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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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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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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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