Texas Standard For September 20, 2021

A rough and tumble year in Texas politics is set to get even tougher as Texas lawmakers gather today to redraw the states political maps. As redistricting takes center stage again in Texas, a major change in how those maps will be redrawn has many worried communities of color and interest stand to lose their strength without federal oversight. We’ll hear more. And: Why so many companies, eager to position their brands, are avoiding weighing in on Texas’ new abortion law. Also: A new documentary on a woman who changed the face of the Supreme Court, but is seldom thought of as a native Texan. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 20, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, September 20, 2021.

Redistricting Set-Up

Today, Texas starts its special legislative session of the year. And as KERA’s Haya Panjwani reports, while a few other items are on the agenda, redistricting takes center stage.

Start of Redistricting Special Session

Redistricting is the main draw this special session, and Republicans will dominate the process. Is the majority party’s map drawing destined for lawsuits? Sherri Greenberg is a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a former Democratic state representative. She joins us today with her perspective.

Winter Storm Investigation

This week, federal officials are expected to share some details of an investigation into the deadly power blackout that hit Texas last February. But as Mose Buchele of KUT Austin reports, those waiting for a more complete picture of what happened will have to wait a bit longer.

Texas SB 8 and Company Branding

We’ve seen big Texas businesses come off the sidelines on recent, controversial political matters: new voting restrictions and legislation targeting transgender people, to name a few. Which makes it all the more curious that many major companies have stayed silent on Texas’ sweeping new abortion ban. But Emmy Liederman writes for ADWEEK that Texas’ new law is a call to action for brands and ad agencies.

Lubbock’s Homeless Center

Earlier this year, amid a rise in the number of visible homeless encampments in the Texas capital city, the Legislature approved a statewide ban on camping in public spaces. Though the much smaller city of Lubbock hasn’t seen a similar rise in such encampments, it is wrestling with a controversy over a newly created nonprofit’s plan to establish a homeless transition center. As Texas Tech Public Media’s Sarah Self-Walbrick reports, existing homeless service providers say it’s a solution without a problem.

Sandra Day O’Connor

Many peoples’ paths cross through Texas. Some who were born here – or simply passed through – come to be better known elsewhere.  Take, for example, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. You might not know the first woman to sit on the nation’s highest court was born in El Paso and went to school there as a child. O’Connor’s early life and influence on the court are the subject of the latest “American Experience” installment on PBS. Michelle Ferrari wrote and directed it, and she joins us today,

TribFest Kickoff

The 11th annual Texas Tribune Festival kicks off today. The fest takes place virtually for the second year in a row, due to concerns about COVID, but that doesn’t mean there won’t still be plenty to do. Here to give us the details is co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune, Evan Smith.

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

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