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Another lawsuit against Farmers Branch

This time it’s over their at-large City Council system, which the plaintiffs claim dilutes Hispanic voting strength.

Their attorneys, Rolando Rios of San Antonio and Domingo Garcia of Dallas, drew up a set of single-members districts that they contend would include one Hispanic-majority district.

“We believe the current at-large system of electing Farmers Branch City Council members makes it almost impossible for minority candidates to get elected,” Mr. Garcia said.

The lawsuit contends that had single-member districts been in place last May, Jose Galvez, the first Hispanic to run for the council, would have been elected.

[…]

“The basic problem the plaintiffs have is, under the law, in order to maintain their suit, they have to be able to show that you can draw a single-member district with a Hispanic or Latino citizen voting-age population majority,” [Bob Heath, representing the city,] said.

“We don’t think you can do that.”

He said that although there may be clusters of Latinos in the city, residents of voting age are widely dispersed.

A similar lawsuit thirty-some years ago is how Houston wound up with single-member districts. I doubt that having a single Hispanic on their City Council would have prevented Farmers Branch from pursuing its xenophobic anti-immigrant policies, but it at least would have given those being demonized a voice in the process. The lawsuit is set to come to trial on May 8. Link via South Texas Chisme.

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One Comment

  1. Kevin Whited says:

    ** I doubt that having a single Hispanic on their City Council would have prevented Farmers Branch from pursuing its xenophobic anti-immigrant policies, but it at least would have given those being demonized a voice in the process. **

    They need an illegal immigrant seat on their council, so “those being demonized” can truly have a voice! It will be tricky for a court to engineer that (!), but perhaps not impossible.