Senate Redistricting Committee Seeks Public Comment, East Texas Region Slated For Jan 29

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Today the Senate Redistricting Committee announced they will hold a series of regional hearings to solicit testimony from the public about the upcoming redistricting process. These regional hearings will allow members of the public to testify before the Committee remotely via Zoom videoconference.

Next Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9 am the Committee will hold a hearing specifically tailored to the East Texas region. I want to encourage the public to sign up and participate in this process. Registration is now open to those who would like to testify and it will close 24 hours prior to the start of the hearing. Once registration is closed, witnesses will no longer be able to sign up to testify at that hearing but may sign up for future regional hearings. Although this hearing is focused on East Texas, the committee will hear testimony about any region of the State at any hearing.

To provide testimony by videoconference, witnesses will need access to a computer or other device with an internet connection and audio/video capability, like a smartphone or tablet. If you don’t have access to such a device, please visit your local public library.

To sign up to testify at the East Texas regional hearing, please complete the witness registration form at this address: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYpcumrrzsoG9QaGcXoD0ez7rlNlbfFpHlm. That address can also be found on the hearing posting on the Senate Committee on Redistricting website. Witnesses must complete all fields including the witness affirmation to complete registration. After completing this form, witnesses will receive a registration confirmation email with a link to join the videoconference and other important information.

On the day of the hearing, participants will need to sign in to the Zoom meeting 30 minutes before it begins via the link that was emailed to them in their confirmation email. You will be prompted for a password, which is also in the confirmation email. Once you have entered your passcode, you will be placed in a virtual waiting room where you will remain until it is your turn to testify. Please watch the hearing livestream at https://senate.texas.gov/events.php to know when it will be your turn to testify.

When it is your turn to testify, the Chair will ask you to state your name and who you represent. If you’re not representing an organization, you are welcome to just say yourself. Please remember to unmute your microphone before you begin speaking.

Here is a complete list of all the regional hearings, the days they will be on, and the times they will start at. If you’d like to sign up for any other day to testify, please go to the Senate Redistricting Committee website and use the links in the hearing postings.

– 1/25 at 9 am – West Texas

– 1/26 at 9 am – South Texas

– 1/27 at 1 pm – North Texas

– 1/28 at 9 am – Central Texas

– 1/29 at 9 am – East Texas

– 2/2 at 9 am – Brownsville/Harlingen/McAllen

– 2/3 at 1 pm – San Antonio

– 2/4 at 9 am – Dallas/Ft. Worth

– 2/12 at 9 am – Houston

– 2/19 at 10 am – El Paso

– 2/26 at 9 am – Any Region

– 2/27 at 9 am – Any Region

We look forward to hearing from East Texans about this process and throughout this process. If you have any further questions about how to sign up to testify or the Redistricting process in general, please feel free to contact our office at 512-463-0103.

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Robert Nichols is the senator for Senate District 3. He was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, and he represents 19 counties in East Texas. During his time on the Senate, Nichols has created and passed legislation protecting land owners' rights, increasing educational opportunities in East Texas, and reforming transportation policies. Nichols is married to his high school sweetheart, Donna, and they have three children: Brittney, Joshua, and Collynn'rae.