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Texas Landlords Are Filing Hundreds of Illegal Evictions

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket in Texas, tenants may be removed from their homes, despite CARES Act protections that guarantee shelter. Read full article: Texas Landlords Are Filing Hundreds of I...→

The Texotics

As Texas landowners breed exotic animals like kudu and nilgai, they’re running a massive unplanned and unregulated natural experiment. Read full article: The Texotics...→

All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage

Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic in Texas. We’ll continue updating this page with new stories. Read full article: All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Covera...→

The Traveling Midwife

In far West Texas, some women have to travel hours to give birth, endangering themselves and their babies. Could midwives help fill in the gap? Read full article: The Traveling Midwife...→

Coronavirus is Exposing the Weaknesses of the Texas Fracking Boom

The oil and gas sector was already having problems, but the fear and uncertainty around a global pandemic could end the Texas fracking boom. Read full article: Coronavirus is Exposing the Weaknesses o...→

U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Trump Administration on 'Remain in Mexico'

Following weeks of back-and-forth in the courts, SCOTUS has reversed the decision of an appeals court and allowed Remain in Mexico to continue. Read full article: U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Trump Admi...→

Following a Protest, ICE Moves Asylum-Seekers For the Second Time in Two Weeks

ICE moved 47 women to Laredo following a protest for better medical care. Last week, more than 100 detainees were sent to Louisiana, where courts are harsher. Read full article: Following a Protest, ICE Moves Asylum-Se...→

Forrest Wilder

Eugenio del Bosque Gomez/Flickr: Gage Skidmore Trump won’t get his beautiful Mexican-funded concrete wall from sea to sea. The president’s attempt to hold the [...] Read full article: Forrest Wilder...→

Texas Observer Seeks Art Director - The Texas Observer

We’re a nonprofit with a strong public service mission; we seek to expose injustice and to produce the kind of impact journalism that makes a difference. Read full article: Texas Observer Seeks Art Director - The ...→

Advertise - The Texas Observer

About the Magazine Regarded as one of the best independent magazines in the nation, the Observer writes about issues ignored or underreported in the mainstream [...] Read full article: Advertise - The Texas Observer...→

Melissa del Bosque

THE EYES ABOVE TEXAS An Observer analysis finds that DPS’ spy planes are flying over Texas communities, with little oversight. – by G.W. Schulz and Melissa del [...] Read full article: Melissa del Bosque...→

Sophie Novack

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was the first Texas official to declare a stay-at-home order for COVID-19 in March—more than a week before Governor Greg Abbot [...] Read full article: Sophie Novack...→

In Rural Texas, COVID-19 Contact Tracing is Largely Up to Local Officials, If It Happens at All - The Texas Observer

As public health experts warn of new waves of infections this summer or fall, experts say there’s still not a robust system in place to track the coronavirus, [...] Read full article: In Rural Texas, COVID-19 Contact Tracing...→

Why Is APD Responding to Mental Health Crises like Violent Crimes?

Neuroscientist Mauris DeSilva died in July 2019. The same APD officer who shot Mike Ramos was involved in DeSilva's death. Read full article: Why Is APD Responding to Mental Health C...→

How to Syndicate a Story from the Texas Observer

Access to information is a fundamental human right. All of the Texas Observer’s articles are available for free syndication for news sources. Read full article: How to Syndicate a Story from the Texas ...→

The Protests Against Police Brutality in Texas, in Photos

A wave of protests swept across Texas cities this weekend to oppose police brutality and systemic racism, a response in part to the death of George Floyd. Read full article: The Protests Against Police Brutality in...→

‘We Don’t Exist’: Texas Domestic Workers Fight for Inclusion in Labor Laws

Domestic workers already lacked contracts, wage protections, and health care benefits. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Read full article: ‘We Don’t Exist’: Texas Domestic Workers...→

Feeding Refugees on the Texas Border Has Been Tough. Now There’s COVID-19.

Elizabeth “Lizee” Cavazos, who volunteers with Angry Tias and Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley, talks about the challenges of arranging food for a refugee camp [...] Read full article: Feeding Refugees on the Texas Border Has...→

With Storage Space Evaporating, the Oil and Gas Industry Will Get to Put Its Products Back Underground

The Railroad Commission has rolled back rules that once prohibited producers from storing liquid hydrocarbons in geological formations across the state, despit [...] Read full article: With Storage Space Evaporating, the Oil ...→

In the COVID-19 Economy, Texas’ Commercial Fishermen Are Barely Treading Water

If restaurants crater, it’s unclear what that might mean for Lone Star commercial anglers. Will the tradition of small-scale fishing scrape by—or has the indus [...] Read full article: In the COVID-19 Economy, Texas’ Commerci...→

Eye on Texas: Border Tuner

In November, a massive public art project lit up the sky over El Paso and Juárez, prompting conversations both funny and serious, political and personal. Read full article: Eye on Texas: Border Tuner...→

Texas Observer May/June 2020 - The Texas Observer

The May/June issue of the Texas Observer includes stories from Lise Olsen, Sophie Novack, Michael Barajas, Robyn Ross, and Asher Elbein. Read full article: Texas Observer May/June 2020 - The Texas...→

7 Texas Arts and Culture Causes to Consider on Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow. If you’re looking for causes to donate to, consider supporting the individuals and organizations that make Texas’ art, culture, and [...] Read full article: 7 Texas Arts and Culture Causes to Consi...→

Living With Discomfort and Ambiguity in ‘Finding Home in Boomtown’

A documentary follows a couple’s winding path toward starting a tiny-home community for the homeless in West Texas. Read full article: Living With Discomfort and Ambiguity in ...→

Cartoonist Ben Sargent Takes on Trump's Coronavirus Response

The latest from editorial cartoonist Ben Sargent compares how presidents throughout U.S. history have responded to crises. Trump doesn't exactly stack up. Read full article: Cartoonist Ben Sargent Takes on Trump's ...→

Demand for Plasma Therapy for the Sickest COVID-19 Patients Far Outpaces Donations

Texas blood banks and the Red Cross are actively recruiting donors but remain thwarted by a lack of antibody tests. Read full article: Demand for Plasma Therapy for the Sickes...→

Weird Texas News: Waco, Dripping Springs, El Paso, and More

A candy factory created the world’s largest chocolate bar, only to have the title stolen. “The Reese’s team believes records ... are meant to be broken.” Read full article: Weird Texas News: Waco, Dripping Springs...→

Bajo el Agua - The Texas Observer

Las colonias, asentamientos irregulares en la frontera entre México y Texas, se ven sumamente afectadas por las tormentas, inclusive las más pequeñas. Para una [...] Read full article: Bajo el Agua - The Texas Observer...→

For Austin Police, Claims of Racism Are Only the Tip of the Iceberg

An investigation into allegations of racism against a former top cop points to deeper problems of bias and retaliation at the Austin Police Department. Read full article: For Austin Police, Claims of Racism Are ...→

Ben Sargent Takes on the Texas 'Stay Home' Protesters

Ben Sargent's latest editorial cartoon takes on the "stay home" protesters who demonstrated outside of the Texas Capitol in April 2020. Read full article: Ben Sargent Takes on the Texas 'Stay Hom...→

Along the Border, Witnesses of Smuggling Crimes Are Being Held in Detention, Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Even as jails across the country release low-level offenders, federal prosecutors in Texas are still asking judges to detain immigrants they want to testify ag [...] Read full article: Along the Border, Witnesses of Smuggling...→

DART Leaves Low-Income Residents Stranded

Dallas’ public transit system makes owning a car all but required. As the metroplex booms, low-income residents are shut out of jobs and services they need. Read full article: DART Leaves Low-Income Residents Strande...→

The Next Census Could Determine the Future of Port Arthur - The Texas Observer

The census wasn’t designed to account for the ever-increasing frequency of hurricanes and floods along the coast. What does that mean for Port Arthur? Read full article: The Next Census Could Determine the Futu...→

Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatment

A national study examines whether plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients might provide a lifesaving treatment for those still suffering the worst symptoms Read full article: Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially...→

Abby Johnston

Abby Johnston is a writer, editor, and sixth-generation Texan. Read full article: Abby Johnston...→

