REFRESHER ON HOW TO PREPARE TESTIMONY
Held on December 4
Guest Speakers: Stephanie Swanson, League of Women Voters of Texas; Dave Jones, Clean Elections Texas
PUBLIC INPUT HEARING
Tuesday, December 8 at 6 PM
VIRTUAL PUBLIC INPUT HEARING
FOR SOUTH TX REGION
Thursday, December 10 at 6 PM
Texas has already begun the process of redrawing the state and federal legislative districts for the 2021 round of redistricting. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to the public input hearing schedule that both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees adopted in 2019. By the time the pandemic worsened in March of 2020, the House Redistricting Committee had held 13 of the 25 public input hearings it had previously scheduled, and the Senate Redistricting Committee had yet to hold a single hearing. Because the Legislature is currently out of session, and neither the House nor the Senate's rules allow for virtual hearings, neither Committee will be able to hold any more public input hearings before the legislative session begins.
While the COVID pandemic has put a significant strain on our state legislature, the public has a right to be a part of the policy-making process. As such, the Fair Maps Texas Coalition has come together to urge the House and Senate leadership to develop a contingency plan to allow for public hearings to continue with virtual accommodations. And in the meantime, we will also be holding our own virtual, public input hearings so that the public can continue to be a part of the legislative process. While these hearings will not be official, we will be providing a transcription service so that written testimony can be submitted directly to both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees so it can become a part of the official record.
The purpose of these hearings is to solicit public input about a region’s unique geographic and demographic characteristics from those residents most familiar with their own neighborhoods as well as ways to improve the upcoming redistricting process. This testimony is meant to provide context to the 2020 Census data and assists the Legislature when it draws district boundaries, so that district lines are drawn to keep your community whole and grouped with nearby communities with similar interests.
Everyone in the state is invited to participate during both hearings.
Local State Legislators will be invited to attend.