Juan Pablo Garnham / The Texas Tribune | KERA News

Juan Pablo Garnham / The Texas Tribune

Urban Affairs Reporter

Juan Pablo Garnham reports on urban affairs for the Texas Tribune and is based in Dallas. In the past, he worked as senior producer for the podcast In The Thick, editor of CityLab Latino and City Hall reporter for El Diario in New York. He has also taught at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He is from Santiago, Chile. Read more about Juan Pablo.

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Health care workers collect coronavirus tests at a drive-thru site in the Fifth Ward in Houston.
Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune

As Texas grapples with soaring coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, local elected officials in some of the state’s most populous counties are asking Gov. Greg Abbott to roll back business reopenings and allow them to reinstate stay-at-home orders for their communities in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

In the past month, Texas' most populous cities have been tallying their losses. Dallas' analysts are predicting that the current year's revenue will be at least $33 million below previous estimates.

The economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic has left some of Texas’ biggest cities facing a difficult choice: cutting services like libraries, pools and parks, or raising taxes on their residents in the middle of the worst economy in a generation.

Dallas police officers during a march against the death of George Floyd on May 29.
Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Ten of Dallas' 15 City Council members appear supportive of pulling money from the police department and reallocating it toward community investments, as nationwide calls for "defunding" law enforcement grow in the wake of historic protests against police brutality.

Clockwise from top left: Alessandro Golinelli, Francesca Golinelli, Alexander Golinelli, Luz de María Gonzalez and Claudia Golinelli outside their home.
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

The moment Alexander Golinelli calls every evening to say he's almost home, his wife, Claudia Golinelli, springs into action.

She brings a clean T-shirt, a clean pair of shorts and flip-flops to the garage for her husband, whose work as an electrician potentially exposes him to the coronavirus while he's in people's homes and businesses. 

An apartment complex in Pasadena.
Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Phoenix Morgaine doesn't want to move, but a “for rent” sign has been in the front yard of her Belton home for more than a month. Her landlord had already left a notice to vacate in her door at the start of April. As the coronavirus pandemic swept across Texas, her pet-sitting business almost fully stopped, and she was making a third of what she normally earned.

The coronavirus has spread in the Texas Panhandle, where a workforce of Hispanics and immigrants power several meatpacking plants.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

More than 700 new coronavirus cases were reported in the Amarillo region Saturday, as results from targeted testing at meatpacking plants came in.

exterior photo of apartment building surrounded by a fence
Loren Elliott / For The Texas Tribune

Evictions and debt collection proceedings can resume in Texas next week, the Texas Supreme Court has ordered, after the court temporarily put both on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dallas City Hall

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced Friday morning that 500 municipal employees will be furloughed through at least July 31 as the city faces economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Customers visited La Gran Plaza in Fort Worth on May 1, the first day shopping malls, restaurants, retail outlets and movie theaters were allowed to reopen.
Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

As Texas restaurants and retail stores began welcoming customers back through their doors last week, a few dozen people walking the hallways of this city's normally bustling La Gran Plaza shopping mall passed reopened stores whose windows featured quinceañera dresses, Mexican ranchero boots and cellphones. 

close up of past due rent notice
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Shanice Al Khlifat’s day-to-day life has become a series of efforts to hang on. The 28-year-old is trying to find a stable job after losing two since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the economy: one as a dispatcher at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and another at a call center.

Drone photo of an empty parking lot at the Barton Creek Mall in Austin.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas will allow some businesses — like retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls — to open as early as Friday, with new rules outlined by the governor's taskforce.

exterior photo of apartment building surrounded by a fence
Loren Elliott / For The Texas Tribune

The Texas Supreme Court extended the moratorium on eviction procedures until May 18, offering a few more weeks of relief to renters otherwise expected to cough up payments at the beginning of the month.

Experts are concerned for the short- and long-term housing stability of the 1.7 million renters in Texas.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Texans living in more than 8,800 rental properties can now find out if they are protected from eviction proceedings and financial penalties for not paying housing costs as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy. 

