The Asian communities in Texas’ Harris County and Fort Bend County have been split up into new districts.
Diversity in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott approved Texas’ redrawn congressional districts in late October, spreading out higher concentrations of Asian votes across more districts
- The affluent Fort Bend county was voted the most diverse county in the country multiple times and shares the city of Houston along with neighboring Harris County
- According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Fort Bend county has a 20% Asian population and Harris county has a 7.3% Asian population.
- The Texas Tribune reported that the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population is the fastest-growing racial or ethnic voting group in the state. Over the past decade, AAPI voters have increased from 950,000 in 2010 to nearly 1.6 million in 2020.
- Asian Americans still, however, make up only 5% of the Lone Star State’s overall population.
Representation: Many AAPI continue to face language barriers and lack of informative resources on voting procedures. The AAPI community in Texas has never had a Congressional representative elected and has had very few representatives serve in the Texas Legislature.
- Stop AAPI Hate ranked Texas the fourth state with the most anti-Asian hate crimes, accounting for about 3.6% of hate crimes nationwide in the last year.
- Mobilized by the increase in hate crimes against Asians, the community has become more involved in local issues, attending anti-Asian hate rallies in Dallas, Houston and Austin.
- Despite the fact that Republican legislators like Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn supported a state bill to condemn anti-Asian hate, some of the state’s Asian American residents still feel they are not recognized.
- “It’s like (lawmakers) don’t even know we are here,” Hyunja Norman, president of the Korean American Voters League, told The Texas Tribune. “If they were thoughtful, they could’ve included the Korean Community Center in (our district). But it’s like they are ignorant of us, or they just don’t care.”
- The Korean Community Center is located in the Spring Branch neighborhood in Houston.
Feature image courtesy of Faith in Public Life