Judge Clay Jenkins

Judge Clay Jenkins

The Dallas County Commissioners Court approved its redistricting plan on Nov. 2.

Of the four options presented, the proposed Map A was chosen in a 3-1-1 vote which would consolidate cities like Richardson and Garland into one district rather than keeping cities split between districts.

District 1 will have a population of 662,504, District 2 will have a population of 672,335, District 3 will have a population of 60,985 and District 4 will have a population of 627,715.

Commissioner J. J. Koch voted against the map stating he wanted to pull the redistricting for a special meeting so all cities would be reunited. Commissioner John Wiley Price and Judge Clay Jenkins said they were concerned about missing the Nov. 13 deadline to pass the new map.

Commissioner Elba Garcia said she would abstain from voting because there were no options to draw an opportunity district for the Hispanic community.

Garcia advocated for the proposed Map C because it had a district drawn for Hispanic residents. However, the map was declared unconstitutional because it did not have a majority Hispanic citizen voting age population as required by the supreme court. Rolando Rios, one of the lawyers tasked with drawing the proposed maps told Garcia over email prior to the meeting that the proposed Map C would allow minorities to be heard. Map C was deemed unconstitutional by Hebert and Dunn because it did not have a majority Hispanic citizen voting age population. It was revealed that Rios disagreed with the other lawyers, Gerald Hebert and Chad Dunn, who favored Map A.

“It would obviously be desirable if we could have another Latino district, but you have to do it in a way that does not violate the constitution,” Hebert said. “Otherwise, you’re putting your whole plan at risk in the courts, and you’ll likely lose.”

Because the lawyers disagreed on the constitutionality of Map C, Garcia said she wanted to stick with the current districts rather than adopt any of the other districts drawn.

“I’m not leaning toward staying where we are after spending all this money and time, hearing from the public and not doing anything,” Jenkins said. “I am amenable to looking at mid-decade redistricting if the numbers change.”

Both Garcia and Commissioner Theresa Daniel said they were disappointed in the lawyers’ inability to create a district representing the growing Hispanic community.

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