What One Texan Had to do to Get an Abortion During the Pandemic

Republican-controlled Texas is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the latest strategy in their anti-abortion playbook, and it’s affecting people’s lives. Read full article: What One Texan Had to do to Get an Abort...→

Mike Kanin

Mike Kanin is the publisher of the Texas Observer. He has many years of media experience, including a role as the founding publisher of the nonprofit local dai [...] Read full article: Mike Kanin...→

Dan Oko

Houston-based freelancer Dan Oko covers environmental politics, outdoor recreation, and assorted topics for a wide range of outlets. Come quitting time, he usu [...] Read full article: Dan Oko...→

How to Keep Homes Affordable—Permanently - The Texas Observer

Cities have largely struggled to protect affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods. The community land trust model offers an elegant solution. Read full article: How to Keep Homes Affordable—Permanently...→

COVID-19 is Buying Time for Gulf Coast Towns Fighting Oil and Gas Projects

In Surfside Beach, Port Aransas, and elsewhere, contentious new infrastructure projects may be stalled by the accelerating pandemic. Read full article: COVID-19 is Buying Time for Gulf Coast T...→

As Texans are Exposed to Dangerous Pesticides, Lawmakers Aren't Doing Anything - The Texas Observer

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the- [...] Read full article: As Texans are Exposed to Dangerous Pesti...→

A New Book on the Sutherland Springs Shooting Explores Resilience, Forgiveness, and Grace

Long after other journalists had packed up, Joe Holley stayed in the devastated town, getting to know survivors. He tells their stories with empathy and tact. Read full article: A New Book on the Sutherland Springs Sho...→

Scientist Peter Hotez on Why Vaccine Development is ‘Critical to the Security of Our Nation’

Several years ago, Hotez and his colleagues developed a vaccine that may have prevented the new coronavirus—but they couldn’t get it funded. Read full article: Scientist Peter Hotez on Why Vaccine Dev...→

Shannon Perri

Shannon Perri’s writing has appeared in Joyland Magazine, fields, the Houston Chronicle, and elsewhere. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the Uni [...] Read full article: Shannon Perri...→

Mary Helen Specht

Mary Helen Specht is the author of Migratory Animals and teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Read full article: Mary Helen Specht...→

Sarah Angle

Sarah Angle is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth. Read more of her work at sarahanglewrites.com Read full article: Sarah Angle...→

COVID-19 Could Be a ‘Double Whammy’ for Those in Pollution Hotspots

Texans who breathe polluted air are more likely to have preexisting health issues. That means they're at a higher risk of getting seriously ill from the corona [...] Read full article: COVID-19 Could Be a ‘Double Whammy’ for ...→

13 Small Texas Presses to Read Right Now

These 13 Texas-based independent presses and publishers have offered diverse, boundary-pushing literature for years, even decades. Read full article: 13 Small Texas Presses to Read Right Now...→

Loon Star: Nothing to See Here, Folks

In his latest editorial cartoon, Ben Sargent takes on President Donald Trump's response to the United States' current crises. Read full article: Loon Star: Nothing to See Here, Folks...→

Lise Olsen

Lise Olsen is a Houston-based senior writer and editor, working mom, and yogini. Reach her at olsen@texasobserver.org or by phone or Signal at 281-454-1933. Read full article: Lise Olsen...→

Texas Relaxed Environmental Enforcement During the Pandemic

Even as TCEQ reduced enforcement, it continued processing permits that allow other businesses to pollute up to certain limits. Read full article: Texas Relaxed Environmental Enforcement ...→

Promising Results for COVID-19 Patients Treated with Plasma Therapy

The speed with which physicians and patients across the United States have signed up to participate in the ongoing plasma therapy project is unprecedented. Read full article: Promising Results for COVID-19 Patients ...→

Texas Observer Founding Editor Ronnie Dugger Reflects on 65 Years of Publication

To celebrate our 65th anniversary, we asked our founding editor about where the Texas Observer has been and what he thinks about its future. Read full article: Texas Observer Founding Editor Ronnie Du...→

The Pandemic Is Just the Latest Threat Refugees in Abilene Face

The AbiMar Foods processing plant avoided disaster when COVID-19 spread across Texas, but as workers return, they worry about keeping their jobs. Read full article: The Pandemic Is Just the Latest Threat R...→

Texas’ UIL High School Mariachi Bands Take the Stage

Mariachi music is growing in influence and popularity in Texas high schools. The UIL state festival in Edinburg draws the best of the best. Read full article: Texas’ UIL High School Mariachi Bands Ta...→

The Molly National Journalism Prize Submissions

Starting December 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019, the Texas Observer and the Texas Democracy Foundation will be accepting entries for the 2019 MOLLY Nation [...] Read full article: The Molly National Journalism Prize Subm...→

Terms and Conditions - The Texas Observer

Welcome to The Texas Observer network of sites (“The Texas Observer websites”). By accessing and using The Texas Observer websites and their services (the “Ser [...] Read full article: Terms and Conditions - The Texas Observe...→

Jen Reel

By Gus Bova, Melissa del Bosque, Jen Reel and Emma Pérez-Treviño The United States portrays itself as a beacon of freedom and liberty, yet it operates the worl [...] Read full article: Jen Reel...→

Zoë Schlanger

Zoë Schlanger is a staff reporter at Quartz, covering the environment. Her work has appeared in Wired, Newsweek, the Fader, the Village Voice and elsewhere, an [...] Read full article: Zoë Schlanger...→

Naveena Sadasivam

Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at Grist. She previously covered environmental issues at the Texas Obse [...] Read full article: Naveena Sadasivam...→

COVID-19 Has Delayed Programs That Texas Prisoners Need to Get Out

Texas prisoners approved for parole already waited months to start programs required for their release. Coronavirus is making some wait even longer. Read full article: COVID-19 Has Delayed Programs That Texas...→

Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple Historic Cemeteries

In a bid to protect a high-profile South Texas graveyard, Congress appears to have shielded other notable cemeteries too. Read full article: Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple ...→

Michelle Raji

Michelle Raji is a medical student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former intern at the Texas Observer. Read full article: Michelle Raji...→

Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-19 Worker Benefits

Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocer and operates stores in Houston and North Texas, terminated its “Hero Pay” on May 17. Read full article: Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-1...→

The Gentrification of Texas

As the cost of housing skyrockets, Texans are getting pushed out and left behind. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Read full article: The Gentrification of Texas...→

Texan Drag Queen Shangela Finds Drag Daughters in HBO’s ‘We’re Here’

HBO’s new docuseries “We’re Here” is a snapshot of how drag can foster queer community in rural areas across the country. Read full article: Texan Drag Queen Shangela Finds Drag Dau...→

A Freelance Writer’s Guide to the Texas Observer - The Texas Observer

The Texas Observer is an Austin-based nonprofit news organization known for fearless investigative reporting, narrative storytelling and sophisticated cultural [...] Read full article: A Freelance Writer’s Guide to the Texas ...→

San Antonio Embraces Mandaean Refugees

If the Mandaean religion survives, it will be partly because of the refuge it found in Central Texas. Read full article: San Antonio Embraces Mandaean Refugees...→

Locked Out - The Texas Observer

Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or unproven [...] Read full article: Locked Out - The Texas Observer...→

Xander Peters

Essentially, “Ban the Box” is an effort to allow those with past convictions to have their job qualifications and personalities evaluated before discussing the [...] Read full article: Xander Peters...→

COVID-19 Has Infected Workers at a Tyson Beef Plant in Amarillo, Employees Say

The infections are the latest in the surge of coronavirus cases at Texas meatpacking plants and in the Panhandle. Read full article: COVID-19 Has Infected Workers at a Tyson...→

Genetic Genealogy is Helping Crack Cold Cases

Genetic genealogy is helping crack cold cases and identify nameless victims in Texas and the U.S. The process is effective—and controversial. Read full article: Genetic Genealogy is Helping Crack Cold ...→

Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ When COVID-19 Subsides?

In Texas, grocery employees labor for low wages and few benefits. Now they’re part of a nationwide struggle in which workers are fighting for their lives. Read full article: Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ W...→

Is it Time to Rethink the Texas Suburbs?

