Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, March 5, 2021.
Electric Grid Hearings and Leadership Shakeups
Since a winter storm shut down Texas a few weeks ago there’s been a lot of fingerpointing and blame. And resignations. The Austin American Statesman’s Asher Price talks to the Standard.
Texans who need help paying their rent because of all the economic burdens brought on by the pandemic may be able to find funds through a new state rental assistance program. The $1.3 billion program will help with up to 15 months of rent for those who qualify. Bobby Wilkinson, executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, talks to the Standard about the new program.
The Texas Department of State Health Services hit an optimistic tone in a press conference yesterday when it came to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. The department said more than a million doses will go out to Texas providers next week. And we learned Wednesday that a new group of folks are eligible – teachers and child care staff. But Texas is near the very bottom of the list when it comes to the percentage of people who’ve been vaccinated. The Texas Standard’s Laura Rice is trying to put it into perspective with the help of individual stories.
Commentary: Peniel Joseph on the Storm and Racial Inequities
The winter storm that made clear the fragility of Texas’ electric grid left millions without heat, light, and then water. But if you think the effects of that failure were evenly distributed throughout the state’s population, commentator Peniel Joseph urges you to think again.
Climate Change and State Preparedness
Millions of Texans, many lawmakers and local officials across the state are still trying to understand the events that happened up to last month’s severe winter storm and those taken after it hit. A study that was released back in December by the Trust for America’s Health looked at states’ preparedness to protect their citizens’ health while dealing with the effect of climate change. One of the researchers, Megan Latshaw from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, talks to the Standard.
Tejano queen Selena Quintanilla changed countless lives and continues to do so as her legacy lives on. But for the Texas kids who grew up with her in the late 90s – the kids who danced to her songs at quinceañeras and weddings – Selena is a part of them. It’s through these formative connections that happened during her own upbringing that Maria Garcia guides listeners through the podcast called “Anything For Selena.” Garcia joins the Standard.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.