Ellis: Redistricting Map Doesn't Pass the Smell Test
"Overall, I believe this map is retrogressive. It appears there was an actual effort to reduce the number of minority-opportunity districts. SD 13 is carved up beyond recognition and the Houston area is very ill-served. I hope this map does not pass the Senate, and I will be shocked if it passes justice department scrutiny. It certainly doesn't pass the smell test.
"I represent the seat that Barbara Jordan held, and Montrose has been in this district since then. It makes no sense to remove it and I will fight to keep those voters. It makes no sense that my district needed to add population, then the redistricting committee removes thousands of voters I have proudly represented for years and then goes and finds voters elsewhere to make up the difference. That's just silly.
Currently, there are 15 majority-minority districts in the Senate, 12 of which are represented by African American or Hispanic Senators; Under SB 31, there would effectively be only 10 majority-minority districts. That's just not going to work.
"Like my colleagues, I was asked to submit a map and I did so. Apparently, it was not worth the paper it was printed on. I will not support this plan and think they need to hit the do-over button."