If you want a glimpse of America’s future, the suburbs are a pretty good place to look.  Read full article: Is it Time to Rethink the Texas Suburbs?...→

Field Hospital Begins Construction in Matamoros Migrant Camp in Response to COVID-19

As cases in Mexico begin to surge and U.S. immigration offices remain closed, medical aid volunteers at a Matamoros migrant camp prepare for the worst while ho [...] Read full article: Field Hospital Begins Construction in Ma...→

Workers at Tyson Poultry Plant in East Texas Say the Company Put Them at Risk of COVID-19

Tyson employees interviewed by the Observer say that as the coronavirus spread through the facility in April, the company failed to notify them of the danger i [...] Read full article: Workers at Tyson Poultry Plant in East T...→

What’s a Bookstore for?

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, booksellers were facing razor-thin margins, an uncertain future, and the threat of Am [...] Read full article: What’s a Bookstore for?...→

Mapping the Number of COVID-19 Cases in Texas per Doctor

Many counties with limited medical resources—including no primary care physicians—now have COVID-19 cases. Read full article: Mapping the Number of COVID-19 Cases in ...→

City Nature Challenge Can Help Us Find Resilience and Mindfulness at Home

This year, researchers are asking residents to become citizen scientists in their own backyards in hopes of collecting vital data in otherwise overlooked areas [...] Read full article: City Nature Challenge Can Help Us Find R...→

COVID-19 Cases Now Tied to Meat Plants in Rural Texas Counties Wracked with Coronavirus

The outbreaks, which are being investigated by the state health agency, represent the first reported cases of the virus inside Texas meatpacking plants, and ar [...] Read full article: COVID-19 Cases Now Tied to Meat Plants i...→

Jason Buch

Jason Buch is an independent journalist based in Seattle. A native of Austin, Buch spent 10 years covering immigration and the Texas-Mexico border for Texas ne [...] Read full article: Jason Buch...→

Abbott Puts Cabal of His Billionaire Donors, Industry Lobbyists in Charge of Restarting Texas’ Economy

The governor’s ‘strike force’ is composed of some of the most powerful moguls in the Lone Star State. In a time of pandemic, critics say it’s reckless pay-to-p [...] Read full article: Abbott Puts Cabal of His Billionaire Don...→

Texas Had a State Office That Could Have Investigated Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Cases. Lawmakers Defunded it Three Years Ago.

While early reports elsewhere show African Americans disproportionately infected and dying from COVID-19, Texas’ data is incomplete. Read full article: Texas Had a State Office That Could Have...→

From Jail to the Streets: One Texan's Story During COVID-19

The unhoused, who frequently face laws that criminalize their very existence, are 11 times more likely to get locked up than the rest of the population. Read full article: From Jail to the Streets: One Texan's St...→

Greg Abbott’s Power Grab on Bail Reform

Abbott’s executive order blocking jail releases during a pandemic highlights conservative opposition to the growing movement to end wealth-based detention in T [...] Read full article: Greg Abbott’s Power Grab on Bail Reform...→

Mi Barrio No Se Vende - The Texas Observer

A debate over plans to demolish San Antonio’s oldest and largest public housing project is about more than just housing. Read full article: Mi Barrio No Se Vende - The Texas Observ...→

‘I’m in Limbo Here’: Texans Are Met with an Overwhelmed and Antiquated State Unemployment System

The safety net meant to support the second largest workforce in the country is using decades-old technology. The workforce agency was trying to replace it when [...] Read full article: ‘I’m in Limbo Here’: Texans Are Met with...→

Gene Wu on Coronavirus and the Rise in Attacks Against Asian Americans

State Representative Gene Wu on how comments from Trump, Cruz, and Cornyn inflame deep-seated prejudices against Asian Americans, further alienating them. Read full article: Gene Wu on Coronavirus and the Rise in A...→

DaLyah Jones

DaLyah Jones is a staff writer for Texas Observer covering environment. She’s a former general assignment reporter and All Things Considered producer for Austi [...] Read full article: DaLyah Jones...→

Greg Abbott Delays and Defers COVID-19 Response - The Texas Observer

At a time when clear and decisive action is paramount, Governor Greg Abbott has delayed, deferred, and equivocated, likely costing lives. Read full article: Greg Abbott Delays and Defers COVID-19 R...→

Cartoon: On Dan Patrick's "Let's Get Back to Work" - The Texas Observer

Ben Sargent's latest takes on the Republicans like Dan Patrick who are urging the American public to go back to work—despite public health restrictions. Read full article: Cartoon: On Dan Patrick's "Let's Get Bac...→

Amalia Beckner

Amalia Beckner is a lawyer in the felony trial division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Read full article: Amalia Beckner...→

‘Trust Me’ Tackles Politics, Power, and Perception

Austin author Richard Z. Santos’ debut thriller takes readers behind the scenes of corruption and scandal. Read full article: ‘Trust Me’ Tackles Politics, Power, and ...→

In Migrants Camps Along the Texas-Mexico Border, Close Quarters and Closing Borders Raise Concerns

Advocates and lawyers warn new measures implemented along the southern border in response to COVID-19 are putting vulnerable migrants at higher risk. Read full article: In Migrants Camps Along the Texas-Mexico...→

Loneliness in the Age of Coronavirus

As a single parent, I was already struggling with loneliness. Then the coronavirus hit. Read full article: Loneliness in the Age of Coronavirus...→

Rapper TTBBY on How Growing Up in East Texas Shaped His Music

Tobias Traylor has overcome poverty, hurricanes, displacement, and mental health challenges, experiences reflected in his music. Read full article: Rapper TTBBY on How Growing Up in East T...→

Abortion Clinics in Texas Rely on Traveling Doctors. Coronavirus is Keeping Some of Them Home.

Providers and advocates say the pandemic highlights the need to end bans on telemedicine and requirements like the mandatory waiting period. Read full article: Abortion Clinics in Texas Rely on Travel...→

Asher Elbein

Asher Elbein is a freelance journalist and fiction writer based in Austin. Read full article: Asher Elbein...→

What the Black Lives Matter Protests Mean for East Texas

Protests where I grew up–where lynchings and KKK marches occurred in my lifetime–could signal a shift in the region long plagued by racial terror. Read full article: What the Black Lives Matter Protests Mea...→

Tough Decisions Ahead for School Leaders in Rural Texas

With no edict from Governor Abbott, rural school officials must weigh the health of their students against the health of their communities. Read full article: Tough Decisions Ahead for School Leaders...→

How is COVID-19 affecting you? - The Texas Observer

Kids are home from school, companies are laying people off, and the future is uncertain. How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you? Read full article: How is COVID-19 affecting you? - The Tex...→

Texas Observer

All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll continue updating this page with new stories. [...] Read full article: Texas Observer...→

A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The Whiteness of Their Union Bosses

Even in the 15 largest departments where the majority of officers are people of color, only one union leader is Black, The Marshall Project found. Read full article: A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The W...→

Robyn Ross

Against the Current If the Mandaean religion survives, it will be partly because of the refuge it found in Central Texas. Text by Robyn Ross Photos by Matthew [...] Read full article: Robyn Ross...→

All Articles - The Texas Observer

Darcy Vargas says it felt like an early Christmas present when her son Gerald made parole in early December after serving more than a year in the Texas prison [...] Read full article: All Articles - The Texas Observer...→

Kolten Parker

Ron Nirenberg assumed office in June after defeating former Mayor Ivy Taylor with 54 percent of the vote in a runoff election. Like Taylor, Nirenberg’s job per [...] Read full article: Kolten Parker...→

Christopher Hooks

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin, where he grew up. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, among others. He [...] Read full article: Christopher Hooks...→

Support Us - The Texas Observer

The Texas Observer covers stories crucial to the public interest, stories that provoke dialogue,  democratic participation and open government. It’s all in pur [...] Read full article: Support Us - The Texas Observer...→

Dana Ullman

Dana Ullman is a New York-based photojournalist documenting social issues internationally. Read full article: Dana Ullman...→

Why Protesters In Austin Are Chanting ‘Justice for Mike Ramos’

“The deaths of people like George Floyd, Mike Ramos, and Breonna Taylor continue to highlight the racism embedded in our criminal justice system.” Read full article: Why Protesters In Austin Are Chanting ‘J...→

If You Can Buy It, By All Means Do That

Five years ago, facing significant rent increases and, in some cases, eviction, residents at the North Lamar Mobile Home Park organized. Now, they own the park [...] Read full article: If You Can Buy It, By All Means Do That...→

Acacia Coronado

Acacia Coronado is an editorial fellow at the Texas Observer. She holds a degree in journalism and a certificate in human rights and social justice from the Un [...] Read full article: Acacia Coronado...→

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Battling COVID-19, and the Governor, as Texas Reopens

“Now we're just working with this unprecedented state usurpation of local control, trying to keep people safe as best we can.” Read full article: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Batt...→

Nick Yeager

Nick Yeager is an intern at the Observer and the author of the forthcoming guidebook 111 Places in Austin That You Must Not Miss. Read full article: Nick Yeager...→

Norma McCorvey Took the Money of the Anti-Abortion Movement and Lost Herself. 'AKA Jane Roe' Is Her Attempt at Atonement.

