The Austin Chronicle

Congressional Redistricting in Committee Thursday

By Lee Nichols, May 17, 2011, 12:13pm, Newsdesk

[UPDATE: THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELED. NO WORD YET ON WHEN IT WILL BE RESCHEDULED] It was announced this morning that a public hearing on the hotly contested Congressional redistricting will be held Thursday morning at 9am, in the Capitol Extension Auditorium (Room E1.004).

Will the ridiculous, current gerrymandering of Travis County be made even worse by splitting Austin into four districts? Probably so. Meanwhile, the Senate is at this moment (lunchtime on Thursday) debating the redrawing of its own lines. Under the map currently being considered, Travis will also suffer a four-way split in that chamber as well. Among the plan's absurdities: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport would be removed from the district of Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and be placed in that of Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Both Zaffirini and Carlos Uresti have filed amendments that would fix that, but it's still likely that southeast Austin will be represented by Zaffirini. (UPDATE: Redistricting Chair Kel Seliger just said he considers one of the Uresti amendments acceptable and it was adopted without a vote, so Watson has ABIA back, barring further amendments.) You can watch the debate live in Austin on cable channel 22, or anywhere online. Also, you may see proposed maps, including amendments as they are being discussed, at And I'm tweeting live at

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