Saturday, April 30, 2011

Texas House Redistricting, PlanH283, and Gerrymandering

A textbook example of gerrymandering on steroids has been passed this week by the Texas House as part of HB 150.  Below is part of this statewide redistricting plan.  This is how they have designed new Texas House Districts for Dallas County!  It is easy to understand why many of our local representatives voted against it!

Study this map very carefully.  Then look at any definition for gerrymandering. 
This is now happening in Texas, proposed legislative districts for the next decade!

If you go to the Texas District Viewer and look for PlanH283 you can see this map for the entire state, and in much more detail.  On that same page you can download reports on each district for population profiles, incumbents, and election history.  Here is a document formed from the population profiles report on the House Districts in Dallas County:
 (Click on the page below to see a larger copy.)

Progress on Dallas City Council Redistricting Process

The second meeting of the public with the Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission was at the Kiest Park Recreation Center on Thursday, 04-28-2011.  The meeting was exceptionally well attended with standing room only.  There were only enough seats for about half the people present.  About 200 people were present. About 37 gave testimony. The pattern was consistent with the first meeting, almost everyone spoke of keeping their community together. Gerrymandering was mentioned several times. It was obvious to me that I did not need to give everyone documentation of the problems with gerrymandering.  I also said that in my talk as the last person to speak, since I had spoken at the first meeting.

As I spoke I presented the changes in current council districts since 2000 relating to how many have 50% or more of any of the three dominant racial/ethnic divisions in Dallas.  In 2000 there were 3 districts that were majority Hispanic.  There are now four.  In 2000 there were 5 districts that were majority Anglo.  Now there are only 3.  In 2000 there were 4 with majority Black districts. Now there is only one.

Without a significant redistricting, with many changes, there will not even be three Black majority districts. On Friday I worked two more hours at the redistricting computers. I was able to prove that three such districts are possible but only if the southern section of District 3 is combined with parts of Districts 8 and 5 to form a new District 5.  The map posted in the last posting has now been totally changed due to the necessity for some effort to preserve three Black districts. There is a lot of work to do.  Please come to City Hall to work on your own plans. You may find better ways to eliminate gerrymandering and achieve needed goals with a better map. With many of us working we will find the best!

History of Dallas City Council Redistricting Progress through April 30, 2011

Below are a series of blog posts that were posted on another site until now. It is now obvious that a dedicated blog to this issue is warranted. The Dallas City Council Redistricting process appears to be very well designed with solid guidelines that, if followed, will achieve the critical goals in this process. This may well be a turning point in the History of Dallas if enough people get involved and work to design their own districts so as to best understand the issues involved. Reports on such a critical process need their own blog! Thus this blog is created to continue periodic reports on the progress.  Below is a history of the postings made up to now on this process on another blog at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

As Dallas City Council Redistricting process evolves we have a priceless lesson for our students in democracy.

The History of Dallas continues to unfold and provides for our Dallas ISD students a priceless lesson in democracy. Like all cities, Dallas has a history of the unequal distribution of power with minorities and the poor being generally under-represented in positions of power. With the greater transparency being provided to processes such as redistricting, that lack of balance is slowly disappearing.  You must make your own judgements as to how far we have yet to go.  Here is a demographic spreadsheet on the current Dallas City Council makeup and how it corresponds to the demographic makeup of Dallas as reflected in the most recent census:
Here is a second spreadsheet only counting the Dallas City population for those age 18 and above.

If you see an error in either of these spreadsheets please do not hesitate to email  Accuracy is critical. The data from which these spreadsheets are made is from .

Unless there are errors in the above spreadsheets, the simple conclusion is that the past decades growth in our Hispanic residents in Dallas has led to a significant imbalance on the Dallas City Council makeup. While that imbalance must be corrected in the redistricting process, unnecessary gerrymandering for partisan purposes will only be counterproductive as has been documented at  We must achive balance without risking the breaking up of our communities of interest.   See Texans for Redistricting Reform and this video on youtube produced by the Tea Party in support of A. J. Pate and his methods that minimize gerrymandering, voter confusion, and the resulting voter apathy, while also meeting the Voting Rights Act requirements at the same time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dallas City Council Redistricting Process Report
The first Dallas City Council Redistricting Committee meeting with the public was 04/26/2011 and went well. About 12 speakers all said basically the same thing: Do Not split my community/do not gerrymander.

Today, after two hours on the Dallas City Council Redistricting Computers, the following initial and very crude map was made:
Please just click on this image to see a larger copy.  This is ONLY a draft and needs very much work.

Here is an example of the type of statistics that are produced, and change every time you move population from one district to another.

The above spreadsheet only has data for five of the districts which is a very crude estimate. This is the type data that changes by the minute as you work on your version of the Dallas City Council District maps changing district lines.  Go to City Hall and give it a try!  Help redesign Dallas to be an ever greater city!  See information on the process at
The last page at this link has the details on the computers in Dallas City Hall Room L1AN.  To schedule an appointment just call the Dallas Redistricting offices at 214-670-5417. The official Dallas City Hall Redistricting web site, complete with a multitude of maps, is at  
The next posting is a new one for today 4-30-2011.