In a stunning deathbed confession, the woman who made Roe v. Wade possible tried to erase years of anti-abortion activism. But the damage has already been done [...] Read full article: Norma McCorvey Took the Money of the Ant...→

Home Wasn’t Safe. Then COVID-19 Made It Seem Like the Only Option.

Seeing a “disturbing” decrease in clients and callers amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, some domestic violence shelters in rural counties worry this is just t [...] Read full article: Home Wasn’t Safe. Then COVID-19 Made It ...→

Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing Numbers by Including Antibody Tests?

The state health department is including some antibody test results in its case totals, potentially clouding information on the current spread of the virus. Read full article: Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing ...→

How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons

While prison officials insist they’re doing their best, Governor Greg Abbott has effectively ignored the pandemic inside the Texas prison system. Read full article: How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons...→

‘The Pushback’ is an Expansive Look at the Texas Left’s Fight for Power - The Texas Observer

During my four years at the Texas Observer, I’ve scrambled after stories about the progressive movement all over the sprawling Lone Star State. So while watchi [...] Read full article: ‘The Pushback’ is an Expansive Look at t...→

Texas Health Officials Undercount COVID-19 Cases by Excluding Some State Prisoners Who Tested Positive

The Observer identified at least nine Texas counties where prison cases make up more than 10 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the county. Read full article: Texas Health Officials Undercount COVID-...→

Eye on Texas: How COVID-19 Emptied the Texas-Mexico Border

Rush hour lines at the Texas-Mexico border are typically hours long. Since the border closed on March 21, those lines are all but gone. Read full article: Eye on Texas: How COVID-19 Emptied the T...→

In Rural Counties, COVID-19 Cases are Likely Undercounted. Greg Abbott Wants to Reopen them Anyway.

More than 100 Texas counties—many with limited medical resources—will be able to reopen businesses to 50 percent capacity on Friday. Read full article: In Rural Counties, COVID-19 Cases are Li...→

Something in the Air

People in the Panhandle are getting sick from breathing fecal dust created by cattle feedlots—and the state isn’t doing much about it. Read full article: Something in the Air...→

‘The Quarry’ Tells a Dark Morality Tale in a Modern Small Texas Town

A new film from Scott Teems, king of the Southern drama, follows a violent drifter who assumes the identity of a small-town preacher. Read full article: ‘The Quarry’ Tells a Dark Morality Tale ...→

Underwater

Hit hard by flood after flood, people living in Rio Grande Valley colonias struggle to rebuild. Read full article: Underwater...→

Tiger King Could’ve Told a Tough Story of the Legal Mistreatment of Animals, But It Didn’t

Netflix’s runaway hit is a salacious interpersonal drama that buried what could have been a hard-hitting exposé of the patchwork regulations that are failing t [...] Read full article: Tiger King Could’ve Told a Tough Story o...→

Sunny Sone

Sunny Sone is the engagement editor at the Texas Observer. You can contact them at sone@texasobserver.org. Read full article: Sunny Sone...→

State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven Approach to Worker Safety Amid COVID-19

A slow, patchwork response to COVID-19 has jeopardized worker safety for some of Texas’ lowest-paid public employees. Read full article: State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven ...→

Texas Holds Some Prisoners in Solitary Confinement for Decades. How Did it Get This Way?

Texas has sent hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or if—they will ever get out. Read full article: Texas Holds Some Prisoners in Solitary C...→

In ‘All I Ever Wanted,’ Kathy Valentine Reclaims Her Narrative

“We were five women having a good time ... except we played guitars and drums and wrote catchy songs. It was revolutionary.” Read full article: In ‘All I Ever Wanted,’ Kathy Valentine ...→

Amal Ahmed

Amal Ahmed is the summer 2019 editorial fellow at the Texas Observer, reporting on climate and the environment. Originally from Dallas, she has a journalism de [...] Read full article: Amal Ahmed...→

‘Cheer’ Takes an Overlooked Sport Off the Sidelines

"Cheer" reminds me of my time as a high school dancer: training for intense athletic competitions while being reduced to halftime entertainment. Read full article: ‘Cheer’ Takes an Overlooked Sport Off th...→

The COVID-19 Disaster Has Made a Mess of Texas’ Open Government Rules

Some government officials in Texas appear to be exploiting the pandemic as a way to hide public business from the public. Read full article: The COVID-19 Disaster Has Made a Mess of...→

Thousands of Migrants in Matamoros Set to be Moved to a New Encampment, Advocates Say

According to camp volunteers, Mexican immigration officials plan to move migrants to an abandoned Matamoros soccer field as early as today. Read full article: Thousands of Migrants in Matamoros Set t...→

On Whooping Cranes and COVID-19 - The Texas Observer

The whooping crane has faced a long recovery since it was first listed as an endangered species. The bird might be the sort of collective totem we need. Read full article: On Whooping Cranes and COVID-19 - The Te...→

‘I Think I’m Gonna Die’: Coronavirus Compounds Risk for Dialysis Patients in the Rio Grande Valley

In the Valley, about one in three people have diabetes. They’re at higher risk for COVID-19, but those who rely on dialysis can’t stay home. Read full article: ‘I Think I’m Gonna Die’: Coronavirus Com...→

Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerable and ‘Essential’

While white collar professionals work remotely, and laid-off service workers seek unemployment, construction laborers are still reporting to work sites. Read full article: Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerabl...→

Detainees Protest as COVID-19 Spreads in Centers - The Texas Observer

As COVID-19 cases begin to permeate the immigration system nationwide, detainees in Texas are calling for better conditions and release. Read full article: Detainees Protest as COVID-19 Spreads in...→

Steven G. Kellman

Steven G. Kellman is the author of The Restless Ilan Stavans: Outsider on the Inside and American Suite. He teaches at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Read full article: Steven G. Kellman...→

Families of Sick Prisoners Plead for Compassionate Release as Coronavirus Spreads Behind Bars in Texas

Advocates for incarcerated people are urging Governor Abbott to release parole-eligible people who are elderly or have chronic illnesses. Read full article: Families of Sick Prisoners Plead for Com...→

In a Pandemic, Poor Defendants Could Pay With Their Lives

COVID-19 lays bare the fundamental inequalities that a cash bond system creates, and highlights the unsafe conditions our jails and prisons have designed. Read full article: In a Pandemic, Poor Defendants Could Pay...→

In a New West Texas Novel, Women Kick Ass and Take Names

Set in the 1970s Odessa oil boom, Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut novel, Valentine, is a revelation not for what it explores but for how. Read full article: In a New West Texas Novel, Women Kick As...→

COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to House the Homeless

For myriad reasons, the homeless are likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19 and end up needing precious hospital beds. Read full article: COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to Hous...→

The New U.S. Food Safety Czar is a Texas Researcher with Close Ties to the Meat Industry

Mindy Brashears’ confirmation comes at a time when Americans are scouring supermarket aisles for safe food to eat. Read full article: The New U.S. Food Safety Czar is a Texas...→

Texas Democratic and Republican Parties Spar Over How to Hold Elections During a Pandemic

With primary runoffs two months from now, Dems want universal mail-in voting; Republicans want delayed elections; and local elections officials just want some [...] Read full article: Texas Democratic and Republican Parties ...→

