Texas Matters

Fridays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 a.m., and Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 20 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

On this Labor Day, a look back to 50 years ago – a labor fight, a strike and a legendary march for better wages, improved working conditions and human dignity for farm workers.

On June 1, 1966, farm workers in Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley, virtually all of them Latino, left the melon fields.

They did the unimaginable and went on strike.

They were demanding a $25 dollar-an-hour wage, and improved working conditions, including clean drinking water.

From Texas Standard:

When Sam Espinosa was a kid, it took a while for Austin Independent School District to learn he was homeless.

"My mom is a fairly private person – she was never one to let anyone else into,  you know, what we were going through," Espinosa says.

So, Sam and his five siblings became fairly good at pretending they had a place to live.

 


From Texas Standard:

Along with other Texas lawmakers,  state Rep. Diego Bernal, a Democrat from San Antonio, has been getting an earful from all sides on problems with public education in Texas.

But rather than taking someone else's word for it, he did what no other lawmaker has yet to do – he visited every single school in his district, 55 in all.

 


Singer/songwriter Lila Downs uses the traditions and iconography of Mexico to create musical landscapes depicting the great diversity of her homeland.

She weaves native music of Mexico with modern day styles including rock, blues, mariachi and cumbia.

Throughout her career Downs has received several awards, including a Grammy, a number of Latin Grammys. She has developed a global audience of dedicated listeners who are as drawn to her for her unique music as for her activism on social issues – calling for humanitarian responses  

From Texas Standard:

Jeff Wood was supposed to die this week.

He was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of a convenience store clerk, even though it's been well established that he never killed anyone. A friend of his killed a Kerrville gas station clerk in a botched robbery and Wood was waiting in a truck outside the store.

He was still held accountable for the crime under the Texas' law of parties. Similar to laws of accomplice liability in other states, Texas law says that anyone who "solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense" is criminally liable as well.

But on Friday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed Wood's execution. The court ordered that his case should be re-tried – not because of any issue with the law of parties, but because of potentially flawed testimony from a psychiatrist nicknamed Dr. Death.

 


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