Archive for March 4th, 2011

Commentary attended last night’s City of H-Town Redistricting Town Hall Meeting at the Museum of Fine Arts.  About 125 to 150 folks showed up.  The Mayor conducted the meeting.   CMs in attendance included Adams, Jones, Bradford, and Rodriguez.  A video was shown that attempted to describe the redistricting process.  Folks then got to give their takes.

Some folks wanted their super neighborhoods in certain districts.  Some folks wanted their super neighborhoods combined with other super neighborhoods.  Some folks from Montrose wanted to be whole and combined with either the Heights or Midtown.  Some Midtown folks wanted to be combined and also wanted out of District I. 

Asian Americans were there and asked not to be fragmented.  Mary Almendarez, Edward Ibarra, and an immigrant community activist started to make the case for more Latino majority council districts.   A woman got up and asked The Mayor to recuse herself from leading the process – interesting.

That is a position taken by CM Bradford.  He thinks that The Mayor has too much on her plate like running the City.  Bradford also believes The Mayor should have let a CM run the redistricting committee.

CM Bradford makes some good points.   In today’s Chron, the lead story is about City fixing to lay-off 2,300 folks – ouch!   The City is fixing to implement Rebuild Houston.  Does The Mayor really have the time to head up the redistricting effort and process the requests of super neighborhoods, neighborhood activists, partisans, minority groups, and members of city council?

At last night’s meeting, Commentary spoke about watching Wednesday’s council meeting and concluding that council members seemed uninformed about the history involved in the adding of two council districts.  The administration let me know that they have provided council with plenty of redistricting info and kind of implied that council just hasn’t taken the time to digest the info.  I came away with the impression that there needs to be better communication between The Mayor and council on redistricting.  If there isn’t better communications, we’re going to see more of what we saw this past Wednesday and after all, city council will ultimately vote on a redistricting plan. 

It is clear The Mayor and not council is driving the process to redistrict the city council.  If it gets to the point where members of city council feel left out of the process or feel decisions or plans are being hatched without their input, The Mayor could very well lose control.

By the way, on August 11, 1979, voters in H-Town approved the so-called “settlement” that calls for the current five at-large seats, and nine districts seats, plus two more district seats when the day came when H-Town reached 2.1 mil folks.

To be continued. 

What former Dodger first baseman hit the first dinger for the brand new Mets franchise in 1962?

Guv Dude is celebrating his 61st BD today.   

My pal Robert Miller has a good state redistricting take today so  check it out here.

Here’s a bit from Robert:

The real question is can the House pass a redistricting plan. In my judgment, the House has a far greater challenge than the Senate. There are currently 101 House Republicans. I believe that you can only draw 86 to 88 Republican seats if you want those seats to remain Republican for 10 years. If you draw too many Republican seats, the Republican majorities will be too thin and the Democrats will flip the seats in succeeding elections given the changing demographics in the state.
Let’s say I am right and you can only draw 86 – 88 Republican seats. That means the Democrats will pick up 13 – 15 seats in the 2012 election; and you could have to pair up to 26 to 30 Republican members. Pairings will probably be less because of retirements: e.g. Rep. Warren Chisum has already indicated that he is running for the Railroad Commission.
It will be very difficult for the House Republican majority to pass a map for two reasons. One, they will have to pair numerous Republicans. Secondly, they will have to go back to their primary voters and say we had a 101 seats, and I just voted for a map that will give us 86 to 88.
Finally, we have history as a guide. In 1971, 1981, 1991, and 2001, a legislative plan did not pass in regular session and the LRB drew the seats. The odds are that it will end up at the LRB again this year.

Nice job Robert.

Gil Hodges of course hit the first Mets dinger in the Mets first game ever at Old Busch Stadium in San Luis in an 11-3 loss on April 11, 1962.  Hodges had 370 career dingers – 361 of them wearing the Dodger Blue.

If I get the time, I might drop by the College Classic today at The Yard.

The ‘Stros won yesterday and catcher Jason Castro will undergo knee surgery – BUMMER!



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