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Harris County Redistricting: The Do-Over

August 6, 2011 2011 Redistricting, Houston/Harris No Comments

First things first, there’s now a lawsuit that was initiated based on the first map done for new County Commissioner Precincts. Then a new map came out Friday (see below). But the adjustments, as you’ll see, aren’t enough to undo anything from the lawsuit.

Second things second … pretty pictures to click and zoom in on:

biggerGoogle Earth

And then … cold hard math. I haven’t gone through and calculated CVAP numbers for the district, but it’s safe to assume that they are just as retrogressive as the topline numbers you see here. I’d guess that they at least took the Anglo percentage to just less than an absolute majority, however.

         Anglo            Hispanic         Afr-Am            Asian
1 Total 185,050 (18.1%)  376,699 (36.9%)  398,662 (39.0%)   55,579 ( 5.4%)
  18+   159,927 (21.6%)  241,991 (32.6%)  290,695 (39.2%)   45,058 ( 6.1%)

         Anglo            Hispanic         Afr-Am            Asian
2 Total 304,037 (30.4%)  581,638 (58.2%)   82,769 ( 8.3%)   25,639 ( 2.6%)
  18+   244,738 (34.8%)  375,893 (53.4%)   59,058 ( 8.4%)   19,470 ( 2.8%)

         Anglo            Hispanic         Afr-Am            Asian
3 Total 420,205 (40.1%)  357,912 (34.1%)  149,195 (14.2%)  114,333 (10.9%)
  18+   330,374 (43.3%)  236,716 (31.0%)  103,430 (13.6%)   87,360 (11.4%)

         Anglo            Hispanic         Afr-Am            Asian
4 Total 440,354 (43.1%)  355,291 (34.8%)  144,809 (14.2%)   72,943 ( 7.1%)
  18+   350,591 (47.6%)  227,970 (31.0%)   97,798 (13.3%)   54,069 ( 7.3%)

And for good measure, here’s the Pct. 2 comparison, which gets to why the latest map isn’t significantly different for the lawsuit:

           2001     2010 BASELINE       2011 PROPOSED
          -------   ---------------     ---------------
Total               888,572           1,000,167
Anglo     (36.9%)   248,481 (28.0%)     304,037 (30.4%)
Hispanic  (52.1%)   533,812 (60.0%)     581,638 (58.2%)
Afr-Am    ( 7.8%)    83,886 ( 9.4%)      82,679 ( 8.3%)   

VAP                 626,274             703,613
Anglo      (41.5%)  203,286 (32.5%)     244,738 (34.8%)
Hisp       (47.6%)  345,683 (55.2%)     375,893 (53.4%)
Afr-Am     ( 7.6%)   58,788 ( 9.4%)      59,058 ( 8.4%)

So, if this is indeed the final map that the county intends to submit, it looks like they’re going down to the wire with a contention that the 2001-drawn starting point is a valid baseline rather than the more traditional 2010 baseline. We’ll see in about 60 days or so if that’s good enough for the Department of Justice. I don’t know what the probability for that is, but I would suspect the odds are worse there for the map getting precleared than they might be for a judge.

For the sake of consistency, here’s the view of the northern portion of Pct. 1 and Pct. 2 (shared slightly white for differentiation) with CVAP color-coding for majority demographic within each census block group. You can still see that there is a sizable portion of heavily African-American population outside of Pct. 1 while the new map does a somewhat better job of including the Hispanic parts of Aldine. You can see the previous iteration of this map here for comparison.

And if you’re not buying those CVAP numbers as anything more than voodoo math, here’s the total population version of the same map, which makes it a moot point about why it was impossible to include more Hispanic areas …

Kuff, Stace, and David Ortez have more.

There’s an official “public hearing” at 9am Tuesday, immediately before the Harris County Commissioners Court is in session on Tuesday to vote for the plan.

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