Texas politics has never been very accommodating to third parties and their efforts to win votes. The Libertarian party has been perceived as siphoning votes away from the Republican party, and the Green Party from the Democrats.
But in the last legislative session, with the passage of HB 2504, critics charge the bill was passed and signed into law with the intent to make it easier for the Green Party to get on the ballot and make it more difficult for the Libertarians to get on the ballot.
HB 2504 – from state Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) — requires small party candidates to either pay filing fees or secure a certain number of signatures to get on a November ballot. It also changes the threshold for guaranteeing a party a place on the ballot.
It all comes down to the upcoming election cycle and concerns of a follow-up Blue Wave – maybe some green on the ballot can save some red seats.
Nevertheless Green Party officials are happy they have an opening to appeal to Texas voters and they dispute the thinking that they are spoilers.
Alfred Molson is the male co-chair of the Green Party of Texas.
The Long View of Racial Segregation
In East Texas the Longview Independent School District is moving forward now that a federal court has released it from decades-long supervision connected to it’s history of racial segregation.
Some argue that true integration never came to Longview ISD and there remain barriers for black and Hispanic students – while White students have access to better opportunities for academic success.
The district has poured millions of dollars into new programs to correct that, but if it continues their policy to student equity now depends solely which way the school board leads.
Aliyya Swaby is an education reporter for the Texas Tribune – and is part of a team producing Dis-Integration – a podcast with the Tribune and the NPR program 1A, which focuses on Longview ISD and its efforts to topple barriers for students of color.
Angie Cruz is a New York born novelist, editor, and associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her latest novel is Dominicana and was inspired by her mother’s story as an immigrant in the United States in the 1960s.
The protagonist, Ana, is a teen bride married off to a man twice her age who takes her from her small village in the Dominican Republic to New York City. She is forcibly cast into unfamiliar spaces made all the more inhospitable by his treacheries. Ana comes of age in these lonely situations using her strength and intelligence to find her own way as an immigrant in America.
Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides spoke to Cruz about the novel.