Redistricting plan rescheduled by Houston City Council

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – A presentation and vote on the city of Houston’s redistricting plan were both postponed on Wednesday.

Mary Benton, the spokesperson for Mayor Sylvester Turner, told KPRC 2 that the agenda item was pulled because some council members were not present due to travel or observation of Yom Kippur. Benton said the item would likely be back on the agenda next week.

The agenda item says that city council members are set to approve and adopt a redistricting plan for the city of Houston based on the 2020 census data.

As KPRC 2 reported, the city said the proposed changes are a matter of balancing population growth. The changes could mean some historic neighborhoods change districts.

There’s been a series of public hearings that allow for comments and suggestions from the public regarding the proposed redistricting plan. Dr. Laura Murillo with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was at the council meeting Wednesday. She said it’s an important issue with a lot at stake.

“As we understand it, we must be at the table in order for our issues to be heard, and it is time to have more representation that is reflective of the demographics,” Murillo said. “If we aren’t at the table then we don’t have the opportunity to address those issues, and once again, redistricting will play a very important part.”

Some community groups say the finalized maps still have room for improvement. Juan Cardoza-Oquendo, director of public policy for Houston In Action, says map submissions and input from his organization and several others were not included.

“The city has also not published a report explaining the proposed changes to the district lines. This report would bolster the city’s transparency in the redistricting process and allow the public to evaluate the latest redistricting plan in a meaningful way. We will continue to show up to fight for transparency and power for everyday people.” Cardoza-Oquendo said.

.


About the Author:

Emmy-winning journalist. Inquisitive. Sparkle enthusiast. Coffee-fueled, with a dash of sass.