Friday, December 04, 2020

Week-ending Lone Star Left Round-up

As I complete my own blog post on this topic, here's the aggregation of what I mentioned on Monday that was discussed yesterday online.

Will Texas Latin@s eventually turn the state from Republican red to Democratic blue? The answer to that question is complicated, says Cecilia Ballí, a writer-at-large at Texas Monthly, covering the borderlands of Texas, security and immigration.

Over the past year, Ballí, along with two colleagues -- anthropologist Michael Powell and sociologist Betsabeth Monica Lugo -- had one-on-one conversations with 100 Latin@s in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley. Their research, commissioned and funded by the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, sought to better understand Latin@ voters and nonvoters in Texas.

Ballí -- who wrote about the study for Texas Monthly -- talked to The Texas Tribune on Instagram Live about their key findings. The conversation’s highlights are here. You can watch the full conversation here.

Heartfelt eulogies poured in for Latina activist Maria Jimenez from Judge Lina Hidalgo, Stace at Dos Centavos, and Angela Valenzeula at EEP & P in TX blog.

Voting and election related-developments since Monday include the following:

COVID updates are next.

Here's a couple of COVID-related "Texas Leaders Behaving Badly" items.

It sure seems as if Austin could do a lot more progressive than the guy who rushed to be first in the line to endorse Pete Buttigeig for president.

I have criminal and social justice posts, environmental news, and a non-socialist-leaning business news update next.

El Paso Matters reports that the incoming district attorney has fired several lawyers and staff as she prepares to take office in January, including the prosecutors on the Walmart shooting case.  Leif Reichstad at Texas Monthly explains how Austin was able to reduce spending on its police department by a third.  The family of Atatiana Jefferson, the Fort Worth woman shot and killed by a police officer in her mother's home while she baby-sat her 8-year-old nephew -- has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the ex-cop.  And the state's First Court of Appeals has reversed a legal victory for the city of Houston, ordering it to continue litigating the case of an HPD officer who rear-ended another vehicle while looking for a cellphone charger.  A few more social justice pieces ...

And on to climate justice.

KVUE has a story about Central Texas residents threatening to sue neighboring cities as a last-ditch effort to keep treated wastewater out of their Hill Country waterways.

The San Gabriel River winds its way from Burnet into Williamson and Milam counties, 50 miles through some of the most scenic parts of Central Texas -- and now hotspots for growth. But with the development are cries for help to keep this once-pristine waterway, and others like it, from being polluted. [...] (Upstream),the Liberty Hill wastewater treatment plant has permission from the state to dump 1.2 million gallons of treated wastewater discharge into the San Gabriel River every day.

Yet according to EPA records, it has exceeded permitted discharge limits 98 times since 2015, 15 times this year.

And despite more than 50 permit violations cited by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state now allows Liberty Hill to expand operations to dump 4 million gallons per day.

Much more at the link.

What the savviest of conservative populist politicians see here is an opportunity.  The same wedge issue is forming between supporters of high speed rail (cities, big business) and opponents (country folk concerned about their property rights).  Greg Abbott is the most opportunistic of politicians in the state; he sees it, understands it, and is unlikely to let someone like Dan Patrick get to the right of him on it.  The Texas Central Railway, thus, may go the way of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

That leads me to my business wrangle.

The old Sears building in Midtown Houston is undergoing a transformation, and slated to be a tech/innovation hub called The ION upon completion.

Meanwhile, JC Penney quietly left their Plano headquarters behind after exiting bankruptcy.  Their future remains uncertain.

Wrapping a long Round-up with some lighter items.

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