Redistricting Committees Hold Public Hearing at UTEP
EL PASO - The Senate and House Committees on Redistricting met Wednesday, May 31, 2000 for a joint public hearing at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The Legislature must redraw legislative, congressional and State Board of Education district lines every ten years upon completion of the census. The new boundaries will be used to elect members to the representative bodies in the next election cycle. Districts must have equal or nearly equal representation and be drawn in a manner that does not have a purpose and will not have the effect of denying the right to vote on the basis of race or language.
The committee was called to order by Rep. Delwin Jones for the House Committee and Senator Gallegos for the Senate Committee. The Mayor of El Paso, Carlos Ramirez, welcomed the Senate and House committees to the city of El Paso. Dr. Natalicio, President of the University of Texas at El Paso, welcomed the committees to the university campus and spoke about the history of UTEP and its' unique architecture. Brief remarks were made by Representatives Norma Chavez, Paul Moreno and Mandy Najera and Senators Eliot Shapleigh and Robert Duncan of the El Paso area.
The following people testified about the future of El Pasoans concerning their representation.
Coleman, Barry (self), El Paso
Esparza, Jaime (self, district attorney), El Paso
Fierro, Queta (El Paso County Democratic Party), El Paso
Finke, Eugene I. (self), El Paso
Finley, Charlsetta W. (self), El Paso
Firth, Syvia Borunda (self), El Paso
Hebert, J. Gerald (IMPAC 2000), Washington D.C.
Lovelady, William (self), Tornillo
Margo, D.R. "Dee" (self), El Paso
McKissack, Howard (Mayor, City of Fort Stockton, Texas), Fort Stockton
Milem, John (self), Dallas
Molinar, Jorge A. (self), El Paso
Natalicio, Diana (University of Texas at El Paso), El Paso
Quintanilla, Inocente (self), Tornillo
Ramirez, Mayor Carlos (City of El Paso), El Paso
Reed, M.D., Teresa A. (self), El Paso
Sandoval, Veronica (Montoya Heights), El Paso
Villareal, Sofia (Montoya Heights), El Paso
Wachtel, William J. (self), El Paso
The following people registered but did not testify:
Barraza, Hector (self), El Paso
Neill Jr., Robert G. (Texas Democratic Party), El Paso
Members of the Senate Redistricting Committee include Senators Troy Fraser of Burnet County and Mario Gallegos of Houston serving as co-chairs, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Mike Jackson of LaPorte, Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, Frank L.Madla of San Antonio, Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, Steve Ogden of Bryan, Florence Shapiro of Plano, and Royce West of Dallas.
Members of the House Redistricting Committee include Representatives Delwin Jones of Lubbock serving as chair, Bob Glaze of Gilmer, Fred Bosse of Houston, David Counts of Knox City, Jim Dunnam of Waco, Kent Grusendorf of Arlington, Bob Hunter of Abilene, Ken Marchant of Carrollton, Paul Moreno of El Paso, Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, and Ron Wilson of Houston.
The committees stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. The next hearing is scheduled for July 8, 2000 on Weslaco.