The HISD board began discussing redistricting based on the 2020 census this past summer and looked at five possible plans. While we appreciate the work the board has done on this important issue, why was public input compressed to a few weeks during the holiday season?
A once in a decade vote of this importance should not be taken at a 9 am special meeting when working families cannot attend or weigh in.
Will you email the board or speak on Thursday at 9am to ask the board to delay the vote until the next regularly scheduled board meeting? Sign up by noon on Wednesday here. You can also find board emails here.
This item concerns the public’s right to elect their school board members and should be held at a time when the public can attend, voice their concerns and observe their deliberations. Few people are even aware that this Thursday 9 am special meeting is happening. The public expects the board to deliberate and vote at its regularly scheduled agenda review and board meetings, the first and second Thursday of each month.
Plans A and D, the only plans presented to the public, give outsized representation to Anglo, more affluent constituencies. Houston is a demographically diverse city and redistricting should reflect this.
It is important that any plan for redistricting comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights to avoid diluting minority voting power either by fracturing or packing. Plans A and D, the only plans presented to the public for redistricting, violate this important provision.
On both Plans A and D, the Southwest Houston - Sharpstown - Gulfton region is split among Districts V, VI, and VII. The Southwest Houston - Sharpstown - Gulfton community is heavily immigrant and BIPOC. This community’s voting power is diluted because the region is split across three districts that are predominantly Anglo.
The Board should keep this community whole within a single district by using either Plan B or C as its starting point.
Please ask the board to delay the vote (email them or sign up to speak by noon Wed) until a regularly scheduled meeting and to ensure that the new maps do not dilute minority voting power in this demographically diverse district.
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