Fair Maps Texas encourages the public to provide testimony in an effort
to help identify the unique regional qualities of Communities of Interest.
Why does the Legislature want to hear from the public?
Speaking up about your community is critical to ensuring district lines are drawn to keep your community whole and grouped with nearby communities with similar interests. This ensures that your voice is heard by your elected leaders in such decisions as to the quality of your child’s school or how high your taxes are.
What will happen to publicly submitted comments and how will they be used in line drawing?
Along with census data, publicly submitted comments will be used to assist the Legislature when it begins drawing district boundaries. The focus of public testimony is to receive information about the unique characteristics of the public’s Communities of Interest from those most familiar with their neighborhoods.
What is a “Community of Interest”?
A Community of Interest (COI) is a geographically connected population which shares common social and economic interests. Examples of such shared interests are:
Those common to areas such as urban, rural, industrial, or agricultural; as well as geographical such as rivers, mountains, coastal, inland, watershed, etc.
Those common to areas in which the people share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process; as well as shared common goals.
Also, consider the following questions:
What bonds your community – what do you see as the common links in your community?
Where is your community located – what are the boundaries of your community?
Why should the community be kept together – or separate from another area?
How can public comment and testimony be given?
Public comments about Communities of Interest can be submitted in a variety of ways, including:
In-Person: Participate at a Public Field Hearing, which will be held around the state.
In Writing: volunteer with Fair Maps Texas to quickly and easily provide your input.
Maps are very helpful! Examples include Google Maps, AAA, or even hand-drawn. All maps should clearly state where the county is located (e.g. County/City) as well as its borders (e.g. streets, rivers, railroad tracks, etc.)