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Texas Democrats Run Again

Texas Democrats Redistricting avoidance 2003

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#41 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:36 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Jul 30 2003, 11:17 AM, said:

Because it can't really be measured or quantified in an objective way. Let's say you have a rancher who's alone for miles.... he considers himself a man who lives on his own, and has no sense of community. His only interaction with others is selling his product and going to the market once a week to get supplies.

Would this hypothetical rancher receive his own district?

No, probably I would assert that he and several other undistricted ranchers form a community of sorts, and I'd represent them as such.

Quote

Conversely, people in larger cities often tend to say "I consider myself part of Houston". Should a place so vast as Houston be on the same level as a small village out in the middle of nowhere? Who makes these determinations? Anybody interested enough to volunteer has to have a political agenda, and then you're right back where you started.

I don't think that is true.

Big cities tend to get broken down into smaller neighborhoods.  I grew up in New York City.  More specifically, Brooklyn.  Even more specifically than that, Flatbush.  My state senator was state senator over the section of Flatbush that I lived in, as well as a section of Midwood (another brooklyn neighborhood.)  Only - it was plain as day that these two neighborhoods had nothing in common and would not frequently want the same things.  The most classic expression of this was that the senator ran a concert series -one each for each half of his district.  There was no meeting place for the two - they were two totally separate communities, with totally different interests.  

I don't know about Houston, having next to no information about it.  But as far as other big cities I've visited, Pittsburgh, Philly, Los Angeles, and even some SMALL cities - Binghamton, Syracuse, Camden - neighborhoods had just as much identity recognition as the city itself.

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 31 July 2003 - 03:18 AM.

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#42 Rov Judicata

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:41 AM

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No, probably I would assert that he and several other undistricted ranchers form a community of sorts, and I'd represent them as such.

Bingo. Which means that they're not really 'deciding for themselves'... some buerecrat would be handing down judgements based on what they thought common characteristcs were.

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Big cities tend to get broken down into smaller neighborhoods

Well, in my experience, that was true in Chicago, but not here in Tucson.

Your anecdote is revealing, but I don't think we'll ever see anything like your plan implemented. Aside from the logistics, it would cost more to hire 'experts' to determine which groups should be in the same district.

(And heaven help us the first time an all-black district was created with this approach... I can actually hear Jesse Jackson ranting now. Kill me....)
St. Louis must be destroyed!

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~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#43 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:41 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Jul 30 2003, 11:17 AM, said:

Anybody interested enough to volunteer has to have a political agenda, and then you're right back where you started.
Forgot to address this part specifically.

"Gerrymandering" or districting to suit political purposes is exactly what is SUPPOSED to happen in a republican government. The question is who is supposed to do it.  My assertion is that the people themselves are the ones who should make these determinations - since it is they themselves who are needing to be represented.

QT

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#44 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:47 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Jul 30 2003, 11:31 AM, said:

Quote

No, probably I would assert that he and several other undistricted ranchers form a community of sorts, and I'd represent them as such.

Bingo. Which means that they're not really 'deciding for themselves'... some buerecrat would be handing down judgements based on what they thought common characteristcs were.

Quote

Big cities tend to get broken down into smaller neighborhoods

Well, in my experience, that was true in Chicago, but not here in Tucson.

Your anecdote is revealing, but I don't think we'll ever see anything like your plan implemented. Aside from the logistics, it would cost more to hire 'experts' to determine which groups should be in the same district.

(And heaven help us the first time an all-black district was created with this approach... I can actually hear Jesse Jackson ranting now. Kill me....)
To the contrary - Jesse Jackson would be overjoyed.  Everytime redistricting has diluted the black vote groups like the NAACP, and Operation PUSH have been up in arms.  I'm taking a hunch that that is some of what's going on in Texas - although I don't know the truth of that.  

Having said that, that's what *I* would do with the ranchers.  But - some loose guidelines that said that he had to list himself with some district for voting purposes would be sufficient.  Another thing that might be to his advantage is to district himself with the district where most of his goods and services come from.  I'm not saying I'd dictate - I'm just pointing out that there are solutions.

