For people on the go, the 18th District is right on track with the highly innovative METRORail, which serves as a fast, safe and efficient form of transportation. The METRORail is an above ground metro system that travels between Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, Reliant Park and the South Fannin Park & Ride lot. With a traveling capacity of up to 400 passengers per trip, the METRORail is a convenient way for travelers to commute to and from Houston’s most congested areas.
The 1960's brought political and economic diversification to the forefront of Houston development. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act took effect and Texas was forced to reshape its legislative districts, opening political opportunity to people of color for the first time in the State's history. In the following years, elected state officials became more diverse and the number of minority voters increased immensely.
The 18th Congressional District was created by the 1970 census and established the first minority majority of Texas Congressional District seat. The new seat was filled by former State Senator Barbara Jordan. Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became a adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She was followed in office by Congressman Mickey Leland, an anti poverty activist. Leland went on to chair the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1989, Leland died in a plane crash during a mission to Ethiopia. Fifteen people, including Leland, died in the crash. Congressman Leland was succeeded by Craig Washington.
In 1994, Washington was defeated by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She has served the 18th Congressional District of Texas since then and currently serves as the Chair of the Texas Democratic Delegationon and sits on the Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security. She is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.