Current Redistricting Needs a Better Core Structure

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 31, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Thank you for your great article about Texas redistricting [“Painting by Numbers,” News, Jan. 28]. As a relatively new resident of Austin, I greatly appreciated the background. I knew state Democrats had gone to my home state (Oklahoma), but I had forgotten why. I am saddened that such desperate recourse is no longer an option.
    I would be curious to know the logic in "flatly" shaped districts, in any portion of the country. In a state such as Texas, with such a wide variety of geography, culture, and economy, it seems even stranger. With the unfocused eye, even districts 11, 19, and 13 are bafflingly complex. What happened to circles and squares?
    To me, it would seem more logical, if long-distance representation is necessary, then it should probably match up against interstate and major highway routes, as districts 2, 15, 26, 27, and 28 do.
   I don't understand how a logical person or group of people could come up with districts 10, 14, 17, 19. The insertion of District 6 through such a bottleneck is embarrassing, and to expect people in suburban Fort Worth to voice their concerns to the same person as those in rural East Texas seems inefficient and wasteful. District 5's cell division looks as though a spore is floating away.
    I only took one class in geometry. Perhaps the current Legislature should brush up and let people who are near one another vote together. I know it's more complicated than that, but why?
Cary Cobb
Wells Branch
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