Five stories that have North Texas talking: Donald Trump, Jr. was in town; Texas has to redraw its political maps; for this Dallas painter, homelessness is temporary, but necessary; and more.
Donald Trump, Jr. was in town this weekend for the Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day fundraising dinner. More than 900 people attended the event Saturday evening inside the Omni Hotel while a couple dozen anti-Trump protesters rallied outside, KERA's Stella Chávez reports.
Trump's eldest son praised Texas voters and political leaders — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in particular — for supporting his father’s successful presidential bid. Trump said, "Texas came through for us," and then added, "Texas came through for this country."
Among other Republican leaders, Sen. Ted Cruz addressed the crowd Saturday. He talked about the Republican Party’s four priorities this year: regulatory reform, tax reform, school choice legislation and health care. He said repealing the Affordable Care Act is the first step in health care reform.
— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) March 12, 2017
Dallas County Republican officials said the annual Reagan Day dinner raised more than $500,000 and that three-fourths of that money came from new donors. [KERA News, The Associated Press]
- Texas must redraw the the political maps it most recently used for the 2016 elections. A panel of federal judges ruled 2-1 Friday that some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act. The Texas Tribune reports: “In its decision Friday, the court still found that ‘mapdrawers acted with an impermissible intent to dilute minority voting strength or otherwise violated the Fourteenth Amendment’ of the Constitution.” The 166-page ruling by the San Antonio-based district was the latest in a case that dates back to 2011. [The Texas Tribune]
- Texas is poised to spend $2.5 billion on urban highway projects, including one in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Texas Transportation Commission is set to vote this month on its 10-year plan for upcoming road projects, The Texas Tribune reports. Included in that is a $2.5 billion, four-year plan specifically aimed at relieving congestion in urban areas. In Dallas, there are plans to improve the LBJ Freeway from Miller Road to Interstate 30 for $437.7 million. In Fort Worth, $370 million would be allocated to rebuild at State Highway 121 from State Highway 114 to Dallas County line. See all of the potential projects. [The Texas Tribune]
- For Dallas artist Edwin Fuller, homelessness is just a temporary – but necessary – part of his journey. Edwin Fuller is a painter in the Stewpot Art Program, which provides free art classes and supplies to the homeless and at-risk populations in Dallas. Fuller studied art in at the University of Colorado Boulder and moved to Dallas in 2011 to pursue art as a real career. “Everything costs something. I want to be an artist, so it’s going to cost me a few years of starving,” he said. “I’m willing to give up everything to be an artist, so whatever suffering I have to do, I’m willing to pay for it.” Meet Fuller in the latest Artist Spotlight. [Art&Seek]
- For those not attending South by Southwest, keep up with dispatches from Art&Seek. Reporters covered ground at the film and interactive portions of the annual Austin festival over the weekend. A few highlights: When Austin director Terrence Malick makes a movie, he doesn’t have much use for a script. “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong,” a film shot in Fort Worth, made its debut on Saturday and will come to Dallas next month. Two industrial designers are exploring an important question: How do we teach computers to design using emotion? And researchers are saying well-designed public spaces spawn civic engagement. [Art&Seek]