October 1, 2015
As GOP Attack Planned Parenthood in Congress, an Abortion Clinic Reopened in Texa

On the same day that the GOP’s crusade against Planned Parenthood was exposed on the national stage for exactly the sham that it is, an abortion clinic in west Texas—one that was forced to close as part of the same politically-driven effort to restrict reproductive healthcare and ban abortion—reopened.

September 29, 2015
The Devastating Landscape of Reproductive Healthcare for Latinas in Texas

Latinas make up more than 40% of women of childbearing age — 2.5 of 5.7 million — in Texas. And by every measure and on every front, from access to contraception and sex education to cancer screenings and abortion care, Texas Latinas experience a disproportionate share of the harm caused by policies that restrict access to reproductive healthcare.

September 29, 2015

America spends a mind boggling $40 billion per year on a broken, ineffective, and racially biased (see our previous blog) criminal justice system. We are home to just 5% of the worlds population, but 25% of the world's entire prison population.

Last Sunday, HBO aired VICE's new special "Fixing The System" - a must-watch 1 hour report highlighting these issues and featuring President Obama's historic, first-ever, presidential visit to a federal prison.

September 28, 2015

The consequences of the war on drugs has impacted Latinos and Blacks at tremendous rates. Blacks use marijuana at roughly the same rates as Whites, yet they are incarcerated at far higher rates. Correcting the imbalanced incarceration rates is one of the main reasons we are working to reduce small possession of marijuana from criminal offense to a ticket.

September 28, 2015

Like many of you, we've spent the last few months following the news and updates about Sandra Bland, the 28-year old Texas woman who was needlessly arrested then subsequently found dead in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas.

Sandra Bland's death gained wide notoriety as part of the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement, a movement that is "broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state."

September 25, 2015

Article first appeared in The Quorum Report.

Yogi Berra was one of the most colorful and accomplished Americans of all time on any field of play, and he was apparently a birthright U.S. citizen.

Yogi was born in 1925 and 1930 U.S. Census records show that Yogi’s father, Pietro, who arrived in the U.S. from northern Italy in 1909, still declared as an alien five years after Yogi was born. So did his mother, Pauline. It didn’t matter to Yogi, of course. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteed him citizenship.

September 22, 2015
Three Reasons You Should Tell Your Houston Friends to Vote in 2015

By now you might have heard that Houston has a big election coming up on November 3, or October 19 through October 30 for the early voters among us. In less than a month, Proposition 1 the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) will be on the ballot.

Do you live in Houston? You don't? Doesn't matter. Whether or not you live in Houston, the fight for HERO is an important one.

Here's why you should pick up the phone, call everyone you know in Houston, and tell them to vote YES on HERO:

September 22, 2015

We asked. You delivered.

On Friday, September 18th, activists led by Progress Texas subscriber Kathleen Thompson delivered over 15,000 #iStandWithAhmed petition signatures to Irving Independent School District officials calling for the reversal of 9th grader Ahmed's suspension and to publicly apologize to the Mohamed family, and to reevaluate disciplinary policies. 

September 18, 2015
Greg Abbott Celebrate Arrest Of Latina Seeking Medical Care

Ed. Note: This content was originally posted on the NARAL Pro-Choice Texas website and is republished here with permission.

September 16, 2015

As part of our blog series for Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to offer insights on the difference between the terms Latino and Hispanic. Let's look at the term Chicano while we're at it. Before I start, let me offer that regardless of textbook or even common definitions, identity is unique to each individual. Thus many people associate themselves with a term regardless of how it is officially defined. Alright then, ándele...

Latino, Hispanic, Chicano - que es la differencia?

September 15, 2015
Jorge Ramos
Today is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15 each year (it originally started as "Hispanic Heritage Week" and was later expanded to cover a 30-day period).
And it seems that when Republicans politicians think of Latinos, the first thing that comes to mind is immigration, specifically being against it.
September 14, 2015

Article first appeared in The Quorum Report.

It is morally shameful that the state of Texas has given hundreds of millions of dollars to obscenely wealthy owners of the Formula 1 racetrack near Austin while taking $350 million from necessary medical care for disabled children.

You read that right.

The budget passed by the 2015 Legislature requires the Health and Human Services Commission to cut $150 million in Medicaid reimbursement in necessary therapy for the disabled kids, a move that will also cost us $200 million in federal funds.

September 9, 2015

David Barton was just named the leader of the Super PACs supporting Ted Cruz.

Which of the following does David Barton believe:

A) The Bible says there can be no cure for AIDS, because AIDS is a punishment for being gay
B) The Founding Fathers opposed evolution
C) Jesus opposed the minimum wage
D) All of the above

The answer is "D" - as in "drink."

September 3, 2015

SXSW - or "South by Southwest" - meets every March in Austin, bringing together thousands of music, movie, and technology professionals, reporters, and fans.

This year, SXSW is considering putting up a panel about marijuana policy reform in Texas. The panel would feature Democrat Joe Moody (D-El Paso), who authored the civil penalties bill last year, as well as Zoe Russell with Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) and me.

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