Texas Standard For October 19, 2020

In this most unconventional election season the state to watch is Texas: so declares veteran political journalist Dan Balz of The Washington Post. We’ll ask him what makes Texas the most intriguing place in politics in the nation right now. And: A rule change for social workers in Texas dialing back anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Many social workers call it a gut punch.

By Texas StandardOctober 19, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, October 19, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Texas in 2020

National attention is turning to Texas this election season. For decades it has been written off as a GOP stronghold. But now, the national Democratic party has poured money into advertising here as voter registration and turnout soar. Dan Balz, chief political correspondent for The Washington Post talks to the Standard.

Texas 3rd Congressional District Race

Political campaigns in Texas and across the country are laser-focused on the rapidly-diversifying suburbs. One of the most-watched is Collin County, north of Dallas. KERA’s Bret Jaspers went there to report on the race in the 3rd Congressional District, long a Republican stronghold.

 HISD In Person

More than 80,000 students in Houston are heading back to their classrooms today for the first time since March. Houston Public Media’s Laura Isensee has more on the new normal at the state’s largest school district.

Rule Allows Texas Social Workers To Turn Away LGBTQ and Disabled Clients

Last year, the Legislature gave Gov. Greg Abbott more power over rules passed by regulatory boards. And at the governor’s request, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners voted unanimously a week ago to remove protections for LGBTQ clients and clients with disabilities who seek social work services. Matthew Watkins, managing editor of The Texas Tribune talks to the Standard.

Thank You For Voting

Texans are heading in greater numbers so far to early voting locations. But that’s not the case everywhere. Numbers show Hidalgo and Cameron counties in the Rio Grande Valley saw a dip in turnout. So what gets people to the polls or keeps them away? Journalist Erin Geiger Smith joins the Standard to talk about her new book exploring how we got the vote, how to get people to vote and what to understand about your vote. It’s called “Thank You for Voting: The Maddening, Enlightening, Inspiring Truth About Voting in America.”

My Mask: Francoise Wilson

Desiree Vaniecia Profile

This year brought Dallas painter Desiree Vaniecia a wave of interest in her work. She was among the muralists filling the city with art during the height of protests against police violence. When she’s not painting, Vaniecia is in the classroom teaching middle school art. Vaniecia told KERA’s Miguel Perez how her many roles have only fueled her creative ambition.

Lubbock Mayoral Race

Lubbock’s mayoral elections are usually low-key affairs, and earlier this year, 2020 didn’t seem like it would be much different between the incumbent and a political outsider. But COVID-19 pushed what’s usually a May election to the fall. Texas Tech Public Media’s Sarah Self-Walbrick reports on how a typically sleepy race was turned on its head.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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