Redistricting Roundup: Citizen activist organizations work to reform redistricting
By Geoff Pallay
|Quote of the Week|
The redistricting commission hired an executive director, Ray Bladine. A former deputy city manager in Phoenix, Bladine will help guide the 5-member commission through the redistricting process.
|Total States with Lawsuits filed: 15|
|Next state deadline?|| Indiana|
|Maps submitted for vote: 14||MS (2), LA (3), AR (1), VA (2), IA (3), NJ (2), MO (1)|
|States that have completed Congressional Maps||2 (AR, LA)|
|States that have completed State Legislative Maps||2 (NJ, LA)|
|This Week's Redistricting Highlight|
On April 21, 2011, the Bayshore Tea Party filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new state legislative districts. The suit is joined by 38 other plaintiffs from 21 counties. The predominant allegation is that southern districts are generally larger than legislative districts in the northern part of New Jersey. Also, the splitting of Newark and Jersey City from three districts to two is detailed in the suit as being unconstitutional.
The Texas House Redistricting Committee approved a revised plan on Tuesday that would add two Hispanic-dominated districts in the Texas House. The revision to the map released last week comes in response to calls for more representation from Hispanic legislators and advocacy groups, such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Hispanics are responsible for the largest share of the population growth that yielded Texas four new Congressional seats. Hispanic advocates want to ensure the maps produced through the current redistricting process proportionately reflect these demographic realities. While appreciating the nod to Hispanics in the revised map, advocates say the revisions don't go far enough and they intend to continue pushing for more Hispanic districts.