The Politics of Race, Gender, Ethnicity and Representation in the Texas Legislature

The Journal of Race and Policy, volume 5, number 1, Spring/Summer 2009: 35-53

19 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014

See all articles by Jessica Lavariega Monforti

Jessica Lavariega Monforti

Pace University

Byron D'Andra Orey

Jackson State University; National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS)

Andrew Conroy

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Date Written: May 16, 2009

Abstract

We examine whether descriptive representation, in terms of race, ethnicity and gender, influences substantive representation among black, Hispanic, and female legislators. Using the 2001 Texas state legislature’s lowerhouse, we investigate the demographics of the districts represented by minorities, finding that all but one of the representatives of color was elected from majority-minority districts. Districts represented by blacks and Latinos were found to be poorer than those represented by Anglo legislators. As a result, we expected legislators of color to introduce legislation that is more progressive than their Anglo counterparts. We also employ the framework of intersectionality to determine whether race/ethnicity, gender, and party interact to affect the introduction of progressive legislation. Using a newly developed substantive representation index, we find that minority legislators and female-Anglo Democrats sponsor bills that are more progressive based on their sheer numbers in the legislature, when compared to all other groups.

Keywords: intersectionality, Texas, gender, race, ethnicity

Suggested Citation

Lavariega Monforti, Jessica and Orey, Byron D'Andra and Conroy, Andrew, The Politics of Race, Gender, Ethnicity and Representation in the Texas Legislature (May 16, 2009). The Journal of Race and Policy, volume 5, number 1, Spring/Summer 2009: 35-53, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539369

Jessica Lavariega Monforti (Contact Author)

Pace University ( email )

1 Pace Plaza
Manhattan, NY 10038
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/drjessicalavariegamonforti/.

Byron D'Andra Orey

Jackson State University ( email )

1400 John R. Lynch St
Jackson, MS 39217
United States

National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) ( email )

Itta Bena, MS 38941-1400
United States

Andrew Conroy

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Lincoln, NE 68588
United States

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