Texas lawmakers released the first draft of a new Congressional map that includes two new districts: one in Austin and one in Houston.
Gaining two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade, Republican lawmakers started meeting earlier this month to redraw district lines with 38 districts after an influx of Texas' population seen in the 2020 Census.
The new district 37 is entirely in Travis County, lying mainly west of I-35. The proposed map packs the liberal Austin vote into one district as opposed to splitting it up as done in the past.
"Packing" is a practice that could benefit both Republicans and Democrats in this case. Republicans hope to dilute the Democrat influence by packing those votes into one district, but it could also mean Austin will have a voice in Washington to advocate for local interests.
Unlike in Houston's new district 38, district 37 doesn't seem to overlap any current districts, meaning Rep. Michael McCaul and Rep. Lloyd Doggett are safe from being challenged for their seat.
District 37 actually closely resembles Doggett's district he represented until 2003, The Texas Tribune reports, before the area was "cracked" into multiple districts.
This is the first draft to come of the redistricting process with changes expected to follow before reaching Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. View the full proposed map here.
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With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."