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Texas On The Brink Report Has Great Value, But Lacks Steps We Can All Take For A Better Texas—TPA Round-Up

At the end of this post is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance Round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

With the round-up this week is a link to the fifth edition of the Texas On The Brink report.

Texas on the Brink details the social, economic, physical, and educational health of Texas. It is produced by the Legislative Study Group. The LSG is a caucus formed by Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives. Houston State Rep. Garnet Coleman is the Chair of the LSG. Mr. Coleman has been a leading voice in our legislature for a Texas that offers opportunity to all.

From the 2011 Texas on the Brink report—“Since 1836, Texas has stood as an icon of the American dream. Blessed with land, rivers, oil, and other abundant natural resources, early Texas welcomed everyone from cattle ranchers to braceros, from cotton farmers to Chinese railroad workers. These pioneers built a great state, and together we fulfilled a destiny. From humble beginnings, we built a state with the firm belief that every Texan might rise as high and as far as their spirit, hard work, and talent might carry them. With education and determination every Texan might achieve great success – home ownership, reliable healthcare, safe neighborhoods, and financial prosperity.

In Texas today, the American dream is distant. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured children in the nation. Texas is dead last in the percentage of residents with their high school diploma and near last in SAT scores. Texas has America’s dirtiest air. If we do not change course, for the first time in our history, the Texas generation of tomorrow will be less prosperous than the generation of today.”

The report details many things we know about Texas. We know Texas can be a rough place to live. We know some people don’t do well in Texas not because they don’t work hard, but because they are born into circumstances that can be tough to overcome. None of this is to suggest the report lacks value. We need to know specifics so that we can put the right policies in place for the future. The information in Texas on the Brink is essential for this purpose.

The only thing this important report lacks are suggestions for what average Texans can do to fight back and to make progress. As our legislature moves forth with planned brutal cuts in health and education, people need to know how they can effectively advocate for a better future for Texas. There is very little progressive infrastructure in our state. Many people are not accustomed to politics and protest.

We keep hearing the bad news in Texas. After a time that just wears folks down. What we also need to hear about is who to call, who to e-mail, when to show up and speak out, and when to protest.

Even in hard times, progress is always possible. It just that sometimes folks need some help and insight about how to make that progress.

Here is the TPA round-up—

This week on Left of College Station Congressman Bill Flores gives talking point answers to softball questions. Also, a look at the Republican attack on birthright citizenship both nationally and in Texas, and how Republicans are undermining Texas’ economic future by cutting education funding today. LoCS also covers the week in headlines.

Off the Kuff reads an op-ed about how the budget should be balanced and detects a shift in where the center of the debate is.

TXsharon at BLUEDAZE: Drilling Reform for Texas says “So what” to another attempt by the Big Gas Mafia to avoid regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Continue reading

February 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments