Tag Archives: Law & Politics

Bibliography | Women’s Marches

Women’s Marches: The Bibliography

From El Paso to Corpus Christi, tens of thousands of Texans gathered in solidarity marches as a part of the global women’s marches organized in the wake of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Demonstrators marched through government districts and college campuses to call attention to the bigoted, discriminatory rhetoric and attitudes espoused by Trump’s incoming administration and the 85th Texas Legislature. Organizers looked to catalyze the widespread anger and discontent at the possibility of rights rollbacks into civic action, with local and state politicians making appearances to call on participants to increase their engagement during uncertain times. Here is an overview of events and coverage across the state’s regions.

Central Texas


Source: KXAN (YouTube)

North Texas


Source: The Dallas Morning News (YouTube)

South Texas
West Texas & Rio Grande


Source: JamPaK Productions (YouTube)

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South Texas News | Low-income People of Color

Federal housing agency finds Houston’s rejection of affordable housing project violated Civil Rights Act
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a report condemning Mayor Sylvester Turner’s rejection of a proposal for a mixed-income Galleria-area apartment complex.
  • The report outlined how the rejection of affordable housing in the integrated neighborhood was racially motivated and therefore in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
  • The report also detailed corrective actions for the city to take, including developing formal anti-segregation policy for tax-credit housing and establishing a local fair housing commission to facilitate fair, integrated housing.
Coverage

All-Texas News | Low-income

Texas Democrats push bills to raise state minimum wage
  • HB 937 proposes to increase the hourly minimum wage in Texas from $7.25 to $10.10 over five years.
  • Several other bills have been filed to devolve minimum wage management to local governments or increase the minimum wage to $15, in line with some of the more ambitious proposals across the nation.
  • The minimum wage was last changed statewide in 2009, though recent polls indicate that more than half of Texans support raising it.
Read

House Bill 937

Coverage
Additional

Minimum Wage Workers in Texas — 2015 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

All-Texas News | Women

New House bill looks to establish near-absolute ban on abortion in Texas
  • HB 948 (a.k.a. the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act) would criminalize abortion in all cases except for pregnancies that endanger the life of the mother.
  • The proposed bill would remove exemptions in the state penal code that protect women and abortion providers from felony homicide charges.
  • Legal experts view the bill, filed by Rep. Tony Tinderholt, as unconstitutional, though some anti-choice advocates seek the law’s passage in order to force appeals through to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.
Read

House Bill 948

Coverage

All-Texas News | People of Color

Lack of diversity on state finance board prompts outcry from leaders of color
  • For the first time in some three decades, the Legislative Budget Board will have no person of color serving on the board.
  • Latino and black advocates—including lawmakers, organizers, and community leaders—spoke out against the all-white make-up of the committee given the stakes of financing in a state as large and demographically diverse as Texas.
  • A permanent committee of the Texas Legislature, the board sets financial priorities for the state, offering budget requests and recommendations for appropriations and evaluating the performance of state and local operations.
Coverage

Black, Latino groups calling for diversity in Texas Legislature” (KXAN | January 2017)

Resources

Legislative Budget Board (Texas Legislature)
Tribpedia: Legislative Budget Board (The Texas Tribune)

All-Texas Data | Women & People of Color

The 85th Texas Legislature

Now entering its first session, the 85th Texas Legislature is, like its predecessors, a portrait of skewed representation in an increasingly diverse state. Despite being majority-minority and—by a hair—majority-female, Texas lawmakers continue to be predominantly white and male, with only fractions of percentage points representing incremental change towards a more representative legislature. Women in particular continue to be vastly underrepresented in the Legislature, verging on crisis as the state works to dismantle reproductive rights and other women’s health issues.

Women (2017)

50.4% (state) vs. 20.4% (Legislature)

Women in Legislature by Party Affiliation (2017)

34.8% (Democrats) vs. 12.2% (Republicans)

Female Legislators (2017 vs. 2015)

20.4% vs. 20.2%

People of Color (2017)

57.5% (state demographics) vs. 35.9% (Legislature demographics)

People of Color in Legislature by Party Affiliation (2017)

90.9% (Democrats) vs. 4.3% (Republicans)

Legislators of Color (2017 vs. 2015)

35.9% vs. 35.4%


Sources:

(Image Credit: Todd Wiseman/The Texas Tribune)

South Texas Feature | Black Women

Jefferson County’s Historic New Sheriff

Swept to victory amidst a dramatic election year, newly elected Sheriff Zena Stephens has taken the reins of a department of more than 400 people and a budget of $40 million in Southeast Texas, undeterred by a hate incident attacking her campaign office nearly a year ago. Texas Monthly sat down with the first black woman to hold the title of sheriff in the state (and one of only two currently elected in the country) to discuss her career, challenges in police-community relations, and her strategic vision for her new role.

Read

She’s the Sheriff” (Texas Monthly | January 2017)

Additional Coverage

(Image Credit: Todd Spoth/Texas Monthly)