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Serving Veterans After Hurricane Harvey: Five Key Findings

By David McClendon / December 2, 2019

Last week, we released a new study, Serving Veterans After Hurricane Harvey, with our partners at Combined Arms examining the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast veteran population. Texas is home to nearly 1.5 million veterans and many felt the direct impact of the storm. Yet, two years later, we still needed to answer…

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Understanding the Property Tax Protest Industry of Houston

By Jeff Reichman / December 9, 2019

It’s a tough time of year for homeowners in Houston. In November, a letter arrives from the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector with next year’s property tax bill. Some people pay their taxes every month with their mortgage. Others, like me, end up writing a big check in January. But there’s some relief. The Harris County…

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Census 2020 Texas school districts featured image

How School Districts Can Help With Census 2020

By David McClendon / August 13, 2019

Census 2020 is critically important for determining how much money state and local governments receive from the federal government. That is a major reason why states and cities around the country have been worried about the citizenship question and the lack of census funding, which threaten an accurate count. For every person missed, states end…

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Do party precinct chairs increase voter turnout?

By Ben Herndon-Miller / June 6, 2019

The 2018 midterms were historic for the country, and for Harris County especially, with the highest recorded voter turnout for a midterm election. It even surpassed turnout numbers for two out of the last three Presidential elections. Any surge in voter turnout is typically the result of coordinated and sustained grassroots engagement. One of the…

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map of early vote locations in waller county texas

The Impact of Early Voting Locations in Waller County

By Nile Dixon / May 29, 2019

Michael West, a resident of Jefferson County, Kentucky, received a yellow card in the mail two weeks before Election Day notifying him that his polling place moved to an unfamiliar location. This change meant that he had to travel an additional mile to get to the polls. He believes that this change was enacted to…

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map of prohibited areas for AHF development in houston

Houston’s Housing Restrictions for People on Parole

By Jeff Reichman / June 14, 2019

Last year, the City of Houston passed an ordinance that regulated certain types of housing for people on parole. This ordinance includes regulations to promote safety, but it also includes a distance requirement that effectively prohibits new housing. Houston already lacks enough housing for people on parole, and this distance requirement only compounds the problem.…

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Finding 30,000 disenfranchised voters in Houston

By Jeff Reichman / April 7, 2019

In 48 states, a felony conviction means that you lose the right to vote. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on your state. During the 2018 election, Florida pushed this issue into the national spotlight with a state constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to felons. It passed with two-thirds of the vote. Texas,…

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human trafficking by legislative district

How to Fight Human Trafficking with Data

By David McClendon / April 25, 2019

We recently did a webinar with Jamey Caruthers, senior staff attorney at Children At Risk, about how to use data to fight human trafficking. Human trafficking is a huge problem in Texas, especially in Houston, and Children At Risk is leading the charge in helping to write and pass laws that increase penalties for perpetrators while…

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Making Texas Hard to Count: Citizenship & Census 2020

By David McClendon / February 21, 2019

If you’ve been keeping up with the Census, you’ve probably heard about communities that are “hard to count” or “hardest to count.” It’s true that the Census has a hard time getting responses from certain populations, and there are some households the Census never tracks down at all. But is it really fair to label…

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Ranked choice voting could save millions of dollars for Texas cities

By Jeff Reichman / February 5, 2019

Around the country, there are calls to reform our election process. Activists want to ensure that the outcomes of elections properly reflect the will of the people. Because elections are administered at the local level, this results in experiments in radical democracy in likely and unlikely places. Ranked choice voting is one of those experiments…

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