Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress Action Fund hosted “Is Texas Turning Blue?”, a discussion of the changing demographics of Texas with Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies, Julie Ortega of PowerPac.org, and Ruy Teixera, Senior Fellow at CAP Action. At the event, Progress 2050, a project of the Center for American Progress, and PolicyLink released their fifth report in a series documenting roundtable discussions in communities experiencing dramatic demographic transformation. In light of these shifts, Progress 2050 and PolicyLink staff traveled around the country over the last year to these bellwether communities to have a local dialogue with key community members about three questions:
- What are the opportunities and challenges of these demographic changes?
- What strategies are working at the local level that can inform other places and national policy?
- How can advocates shift the conversation—that most often occurs around demographic change—from one that focuses on deficits and gaps to one that is squarely focused on the opportunity of diversity?
This report describes a conversation that took place in Houston, Texas, in March 2012. Previous roundtables took place in Arlington, Virginia (July 2011); Los Angeles, California (October 2011); San Joaquin Valley, California (October 2011); and Raleigh, North Carolina (December 2011).
Texas—and specifically the city of Houston—was chosen as the site for this discussion because the Houston area is now the eighth-most diverse metro area in the nation, with 60 percent of its residents coming from communities of color. Over the past three decades, Houston has experienced explosive population growth—growing from 3.2 million people to 5.9 million people—mostly driven by the region’s communities of color. People of color accounted for 78 percent of the area’s population growth in the 1980s, 91 percent of growth in the 1990s, and 93 percent of growth in the 2000s. And as the 2012 election turned all eyes on the massive demographic shift that our nation is experiencing, Texas is a prime example of a state where both parties will be paying close attention and actively trying to engage its diverse population in the democratic process.
“The demographic changes we’re seeing in Houston and across Texas is a wake-up call. Leaders from both parties need to work together to address the disparities that Latino and other growing communities face for the sake of the entire state. The future is here now. Understanding these shifts and what they mean for our communities will help our leaders at the national and local levels better navigate the political, cultural and social changes that lie ahead,” said Vanessa Cárdenas, Vice President of Progress 2050.
You can read the full report here.
Infographic: Changing Demographics in Harris County
To speak with Vanessa Cárdenas, please contact Crystal Patterson at 202.478.6350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.