Texas Landlords Are Filing Hundreds of Illegal Evictions

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket in Texas, tenants may be removed from their homes, despite CARES Act protections that guarantee shelter. Read full article: Texas Landlords Are Filing Hundreds of I...→

Asher Elbein

Asher Elbein is a freelance journalist and fiction writer based in Austin. Read full article: Asher Elbein...→

Lise Olsen

Lise Olsen is a Houston-based senior writer and editor, working mom, and yogini. Reach her at olsen@texasobserver.org or by phone or Signal at 281-454-1933. Read full article: Lise Olsen...→

All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage

Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic in Texas. We’ll continue updating this page with new stories. Read full article: All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Covera...→

Tough Decisions Ahead for School Leaders in Rural Texas

With no edict from Governor Abbott, rural school officials must weigh the health of their students against the health of their communities. Read full article: Tough Decisions Ahead for School Leaders...→

Promising Results for COVID-19 Patients Treated with Plasma Therapy

The speed with which physicians and patients across the United States have signed up to participate in the ongoing plasma therapy project is unprecedented. Read full article: Promising Results for COVID-19 Patients ...→

The Traveling Midwife

In far West Texas, some women have to travel hours to give birth, endangering themselves and their babies. Could midwives help fill in the gap? Read full article: The Traveling Midwife...→

Texas Observer

All of the Observer’s Coronavirus Coverage Here’s everything we’ve written about the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll continue updating this page with new stories. [...] Read full article: Texas Observer...→

The Pandemic Is Just the Latest Threat Refugees in Abilene Face

The AbiMar Foods processing plant avoided disaster when COVID-19 spread across Texas, but as workers return, they worry about keeping their jobs. Read full article: The Pandemic Is Just the Latest Threat R...→

U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Trump Administration on 'Remain in Mexico'

Following weeks of back-and-forth in the courts, SCOTUS has reversed the decision of an appeals court and allowed Remain in Mexico to continue. Read full article: U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Trump Admi...→

Robyn Ross

Against the Current If the Mandaean religion survives, it will be partly because of the refuge it found in Central Texas. Text by Robyn Ross Photos by Matthew [...] Read full article: Robyn Ross...→

The Molly National Journalism Prize Submissions

Starting December 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019, the Texas Observer and the Texas Democracy Foundation will be accepting entries for the 2019 MOLLY Nation [...] Read full article: The Molly National Journalism Prize Subm...→

Forrest Wilder

Eugenio del Bosque Gomez/Flickr: Gage Skidmore Trump won’t get his beautiful Mexican-funded concrete wall from sea to sea. The president’s attempt to hold the [...] Read full article: Forrest Wilder...→

Kolten Parker

Ron Nirenberg assumed office in June after defeating former Mayor Ivy Taylor with 54 percent of the vote in a runoff election. Like Taylor, Nirenberg’s job per [...] Read full article: Kolten Parker...→

Jen Reel

By Gus Bova, Melissa del Bosque, Jen Reel and Emma Pérez-Treviño The United States portrays itself as a beacon of freedom and liberty, yet it operates the worl [...] Read full article: Jen Reel...→

Advertise - The Texas Observer

About the Magazine Regarded as one of the best independent magazines in the nation, the Observer writes about issues ignored or underreported in the mainstream [...] Read full article: Advertise - The Texas Observer...→

Support Us - The Texas Observer

The Texas Observer covers stories crucial to the public interest, stories that provoke dialogue,  democratic participation and open government. It’s all in pur [...] Read full article: Support Us - The Texas Observer...→

Naveena Sadasivam

Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at Grist. She previously covered environmental issues at the Texas Obse [...] Read full article: Naveena Sadasivam...→

Sophie Novack

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was the first Texas official to declare a stay-at-home order for COVID-19 in March—more than a week before Governor Greg Abbot [...] Read full article: Sophie Novack...→

Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple Historic Cemeteries

In a bid to protect a high-profile South Texas graveyard, Congress appears to have shielded other notable cemeteries too. Read full article: Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple ...→

Why Is APD Responding to Mental Health Crises like Violent Crimes?

Neuroscientist Mauris DeSilva died in July 2019. The same APD officer who shot Mike Ramos was involved in DeSilva's death. Read full article: Why Is APD Responding to Mental Health C...→

If You Can Buy It, By All Means Do That

Five years ago, facing significant rent increases and, in some cases, eviction, residents at the North Lamar Mobile Home Park organized. Now, they own the park [...] Read full article: If You Can Buy It, By All Means Do That...→

Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-19 Worker Benefits

Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocer and operates stores in Houston and North Texas, terminated its “Hero Pay” on May 17. Read full article: Grocers Are Already Clawing Back COVID-1...→

The Protests Against Police Brutality in Texas, in Photos

A wave of protests swept across Texas cities this weekend to oppose police brutality and systemic racism, a response in part to the death of George Floyd. Read full article: The Protests Against Police Brutality in...→

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Battling COVID-19, and the Governor, as Texas Reopens

“Now we're just working with this unprecedented state usurpation of local control, trying to keep people safe as best we can.” Read full article: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Batt...→

Texan Drag Queen Shangela Finds Drag Daughters in HBO’s ‘We’re Here’

HBO’s new docuseries “We’re Here” is a snapshot of how drag can foster queer community in rural areas across the country. Read full article: Texan Drag Queen Shangela Finds Drag Dau...→

Feeding Refugees on the Texas Border Has Been Tough. Now There’s COVID-19.

Elizabeth “Lizee” Cavazos, who volunteers with Angry Tias and Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley, talks about the challenges of arranging food for a refugee camp [...] Read full article: Feeding Refugees on the Texas Border Has...→

Norma McCorvey Took the Money of the Anti-Abortion Movement and Lost Herself. 'AKA Jane Roe' Is Her Attempt at Atonement.

In a stunning deathbed confession, the woman who made Roe v. Wade possible tried to erase years of anti-abortion activism. But the damage has already been done [...] Read full article: Norma McCorvey Took the Money of the Ant...→

San Antonio Embraces Mandaean Refugees

If the Mandaean religion survives, it will be partly because of the refuge it found in Central Texas. Read full article: San Antonio Embraces Mandaean Refugees...→

Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing Numbers by Including Antibody Tests?

The state health department is including some antibody test results in its case totals, potentially clouding information on the current spread of the virus. Read full article: Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing ...→

Xander Peters

Essentially, “Ban the Box” is an effort to allow those with past convictions to have their job qualifications and personalities evaluated before discussing the [...] Read full article: Xander Peters...→

Eye on Texas: Border Tuner

In November, a massive public art project lit up the sky over El Paso and Juárez, prompting conversations both funny and serious, political and personal. Read full article: Eye on Texas: Border Tuner...→

‘The Pushback’ is an Expansive Look at the Texas Left’s Fight for Power - The Texas Observer

During my four years at the Texas Observer, I’ve scrambled after stories about the progressive movement all over the sprawling Lone Star State. So while watchi [...] Read full article: ‘The Pushback’ is an Expansive Look at t...→

COVID-19 Has Infected Workers at a Tyson Beef Plant in Amarillo, Employees Say

The infections are the latest in the surge of coronavirus cases at Texas meatpacking plants and in the Panhandle. Read full article: COVID-19 Has Infected Workers at a Tyson...→

Texas Observer May/June 2020 - The Texas Observer

The May/June issue of the Texas Observer includes stories from Lise Olsen, Sophie Novack, Michael Barajas, Robyn Ross, and Asher Elbein. Read full article: Texas Observer May/June 2020 - The Texas...→

Eye on Texas: How COVID-19 Emptied the Texas-Mexico Border

Rush hour lines at the Texas-Mexico border are typically hours long. Since the border closed on March 21, those lines are all but gone. Read full article: Eye on Texas: How COVID-19 Emptied the T...→

Genetic Genealogy is Helping Crack Cold Cases

Genetic genealogy is helping crack cold cases and identify nameless victims in Texas and the U.S. The process is effective—and controversial. Read full article: Genetic Genealogy is Helping Crack Cold ...→

Living With Discomfort and Ambiguity in ‘Finding Home in Boomtown’

A documentary follows a couple’s winding path toward starting a tiny-home community for the homeless in West Texas. Read full article: Living With Discomfort and Ambiguity in ...→

In Rural Counties, COVID-19 Cases are Likely Undercounted. Greg Abbott Wants to Reopen them Anyway.

