Texoblogosphere: Week of January 5th, 2015

The Texas Progressive Alliance is still waiting for someone to invent the hoverboard as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published special election candidate interviews with Diego Bernal, Trey Martinez-Fischer, and Ty McDonald.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and Daily Kos learned important lessons from her volunteer work with Battleground Texas. Battleground Texas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. There may still be hope for Battleground Texas in Texas. But the strategy will must change, All About The Base.

Police departments all over the country have deep roots in slavery and racism, as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reminded.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why the Port of Brownsville is so dismissive of the Sierra Club opinion on liquefied natural gas terminals. Don’t they care about the health of the people and the environment?

Neil at All People Have Value said policymakers on both sides of the aisle knew years ago that automation and changing facts threatened blue collar jobs. Yet instead of helping everyday people, public policy was geared towards the rich instead. Neil says the work of freedom is up to each of us. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita challenged us to come up with a title for Ted Cruz’s book.

LGBTQ Insider has a caveat about the FDA’s change in policy towards gay men donating blood.

Unfair Park previews the Fifth Circuit court hearing on the same sex marriage appeal.

Texans Together reviews the San Jacinto River Coalition’s accomplishments for 2014.

Nancy Sims tells the story of her transitioning daughter and her own unconditional love for her.

The Bloggess pens an open letter to the Girl Scouts.

Jonathan Guajardo asks new Bexar County DA Nico LaHood for a serious inquiry into the case of Cameron Redus, a UIW student who was fatally shot by a UIW police officer outside his apartment off campus.

Scott Braddock calls 2014 the year of Tom DeLay’s permanent Republican majority.

Shelby County Courthouse

(The 1886 Shelby County Courthouse in Center, Texas.  Photo credit:  254texascourthouses.net )

Diversity in the 114th Congress

In this first full week of the new year, many of our national leaders are also getting to work in the halls of Congress.  Among them will be a bunch of new Freshmen members coming to Capitol Hill on the heels of winning their first election last November.  This is no surprise, and happens with every new session of Congress.

But what might be a surprise to the American people?  Just how lacking in diversity the 114th Congress is.  As Phillip Bump of the Washington Post reports, those 535 people we are sending to represent us don’t share much in common with everyone…

The 114th Congress, which gets to “work” on Tuesday, is one of the most diverse in American history, comprised of nearly 20 percent women and just over 17 percent of which is non-white. Which means, of course, that four out of five members of Congress are white and four out of five are men. Ergo, given the name of a member of Congress (at random: Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden), you can probably guess his or her gender and race. (In case you want to see if you were right about Walden: here.)

The House of Representatives is composed of 76 percent men and 24 percent women, while the actual composition of the country is 49 percent men to 51 percent women.

House Gender 15

US By Gender


Similar disparities exist for race.

The House of Representatives is 80 percent White, 10 percent African-American, 8 percent Hispanic* and 2 percent Asian, while the whole of the United States is 62.6 percent White, 17.1 percent Hispanic*, 13.2 percent African-American and 4.5 percent Asian.  

House Race 15


US By Race

There are of course some other factors at play here.  For one, very few minorities are actually out there running for office. The vast majority of people most interested in politics, and most likely to mount successful political campaigns are white men.  You can’t change the composition of Congress without more people actually working to change it.  Also, it would be wrong to suggest that one’s race or gender are the determining factors indicators for how they can best represent their constituents.  There are certainly many great lawmakers out there that may not have the same superficial characteristics as the citizens of their district, but they still do a great job representing their interests.

But the information in itself should be enough to give some communities pause.  With little getting done in Washington of a substantive nature, and near record dissatisfaction from the American people, perhaps it is time for more of us work towards a Congress that better reflects the truth of the nation, instead of the interests of one powerful and vocal group within it.


*Hispanic is not yet an official racial designation in American demographic measurements.