AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Civil Rights Project, MOVE Texas, and Texas Rising have said that the data from the 2020 Census may pave the way for redistricting in the state, and better representation for communities of color.
The organizations said that the 2020 Census data showed that population growth in Texas was driven “overwhelmingly” by communities of color.
“Hispanic, Black, AAPI, Native American, and multi-racial individuals accounted for nearly 70% of the population growth in the last decade. The Hispanic population in Texas grew by 1,980,796, now comprising 39.25% of the population, almost equal to the Non-Hispanic White population, which accounts for 39.75% of the population.” said the organizations, “The Asian and Hispanic populations grew at the fastest rates respectively, with both groups growing over 20% over the course of the last decade.”
This data comes after Texas gained two new congressional seats in April, to match the massive population growth, expanding the state’s political power as the second largest congressional delegation in the country.
The Texas Civil Rights Project, MOVE Texas and Texas Rising issued statements in response to the upcoming redistricting process:
“The Census data is clear: Texas is getting more political power in DC because of growth in our communities of color. In every redistricting cycle in the last half-century, courts have found that Texas violated the Voting Rights Act or intentionally discriminated against communities of color to dilute their vote. There are many politicians in the state who would like to see that happen again, but when the new districts are drawn this year, we must ensure that these growing populations finally get fair representation,” said Joaquin Gonzalez, staff attorney with Texas Civil Rights Project. “This redistricting process is a fight for the next ten years of political power and fair representation for all Texans. If we don’t hold our lawmakers accountable to democracy, no one will.”
“Today’s release of census data shows us what we’ve known all along, that Texas is growing, and young people of color power that change,” said MOVE Texas Action Fund Executive Director Claudia Yoli Ferla, “It’s essential that the upcoming redistricting process is fair and transparent. Young Texans deserve to know the maps dictating the next decade of our politics are faithfully drawn to protect our communities, not to serve the electoral interests of a few politicians. Much like efforts to restrict access to the ballot, these undemocratic efforts are nothing more than cynical attempts at holding on to power. Texans deserve better.”
“As the Texas legislature prepares to draw the legislative and congressional districts that will define the next decade of Texas politics, our lawmakers must ensure the people of our state, namely the young people of color who’ve grown our state in far more ways than just our population, have the fair representation we deserve,” said Deputy Director of Texas Rising Osmara Santana, “The future of democracy in Texas rests on the creation of data-driven, non-partisan maps that put Texas communities first. Texans of all ages, colors and creeds from across our state have their eyes on their lawmakers in Austin as this redistricting process begins, rest assured we’ll be watching.”
The 2020 Census data comes amid drastically rising COVID-19 infection rates in Texas, as well as an ongoing fight within the legislature over voting legislation and the rest of its docket.