Texas Standard For May 25, 2021

Redistricting: it’s a complicated process that doesn’t seem all that exciting to most folks. But its ramifications are huge. We’ll take a look at the details. And: It’s been exactly a year since the murder of George Floyd. What it revealed about the country. Also: What Texas lawmakers have just done in the wake of huge protests and calls to “defund” the police. We’ll break it down. Plus: What an analysis shows about who a Texas voting bill would affect the most. And music venues are among the businesses opening up as the risks of the pandemic lesson. But are all musicians ready to play? That and more on today’s Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 25, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Eric Holder on Redistricting Texas in 2021

Each decade’s U.S. Census tallies the country’s residents, directs dollars to the right places, and are used to draw updated election districts. This time around, Texas gained two U.S. House seats. And the state’s redistricting process, which will begin soon, has caught the attention of former Obama White House Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder is currently the chairman of a group called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and shares his thoughts with us today.

Whooping Cranes in Texas

Whooping cranes are not typically year-round residents of Texas. They migrate between the Gulf Coast and Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. So the fact that two pairs of them are giving it a go in Texas full-time is a real conservation milestone. Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins has more on what it took to get there.

Commentary: Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered. Texas Standard commentator Peniel Joseph says America faces a moral fork in the road: creating either a multiracial democracy, or the familiar status quo that inspired this era’s racial and political reckoning.

Bill Punishing Cities Defunding Police

One year ago today, the killing of George Floyd sparked enormous protests across the country. Protesters called for police reform, including reallocating police funds into community-centered programming. The City of Austin was among the first in the country to do so – catching the ire of Gov. Greg Abbott once again. He vowed to punish local governments that “defund the police.” Now a bill designed to do just that is one step closer to becoming state law. To learn more, KUT’s Audrey McGlinchy joins us today.

Pause/Play: To Play or Not to Play

Austin is called the Live Music Capital of the World,  but what happens to that music during a global pandemic? That’s what the podcast Pause/Play has been investigating this past year. It’s a podcast from KUTX, the sister station to our home station KUT-Austin. The latest episode is called “To Play or Not to Play.” In this extended excerpt, hosts Elizabeth McQueen and Miles Bloxson talk to Austin musicians about whether or not they performed live during the pandemic, and whether or not they’re ready to play now.

Urban Polling Places Threatened By SB 7

A Republican voting bill in the Texas Senate would result in a major decrease of voting options for urban voters of color. An analysis from the Texas Tribune shows polling places available to voters on Election Day in some Democratic parts of Harris and Tarrant counties would decrease the most. Alexa Ura has been reporting about this for the Texas Tribune. She joins us today.

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

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