More than 100 Texas counties—many with limited medical resources—will be able to reopen businesses to 50 percent capacity on Friday. Read full article: In Rural Counties, COVID-19 Cases are Li...→

Is it Time to Rethink the Texas Suburbs?

If you want a glimpse of America’s future, the suburbs are a pretty good place to look.  Read full article: Is it Time to Rethink the Texas Suburbs?...→

Demand for Plasma Therapy for the Sickest COVID-19 Patients Far Outpaces Donations

Texas blood banks and the Red Cross are actively recruiting donors but remain thwarted by a lack of antibody tests. Read full article: Demand for Plasma Therapy for the Sickes...→

‘The Quarry’ Tells a Dark Morality Tale in a Modern Small Texas Town

A new film from Scott Teems, king of the Southern drama, follows a violent drifter who assumes the identity of a small-town preacher. Read full article: ‘The Quarry’ Tells a Dark Morality Tale ...→

Workers at Tyson Poultry Plant in East Texas Say the Company Put Them at Risk of COVID-19

Tyson employees interviewed by the Observer say that as the coronavirus spread through the facility in April, the company failed to notify them of the danger i [...] Read full article: Workers at Tyson Poultry Plant in East T...→

Bajo el Agua - The Texas Observer

Las colonias, asentamientos irregulares en la frontera entre México y Texas, se ven sumamente afectadas por las tormentas, inclusive las más pequeñas. Para una [...] Read full article: Bajo el Agua - The Texas Observer...→

Tiger King Could’ve Told a Tough Story of the Legal Mistreatment of Animals, But It Didn’t

Netflix’s runaway hit is a salacious interpersonal drama that buried what could have been a hard-hitting exposé of the patchwork regulations that are failing t [...] Read full article: Tiger King Could’ve Told a Tough Story o...→

Mapping the Number of COVID-19 Cases in Texas per Doctor

Many counties with limited medical resources—including no primary care physicians—now have COVID-19 cases. Read full article: Mapping the Number of COVID-19 Cases in ...→

For Austin Police, Claims of Racism Are Only the Tip of the Iceberg

An investigation into allegations of racism against a former top cop points to deeper problems of bias and retaliation at the Austin Police Department. Read full article: For Austin Police, Claims of Racism Are ...→

State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven Approach to Worker Safety Amid COVID-19

A slow, patchwork response to COVID-19 has jeopardized worker safety for some of Texas’ lowest-paid public employees. Read full article: State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven ...→

COVID-19 Cases Now Tied to Meat Plants in Rural Texas Counties Wracked with Coronavirus

The outbreaks, which are being investigated by the state health agency, represent the first reported cases of the virus inside Texas meatpacking plants, and ar [...] Read full article: COVID-19 Cases Now Tied to Meat Plants i...→

Along the Border, Witnesses of Smuggling Crimes Are Being Held in Detention, Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Even as jails across the country release low-level offenders, federal prosecutors in Texas are still asking judges to detain immigrants they want to testify ag [...] Read full article: Along the Border, Witnesses of Smuggling...→

In ‘All I Ever Wanted,’ Kathy Valentine Reclaims Her Narrative

“We were five women having a good time ... except we played guitars and drums and wrote catchy songs. It was revolutionary.” Read full article: In ‘All I Ever Wanted,’ Kathy Valentine ...→

Abbott Puts Cabal of His Billionaire Donors, Industry Lobbyists in Charge of Restarting Texas’ Economy

The governor’s ‘strike force’ is composed of some of the most powerful moguls in the Lone Star State. In a time of pandemic, critics say it’s reckless pay-to-p [...] Read full article: Abbott Puts Cabal of His Billionaire Don...→

The Next Census Could Determine the Future of Port Arthur - The Texas Observer

The census wasn’t designed to account for the ever-increasing frequency of hurricanes and floods along the coast. What does that mean for Port Arthur? Read full article: The Next Census Could Determine the Futu...→

From Jail to the Streets: One Texan's Story During COVID-19

The unhoused, who frequently face laws that criminalize their very existence, are 11 times more likely to get locked up than the rest of the population. Read full article: From Jail to the Streets: One Texan's St...→

Abby Johnston

Abby Johnston is a writer, editor, and sixth-generation Texan. Read full article: Abby Johnston...→

The COVID-19 Disaster Has Made a Mess of Texas’ Open Government Rules

Some government officials in Texas appear to be exploiting the pandemic as a way to hide public business from the public. Read full article: The COVID-19 Disaster Has Made a Mess of...→

Mi Barrio No Se Vende - The Texas Observer

A debate over plans to demolish San Antonio’s oldest and largest public housing project is about more than just housing. Read full article: Mi Barrio No Se Vende - The Texas Observ...→

Dan Oko

Houston-based freelancer Dan Oko covers environmental politics, outdoor recreation, and assorted topics for a wide range of outlets. Come quitting time, he usu [...] Read full article: Dan Oko...→

‘I Think I’m Gonna Die’: Coronavirus Compounds Risk for Dialysis Patients in the Rio Grande Valley

In the Valley, about one in three people have diabetes. They’re at higher risk for COVID-19, but those who rely on dialysis can’t stay home. Read full article: ‘I Think I’m Gonna Die’: Coronavirus Com...→

DaLyah Jones

DaLyah Jones is a staff writer for Texas Observer covering environment. She’s a former general assignment reporter and All Things Considered producer for Austi [...] Read full article: DaLyah Jones...→

COVID-19 is Buying Time for Gulf Coast Towns Fighting Oil and Gas Projects

In Surfside Beach, Port Aransas, and elsewhere, contentious new infrastructure projects may be stalled by the accelerating pandemic. Read full article: COVID-19 is Buying Time for Gulf Coast T...→

Detainees Protest as COVID-19 Spreads in Centers - The Texas Observer

As COVID-19 cases begin to permeate the immigration system nationwide, detainees in Texas are calling for better conditions and release. Read full article: Detainees Protest as COVID-19 Spreads in...→

A New Book on the Sutherland Springs Shooting Explores Resilience, Forgiveness, and Grace

Long after other journalists had packed up, Joe Holley stayed in the devastated town, getting to know survivors. He tells their stories with empathy and tact. Read full article: A New Book on the Sutherland Springs Sho...→

Families of Sick Prisoners Plead for Compassionate Release as Coronavirus Spreads Behind Bars in Texas

Advocates for incarcerated people are urging Governor Abbott to release parole-eligible people who are elderly or have chronic illnesses. Read full article: Families of Sick Prisoners Plead for Com...→

Amalia Beckner

Amalia Beckner is a lawyer in the felony trial division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Read full article: Amalia Beckner...→

Shannon Perri

Shannon Perri’s writing has appeared in Joyland Magazine, fields, the Houston Chronicle, and elsewhere. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the Uni [...] Read full article: Shannon Perri...→

In a New West Texas Novel, Women Kick Ass and Take Names

Set in the 1970s Odessa oil boom, Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut novel, Valentine, is a revelation not for what it explores but for how. Read full article: In a New West Texas Novel, Women Kick As...→

In Migrants Camps Along the Texas-Mexico Border, Close Quarters and Closing Borders Raise Concerns

Advocates and lawyers warn new measures implemented along the southern border in response to COVID-19 are putting vulnerable migrants at higher risk. Read full article: In Migrants Camps Along the Texas-Mexico...→

Sarah Angle

Sarah Angle is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth. Read more of her work at sarahanglewrites.com Read full article: Sarah Angle...→

The New U.S. Food Safety Czar is a Texas Researcher with Close Ties to the Meat Industry

Mindy Brashears’ confirmation comes at a time when Americans are scouring supermarket aisles for safe food to eat. Read full article: The New U.S. Food Safety Czar is a Texas...→

Rapper TTBBY on How Growing Up in East Texas Shaped His Music

Tobias Traylor has overcome poverty, hurricanes, displacement, and mental health challenges, experiences reflected in his music. Read full article: Rapper TTBBY on How Growing Up in East T...→

