CONGRESSMAN CUELLAR STATEMENT ON TEXAS REDISTRICTING MAP COMPROMISE
Washington, February 6, 2012 | Maria R. Gonzalez (202-225-1640)
Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar, (D-TX), released the following statement after The State of Texas and the Plaintiff Latino Redistricting Task Force reached an agreement to accept a temporary congressional district map for the State of Texas:
“This is a historic development: the State of Texas has, for the first time ever, created congressional districts to reflect the looming Hispanic Community growth – it creates a Hispanic CD in the Dallas Tarrant County Area and one in the Travis Bexar County Area. Hispanic will get two of the four new congressional districts. THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. In none of the past four decades has the State of Texas given the Hispanic Community fair representation.
This compromise between the Plaintiff Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, which includes Texas LULAC, MALDEF, GI Forum, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, Domingo Garcia, former Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas, The Mexican American Bar Association of Texas, and the La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, and the State of Texas accomplishes two important goals for the Plaintiffs:
1. Creates two Hispanic opportunity congressional districts, (CD 33 and CD 35), which recognizes the enormous Hispanic population growth in Texas. Two new Hispanic opportunity districts is the largest one-time gain in Texas History.
2. It restores the CD 23 to the original Hispanic opportunity numbers. Hispanics will be able to choose their candidate of choice. It also restores the CD 34 (the old CD 27anchored in Cameron County) to a Hispanic opportunity district. Furthermore, the new CD 27 will be a Toss-up District.
This compromise is supported by Congressmen Henry Cuellar, Lamar Smith and Francisco Canseco. This Compromise is the same concept of the proposed bipartisan plan 216. This settlement agreement allows the parties to quickly move forward with a unified primary election to avoid confusion of a split primary and prevents extra costs to the taxpayers.
When I entered this lawsuit I had three goals in mind:
1. Provide fair representation to my constituents in CD 28 so we can continue the important work of providing a responsive government.
2. Make sure the Hispanic community in Texas was treated fairly by creating new Hispanic Districts. This settlement gives the Hispanic Community two of the four new congressional districts that Texas got because of the growth of the Hispanic Community. It creates one new CD in the Dallas area and one in the Travis / Bexar county area.
3. Since I was the only elected official from South Texas that was a plaintiff, I wanted to make sure that the South Texas Border Area, especially all important Rio Grande Valley Area is fairly represented. Because of our fight, we have restored the Cameron County anchored district (now called CD34) and the four additional congressional districts on the Border: My district, CD 28, and CD 23, 15 and 16. This gives us a total of five advocates to fight for the issues of importance to our border area.
4. To work closely with Congresswomen Eddie Bernice Johnson and Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Al Green to protect the African -American communities of interests in Dallas and Houston.
This settlement accomplishes all of these goals and I look forward to proceeding with the all important election process. I thank my attorney, Rolando Rios and the attorneys with the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force for a job well done in settling this Redistricting Lawsuit which is in the best interest of the Texas Hispanics and other parties.”