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October 17, 2003

My Community

By Byron LaMasters

Here's my block in the new redistricting map:

Modified photo via the Austin Chronicle.

Here's their caption (I live in the Gables Apartment complex in district 10 to the right):

The venerable Marimont Cafeteria at 38th and Guadalupe is now the center of the Austin political landscape -- it's the point where the city's three congressional districts meet. The Marimont itself is in District 25, stretching south to McAllen. Go one block west, across Ronson Street, and you're in District 21, stretching to San Antonio. And cross 38th Street to the Gables apartments and Central Market, and you're in District 10, stretching to Katy and Tomball.

Crazy. Republicans think that my "community of interest" is with Katy as opposed to my neighbors across the street.

Tim Thompson has more of the infamous Marimont Cafetaria at 38th and Ronson.

Here's another view of my apartment complex:

Check out the entire slide show. It gives you a great idea of just how Republicans just obliterated any chance of representation of Austin in Congress.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 17, 2003 12:54 AM | TrackBack


Tim Thompson asks of the Marimont Cafeteria, "Who eats there anyway?" Well, I'm happy to answer that I do. When I went to UT the Marimont was my favorite place to eat. It has really good food! I'll admit I was the youngest customer they had by several decades, but nevertheless I always enjoyed my meals there even though, try as I might, I could never get anyone else to go to the Marimont with me. The one time I actually got someone to dine there with me was when my aunt Katherine, who is a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (and over 60) came to visit me. She was very pleased with the food. I'm glad to see that our own legislators here in the Great State have finally realized the true significance of this culinary landmark and honored it with its new-found position at the very epicenter of the political landscape. The fact that the Marimont Cafeteria will now have the ear of as many as three congressmen in Washington means that, finally, cafeteria culture will have the national voice it has so long saught. Long live the salmon croquette!

Posted by: Dave Wilkins at October 17, 2003 12:42 AM

What's with the designation on the photo of District 25 as "Democratic/Minority"? The others are designated only as "Republican". Once again you seem to conflate minorities with Democrats, which is by definition a bigoted position.

Posted by: Mark Harden at October 17, 2003 07:19 AM

Uhmmm... ask Tim Thompson, Mark. It's his picture. I think he was just showing that the 25th district is one of the minority majority districts in the new map. That's bigotry? Uhmm... I don't get it.

Posted by: ByronUT at October 17, 2003 09:03 AM

Sorry, I didn;t grok that it was not your image.

That's bigotry? Uhmm... I don't get it.

The presumption that minorities are Democrat, the presumption that all minorities think alike, have the same interests, the same political ideology...those are all prejudgments, prejudices, and taken in a racial context, yes, bigoted.

Posted by: Mark Harden at October 17, 2003 10:08 AM

Yes, I was trying to equate it with the majority minority districts planned by the Republicans to meet VRA challenges. If it's bigoted, I would say the mirror is pointed at Republicans for drawing the lines that way. I quote Joby Fortson: "25 - Bell - this seat is removed from the Houston area (in its place is the new african american district) and this is one of the new 'stripe' districts running from Austin to the border. It takes hispanic east Austin and runs to the border. (remains D)"

Yes, for Republicans to draw the district that way was quite a bigoted move.

Posted by: omit at October 17, 2003 11:47 AM

I disagree that conflating minorities with Democrats is a bigoted position. A bigoted position is one that is inaccurate, or made in the face of substantial data to the contrary, or made in the absence of data that support such a position (for example, "blacks like watermelon" is probably a bigoted statement, as I know of no data to support such a claim, particularly its implication that blacks like watermelon more than whites do).

It is not inaccurate to state that most minorities are Democrats, or, more generally, that more minorities vote for Democrats than vote for Republicans. It is also not inaccurate to state that the district in question was drawn specifically as a minority-majority district that is expected (by its designers) to elect a Democrat to Congress, just as the other two districts were expected by their designers to elect Republicans to Congress.

I think you may be falling into the trap of proclaiming any statement about any ethnic group as bigotry, without looking at its truth. I'm sure that "crying wolf" is not your intention.

Posted by: precinct1233 at October 17, 2003 01:11 PM

It is not inaccurate to state that most minorities are Democrats

Stereotypes do not occur in a vacuum - they all must be based, however tenuously, on some fact. I suppose I just prefer to view people as individuals, rather than, as you do, groups and classes. One can decide for oneself which viewpoint better "celebrates diversity."

But perhaps my view is skewed by my being married to a Hispanic who, I can assure you, does not conform to the Democrat stereotype.

Posted by: Mark Harden at October 17, 2003 02:14 PM

What planet are you from, Mark. Have you paid no attention to the events of the last five months???

Posted by: Blue at October 20, 2003 09:04 AM
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