Texas Standard for October 13, 2021

Was Election Day in South Texas 2020 an omen for Democrats in 2022 and beyond? A prediction and a prescription getting a lot of attention – a warning for Democrats hoping to pick up swing states, and what it could mean for Texas. And: The Biden administration’s plans for a border reopening. Angela Kocherga has more from El Paso. Also: The image of the firefighter: iconic, and often male – an effort to give teenage girls hands-on experience that could lead to careers fighting wildfires. Plus: Texas bracing for the effects of Hurricane Pamela. We’ll have the latest on that front and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 13, 2021 9:05 am

Here’s what’s Texas Standard for Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

Democratic Party strategy

Last Sunday, Ezra Klein’s column in The New York Times became one of the most talked about political write-ups in the country. In it, Klein tells the story of a young Democratic election modeling superstar in President Obama’s re-election campaign named David Shor, who warns Democrats are on the edge of an electoral abyss. To avoid it, they need to win states that lean Republican – and just how they do that has sparked no shortage of controversy. To dig deeper, we turn to two experts: Melanye Price, author and political science professor at Prairie View A&M University, and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a dean at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

HIV and STI mobile testing unit in Dallas

A new mobile health unit is taking an experience that can be scary – testing for HIV – and making it as painless and friendly as possible. The LGBTQ organization “Resource Center” is rolling out a new mobile health unit this fall. Elena Rivera of KERA was at the launch.

Kocherga on El Paso border reopening

Starting in November, the Biden administration will allow vaccinated people on non-essential business to travel back and forth across the border again. What does this mean for Texas and its border communities? We’re talking with Angela Kochega in El Paso about the latest announcement.

Hispanic Heritage Month story 5: Apolonia Abarca

Over the past month we’ve been highlighting the stories of some Texas Latinos who’ve made an impact here in the Lone Star State and beyond. Not all of them have been household names. That includes a Corpus Christi nurse who was, by many accounts, ahead of her time. From the Voces Oral History Center, Estrella Hernandez reports.

U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team star Ricardo Pepi

Tonight in Columbus, Ohio, the United States Men’s National Soccer team will play against Costa Rica in a qualifying match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It’s a high-pressure situation for the Americans, considering that the team failed to qualify for the previous World Cup. If they make the next one, it will be largely due to an 18-year-old striker from San Elizario, just outside El Paso. We’ll introduce you to Ricardo Pepi in this extended cut and copy.

Sisters in Fire

There are currently more than 2.8 million acres of land across the U.S. burning in wildfires. And though it may have seemed like a worse than average year for wildfires, it’s actually been a little below average. Keeping wildfires at bay is an important and demanding job, but it’s a field mostly made up of men. The Texas Standard’s Jill Ament joined a group of teenage girls at a weekend program aimed at changing that.

Hurricane Pamela

Early this morning, the year’s 16th named storm made landfall. Hurricane Pamela hit Mexico’s western coast as a Category 1 storm. Though it’s expected to weaken rapidly, we’ll still likely feel the effects here in Texas. Here with the latest is Nick Hampshire, meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Austin/San Antonio region.