Pasadena Redistricting Plan Discriminates Against Hispanics

Hispanics are the voice of Texas' new majority. In Pasadena, the Hispanic population has grown from 48.2% to 61.6% in the last decade. The Republican mayor of Pasadena is doing everything he can to stop that.

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A local ballot measure in the city of Pasadena, Texas would remove two single-member council seats currently held by Hispanics and replace them with at-large seats, eliminating the biggest voice Hispanics have in the growing Houston suburb. From the Houston Chronicle:

State Sen. Sylvia Garcia on Tuesday joined forces with four Pasadena council members and a community organizing group to mount a campaign against a new redistricting plan they say is designed to dilute the voting strength of Pasadena's growing Hispanic population.

Garcia called Pasadena Mayjor Johnny Isbell's proposed plan, which would switch two council districts to at-large positions, a "huge step backwards." She noted that when the city last year sought pre-clearance for a similar plan from the U.S. Department of Justice that it was soundly rejected as being discriminatory.

The Chronicle endorsed against the proposal, saying it could "dilute minority voting power" among minority populations. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) also wrote a letter to the Mayor detailing the discriminatory impact of the law. The Texas Organizing Project is working hard to educate voters about the proposal and defeat it at the polls.

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