Texas Standard For August 13, 2021

Texas by the numbers: new census details for the Lone Star State kick off a new round of redistricting with major political implications. Five of the 10 fast-growing municipalities in the country are in Texas, according to the new census numbers, and Texas stands to pick up two more seats in Washington as a result of all the growth. We’ll do the numbers and discuss what that means for the state’s political maps. And: The pickup truck capitol of the world, poised to become ground zero for building the electric pickups of the future? Also: The week in politics with the Texas Tribune and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 13, 2021 9:41 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, August 13, 2021.

Census Data and Redistricting Plans

New results released by the U.S. Census Bureau gave state lawmakers the final pieces of population information to draw new political maps. We’ll get into what these results could mean for redistricting – but first, helping us break down specifics from the 2020 Census for Texas is Lloyd Potter. He’s the Texas state demographer and director of the Texas Demographics Center at UT San Antonio.

Census Data Political Implications

How will the population and demographic shifts in new Census data impact state lawmakers’ redrafting of political district maps? For more on how redistricting could play out in the Texas Legislature we’re talking to Renée Cross, senior director of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

Renewable Energy Plans

In much of Texas, residents are allowed to choose where they get their electricity from due to a deregulated market. Companies offer power plans to consumers designed to fit personal budgets and family size, or for those who want to support renewable energy. That had Houston Public Media’s Kyra Buckley wondering how those plans actually work. She found out that – like with most things in the Texas electricity system – it’s complicated.

Rivian EV Plant in Texas

Tesla isn’t the only company thinking about electric trucks and Texas. If the Cybertruck and Ford’s F-150 Lightning weren’t enough, Reuters reports that EV startup Rivian is looking to build a plant in Texas – should a hoped-for incentives package pan out. We’ll talk to Tina Bellon, the Reuters reporter behind the story.

Back to School in El Paso

Schools across Texas are starting back up this month, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging and vaccines aren’t yet approved for children under 12. That’s led to growing anxiety among parents, trying to navigate learning options and safety protocols in their district. Mallory Falk of KERA reports from El Paso, where school’s already underway.

The Sounds of Texas: Michelle Kaman

Gay Bars in North Texas

Reconnecting after a year of separation and loss is a work-in-progress. Our partners at KERA are collaborating with The Dallas Morning News to document how the pandemic has changed the arts and culture scene. As part of that reporting, over 150 North Texans responded with thoughts on what gay bars mean to the region. As KERA’s Miguel Perez reports, their responses say something about the cultural significance of those venues and how they’re fairing as they try to reopen and face another covid surge.

Typewriter Rodeo

The Week in Texas Politics, with The Texas Tribune

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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