A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 01, 2006
“Bacon Strip” District

A “bacon strip district” is an electoral district like the one in the Rio Grande Valley (25th Congressional District) that’s long and thin and can go on for hundreds of miles. The term was mentioned in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2004.
American Radio Works
“This patch right here,” says Bell, “is where three congressional districts in Texas meet: Congressional District 25, 10 and 21. Now that’s significant, because a year ago, this whole area was district 10. We had one congressman that we knew, who knew us. We could call his office, and he understood the concerns of Austin. And right now, we are now split between three congressmen. District 10 goes from this point east through some sparse areas between here and Houston, and it will stop just outside of Houston. Then we have the congressional district that I’m part of, 21, go from this point and go west to the Hill Country, which is very pretty, but doesn’t have really anything in common with what my life’s all about. And then we would loop back around to pick up San Antonio.”

That’s about a three hour drive.

“Oh, at least,” says Bell. “From District 25, from where we stand, you would go south and you’d just keep on going until you saw a big sign that said, ‘You are now entering Mexico.’”

That’s over 300 miles.

“It’s called the ‘Bacon Strip,’” Bell explains, “because it looks like a piece of bacon, especially when it’s been cooked up, and it just goes very long and very narrow.”   

Rather than attempting to distinguish Bush v. Vera, the State suggests that geography alone somehow compelled a 300-mile-long “bacon strip” district carving out the most heavily Latino portion of Austin and combining it with a part of McAllen near the Rio Grande.

26 December 1971, Washington Post, “Dr. Richard Murray, Professor,” pg. 79:
In this county, the conservative Democrats are actually in pretty bad shape. They have few officeholders left—no state senators, only three state representatives. On one side of the county, the Republicans get them in November. On the other side, the liberals beat them in the primary. The result is that the only kind of district that conservative Democrats can win in Houston is a kind of bacon-strip district. It’s a real funny kind of politics.
Off th Kuff
August 04, 2006
Judges draw their own map
The new map also makes Doggett’s south Austin district more compact. Previously the boundaries snaked down to the Rio Grande Valley in an oddly shaped district that was nicknamed the bacon strip district.
New York Times
Judges Redo Texas District, and Democrats May Gain
Published: August 5, 2006
Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat, will get a slightly more Democratic population in his 25th Congressional District because the court moved a largely liberal section of South Austin into his territory. Travis County, which includes Austin, remains split among three Congressional districts, as it was under the Republican redistricting map.

The new map also makes Mr. Doggett’s district more compact. Previously the boundaries snaked from South Austin down to the Rio Grande Valley in an oddly shaped district nicknamed the bacon-strip district. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Friday, September 01, 2006 • Permalink

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