Politics & Government

Texas lawmakers want to hear from Tarrant County: How should redistricting maps change?

Texas lawmakers want to hear from you.

On Wednesday, the House Redistricting Committee will hold a public hearing in Fort Worth and members want residents to weigh in on redistricting.

“The purpose of the hearings is to have citizens give input about the redistricting process and their communities,” according to a statement from Fair Maps Texas, a nonpartisan group trying to improve the redistricting process.

“These hearings may be one of the only opportunities ordinary citizens may have to provide in-person, direct comments and input to the Committee here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, without having to travel to Austin. “

The hearing will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus, Action Suites, on the fourth floor of the main building at 300 Trinity Campus Circle, in downtown Fort Worth.

Another hearing will be Thursday in Dallas, at the Dallas City Hall.

State lawmakers redraw boundaries for U.S. House and Texas House and Senate legislative districts every 10 years after they get new population counts.

They’ll start on new maps in 2021 after they get updated Census data. But that information likely won’t be available until late in the legislative session that year.

So they are traveling around the state, working to gather public comment, ahead of time.

“It is critically important that as many members of the public as possible provide the Committee with descriptions of how legislative and congressional district lines have had an impact on their communities and how it has affected their ability to influence their state and congressional representatives under the current boundaries,” the Fair Maps Texas statement read.

As the number of residents in Texas continues to grow, the state could pick up as many as three new congressional seats, the state demographer projects.

Tarrant County is among the top Texas counties that gained the most new residents since 2010, officials project.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.