Public hearings begin Wednesday on proposed changes to Houston city council districts

HOUSTON – Public hearings begin Wednesday as Houston City Council reviews new redistricting maps.

The proposed changes are to balance district populations in accordance with the 2020 Census data, making sure no district is significantly larger than another.

The City of Houston says proposed changes to Houston’s City Council districts are relatively minor and simply a matter of balancing for population growth.

“We tried to move as few people as possible in order to accomplish that,” Margaret Wallace Brown, Director of the City of Houston Planning Department, said.

But the League of United Latin American Citizens -- LULAC -- said the changes don’t do enough to improve Latino representation.

“The ones that are really impactful in terms of the lack of representation of our community are District J and I has gained some Latino vote,” Sergio Lira with Greater Houston LULAC Council said.

LULAC is planning to file a lawsuit to force the city to change the five at-large seats to single-member districts.

“We just can’t sit back and be silent anymore,” Lira said. “The lack of representation in terms of the whole city council why is this even debatable look at our demographics.”

“Basically, what LULAC wants to do is deprive citizens of Houston of some of their representation,” Mike Knox, an at-large Houston City Council member, said.

“I’m hoping the courts will see the validity of this particular program and keep things as they are,” Knox said.

Members of the public will have a chance to comment and even submit their own maps to the council. There will be three public hearings for you to let the council know what you think about the proposed maps. You can attend virtually or in person.

July Public Hearings

The city council of the City of Houston will hold the following public hearings in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 901 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. The deadline to sign up is on Tuesday, July 12 at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. The deadline to sign up is on Wednesday, July 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. The deadline to sign up is on Tuesday, July 19 at 5 p.m.

All persons desiring to be heard at any of the public hearings must reserve a specific amount of time (up to 3 minutes) by contacting the City Secretary’s Office at 832-393-1100. Details for signing up to speak in-person or virtually are posted at: link).