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Texas Matters: Fewer Voting Sites, Foster Care And Daniel Johnston Remembered

Chris Eudaily | Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio

One of the most effective ways to keep people from voting for the political opposition is to not give those voters a place to go vote.  The recipe is easy; make it easy for your side to vote – make it difficult or impossible for the other side to vote.

According to a report titled“Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote,”that appears to be happening. The report documents that Texas is leading the nation in the number of lost polling sites since 2013.

Beth Stevens is the legal director of voting rights at the Texas Civil Rights Project. She contributed to a report that documents the record number of lost polling sites in Texas. Texas leads the nation in the reduction of places where people can vote.

Guide to Going Home

There are 443,000 children in foster care in the United States, and the average foster child is moved three times, diminishing the hope of permanence or stability.  

The opioid and immigration crises have caused a 147% increase in foster care entries as well.  Even as foster care can provide much for these displaced children, improvements can come from understanding the children themselves, the ones who end up separated from their parents for countless reasons.

In her new book Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home, author and Austin educator Bridget Farr brings us the a book for young readers that highlights the positive aspects but also the strife that children experience in foster care. This young reader book is published by Little, Brown.

Texas Public Radio contributor Yvette Benavides spoke to Farr about her debut novel.

Daniel Johnston

Daniel Johnston, a singer-songwriter and visual artist died this week. He was 58. His childlike songs with haunting words, melodies and messages broke out of Austin in the 1980’s.  Johnson never had a pop 40 hit or won a Grammy or MTV award. He did win the admiration of rock stars and fans, particularly in the Austin underground music scene.

Johnston dealt with mental health problems which occasionally hospitalized him. Johnston is closely associated with Austin. It was there in the 1980s that his songs on homemade cassette tapes and quirky behavior was first noticed.

Louis Black, the founder of South By Southwest and the co-founder and editor of the Austin Chronicle, says Johnston speaks to Austin because it’s the only city where Johnston could have been discovered and celebrated.

David Martin Davies can be reached at DMDavies@TPR.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi