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I would like for you to understand 3 things about Texas gerrymandering and redistricting: 1) Why the drawing of political maps is vital to adequate representation 2) How elections impact gerrymandering and redistricting 3) How gerrymandering and redistricting impact the class and racial divide in the state.
Assignment
1. Take a look at the highly gerrymandered Texas districts below. How does the drawing of each district reflect the demographics and representation of the area? Why are highly populated areas more susceptible to gerrymandering? Is it equitable if Democrats and Republicans have the same number of gerrymandered districts? Should the drawing of electoral maps be left to states? What would happen if a non-partisan commission were appointed to oversee the process?
2. Open the article below, either enter an address or select a city to explore the redistricting changes. (I did not enter my home address.) Answer the questions below by comparing and contrasting the before and after changes to each Texas district by U.S. Congress, Texas State Senate, Texas State House, and the Texas State Board of Education.
Astudillo, C., Cai, M., & Huang, K. (2021, November 2). Texas has new political maps. See which districts your home is in. The Texas Tribune. https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2021/texas-redistricting-map/ (Links to an external site.)
Texas is a Republican-run state, so generally, those in power are in control and make the decisions regarding gerrymandering and redistricting. How do gerrymandering and redistricting impact the power dynamics in Texas? How does partisan redistricting alter the local, state, and federal political landscape? If the lines were redrawn, could Republicans maintain power? What would happen if the maps were redrawn to reflect the Latino population in Texas? Would the measures in Texas Senate Bill 1 (election law from discussion 4) be included in the bill if the legislature reflected the class and racial demographics of Texas communities? Does gerrymandering and redistricting promote voter suppression?
3. Select one impact of redistricting from the list below. Briefly describe how your selected impact influences the overall quality of life for Texans. Discuss how redistricting impacts your community? Does it impact how your community is represented in state and national elections? Would the concerns of your community be addressed faster and receive more exposure if you had representation more reflective of your community? Why does representation matter?
Redistricting impacts: housing, transportation, education, segregated communities, employment, healthcare, environment, access to resources, criminal justice, etc. Did I miss something? Feel free to add an impact.

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