Texas lawmakers are getting ready for the next round of redistricting in 2021. They typically start seeking public input a year before they start drawing new political lines, by holding hearings across the state. Voting groups are raising concerns about where and when lawmakers plan to hold those hearings.
Groups including the NAACP and Texas Civil Rights Project have sent letters to legislative leaders asking them to make sure they give the public at least a month’s notice before they hold a public input hearing. Stephanie Swanson with the League of Women Voters of Texas says lawmakers should do all they can to make sure the public participates. She says lawmakers need people from various communities to let them know where they are.
“What we have been asking for is for them to reconsider them holding these field hearings – these public input hearings – in small towns, and moving some more of them or holding more of them in our large metroplex areas. Because that is where most of our growth has been,” Swanson says.
Swanson says these public hearings are important in making sure the state complies with the Voting Rights Act when it redraws political boundaries in the state.