What a great start to our campaign, not that I had any doubt in our supporters. I hope the first message reminded you of the work we diligently deliver progressive, insightful investigative coverage.
Here are some of our top stories of the year:
- "GREG ABBOTT IS FULL OF SHIT" Senior Writer and Assistant Editor Gus Bova blames the governor for creating the conditions for school shootings to mushroom in Texas. The governor’s rhetoric, Bova writes, varies according to which way the wind is blowing. But the governor’s policy aims have never wavered, and they have led to more dead kids.
- "BIG SHOCK IN BIG BEND" Is a dried-up river still a river? "Today, more than 100 miles of Rio Grande riverbed are dry or hold stagnant water. At Santa Elena Canyon, one of the park’s most popular sights, visitors have gawked at the striking absence of water," writes contributor Dylan Baddour.
- "ANN RICHARDS’ LEGACY IS A LIGHT FOR DARK TIMES" It has been more than 30 years since a Democrat occupied Texas’ governor’s mansion. So what does The One Ann Only, the gorgeous new book compiled by the Ann Richards Legacy Project about the former governor, have going for it? A great deal, writes reviewer Julie Poole, including an “aura of hope” and, perhaps, guidance for Democrats running for statewide office today. But even with an introduction by Sarah Bird and an afterward from Mary Beth Rogers, the photography is always the star of the show, as was the governor herself.
- "THE MURDERER’S LITTLE BOY" "I want unfettered access to my grandson, who needs me," says Stephanie Johnson. "For six years, I've tried to respect the process, lay low, and let justice take its course. ... I think the story needs to be told." Courts prioritize the wishes of fathers—even abusive ones—over what's in the best interest of the children, freelance journalist Olivia Gentile reports in her first piece for the Observer.
- NEXT ON THE GOP’S LIST: STARVING QUEER KIDS The USDA’s school lunch program prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Naturally, indicted ar-right Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration to end it. Contributor Nancy Goldstein suggests that “The USDA suit provides an excellent opportunity to teach two key constituencies how to oppose it: The significant portion of the public that supports transgender people and their rights but hasn’t been sure how to counter the attacks, and similarly situated politicians.”
- "BIDEN IS STILL SEPARATING IMMIGRANT KIDS FROM THEIR FAMILIES The Observer brings you an exclusive investigation from Contributors John Washington and Anna-Catherine Brigida, who trace the stories of two children cleaved apart from their families by U.S. immigration. The drawing above was made by one of them, 11-year-old Felipe, who depicted himself behind bars in a jumpsuit. In the words of one source quoted in the story, “We said never again, but here we are.” President Joe Biden promised to end the Trump-era policy of separating families, but at this very moment, Felipe remains alone in immigrant detention as his family fights to be reunited.
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