chapter 14 - Chapter 14: The Dilemma for...

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Chapter 14: The Dilemma for Racial-and-Ethnic-Minority Lawmakers and Advocacy Organizations Intro: -For minority lawmakers, the dilemma was an old one: are the interests of a minority community better served by a redistricting plan that draws the maximum number of districts in which the minority group is likely to control the outcome of an election, or by a plan that gives the minority group the greatest influence on the decision making of the legislative body at stake? -In 2001, Hispanic groups did not obtain the increase in Hispanic-majority districts in the Texas congressional delegation that they thought should accompany the Hispanic population growth that occurred between the 1990 and 2000 censuses. They saw another opportunity to do this in 2003, but the adversary, the Republican Party, wants to protect their Anglo incumbents, as well as some Anglo Democrats. -by 2003, the number of minority Democratic elected officials had increased while the number of Anglo Democratic officials declined at the state and national level. The Hispanic and African American Advocacy Organizations -these organizations play a role through legislation in increasing representation for racial and ethnic minorities in Texas. They try to maintain bipartisan stance by Republicans view them as Democratic partisans. Mexican American Advocacy Groups -Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), American GI Forum of Texas, Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) -All active in redistricting process in 2001 and 2003; wants districts with Hispanic voting majority—in 2003 these goals were unrealized. Republican majority saw adding these districts as unnecessary for meeting Voting Rights Act and also would threaten the number of districts that would vote republican, so they dismissed these proposals as being partisanly Democratic-- mistake. -Nina Perales (San Antonio, regional counsel for MALDEF) argues that with the large Hispanic growth between 1990 and 2000, more districts should be drawn to allow Hispanics to elect officials to Congress, in large part because this growth in population earned Texas two additional seats. -MALDEF and LULAC objectives: 1) preserve existing seven Hispanic-opportunity districts 2) create new district in south central Texas 3) refashion 24 th district in Dallas/Fort Worth area to raise Hispanic voting-age population over 50%. -In 2001, the first objective was easily obtained because the voting rights act restricts retrogression in minority voting strength, but the other two objectives were opposed by Democrats because of opposition to its effects on other districts that could adversely affect Democrats and opposition to changing districts in Dallas County.
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course GOV 335N taught by Professor Karch during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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chapter 14 - Chapter 14: The Dilemma for...

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