Opinion: I came to the US for its vision of representation. These maps fail that vision. – Houston Chronicle

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee speaks to a reception held by the National Association of Home Builders at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston which, as Jackson Lee pointed out at the beginning of her remarks, is in the 18th Congressional District, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Houston. Jackson Lee noted that downtown and the Third Ward will be removed from the 18th Congressional District in Republican-led redistricting efforts if pressure is not put on the legislature to change the proposed maps.
Regarding “Texas House passes political map aimed at expanding GOP majority,” (Oct. 13): I was born as a second-class citizen without a voice or a vote in apartheid-era South Africa. The world condemned that system in the 1990s. The United States is a democracy with a Constitution based on a simple principle of representation. One person, one vote. Redistricting is a process to make sure fair and equal representation reflects the changing population.
South Asians are a fast-growing minority population in Texas, yet the proposed Texas House map doesn’t reflect that change. We are frontline workers, small business owners, executives and entrepreneurs who contribute to Texas’ world-class economy. Despite the fact that 95 percent of the state’s growth came from its minority population, the Anglo population increased its voting power. The white population growth was just 187,252 — The state’s Asian population grew by 613,092 since 2010.
We in the Asian population often live in urban clusters where good schools and jobs attract families from all over the country. Legislators understand this and have used it against us to dilute and divide our collective voices across Texas. Our urban clusters are being redistricted with large rural counties. We believe Texas is in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. The Legislature will fracture the essence of this country’s vision for representation. My family left South Africa to become part of this great country — to have a voice and be heard.
Chanda Parbhoo, Dallas
Regarding “‘That map hurts’: Texas House redistricting vote another blow to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee,” (Oct. 13): Ever since the Senate Redistricting Committee released its first map, I’ve been stewing, and today I finally submitted my thoughts to the Committee, chaired by our very own Sen. Joan Huffman. Here’s what I told her:
This process has been outrageous. The resulting maps are equally outrageous. You are partisan hacks.
You blatantly created a set of districts for Republicans. Not for all Texans, not for your constituents, not for the new population growth shown in the Census. No. You set up state Senate seats for yourselves. You set up Congressional seats for Republicans.
Some of this does violate the Voting Rights Act, which made redistricting on the basis of race illegal. You split up Alief, which was already gerrymandered into two different Senate Districts (13 and 17), and further divided it into three. And you’re stealing one Democratic Congressional seat by combining two Congressional Reps who represent Black and brown communities into one.
Do you think you will get away with it? Maybe. But not for long. The people will get their way, and you will be voted out of power. You have no shame.
Aliza Geretz, Houston
Regarding “Tensions escalate as White Sox’s Tony La Russa accuses Astros of hitting Jose Abreu on purpose,” (Oct. 12): Major League Baseball fans and players associated with the Chicago White Sox have made it clear that they won’t ever forget the horrible atrocities committed by the Houston Astros in 2017 and 2018. Dusty Baker has spoken up for our current lineup admirably. That said, in light of the past he should point out that they have had a few issues of their own over the years. Of all the teams playing currently, it seems to me they should be the last ones to throw stones. Let’s just play ball.
Bill Strange, Spring
Something for the Astros shortstop, Carlos Correa, to consider: Call your pal Albert Pujols and ask if he would like a do-over on his decision to leave St. Louis for the few extra years of contract length with the Angels. The guy was already that city’s new Stan Musial and absolutely owned the place.
Sixty-five years ago I featured myself as the Cardinals catcher of the future, derailed only due to a minor difference of opinion (the consensus of their tryout camp scout crew felt I was better suited as a CPA). Over that subsequent period of time I have watched many games in that baseball-mad town — from Musial through Pujols and I believe they were equally popular. Albert gave up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of achieving a near-diety position.
C.E. Sylvester, Houston
CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION: An editorial published Friday recommending Lee “Mac” Walker for HISD District VII trustee erroneously implied that incumbent Anne Sung voted against renewing the district’s Teach for America contract in 2019. Sung abstained from the vote, citing conflict of interest. We regret the error. An editorial published Friday recommending re-election of Houston Community College trustee Adriana Tamez should have said that she previously served as a region superintendent at Houston ISD, not superintendent.
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The long-held 10 percent standard — with defendants or their loved ones paying a tenth of the bail amount to a private company — is not gospel anymore in Harris County and likely never was.
By Nicole Hensley, Samantha Ketterer