ELECTED OFFICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT
AJC highlights Civic Engagement as one of its four major goals, as a means to foster contact and communication between civic leaders and the public and to increase the presence of people of color in local government in Austin.
With voter turnout and civic engagement at an all-time throughout the state Texas, we've created this project with three goals:
Examine the tangible legislative and programmatic progress of elected officials that represent Black and Latino constituencies to rate their competence on an ongoing basis.
Identify key areas we can work with our elected officials and provide infrastructure and support for our elected officials' progress on criminal justice reform.
Build power among under-engaged Black and Latino voters and their allies to reform our justice system.
The first release of the report (projected April 2015) will examine each elected officials accessibility and contributions to legislation/programs to end the pipeline to prison (after school programs, job training, career development) as well as criminal justice reform.
According to a recent Houston Chronicle Article:
"Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, Texas is No. 48 in political engagement as measured by voting in the 2010 and 2012 general elections, according to a new report from the personal finance website WalletHub.
Texas' low rate of political participation is not surprising, given its low number of hotly contested statewide races and the youth of its voters, said Bob Stein, Rice University political science professor who closely follows local voting trends.
"We know what determines turnout," he said. "Texas hasn't had a statewide competitive election in a long time. Also, we're a fairly young electorate. Older voters are more likely to vote, in part because they voted before. Voting is habit-forming.
Not surprisingly, the study found a correlation between education and political participation, with the best educated voters being the most politically active, Gonzalez said."