Texas Standard for October 19, 2021

Last day for the Lege? A third special session ends a day early, with new redistricting maps en route to the governor. What happens next and much more today on the Texas Standard. A closer look at what got done, and what didn’t in the third special session, and whether this marks the end of the legislative season. Plus, remembering a redistricting battle from half a century ago that had a profound impact on Texas. And: Social workers say Texas’ new abortion law is causing psychological harm to sexual assault survivors. Also: The largely unknown story of a civil rights leader instrumental in desegregating Houston schools. Those stories and more.

By Texas StandardOctober 19, 2021 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Last Day at the Lege

Texas lawmakers gaveled out of their third special session late last night after passing most, but not all of Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda items. So what made it, what didn’t, and will we see legislators return for a fourth special? For more on all that we’re joined by Sarah Self-Walbrick, reporter at Texas Tech Public Media and Cassi Pollock, state politics reporter for the Texas Tribune.

The Sounds of Texas: Ben Epstein on Buck Alamo

Filmmaker Ben Epstein grew up in Dallas but has long Austin ties. The city’s rapid growth and its troubadour past inspired his latest film. “Buck Alamo” follows a “wannabe has-been” singer songwriter through a confrontation with mortality. The movie is having its North American premiere at the Austin Film Festival.

Cotton Oil Spill Cleanup Research

Seshadri Ramkumar is a professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials at Texas Tech University’s Department of Environmental Toxicology. And he has developed a new product that, although seemingly simple, could radically change how oil spills at sea are cleaned up. (It’s kind of like a giant cotton mat.) We’ll learn more about it today.

 SB 8 and Sexual Assault

Social workers in Texas say the state’s abortion ban is causing psychological harm to sexual assault survivors. In Texas, abortions are currently prohibited as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. And, as KUT Austin’s Ashley Lopez reports, the law makes no exceptions for people who are survivors of rape or incest. Content warning: this story contains examples of sexual assault.

“No Color Is My Kind”

In 1984, Eldrewey Stearns was in a Galveston psychiatric hospital. That was when author Thomas Cole met with him. Cole worked with Stearns the following 10  years to rediscover his life, from boyhood to forgotten civil rights leader, and write him into history. “No Color Is My Kind: The Life of Eldrewey Stearns and the Integration of Houston” was originally published in 1997, but has long been out of print. Today, it’s back on shelves with an update to Stearn’s story and new reflections on police brutality. For more we’re talking with author Thomas Cole.

Gerrymandering Fought 50 Years Ago

Texas is in the process of redistricting. Texas Democrats are accusing Republicans of drawing maps that dilute the power of Black and Latino voters, despite huge growth among those populations. Concerns like this have plagued Texas’ redistricting efforts for decades, and new maps are often fought in the courts. From Texas Public Radio, David Martin Davies has the story of one historic 1970’s redistricting battle that made it all the way to the Supreme Court – and profoundly changed Texas.

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

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