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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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Why Houston Will Be Hard to Count in Census 2020

By David McClendon / November 30, 2018

Counting people is vital to our democracy. Every ten years, the US government has a constitutional obligation to conduct a census that counts everyone living in the United States. This count determines how many Congressional representatives each state receives, the levels of Federal funding for state and local governments and federal programs, and serves as…

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Map of Bills Filed by the 86th Texas Legislature (2019)

By Jeff Reichman / November 20, 2018

The elections are over, but things are just getting started in Texas. The 86th Texas Legislature convenes in the beginning of 2019, and newly-elected House and Senate members are already filing legislation. Two years ago, we built a map of bills filed for the 85th session. This year, you’ll notice the maps got an upgrade.…

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Did Late Openings at Nine Polling Locations in Harris County Affect Voter Turnout?

By David McClendon / November 13, 2018

The “blue wave” of the 2018 midterm elections crashed into Harris County last Tuesday with unprecedented voter turnout for a non-presidential election year. Countywide, voter turnout was up from 34% in 2014 to 52%, according to unofficial counts. That’s more than 520,000 additional ballots than in 2014. Yet, despite high turnout, nine polling locations failed…

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houston broadband accessibility map

How Houston (and Texas) Can Improve Broadband Competition

By Jeff Reichman / January 8, 2018

Last week, I published an article outlining what the City of Houston can do to promote broadband competition. I was responding to a group of citizens who came to Houston’s city council public comment session and asked our elected officials to do something about net neutrality. While the City of Houston can’t do much about…

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minimum lot size restrictions third ward houston

Minimum Lot Size in Houston: Maps to Protect Your Block

By Jeff Reichman / January 14, 2018

A few weeks ago, I attended a civic club meeting where we talked about minimum lot size restrictions. Many of my neighbors were concerned about townhouse developments in the neighborhood, and the City of Houston Planning Department was on hand to teach us how to apply for minimum lot size protection. Minimum lot size restrictions…

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Evictions in Houston After Harvey

By Jeff Reichman / May 16, 2018

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey, everyone in Houston figured that evictions were going to be a problem. There was a lot of media coverage about evictions of vulnerable populations, including some heart-wrenching stories about low income tenants and elderly residents of a Harris County subsidized living facility. The Mayor of Houston pushed back, asking private landlords…

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Automatic Data Screening for Collaborative for Children

By Niha Pereira / June 5, 2018

Investing in quality early childcare is a powerful economic development strategy that directly affects the quality and productivity of our future workforce. The long-term benefits of investing in quality early child care programs, like Texas Rising Stars, far exceeds the yield of return on most public projects that are considered economic development. -Karla Cisneros, Houston…

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Top Five Books to Boost Deep Understanding of Data Visualization

By Neeraj Tandon / September 21, 2018

I’m often asked about book recommendations for folks getting started in data visualization. A lot of excellent resources can be found online, and I list a few below, but there are a handful of physical books on my shelf that have built a foundation for the way I visually communicate and interpret data. Advice to…

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