13 Small Texas Presses to Read Right Now

These 13 Texas-based independent presses and publishers have offered diverse, boundary-pushing literature for years, even decades. Read full article: 13 Small Texas Presses to Read Right Now...→

Texas Democratic and Republican Parties Spar Over How to Hold Elections During a Pandemic

With primary runoffs two months from now, Dems want universal mail-in voting; Republicans want delayed elections; and local elections officials just want some [...] Read full article: Texas Democratic and Republican Parties ...→

Loon Star: Nothing to See Here, Folks

In his latest editorial cartoon, Ben Sargent takes on President Donald Trump's response to the United States' current crises. Read full article: Loon Star: Nothing to See Here, Folks...→

The Texotics

As Texas landowners breed exotic animals like kudu and nilgai, they’re running a massive unplanned and unregulated natural experiment. Read full article: The Texotics...→

What the Black Lives Matter Protests Mean for East Texas

Protests where I grew up–where lynchings and KKK marches occurred in my lifetime–could signal a shift in the region long plagued by racial terror. Read full article: What the Black Lives Matter Protests Mea...→

Texas Relaxed Environmental Enforcement During the Pandemic

Even as TCEQ reduced enforcement, it continued processing permits that allow other businesses to pollute up to certain limits. Read full article: Texas Relaxed Environmental Enforcement ...→

How is COVID-19 affecting you? - The Texas Observer

Kids are home from school, companies are laying people off, and the future is uncertain. How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you? Read full article: How is COVID-19 affecting you? - The Tex...→

Texas Observer Founding Editor Ronnie Dugger Reflects on 65 Years of Publication

To celebrate our 65th anniversary, we asked our founding editor about where the Texas Observer has been and what he thinks about its future. Read full article: Texas Observer Founding Editor Ronnie Du...→

Coronavirus is Exposing the Weaknesses of the Texas Fracking Boom

The oil and gas sector was already having problems, but the fear and uncertainty around a global pandemic could end the Texas fracking boom. Read full article: Coronavirus is Exposing the Weaknesses o...→

A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The Whiteness of Their Union Bosses

Even in the 15 largest departments where the majority of officers are people of color, only one union leader is Black, The Marshall Project found. Read full article: A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The W...→

Texas’ UIL High School Mariachi Bands Take the Stage

Mariachi music is growing in influence and popularity in Texas high schools. The UIL state festival in Edinburg draws the best of the best. Read full article: Texas’ UIL High School Mariachi Bands Ta...→

Following a Protest, ICE Moves Asylum-Seekers For the Second Time in Two Weeks

ICE moved 47 women to Laredo following a protest for better medical care. Last week, more than 100 detainees were sent to Louisiana, where courts are harsher. Read full article: Following a Protest, ICE Moves Asylum-Se...→

All Articles - The Texas Observer

Darcy Vargas says it felt like an early Christmas present when her son Gerald made parole in early December after serving more than a year in the Texas prison [...] Read full article: All Articles - The Texas Observer...→

Terms and Conditions - The Texas Observer

Welcome to The Texas Observer network of sites (“The Texas Observer websites”). By accessing and using The Texas Observer websites and their services (the “Ser [...] Read full article: Terms and Conditions - The Texas Observe...→

Texas Observer Seeks Art Director - The Texas Observer

We’re a nonprofit with a strong public service mission; we seek to expose injustice and to produce the kind of impact journalism that makes a difference. Read full article: Texas Observer Seeks Art Director - The ...→

Christopher Hooks

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin, where he grew up. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, among others. He [...] Read full article: Christopher Hooks...→

Zoë Schlanger

Zoë Schlanger is a staff reporter at Quartz, covering the environment. Her work has appeared in Wired, Newsweek, the Fader, the Village Voice and elsewhere, an [...] Read full article: Zoë Schlanger...→

Melissa del Bosque

THE EYES ABOVE TEXAS An Observer analysis finds that DPS’ spy planes are flying over Texas communities, with little oversight. – by G.W. Schulz and Melissa del [...] Read full article: Melissa del Bosque...→

Dana Ullman

Dana Ullman is a New York-based photojournalist documenting social issues internationally. Read full article: Dana Ullman...→

COVID-19 Has Delayed Programs That Texas Prisoners Need to Get Out

Texas prisoners approved for parole already waited months to start programs required for their release. Coronavirus is making some wait even longer. Read full article: COVID-19 Has Delayed Programs That Texas...→

In Rural Texas, COVID-19 Contact Tracing is Largely Up to Local Officials, If It Happens at All - The Texas Observer

As public health experts warn of new waves of infections this summer or fall, experts say there’s still not a robust system in place to track the coronavirus, [...] Read full article: In Rural Texas, COVID-19 Contact Tracing...→

Why Protesters In Austin Are Chanting ‘Justice for Mike Ramos’

“The deaths of people like George Floyd, Mike Ramos, and Breonna Taylor continue to highlight the racism embedded in our criminal justice system.” Read full article: Why Protesters In Austin Are Chanting ‘J...→

Michelle Raji

Michelle Raji is a medical student at the University of Texas at Austin and a former intern at the Texas Observer. Read full article: Michelle Raji...→

How to Syndicate a Story from the Texas Observer

Access to information is a fundamental human right. All of the Texas Observer’s articles are available for free syndication for news sources. Read full article: How to Syndicate a Story from the Texas ...→

Acacia Coronado

Acacia Coronado is an editorial fellow at the Texas Observer. She holds a degree in journalism and a certificate in human rights and social justice from the Un [...] Read full article: Acacia Coronado...→

The Gentrification of Texas

As the cost of housing skyrockets, Texans are getting pushed out and left behind. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Read full article: The Gentrification of Texas...→

‘We Don’t Exist’: Texas Domestic Workers Fight for Inclusion in Labor Laws

Domestic workers already lacked contracts, wage protections, and health care benefits. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Read full article: ‘We Don’t Exist’: Texas Domestic Workers...→

Nick Yeager

Nick Yeager is an intern at the Observer and the author of the forthcoming guidebook 111 Places in Austin That You Must Not Miss. Read full article: Nick Yeager...→

A Freelance Writer’s Guide to the Texas Observer - The Texas Observer

The Texas Observer is an Austin-based nonprofit news organization known for fearless investigative reporting, narrative storytelling and sophisticated cultural [...] Read full article: A Freelance Writer’s Guide to the Texas ...→

With Storage Space Evaporating, the Oil and Gas Industry Will Get to Put Its Products Back Underground

The Railroad Commission has rolled back rules that once prohibited producers from storing liquid hydrocarbons in geological formations across the state, despit [...] Read full article: With Storage Space Evaporating, the Oil ...→

Home Wasn’t Safe. Then COVID-19 Made It Seem Like the Only Option.

Seeing a “disturbing” decrease in clients and callers amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, some domestic violence shelters in rural counties worry this is just t [...] Read full article: Home Wasn’t Safe. Then COVID-19 Made It ...→

Locked Out - The Texas Observer

Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or unproven [...] Read full article: Locked Out - The Texas Observer...→

In the COVID-19 Economy, Texas’ Commercial Fishermen Are Barely Treading Water

If restaurants crater, it’s unclear what that might mean for Lone Star commercial anglers. Will the tradition of small-scale fishing scrape by—or has the indus [...] Read full article: In the COVID-19 Economy, Texas’ Commerci...→

How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons

While prison officials insist they’re doing their best, Governor Greg Abbott has effectively ignored the pandemic inside the Texas prison system. Read full article: How COVID-19 Upended Texas Prisons...→

Texas Health Officials Undercount COVID-19 Cases by Excluding Some State Prisoners Who Tested Positive

The Observer identified at least nine Texas counties where prison cases make up more than 10 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the county. Read full article: Texas Health Officials Undercount COVID-...→

7 Texas Arts and Culture Causes to Consider on Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow. If you’re looking for causes to donate to, consider supporting the individuals and organizations that make Texas’ art, culture, and [...] Read full article: 7 Texas Arts and Culture Causes to Consi...→

Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ When COVID-19 Subsides?

