Author: Robert Arjet

Criminal Justice Reform Panel

On Monday, February 22, as part of the 2016 Barbara Jordan Forum, Citizens for Local and State Service (CLASS) sponsored a panel of elected officials representing city, county, and state government who addressed the topic of “Criminal Justice Reform in Central Texas.” The panel consisted of Kathie Tovo, Austin City Council member for District 9; state representative Joe Moody of El Paso, and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. Judge Eckhardt proposed that we have criminalized social and public health issues – everything from drugs and alcohol to the dissolution of families and the inability to care for children. She...

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Legislators Discuss Guns and Police Conduct at the Texas Tribune Festival

Photo Credit: The Texas Tribune The Texas Tribune Festival’s panel on “Justice and the Legislature” featured a Texas state representatives with a diversity of opinions on topics including gun control and police violence against citizens. On the recent passage of open carry laws and the expansion of concealed carry, Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) was blunt in his support, saying that “an armed citizenry is the best way to keep ourselves safe.” Harold Dutton Jr. (D-Houston; Chairman of the House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee) disagreed. Referring to the poor sections of east central Houston that he represents, he told...

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Roseburg and Sandy Hook are Not the Problem

The mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, was a horrible, tragic event. Mass shootings like that reach across the country and tear at our hearts with their senseless and brutal loss of life. They are terrifying, and there is no question that they should not be happening. However, they are not the problem. They are certainly a problem, but when it comes to firearms deaths in this country, they are not the problem. Not even remotely. This seems like heresy to a generation that grew up doing lockdown drills in the wake of Columbine, but the fact is that Roseburg-style...

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Reich Delivers Message of Optimism and Caution to LBJ School

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich struck a cautiously optimistic note when he spoke at the LBJ School as part of the Liz Carpenter Lecture Series on Tuesday, September 8th. Although Reich was quick to catalogue the challenges facing the United States economy, he sketched out ways that US workers—and not just corporations—can thrive in the new global economy. Reich, formerly the Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton and currently a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, led off with what would be his two main themes for the evening: structural changes to the economy and the resulting question...

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