State Legislatures Are Now Targeting Health Care for Transgender Adults

Originally published by The 19th. Lawmakers in at least eight states used the last two months of 2022 to prefile anti-transgender bills ahead of state legislative sessions convening this month — setting up another year of statehouse battles over trans rights, while targeting health care for trans adults in new ways. Most states moving early on anti-trans bills focused on banning gender-affirming… Source Source / Read More: State Legislatures Are Now Targeting Health Care for Transgender Adults

Progressives Must Not Concede School Board Elections to the Right

During the 2022 midterm elections, I joined a group of central Texas parents, teachers, administrators and social activists who were determined to do whatever it took to elect progressive school board candidates over conservative zealots. And we won. All five Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) candidates endorsed by Access Education, a progressive, community-based political action… Source Source / Read More: Progressives Must Not Concede School Board Elections to the Right

Texas AG Ken Paxton Asked Agency to Compile List of Trans Residents in the State

This past summer, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to do a sweeping search of its database to provide him with names of individuals who, over the past two years, changed their gender on their driver’s licenses and other records. To some, the search appears to be a clear request to find out who in the state is a… Source Source / Read More: Texas AG Ken Paxton Asked Agency to Compile List of Trans Residents in the State

The 2020 BLM Uprising Lives On in Houston’s Struggle Against Police Violence

The demonstrators repeatedly chanted “Oh sh*t!” outside the Texas District Attorney’s Office. These were the words spoken by Houston police officer Shane Privette after he just killed 29-year-old Jalen Randle. Just moments prior body camera footage also picked up Privette’s chilling declaration, “He ain’t gonna live to leave this neighborhood.” That protest on May 27, and many others like it, demanding “Justice for Jalen” have been called by Jalen’s father and mother, Warren Randle and Tiffany Rachal, with the grassroots support of Pleasantville, a historically Black neighborhood in Houston, where Jalen had lived with his family. “It’s overwhelming,” Randle told…

Greg Abbott Is Still Prosecuting Migrants Under a Bogus Disaster Declaration

Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis’s callous and politically motivated transport of immigrants to various “liberal bastions” in the U.S. received a great deal of national attention after thousands of immigrants were bused to New York City, Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses. However, less notice has been given to Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s coordinated $4 billion effort to deter and prosecute migrants in south Texas. Since the program began in 2021, thousands of migrants have been prosecuted for enhanced crimes under a bogus disaster declaration. In 2010, when Arizona passed SB 1070 — the “Show Me Your…

Texas Court Decision Threatens ACA Coverage of Preventive Medical Services

A federal judge’s ruling in Texas has thrown into question whether millions of insured Americans will continue to receive some preventive medical services, such as cancer screenings and drugs that protect people from HIV infection, without making a copayment. It’s the latest legal battle over the Affordable Care Act, and Wednesday’s ruling is almost certain to be appealed. A key part of the ruling by Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas says one way that preventive services are selected for the no-cost coverage is unconstitutional. Another portion of his ruling says a…

Mass Drowning of Migrants in Rio Grande Spurs Calls for Immigration Reform

Advocates on Saturday urged Congress to pass immigration reforms after at least nine migrants drowned while attempting to cross the swollen Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas earlier this week. According to reports, 37 migrants were rescued while trying to ford the surging river near Eagle Pass on Thursday, while eight other people are missing. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Rick Pauza said in a statement that federal and local authorities continue to search for possible survivors. CBP said that U.S. authorities arrested 53 migrants at the scene, while their Mexican counterparts apprehended 39 others. “My heart goes…

Austin Schools Will Now Offer Free Pads and Tampons: Period Equity Is Expanding

Originally published by The 19th. When Austin public school students return to classes this month, they will find a new amenity awaiting them in the bathrooms: dispensers of free maxi pads and tampons. Over the summer, Austin Independent School District spent about $85,000 on dispensers and $70,000 on the first batch of menstrual products to provide to students at no cost. Austin is the state’s fifth-largest district and joins Fort Worth, which will also offer supplies to students for free this fall, following a decision Dallas schools made last year. The Texas districts join a national movement toward period equity,…

Outraged Uvalde Residents Rise Up Against Local Fundraiser for NRA

A fundraising event planned by charity for National Rifle Association (NRA) in Hondo Texas, some 40 miles away from the Robb Elementary School shooting, was canceled after relatives of the victims demanded that the Hondo City Council nix the fundraiser. The Hondo City Council voted 4-to-1 on Monday to deny Friends of the NRA, the foundation that planned the fundraiser, a space for the event in the city’s Medina Fair Hall after relatives protested the affair. “It is a slap in the face to all of Uvalde, especially the ones that lost a loved one, some of us being here…

Hundreds of Thousands of Incarcerated People Are in Danger Amid Scorching Heat

This summer is set to be among the top 10 hottest on record with heat waves melting roads across Europe, causing thousand-acre fires in Texas and California, scorching people across the globe. Across the country, as temperatures soar, people behind bars describe feeling as if they are melting or being baked alive in units that frequently lack air conditioning or cooling mechanisms. Temperatures in parts of Texas have soared to over 100 degrees every day for the past week — with no relief in sight. The state has the tenth-highest incarceration rate in the nation, with 840 of every 100,000…

Texas Republican Seeks to Limit HIV Medication Access After Winning Abortion Ban

A prominent conservative lawyer who crafted the Texas bounty hunter anti-abortion law that kickstarted the judicial path to overturning Roe v. Wade has filed a new lawsuit aimed at limiting access to preventative HIV medications known as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Jonathan Mitchell, a former Republican solicitor general of Texas and now-private lawyer who has spent years seeking to restrict abortion access, same sex marriage and same sex intercourse, argues in his new lawsuit on behalf of Christian clients that free access to PrEP, as mandated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a violation of religious freedoms. The…

Charity That Backs Trump’s Election Lies Has Ties to the Texas Attorney General

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is pretty familiar with Catherine Engelbrecht. He’s been a guest on her podcast, chatting about their shared passion: rooting out voter fraud. They both have gone to great lengths to try to support former President Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen. And when Engelbrecht, founder of the nonprofit True the Vote, has found herself in hot water, Paxton’s office has turned out to be a helpful ally. Most recently, a state judge sided with Engelbrecht’s argument that it should be Paxton’s office — not a court — that should probe allegations made…