable and necessary steps to get a
diverse pool of applicants.
"In a demonstration district drawn by AGR, District 5 would have a total population of 80,382 Austinites with 12,726 Asian Americans (15.8%). Councilmember Elisa Chan, of San Antonio's District 9, was elected from a district composed of only 4.2% Asian Americans. Councilmember Al Hoang, of Houston's District F, was elected to office from a district consisting of 16.34% Asian Americans."
More info here:
We are posting articles and different POVs on this issue here so people can be informed:
January 19th is also the next City charter meeting, and it is occuring in North Austin.
Thursday, Jan. 19th, Charter Revision Committee meeting in North Austin at 6:30 pm at Lord's Church of Austin, 301 W. Anderson Lane. The focus will be on an independent redistricting commission to draw the lines for geographic districts
They will vote on this issue on February 2nd, at 6:30pm, at City Hall. Their website is here:
and their phone number is: 512-539-0070
North Austin's Stance is here:
And Austin Bulldog has done a balanced piece of the pros and cons here:
Thursday, Jan. 19th, Charter Revision Committee meeting in North Austin at 6:30 pm at Lord's Church of Austin, 301 W. Anderson Lane. The focus will be on an independent redistricting commission to draw the lines for geographic districts.