AUSTIN — The redistricting process, uses the US Census once-per-decade to redraw the Congressional, Texas Senate, Texas House and State Board of Education maps. The recently completed redistricting maps will keep part of Hays County in Senate District 21, represented by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Her district now includes 69% of the county, which is a significant increase from the 31% previously included.
“Because every state senator represents an average population of 940,178, our districts are bigger than those of the U.S. Congress and Texas House of Representatives,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Our SD 21 community of interest is defined by an inverted ‘T.’ It stretches along IH-35 from Travis-Hays-Bexar to La Salle and Webb counties and from Dimmit to Starr along the Texas-Mexico border. We share priorities including those related to education, health and economic development.”
According to Zaffirini, Hays County also shares many cultural, ideological and geographic features with other counties in SD 21. Uniting these communities of interest empowers residents to elect the candidates of their choice and increases their influence in the Legislature.
“I am delighted to continue representing Hays County within the community of interest defined in 2011,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Because higher education is among my highest priorities and as a member and former Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I’m delighted that Texas State University is in our district. What’s more, collaborating with elected officials and business and community leaders in in this wonderful community has enabled my passing meaningful legislation for families throughout the state.”
Senator Zaffirini’s campaign office says she prioritizes education in general, with a focus on early childhood and higher education; and health and human services in general, with a focus on the very young, the very old, the very poor, persons with disabilities and veterans.
On Nov. 13 she filed for re-election in the newly redistricted SD 21, which will be home to 907,932 Texans and span 16 counties stretching from the Rio Grande to the Colorado River.
According to her campaign office, Senator Zaffirini is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator. During the last regular legislative session she passed 106 bills through the Republican-dominated Legislature, proving her bipartisan effectiveness and making her the highest bill-passer for the fourth consecutive session. What’s more, she has passed more bills than any other legislator in Texas history.
Her legendary work ethic is reflected in her 100% voting record, having cast 67,923 consecutive votes, and in her perfect attendance in the Texas Senate since 1987, except for breaking quorum deliberately to prevent an untimely re-redistricting that the U.S. Supreme Court (2006) ruled violated the Voting Rights Act and disenfranchised voters.