LULAC demands Houston City Council increase representation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Representatives with the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, are calling for a change in how Houston citizens are represented at city hall.

The organization called the makeup of Houston's city council "shameful."

LULAC leaders said they want the city to consider eliminating at-large city council districts in an attempt to increase Latino representation at the top.

They say, as the city's Latino population continues to grow, more representation is key.

"Basically, the representation here in Houston doesn't exist," said Dr. Baldomero Garza with LULAC. "We want equitable representation at the table, because at the table is where you have the decisions of the distribution of funding, of what projects get done and where they get done."

Garza said the Latino community has "been on the short end of the stick" in the past, and they can no longer allow it.

Eyewitness News reached out to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's office. He said he's aware of LULAC's request for a meeting to discuss this issue.

He's overseas at a conference. So far, no meeting has been set.

Councilmember Robert Gallegos, who is considered the lone Latino representative on the governing body, offered specifics on next steps towards diversity on the council. He said in a statement:

"The city of Houston is currently developing a process for reviewing and determining redistricting. This determination is next required before 2023, the year of the city's next general election. As that progresses, I urge our growing Latino community to remain engaged, active, and to be a leading voice in the process. It's especially important to me, as the only Latino on the Houston City Council, that we grow the diversity of our council and have more representation across all levels of government, from school boards to Congress. As our city grows and becomes more diverse, we must ensure communities of interest have the opportunity to elect representation that accurately reflects their voices and views."

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