In Texas, grocery employees labor for low wages and few benefits. Now they’re part of a nationwide struggle in which workers are fighting for their lives. Read full article: Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ W...→

Cartoonist Ben Sargent Takes on Trump's Coronavirus Response

The latest from editorial cartoonist Ben Sargent compares how presidents throughout U.S. history have responded to crises. Trump doesn't exactly stack up. Read full article: Cartoonist Ben Sargent Takes on Trump's ...→

Something in the Air

People in the Panhandle are getting sick from breathing fecal dust created by cattle feedlots—and the state isn’t doing much about it. Read full article: Something in the Air...→

Field Hospital Begins Construction in Matamoros Migrant Camp in Response to COVID-19

As cases in Mexico begin to surge and U.S. immigration offices remain closed, medical aid volunteers at a Matamoros migrant camp prepare for the worst while ho [...] Read full article: Field Hospital Begins Construction in Ma...→

Weird Texas News: Waco, Dripping Springs, El Paso, and More

A candy factory created the world’s largest chocolate bar, only to have the title stolen. “The Reese’s team believes records ... are meant to be broken.” Read full article: Weird Texas News: Waco, Dripping Springs...→

Underwater

Hit hard by flood after flood, people living in Rio Grande Valley colonias struggle to rebuild. Read full article: Underwater...→

What’s a Bookstore for?

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, booksellers were facing razor-thin margins, an uncertain future, and the threat of Am [...] Read full article: What’s a Bookstore for?...→

Sunny Sone

Sunny Sone is the engagement editor at the Texas Observer. You can contact them at sone@texasobserver.org. Read full article: Sunny Sone...→

City Nature Challenge Can Help Us Find Resilience and Mindfulness at Home

This year, researchers are asking residents to become citizen scientists in their own backyards in hopes of collecting vital data in otherwise overlooked areas [...] Read full article: City Nature Challenge Can Help Us Find R...→

Ben Sargent Takes on the Texas 'Stay Home' Protesters

Ben Sargent's latest editorial cartoon takes on the "stay home" protesters who demonstrated outside of the Texas Capitol in April 2020. Read full article: Ben Sargent Takes on the Texas 'Stay Hom...→

Texas Holds Some Prisoners in Solitary Confinement for Decades. How Did it Get This Way?

Texas has sent hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or if—they will ever get out. Read full article: Texas Holds Some Prisoners in Solitary C...→

Jason Buch

Jason Buch is an independent journalist based in Seattle. A native of Austin, Buch spent 10 years covering immigration and the Texas-Mexico border for Texas ne [...] Read full article: Jason Buch...→

DART Leaves Low-Income Residents Stranded

Dallas’ public transit system makes owning a car all but required. As the metroplex booms, low-income residents are shut out of jobs and services they need. Read full article: DART Leaves Low-Income Residents Strande...→

Amal Ahmed

Amal Ahmed is the summer 2019 editorial fellow at the Texas Observer, reporting on climate and the environment. Originally from Dallas, she has a journalism de [...] Read full article: Amal Ahmed...→

Texas Had a State Office That Could Have Investigated Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Cases. Lawmakers Defunded it Three Years Ago.

While early reports elsewhere show African Americans disproportionately infected and dying from COVID-19, Texas’ data is incomplete. Read full article: Texas Had a State Office That Could Have...→

Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatment

A national study examines whether plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients might provide a lifesaving treatment for those still suffering the worst symptoms Read full article: Houston Is Ground Zero for a Potentially...→

‘Cheer’ Takes an Overlooked Sport Off the Sidelines

"Cheer" reminds me of my time as a high school dancer: training for intense athletic competitions while being reduced to halftime entertainment. Read full article: ‘Cheer’ Takes an Overlooked Sport Off th...→

Greg Abbott’s Power Grab on Bail Reform

Abbott’s executive order blocking jail releases during a pandemic highlights conservative opposition to the growing movement to end wealth-based detention in T [...] Read full article: Greg Abbott’s Power Grab on Bail Reform...→

What One Texan Had to do to Get an Abortion During the Pandemic

Republican-controlled Texas is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the latest strategy in their anti-abortion playbook, and it’s affecting people’s lives. Read full article: What One Texan Had to do to Get an Abort...→

Thousands of Migrants in Matamoros Set to be Moved to a New Encampment, Advocates Say

According to camp volunteers, Mexican immigration officials plan to move migrants to an abandoned Matamoros soccer field as early as today. Read full article: Thousands of Migrants in Matamoros Set t...→

‘I’m in Limbo Here’: Texans Are Met with an Overwhelmed and Antiquated State Unemployment System

The safety net meant to support the second largest workforce in the country is using decades-old technology. The workforce agency was trying to replace it when [...] Read full article: ‘I’m in Limbo Here’: Texans Are Met with...→

Mike Kanin

Mike Kanin is the publisher of the Texas Observer. He has many years of media experience, including a role as the founding publisher of the nonprofit local dai [...] Read full article: Mike Kanin...→

On Whooping Cranes and COVID-19 - The Texas Observer

The whooping crane has faced a long recovery since it was first listed as an endangered species. The bird might be the sort of collective totem we need. Read full article: On Whooping Cranes and COVID-19 - The Te...→

Gene Wu on Coronavirus and the Rise in Attacks Against Asian Americans

State Representative Gene Wu on how comments from Trump, Cruz, and Cornyn inflame deep-seated prejudices against Asian Americans, further alienating them. Read full article: Gene Wu on Coronavirus and the Rise in A...→

How to Keep Homes Affordable—Permanently - The Texas Observer

Cities have largely struggled to protect affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods. The community land trust model offers an elegant solution. Read full article: How to Keep Homes Affordable—Permanently...→

Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerable and ‘Essential’

While white collar professionals work remotely, and laid-off service workers seek unemployment, construction laborers are still reporting to work sites. Read full article: Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerabl...→

Greg Abbott Delays and Defers COVID-19 Response - The Texas Observer

At a time when clear and decisive action is paramount, Governor Greg Abbott has delayed, deferred, and equivocated, likely costing lives. Read full article: Greg Abbott Delays and Defers COVID-19 R...→

As Texans are Exposed to Dangerous Pesticides, Lawmakers Aren't Doing Anything - The Texas Observer

In the interim between legislative sessions, Texas lawmakers on the House Agriculture Committee will have an opportunity to examine an important but under-the- [...] Read full article: As Texans are Exposed to Dangerous Pesti...→

Steven G. Kellman

Steven G. Kellman is the author of The Restless Ilan Stavans: Outsider on the Inside and American Suite. He teaches at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Read full article: Steven G. Kellman...→

Cartoon: On Dan Patrick's "Let's Get Back to Work" - The Texas Observer

Ben Sargent's latest takes on the Republicans like Dan Patrick who are urging the American public to go back to work—despite public health restrictions. Read full article: Cartoon: On Dan Patrick's "Let's Get Bac...→

Scientist Peter Hotez on Why Vaccine Development is ‘Critical to the Security of Our Nation’

Several years ago, Hotez and his colleagues developed a vaccine that may have prevented the new coronavirus—but they couldn’t get it funded. Read full article: Scientist Peter Hotez on Why Vaccine Dev...→

In a Pandemic, Poor Defendants Could Pay With Their Lives

COVID-19 lays bare the fundamental inequalities that a cash bond system creates, and highlights the unsafe conditions our jails and prisons have designed. Read full article: In a Pandemic, Poor Defendants Could Pay...→

‘Trust Me’ Tackles Politics, Power, and Perception

Austin author Richard Z. Santos’ debut thriller takes readers behind the scenes of corruption and scandal. Read full article: ‘Trust Me’ Tackles Politics, Power, and ...→

Mary Helen Specht

Mary Helen Specht is the author of Migratory Animals and teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Read full article: Mary Helen Specht...→

COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to House the Homeless

For myriad reasons, the homeless are likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19 and end up needing precious hospital beds. Read full article: COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to Hous...→

Loneliness in the Age of Coronavirus

As a single parent, I was already struggling with loneliness. Then the coronavirus hit. Read full article: Loneliness in the Age of Coronavirus...→

COVID-19 Could Be a ‘Double Whammy’ for Those in Pollution Hotspots

Texans who breathe polluted air are more likely to have preexisting health issues. That means they're at a higher risk of getting seriously ill from the corona [...] Read full article: COVID-19 Could Be a ‘Double Whammy’ for ...→