San Antonio District Office
Falcon International Bank
2530 SW Military Drive
Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
210.932.2568
Toll Free 1.800.459.0119
Fax 210.932.2572
Eagle Pass District Office
Maverick County Courthouse
501 Main Street
Suite 114
Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
830.758.0294
Fax 830.758.0402
Pecos District Office
312 S. Cedar Street
Suite 100
Pecos, Texas 79772
432.447.0270
Fax 432.447.0275
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
512.463.0119
Fax 512.463.1017
May 20, 2011 - Session Watch

New boundaries for Senate District 19 show the constancy of change

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

I have always loved the irony in this simple fact: the only thing constant in life is change.

Some change is good, some is bad, and some is bittersweet.

That last sentiment best describes my feelings about the new look of Senate District 19. Driven by explosive growth across Texas and population shifts away from rural areas, changes in political boundaries were inevitable — not just for my Senate district but all others.

Under the map adopted by the Senate on Tuesday, District 19 will lose ten counties — Bandera, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Loving, Presidio, Sutton, Ward and Winker — while picking up Dimmit, Frio, Zavala, most of Atascosa and more of Bexar.

It is with great reluctance and personal disappointment that I will no longer be representing the residents of Texas' most western city, the burgeoning space town of Van Horn and the highest point in Texas just to its north; the arts community of Marfa, the historic town of Fort Davis and the nearby McDonald Observatory; Sonora and its wondrous caverns, Kermit, Wink, Barstow and Monahans.

I will miss working with the mayors, county judges, commissioners, sheriffs and school superintendents in these counties, but we part with the knowledge that much progress has been made. And they can be assured that the new Senate map will leave them in very capable hands.

As for the sweet part of change, I now look forward to representing the citizens of Dilley, Big Wells, Carrizo Springs, Crystal City, Charlotte, Christine, Jourdanton, Pearsall, Pleasanton, and Poteet with its famous Strawberry Festival — all of which have been represented so well by my colleague, Sen. Judith Zaffirini.

I will also pick up more of Bexar County, and will be delighted to represent nearby Lytle, where as a young boy I walked each day to elementary school and learned to fish and ride horses.

New relationships will be forged with the people and their city and counties officials here, and I am ready to get started. For the citizens and elected leaders in Brewster, Crockett, Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde and Val Verde — and for most in Bexar — nothing will change.

Redistricting is the most partisan chore undertaken by the Legislature, and there are elements of the Senate map that could have been drawn better. Legal challenges are inevitable, and portions of it may be altered by the courts.

Still, this plan was approved by a bipartisan majority, and the Republican sponsor of the bill, Sen. Kel Seliger, accepted my amendment to make adjustments to four districts represented by Democrats. This amendment returned Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Sen. Kirk Watson, restored parts of Bexar County to Sen. Zaffirini and exchanged some additional Bexar precincts with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.

So through compromise, we were able to keep these traditional communities of interest intact.

In its current configuration, Senate District 19 is the largest state legislative district in the nation, covering more than 50,000 square miles. I like to tell people that it's bigger than 18 States, 138 nations and two planets!

I won't be able to make that joke anymore. The new district won't even be the largest legislative district in Texas, much less the nation. But it will be more compact at 35,471 square miles and easier to serve. And its people will have my complete loyalty and full attention.

Visit Senator Uresti's News page and Calendar
to keep up to date with Senate District 19.

©2011 Carlos Uresti Campaign  •  A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer  •  P.O. Box 240431  •  San Antonio, Texas  •  78224
www.carlosuresti.com