Senate Redistricting met on October 4 to consider committee amendments to, and the proposed, SB 6 (Huffman) relating to the composition of the districts for the election of members of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. CSSB 6 was voted out of committee with one amendment to the full Senate (9-6). An archive for the hearing can be found here.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


Opening Comments

  • Huffman – Intends to vote on whether to send SB 6 to the full Senate
  • Floor amendments must be filed by Thursday October 7 at 9 a.m.


SB 6 (Huffman) Relating to the composition of the districts for the election of members of the United States House of Representatives from the State of Texas


Public Testimony

Tim Dowling, Self – Against

  • Congressional plans only drew three competitive districts; were drawn by the Republican Congressional Delegation
  • Hundreds of Texas testified against this map
  • Is racial discrimination when Anglos are only 40% of the population, but maps increase their power in this drawing
  • Zoom testimony was ended before these maps were released


Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee CD18

  • Miles – Discussed how changes in CD18 and CD9 greatly affected these communities; Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green are here to testify
  • There have been surgical changes to CD18; which has been cohesive for 50 years
  • Discusses Barbra Jordan and the Voting Rights Act
  • Map breaks the Third Ward, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, and my home from CD18
  • Took out 200,000 people, and brought in 200,000 from the North
  • Respectfully asking for CD18 to be restored; this and CD9 did not need to be changed
  • Whitmire – Have you prepared a plan to restore your district?
    • Green and I have a map that would restore CD9 and CD18
    • Overviews work done with Jacinto City, Humble, and other areas of CD18
    • Whitmire – Have been working with the House; is likely these plans will end up in conference committee
  • Alvarado – Has everyone who has represented CD18 lived in the district?
    • Yes; have lived in the Third Ward for five decades
    • Aim to restore UH, TSU, Third Ward, and Fifth Ward to CD18
  • Miles – Current proposal guts our community economically and historically
  • West – How many times has pitting two African American representatives been pitted against each other in history?
    • Miles – Not sure
    • West – It has never happened
  • West – Maps have been drawn by an outside source; was taxpayer money used to do this?
    • Miles – Yes; not asked that yet
  • West and Miles discuss the ill effects of the carving out from CD18 and CD9


Congressman Al Green CD9

  • Provides personal anecdotes of inequality; recognizes this map as injustice
  • Pits two African American representatives against each other
  • Communities are diverse CD9 was over population by 9,000; minimal corrections could have been made
  • Hope is we can negotiate and reconcile in order for CD9 to be restored
  • Huffman – Will vote on this plan on the Senate floor on Friday; is time to work on these issues
  • Huffman – As proposed CD9 and CD18 follow the VRA
    • Will attempt to do so; perhaps with an extension of time we could do this appropriately
  • Huffman – Are on a tight schedule; committed to completing the process for the upcoming congressional elections
  • West – Will have the ability to make floor amendments on Friday and to make changes in the House, and during a conference committee
    • Is exceedingly important to note we all do not have the same access to resources
  • Miles – We will make resources available to you; proposed map has to be approved by all senators


Carl Davis, Houston Society for Change – Against

  • A longtime third generation from the Third Ward
  • Texas Southern University was a major part of CD18
  • Congressional maps are a partisan power grab which fails to recognize changes of the 2020 Census
  • Harris County and Fort Bend County deserve to pick the representative of their choice


David Albert, Self – Against

  • Teach at ACC; have fragmented CD30, CD6 and CD33
  • Maps to not reflect the enormous minority growth
  • Have splintered minority communities in Austin, Harris and Fort Bend Counties


Deborah Chen, OCA Greater Houston – Against

  • Asian Americans have been one of the fastest growing communities
  • Requests extended time period to review maps and further transparency
  • Current maps pack and crack to dilute minority votes
  • Have cracked AAPI communities in CD9 and CD18
    • Districts should remain intact


Christina Fu, OCA Greater Houston and Self – Against

  • Need more representatives to fully represent the AAPI community


Megan Shen, OCA Greater Houston – Against

  • Creation of new opportunity districts would greater represent communities of interest
  • Proposed maps continue to gerrymander and dilute minority communities
  • Want to have representatives who are willing to work on AAPI issues


Ashley Cheng, Texas AAPI Redistricting Coalition – Against

  • Hearing was posted at the same time as House Redistricting Committee; request future public hearings are offered virtually and without conflict with the House committee schedule
  • Maps do not reflect diversity of the state
  • Dilute AAPI voices specifically in the DFW, Fort Bend, Harris County areas
    • No committee amendments have been filed to fix these issues


Cynthia Cole, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees – Against

  • Need to re-evaluate the purpose of changing CD18 and CD9
  • Need to keep them instead of chopping them up


Charlene Jones, Self – Against

  • CD9 and CD18 need to remain intact; should not dilute the voices of these communities


Anusha Sidiki, Self and Emgage Action – Against

  • Lives in Houston and in an APPI community; proposed map cut this community in half
  • Many are not able to leave their jobs at 9 a.m. on a Monday
  • Maps need to be redrawn by impartial third parties and communities of interest


Amadtria Contractor, Self and Emgage Action – Against

  • Lives in CD7 and proposed map moves to CD8
  • Was drawn out of one of the fastest growing AAPI communities and moved to a majority Anglo district


Niophar Hipasi, Self and Emgage Action – Against

  • Resident of Fort Bend County; has been cracked into three CDs
  • US is a flawed Democracy due to the gerrymandering of its citizens


Beverly Hairford, Self – Against

  • Resident of the Third Ward; asks lines are not redrawn so CD18 can remain intact
  • Overviews the community, businesses, and volunteer work of the Third Ward


Committee Amendments

Committee Amendment 1 (PLANC2112) (Huffman)

  • Huffman – Reflects changes to CDs: 9, 12, 25 and 33
  • Brings CD33 closer to its current configuration
  • Changes in surrounding districts accommodates changes to CD33
  • Confident it does not create additional litigation risk to the state

Committee Amendment 1 adopted


Committee Amendment 2 (PLANC2109) (Blanco)

  • Zaffirini – CD16 and CD23; moves Fort Bliss and the El Paso International Airport back to CD16
  • Huffman – Opposes amendment

Committee Amendment 2 fails (5-9)


Committee Amendment 3 (PLANC2110) (Blanco)

  • Zaffirini – Alternative proposal that achieves the same as the previous amendment
  • Huffman – Opposes amendment

Committee Amendment 3 fails (6-9)


Amendments rolled into a CS; CSSB 6 adopted

CSSB 6 voted out of committee to the full Senate (9-6)