Mark Felix / Texas Tribune

Carly Eaves had to choose between paying for food or covering the electricity bill. She chose food.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors, new home listings of single-family homes decreased 4.8% last month when compared with March 2019. But, at the same time, home prices increased 3.6%.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

As Texans adjust to life under orders to stay at home during the new coronavirus pandemic — and scramble to cover expenses with incomes that were drastically cut or abruptly shut off — housing and real estate experts say it’s hard to predict what the parallel public health and economic crises will do to home values and sales.

empty street in Austin
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

While city leaders in Texas are trying to slow down the novel coronavirus pandemic, their financial officers are already warning about the damage a new economic recession will have on local budgets.

Duy Vu / For The Texas Tribune

Commuters in the historically low-income neighborhood of West Dallas have adapted their morning routines to new bus routes since August. That’s when Dallas Area Rapid Transit, North Texas’ largest public transit agency, redrew two lines that used to zigzag through the residential area to instead run mainly along major streets farther from many residents’ doorsteps.

New apartment building
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The percentage of Texans who rent instead of own their homes is rising at a faster rate than the state’s population. So, too, is the number of households spending more than 30% of their income on rental housing costs.

Daneille Tooker canvassed encampments in Dallas near Malcom X Boulevard and Interstate 30 on Thursday. The Point in Time Count attempts to capture data about homelessness through an interview with and observation of each individual.
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Just after 9 p.m. Thursday night in a muddy, undeveloped lot blocks from downtown Dallas’ interchange of Interstates 30 and 45, Kris Oliver kneeled in front of a half-opened tent.

He could barely see the faces of two people inside. With a calm and cautious voice, he started asking a long list of questions that he read from his cellphone.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered the Department of Public Safety to increase patrols in downtown Austin and around the University of Texas starting Monday, in the wake of two recent stabbings involving people who are homeless.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / For The Texas Tribune

Twice last year, Gov. Greg Abbott drew ire from Austin city officials when he suggested that crimes were the result of the city's new approach to homelessness, in which it has relaxed ordinances prohibiting camping or otherwise posting up in public spaces.

homeless shelter in Abilene
Gary Rhodes / For The Texas Tribune

No one knew Billy Ray “Shaggy” Hagen was homeless until the janitor arrived early one morning and saw him sleeping on the floor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Homeless Austin residents under the Ben White bridge at Lamar Avenue in South Austin last month.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Austin leaders and state officials for months have sparred over how to manage homelessness and support Texans without homes. After the Austin City Council softened its regulations on panhandling, sitting and sleeping in public areas, Gov. Greg Abbott criticized local leaders, cleared homeless encampments under highways and opened up a state-owned plot of land in Montopolis for people experiencing homelessness to stay in.

Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

At 1 a.m. Oct. 11, 52-year-old Sylvia Figeroa lost control of her sedan in Lubbock. At 8 a.m. in Midland County, 44-year-old Gerardo Pérez couldn’t stop in time and collided with a semi towing a tractor. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Joseph Lewis is 62, but has no trouble remembering the address where he spent the first years of his life: 1221 East 30th St. But if you head to that Independence Heights neighborhood address today, you won’t find his home.

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP

The murder conviction of a white woman who was a police officer when she killed an unarmed black man in his own home — and the 10-year prison sentence a jury gave her Wednesday — each drew different reactions in a city whose history is rife with tensions between law enforcement and communities of color.

Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a longtime Republican, joined a bipartisan group of U.S. mayors Monday who met with President Donald Trump's senior advisors to push for tighter gun control laws. She was the only mayor from Texas, which has seen two deadly mass shootings in recent weeks.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Hurricane Harvey took everything from Vanessa: furniture, beds, her car. Even the walls of her Houston apartment fell after the flood. An undocumented Mexican mother who prefers to remain anonymous given her citizenship status, she ended up temporarily living in a friend’s empty home. She slept on the floor with her husband, who is a U.S. citizen, and four kids, three of whom were born in America.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Just a couple of months ago, Steve Harrell got a ticket just for sitting in downtown Austin. It was around 4:30 p.m. and he was among a group of other people experiencing homelessness when a police officer approached, pointed at him and issued the citation, he told officials at an Austin City Council meeting last month.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

During this year’s legislative session, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was among scores of city leaders who actively opposed yet another series of attempts by state officials to limit how much money local governments collect. But with lawmakers determined to reform the local property tax process, she and other mayors had little luck fighting off what many city officials considered attacks on local control.