QT

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#45 Delvo

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:29 AM

Even in the major cities, most people don't have a borderable "sense of community" like that, my queen. Most people's sense of community is based on who they are with and what they do, not where they are. They don't have borders in their minds and often don't even know of names for their neighborhoods or where one ends and another begins. Who is or is not in their group depends on the degree of contact they have, which is more about distance than geographic designation; A and C can both run into B all the time or shop at the same places as B, without A's and C's personal territories overlapping at all. I could give several examples of this sort of thing from the cities I've lived in. Nobody from near the edge of any definable, mappable area is going to identify much with the other side of that same area, or not-identify with the neighboring area that they are still very close to most of; if they have a geographic sense at all, it'll be based on distance, with everybody as the center of his/her own circle. Neighborhoods don't operate like separate towns or cities, and seldom even have a name, much less one that anybody even knows or cares about. I think certain neighborhoods of the NYC area just tend to wall themselves in and others out, forcing border-mindedness on their inhabitants.

Edited by Delvo, 13 November 2004 - 10:59 PM.


#46 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:04 AM

So - you are asserting that New York is unique in this regard?  Maybe.  NY is unique in lots of ways.  And perhaps everyone isn't as keen on neighborhoods as Brooklynites are! ;)  But I think the kind of boundary consciousness I'm talking about is pervasive.

I even looked up Tucson, Rov's city.  It clearly lists it's various neighborhoods for the very reason that one would expect - people live somewhere, they need to negotiate with the city for goods and services to the city - and they organize to that end.  Sure the more highly politicized people are going to be MORE aware of the community's literal boundaries, but in general people have SOME sense of where they are relative to other communities - and there is always some historian or another that can give some more sense to this.

More anecdotal stuff from Brooklyn. The reason I cited "niche" communities as being a potential problem is because of a weird thing that happened where I grew up.  In order to get certain monies for neighborhood improvement, the section of Flatbush where I grew up suddenly renamed itself "Prospect-Lefferts Gardens" and applied for historical district status.  And got it!  But there were several tests that had to be applied for boundary determination - but the research was there to be had in historical societies to support the contention that this was a unique community with historical boundaries.  (I thought it was ludicrous, narrow, and exclusive minded until I understood the politics behind the move, but I digress).  My point is that the people made this determination for their own political ends, notwithstanding there was some measure of objective standards that could be applied to support the claim.

QT

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#47 Shalamar

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 06:58 AM

QT, I can't speak for Dallas, but here in Houston its nothing like New York. Neighborhoods listed on Key maps are just for..well the developers, or residents convienence  rather than any sort of  "Oh I'm a Memorialite, or a Gallerian, or a River Oakser" ..the sense of community here is much broader, encompassing the entire city and it 's various 'urbs'..Even when those are thier own independant cities with their own mayors, library and school systems and polices forces..the residents still say they are Houstonians.

I have lived for some time in both Austin and San Antonio, and from when I did, the same seems to be true for them

To make matters even worse , for Houston, we have no zoning, just deed restrictions, and even those mostly don't function, not with some of the court cases that have run for years and cost millions...

#48 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:23 AM

Oh, alright already! LOL!  You and Delvo are DETERMINED to convince me that people don't have smaller allegiances then.

O.k.

BUT - if that's the ONLY argument against my argument - I say my argument still stands! :p  People are capable of districting themselves - and if it were a political necessity, they'd figure it out.

Editing to add: I don't consider myself a "Flatbusher" either (and I couldn't even think of a good name for a person from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens!).  I consider myself a Brooklynite. Period.  And THAT'S not even so special when one considers that Brooklyn used to be a city in it's own right before it was incorporated into NYC.  SO...what does that say?  I know I come from Flatbush, and if I had to make a determination of districts, I'd recognize that I come from Flatbush, even though I would never identify myself to someone else like that - I'd just say Brooklynite, and if someone said New Yorker, I wouldn't object (o.k., not much! LOL!)... does this help give the sense of things I'm talking about - or is NY still unique?

