Houston Matters

Black, White, Male, Female, Gay, Straight — How Do Labels Define You?

Posted on · Identity and labels have been at the heart of a lot of our political and social discourse in recent years. From identity politics to racial strife to equal rights and religious liberty, there are any number of major issues and ideas affecting Greater Houston that tend to begin with labels about race, ethnicity, gender and […]

Full Show

Pre-K Funding, Labels, and Restaurant Weeks: Wednesday’s show (August 3, 2016)

Posted on · Back in 2015, lawmakers set aside some $130 million over two years for some pre-K programs in the state. But did House Bill 4 go far enough? The Austin-based think tank the Center for Public Policy Priorities recently suggested that, while research shows positive results for state-supported pre-K programs, Texas regularly receives low marks for […]

Full Show

Dueling Visions for Houston’s Pensions: Tuesday’s Show (June 28, 2016)

Posted on · Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has thus far insisted that however the city's pension woes are resolved won't include changing from a defined benefits to a defined compensation system. On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore the differences between the two structures. We also consider what each means for city employees and why the mayor […]

Full Show

City Regulations and Flooding: Wednesday’s Show (May 4, 2016)

Posted on · A local activist group called Residents Against Flooding lays blame for our recent woes not on Mother Nature but on bad permitting, variance approvals and other decisions. On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore the role city regulations and policies might play in flooding. Houston Matters‘ Paige Phelps talks with Ed Browne and Cynthia […]

Houston Matters

Why Were Racial Categories Created And Why Do They Persist Today? 

Posted on · Schools, surveys and other institutions often ask participants to check off a box on how they identify themselves. These racial categories include Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian and White. But Al Martinez argues these categories are outdated and should be modified. He's a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and he recently […]

Full Show

Indicted in Office in Texas: Tuesday’s Show (February 2, 2016)

Posted on · If politics is indeed the art of the possible, does that possibility lessen when you’re under indictment? With Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton facing this reality, we explore the history of elected officials in Texas in charge while being charged on this edition of Houston Matters. We welcome your questions for Brandon Rottinghaus, an associate […]

Houston Matters

Rethinking Why Men and Women Choose Certain Professions

Posted on · A recent data report from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates nearly 69 percent of workers are in occupations dominated by one gender or the other. We talk with Rice University Assistant Professor of Sociology Erin Cech, who has sought to find out what’s behind that statistic, and whether preconceived notions about what motivates […]

Full Show

Crude Oil Exports and Real Estate: Thursday’s Show (January 14, 2016)

Posted on · Brent Crude Oil — a major benchmark for worldwide oil prices — dropped below $30 a barrel Wednesday (Jan. 13, 2016) for the first time in more than a decade, a day after West Texas Intermediate crude — the U.S. benchmark — fell below the same threshold. Meanwhile, with a glut of oil production, sparked […]

Full Show

Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Megachurches: Thursday’s Show (January 7, 2016)

Posted on · On the road, at work, at school, at home — we, our friends, neighbors, co-workers and loved ones average less than seven hours of sleep each weekday. That's a lot of sleep-deprived Houstonians. And we're not just tired, we're inattentive, less productive, and it's not good for us. That's why every six months or so, […]

Full Show

Living in the Community You Serve: Friday’s Show (October 16, 2015)

Posted on · Recently, the Houston City Council contemplated whether to pay police officers more money to live in the city and closer to the communities they serve. Council members shelved the topic after struggling to find common ground. It’s not a new concept, and not unique to law enforcement. Some propose it’s beneficial for educators to live […]

Full Show

Making Houston More Bike Friendly: Tuesday’s Show (July 7, 2015)

Posted on · A couple weeks back, cyclists staged a "die-in" outside Houston’s City Hall, to send a message to the City Council that cyclists need safer roads and that motorists need to be held accountable for bike-related accidents, especially in light of four bicycle-related fatalities that occurred over a recent three-week period. The demonstration outside City Hall […]