Redistricting Battles Ahead To Affect Downtown Austin

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, could be a target during redistricting, with census data released Dec. 21 showing Texas stands to gain four House seats.

Hispanic population growth is the driving factor behind the delegation increasing to 36 members. The data shows that Texas’ population grew by 4,293,741 people since 2000, an increase of 20.6 percent, for a total of 25,145,561 residents. The state has consistantly increased in population since 1910, according to the Census Bureau.

With Hispanics making up much of the new population growth in Texas, some of the new congressional district maps will have to be ethnically proportionate to get clearance under the Voting Rights Act, which aims to prevent discrimination. Census estimates show the state was about 37 percent Hispanic in 2009, compared with 32 percent Hispanic in 2000.

Blacks, the second-largest minority population in the state, held steady in 2000 and 2009 counts at about 12 percent.

Redistricting will occur during the 82nd Legislature, which begins Jan. 11. The Legislature and Congress are the bodies that preside over redistricting. Republicans are wield majorities in the Legislature and the U.S. House, giving the party considerable control over how district maps will shape up.

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