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 31 July 2003 - 07:27 AM.

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#49 Delvo

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:59 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 30 2003, 02:13 PM, said:

if that's the ONLY argument against my argument - I say my argument still stands! :p  People are capable of districting themselves - and if it were a political necessity, they'd figure it out.
They're not capable of doing that, because there aren't such little communities to feel like a member of! People just go where they need/want to go and mix with whoever else is there regardless of where they might live. And neighbors can have practically no contact with each other because their lives don't overlap at all; they live right past each other with little or nothing in common. Each one's "community" would consist of the places (s)he goes and the people (s)he knows, but these things can be mixed together in the same geographic place but still extend beyond each other as well. Try to draw lines around it, and you end up cutting some people's personal worlds in half, and including places that they know nothing about and feel nothing for. Why? Because there's nothing to draw lines around, no loyalties to signify, no real group to encompass and separate. The concept you're going for does not exist! It's truly alien and bizarre. You might as well be trying to ask trees which kind of prey animal they like to hunt the most.

#50 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:06 AM

Taking a deep breath - I'm feeling like I'm being argumentative today, so I'm going to shut up until later (or tomorrow or something!)

SO - go for it!  Any other arguments AGAINST? LOL!

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#51 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:21 AM

No other arguments against?  O.k. then...

Here goes.

First - MAJOR POUTING!!! I went from being a queen to a bizarre alien?  :pout:  :pout:  :pout:  :pout:   ;)

ANYWAY - if you edit out my bizarre alienness  :alien: you get what I think is still a good idea.  Namely - people should come up with their own district lines and politicians should stay out of it.

SO let's do that. Let's edit out the part where I believe that people have natural affinities, and form community sensitivities in smaller units than cities.  Let's pretend that there is no historical record of communities and such to look at.  SO, they have no historical or social boundaries that make intuitive sense.

SO without that - we are left with some miscellaneous somebodies drawing district lines.  In our current system, presumably the public is told via an obscure referendum that this is going to happen, and a town hall is held to hear opinions about district lines, after a proposal is put forth.  A proposal which was negotiated by the two major political parties (while ignoring all the other political parties as essentially irrelevant).  Is this somehow better than people being told to form their own districts?  Are we saying that local civic organizations, churches, community centers, schools, and businesses will not look around and attempt to influence the community that is geographically closest to them?  And are we saying that people looking around them are not able to figure this out better than politicians?  

I'm just asking if this is what we are saying.

QT

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#52 Shalamar

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:23 AM

Actually QT, I don't consider you being arguementative at all....Texas is just so much different...

The cities here are so much younger than those back east, and grew up differently.  

In Houston, our downtown, that looks like the 'concrete canyons' of New York is not much more than a mile square, and has several parks in it. For me, living in the 'close in' part of south west Houston to downtown was a 22 mile drive and that was pretty much as the crow flies.

The Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (Houston CMSA) consists of eight counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller,

The Houston CMSA covers 8,778 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Massachusetts but larger than New Jersey.

Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions - offering higher education options to suit all interests.

Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with a local economic impact of $10 billion. More than 52,000 people work within its facilities, which encompass 21 million square feet. Altogether 4.8 million patients visit them each year.

Houston has a Theater District second only to New York City with its concentration of seats in one geographic area. Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations with more than 12,000 seats.

#53 aphrael

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:55 PM

QueenTiye, on Jul 29 2003, 10:22 PM, said:

Delvo, on Jul 29 2003, 10:17 PM, said:

And the reasons to believe that the Republicans really ARE doing anything wrong are...
It's a fair question - the answer (or lack thereof) of which is provided in the link, where they have maps of the districts, and the population numbers.

What I don't know is how to put all the information together to tell the story.  Anyone want to take a stab at it?

QT
QT,

The lines were drawn by the courts several years ago. Now the republicans, fueled by the Tom Delay, US House of Representatives, want to redraw lines to get more republicans elected to congress.  You know gerrymandering.  Minorities would be shafted in the redistricting.  They would have less representation, even less than they have now.

