Staying Connected with Constituents in Central Texas: A Politician's Guide

The Texas Legislature is responsible for considering proposals and enacting laws. It is composed of the House of Representatives and the state senate. If you're unsure about your congressional district or who your member is, this service can help you match your zip code with that of your constituency, providing links to your member's website and contact page. The Texas Constitution limits the length of each special session to 30 days, and legislators can only consider matters designated by the governor in his “call” or proclamation calling the special session (although the governor can add other topics during a session).Due to population growth, Texas now has 38 congressional districts, two more than in the last census.

The Texas Legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday of January of every odd-numbered year. Three representatives from rural states in Northeast Texas, South-Central Texas and Southeast Texas decided not to apply again and their counties were absorbed by surrounding rural districts, according to Billy Howe, deputy legislative director of the Texas Agricultural Bureau (TFB). The Texas Constitution requires the legislature to redistribute the seats of the Texas House of Representatives and Senate during their first regular session after the publication of each decennial census of the United States (section 28, article III).Of the 38 seats in Congress, 31 in the Texas Senate and 150 in the House of Representatives, Howe said, respectively, only eight, four and 30 are now considered rural districts or districts in which most counties have a population of less than 100,000 people. Agriculture has become a minority in Texas as farms have grown larger and many have moved to urban environments. The Texas Legislature uses a bicameral system (two branches or chambers), with the Texas Senate as the upper house and the Texas House of Representatives as the lower house.

The deadline for submitting primary elections established by the Texas Electoral Code allows approximately six and a half months from the end of the regular legislative session for the governor to take action on any approved redistricting legislation, for the LRB to meet if necessary, for any special session called to consider redistricting if necessary, for counties to act before the courts, and for counties to make necessary changes to county polling stations. Texas uses single-member districts, meaning that each member of the Texas Legislature represents one legislative district. If Texas Senate or House of Representatives districts are not enacted during the first regular session following the publication of the decennial census, then the Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB), a five-member body comprised of state officials including the lieutenant governor and president, must meet and adopt its own plan. In a bicameral legislature such as that of Texas, with a house and a senate, these three stages must be held consecutively in each chamber. Politicians in Central Texas need to stay connected with their constituents if they want to effectively represent them. This guide provides an overview of how politicians can stay connected with their constituents through various methods such as attending town hall meetings, engaging on social media platforms, responding promptly to emails and phone calls from constituents, and hosting events.

By staying connected with their constituents through these methods, politicians can ensure that they are representing their constituents' interests.