On October 27, 2021, the Waller County, Texas Commissioners Court held the final scheduled public hearing on redistricting. LDF submitted a supplemental letter in response to the hearing three days later on October 30, 2021, to address several issues that arose during the public hearing. As stated in the letter, the opportunity for public participation in Waller County’s redistricting process has been woefully inadequate. All of the redistricting sessions to date, on September 29, October 8, October 20, and October 27 have all occurred during working hours, with redistricting discussed near the end of the agenda at non-specified times. All of this makes participation difficult or impossible for working people, people in school, caretakers, and others in the community who are unable to devote several hours to waiting for an opportunity to speak.
The letter calls for the Commissioners Court to: set a public hearing dedicated solely to redistricting and scheduled outside working hours; delay the final vote on redistricting plans, which the Commissioners have left open as an option; and formally make all redistricting public comments (including emails) part of the public record at the next Commissioners Court meeting and post them on the County’s redistricting website.
A dedicated public hearing, in conjunction with delaying the final vote, would allow for genuine public input in the redistricting process and be the only way for the community to engage with any new or updated maps before the Court’s final vote on them. Citing discussions during the October 27, 2021, Commissioners Court public meeting, LDF’s letter also highlights the arbitrary and inconsistent considerations the Commissioners appear poised to rely on in adopting a map. Finally, LDF’s letter illustrates the shared social, economic, educational, infrastructure, and other concerns of communities of interest in Waller County.
Read the full letter here.
Read the full October 19, 2021, letter here.
Read the full October 25, 2021, letter here.
Learn more about LDF’s redistricting work in Texas and other key states here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.