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June 17, 2021

Daily News Lesson: What Texans stand to gain and lose from the redistricting battle now underway

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video above, click here.

Summary: State legislatures across the U.S. eagerly await new census data that would impact the redrawing of congressional district lines. One state that has a lot at stake is Texas, which is gaining two congressional seats due to population growth largely fueled by communities of color. But they may not be the ones benefiting from the redistricting fight.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • What is redistricting?
  • Why are Republicans redrawing district lines?
  • When will the new district lines be implemented?
  • Where in Texas is seeing rapid population growth and who makes up much of this growth?
  • How does redistricting take place?

Focus questions:

  1. “My county is benefiting from people like me. But when it comes to the seat at the table, we don’t have it.” Do you believe the political landscape should be allowed to shift to better represent its changing population, or controlled by means of redistricting to keep the original landscape? Explain.

Media literacy: What other voices would you like to hear to better understand the impact of redistricting?

Additional Resources:

  • Watch this NewsHour story about Texas’s recent conservative legislation and how it comes to odds with a national Democratic majority.
  • Check out this informational website on gerrymandering, a special type of redistricting that draws from voting patterns in order to favor a particular political party.
    • Do you think this is fair? Why or why not?
  • Review this interactive redistricting map from 538.com. What do you notice about the shapes of some of these districts? What might be an explanation for these shapes?

 

This Daily News Lesson was written by EXTRA intern Jacqueline Kim and EXTRA’s Victoria Pasquantonio. Kim is a junior at Amherst College.


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