What would a Cactus Jack Cagle presentation be without a history lesson?
Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Cagle did not disappoint when he took the stage at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble Oct. 6 to begin a meeting for public input about the Harris County precinct redistricting.
Always the history buff, Cagle transported those viewing online to a 1915 Houston Post newspaper article that described the contentious redistricting that took place when the commissioners in 1915 redrew the lines the night before the election.
“The lines weren’t done fairly. All commissioners were voted out of office the next day,” Cagle revealed.
Bringing viewers back to the present, Cagle pledged that the Harris County precinct redistricting would be above board and every voice would be heard.
“Redistricting in Harris County will be done fairly, efficiently and according to the law,” Cagle said.
Voters have heard about federal and state redistricting that is required after every census, Cagle said, but Harris County must redistrict as well to equalize the number of residents in each of Harris County’s four precincts.
“Precinct 4 has grown in the last 10 years,” Cagle said, explaining that his district, which includes Lake Houston, stretches from Atascocita, through Kingwood, Humble and Spring and includes Klein, Tomball, Jersey Village and Cypress.
The U. S. Constitution prohibits population differences across precincts greater than 10 percent and Harris County precincts are expected to exceed this 10 percent rule, according to the Harris County attorney website.
The meetings are to get public input about the commissioner precinct redistricting plan. During the meetings, residents may provide testimony about their communities, however, there were no public members in the Bender audience and Cagle’s staff did not have the number of persons viewing virtually.
Special Assistant County Attorney Neal Sakar, representing Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee, outlined the ways Precinct 4 residents can submit their ideas for redistricting to the commissioners:
- Log onto County Attorney > Home (harriscountytx.gov) and click on the “Redistricting” icon.
- On the “Commissioner Precinct Redistricting” webpage, click on the “Submit Your Map Ideas” icon.
“Just follow the steps to submit a proposal,” Sakar said. “Fill out the form with your name, address and other information, then download the map image using the ‘paint’ feature and add your comments.”
Residents who wish to participate can also simply write their comments if they do not wish to use the map, according to Sakar. When the map and/or comments are submitted, residents will receive a confirmation email.
All comments and proposed maps are posted on the redistricting website and can be viewed by clicking on the “Public Submissions” icon.
Cagle scheduled two public meetings, the Oct. 6 meeting held virtually and in person at the Bender and a second virtual and public meeting the following night at the Met Church-Student Center in Spring.
Cagle’s Oct. 6 public meeting was the fourth to be held and recorded for viewing on the Harris County website. Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia held a public meeting Sept. 22. Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis held a public meeting Sept. 29. Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey held a public meeting Oct. 5.
Cagle said additional public meetings will be scheduled.
To view the public meetings, Court Videos (harriscountytx.gov). Click on “Specialty” and select the meeting to view.