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State of Texas
Texas State Representative Ron Reynolds
News Release
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rep. Ron Reynolds Testifies in Support of Creating Single Member District

Representative Reynolds released the following statement regarding single-member district bills for Fort Bend Independent School District:

AUSTIN - "Today, the Senate Education Committee heard Senator Borris Miles' SB 1771 which is the companion to Representative Ron Reynolds' HB 604. These bills create single member districts for the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) instead of the current at-large system.

Currently, Fort Bend County (Missouri City, Sugar Land, Houston, and other cities) elect state senators and representatives, county commissioners, justices of the peace, constables, and city councils from single member districts. Also, surrounding school districts including Lamar CISD, HISD, and HCC all elect their trustees by single member districts. FBISD is the most diverse school district in the nation, as well as the most culturally diverse in the State of Texas as a majority-minority district. The current student population is: African American 32.80%, Hispanic 27.22%, Asian/Pacific Islander 21.74%, White 15.29% and American Indian/Alaskan Native .32%. However., only two out of the seven trustees is a minority. One African American and one Asian. Noteworthy, there are no Hispanics on the school board. Rep. Reynolds contends the members of the school board should be more reflective of the culturally rich diverse make-up of the community. FBISD's antiquated at-large system is no longer beneficial to its students and families.

Moreover, single-member districts have been a very effective method of affording minority voters an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. Additionally, strengths of single-member district rest in close ties between representatives and constituents, the accountability of representatives to the voters, and constituency service. Rep. Reynolds contends the district needs to move FBISD forward into the future and leave behind this ineffective and antiquated system that is not reflective of the fast growing and very diverse population.

In support of the bill, many diverse stakeholders traveled to Austin to testify before the Senate committee. In addition to the diverse and bipartisan stakeholders, Rep. Reynolds registered to testify before committee himself. This extremely rare opportunity is almost unprecedented. Hardly ever has there been a Texas state legislator to testify before a committee of either chamber. When asked what made him testify, Rep. Reynolds responded, "I testified because I am passionate to move this bill forward." This marks the fourth session that this bill has been filed by Representative Reynolds-- yet, the first time the bill has been heard before a committee. As such, Rep. Reynolds, Sen. Miles, and the various stakeholders have made history as they fight for the creation of a single member district in Fort Bend ISD. No matter the outcome of either of these companioned bills, each of their testimonies, as well as the questions, comments, and concerns by the committee are now all a part of public record. Representative Reynolds pledged to continue fighting for single member districts in FBISD and working with all stakeholders to make this goal a reality."

Remembering Jim Guidry

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