I want to begin this newsletter with happy news! Less than two weeks ago, I traveled to Zacatecas, Mexico with friends and family to marry the love of my life! I could not have asked for a more perfect setting for our wedding or a more perfect bride to spend the rest of my life with. We want to genuinely thank each and every one of you who sent your well wishes and congratulations – we are truly blessed.
As we were wrapping up celebrations in Zacatecas on Monday, you can imagine my surprise when I started receiving messages about a redistricting decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Texas voters were dealt a sizable blow when SCOTUS handed down a decision ending a several-year legal challenge of district maps in Texas for the Texas House and Congress on the grounds of racial gerrymandering.
The decision handed down upheld 10 of 11 district challenged on the grounds of racial gerrymandering against black and Hispanic voters. The high court did agree that one district met the standards for racial gerrymandering – House District 90 – our district.
In the 2011 legislative session during once-a-decade redistricting, the Como neighborhood was moved out of HD 90 in order to strengthen a Latino-opportunity district in Fort Worth. After a court ruling following that session, redistricting was taken up again in 2013. During the 2013 session, the former representative of HD 90 added Como back into the district, hoping to shore up support for an election challenge coming in 2014.
As you all know, I won the election for House District 90 in 2014, despite attempts by the former representative to craft the district in his favor. Now, as the current Representative, I do not want to see HD 90 change, nor did I want to see it challenged in this court case. Como is an integral part of not only HD 90, but Fort Worth at-large - its history, its leaders, and its people enrich my experience as an elected official.
From here, for our district, the future is somewhat murky. The case will now go back to District Court where a panel of judges will decide what to do next given the SCOTUS decision. What I can say with absolute certainty is I will continue to represent ALL of HD 90 to my fullest abilities.
As for the rest of the decision and its effect on racial gerrymandering moving forward – the Court decided to abdicate its responsibility to protect minority voters and the result of that will undoubtedly be felt deeply. Our opponents will be emboldened to attempt to continue to dilute minority voting by packing minorities into as few districts as possible on one hand, and by spreading the remaining minorities among other districts to a level that won’t threaten the incumbent on the other. The result is representative democracy has taken a blow that sets us back.
It is now more important than ever to get EVEYRONE registered to vote and out to the polls. The only way redistricting will become fairer and more representative in Texas is if Democrats are able to win seats ahead of redistricting in 2021. So, it’s time to get to work! Starting with midterms in November, let’s ALL go vote and show the Republican party and SCOTUS we will not stand for non-representative government. ¡Adelante siempre adelante!