Thats basically it  in a nutshell.   :grr:

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#54 Drew

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:59 AM

aphrael, on Jul 31 2003, 07:45 AM, said:

The lines were drawn by the courts several years ago. Now the republicans, fueled by the Tom Delay, US House of Representatives, want to redraw lines to get more republicans elected to congress.  You know gerrymandering.  Minorities would be shafted in the redistricting.  They would have less representation, even less than they have now.
You are assuming that all minority groups elect Democrats. Or that only Democrats can properly represent minorities.
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#55 QueenTiye

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 01:23 AM

^^ Took the words right out of my mouth, Drew.

Having said that - if districts were set up so that minorities voting in a block would be represented as a constituency unto themselves - then no matter which way they vote - redistricting to unblock them does potentially hinder their ability to be represented as a minority interest.

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#56 Delvo

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:03 AM

But such redistricting efforts are routine for both sides, and have been for decades. What makes this case so special, other than the Democrats' tantrum? There doesn't seem to be an answer for that; throwing tantrums is just a big Deomcrat thing to do right now.

And claiming that Texas republican state-government actions are fueled by Tom Delay and the Federal politicians is just revealing that your comments have more to do with preaching against convenient Republican targets for demonization (because knowledge of who they are is more widespread than knowledge of who the real culprits in this particular case are) than reality.

#57 aphrael

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:17 AM

Drew, on Jul 31 2003, 07:49 AM, said:

aphrael, on Jul 31 2003, 07:45 AM, said:

The lines were drawn by the courts several years ago. Now the republicans, fueled by the Tom Delay, US House of Representatives, want to redraw lines to get more republicans elected to congress.  You know gerrymandering.  Minorities would be shafted in the redistricting.  They would have less representation, even less than they have now.
You are assuming that all minority groups elect Democrats. Or that only Democrats can properly represent minorities.
I'm not assuming anything.  I live in South Central Texas and so far the only ones to do anything for minorities are democrats.    According to what I have read and heard the redistricting will affect minority areas more than non minority areas.  Republicans are just trying to get more people sent to Washington.  I'm not particularily aligned to any party but after what's been happening Washington , the last thing we need is more Republicans causing more mischief.  That's my opinion.

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#58 Drew

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:19 AM

aphrael, on Jul 31 2003, 01:07 PM, said:

I'm not assuming anything.  I live in South Central Texas and so far the only ones to do anything for minorities are democrats.
I suppose that depends on what you mean by "doing thing for" . . .  :angel:

Quote

I'm not particularily aligned to any party

So you say, but . . .

Quote

but after what's been happening Washington, the last thing we need is more Republicans causing more mischief.

:angel:
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#59 aphrael

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:21 AM

Delvo, on Jul 31 2003, 08:53 AM, said:

But such redistricting efforts are routine for both sides, and have been for decades. What makes this case so special, other than the Democrats' tantrum? There doesn't seem to be an answer for that; throwing tantrums is just a big Deomcrat thing to do right now.

And claiming that Texas republican state-government actions are fueled by Tom Delay and the Federal politicians is just revealing that your comments have more to do with preaching against convenient Republican targets for demonization (because knowledge of who they are is more widespread than knowledge of who the real culprits in this particular case are) than reality.
Tom Delay did ask Perry to redistrict in order to get more republicans voted into office.  This was not only in the newspapers but on the news.  I'm not making this up.  The democrats are upset cause they just redistricted about 2 years ago.  Its normally done every ten years or so.

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#60 aphrael

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:24 AM

Drew, on Jul 31 2003, 12:09 PM, said:

aphrael, on Jul 31 2003, 01:07 PM, said:

I'm not assuming anything.  I live in South Central Texas and so far the only ones to do anything for minorities are democrats.
I suppose that depends on what you mean by "doing thing for" . . .  :angel:

Quote

I'm not particularily aligned to any party

So you say, but . . .

Quote

but after what's been happening Washington, the last thing we need is more Republicans causing more mischief.

:angel:
You wouldn't understand unless you lived here.   :(

:elf:



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