In Texas, opportunity isn’t the same for everyone – despite our state’s wealth. Texans are working hard to support their families and contribute to our state, but millions lack access to affordable health care, healthy food, a quality education, and good jobs. Policies that favor profits over people created these systemic gaps, which left Texans more vulnerable when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
We’re proud to share our new report, Toward an Equitable Economic Recovery for Every Texan.
Although Texas boasts one of the largest economies in the country, approximately 15% of Texans were living at or below the federal poverty line in 2018. Latinx and Black Texans were more likely to experience poverty (at 18.6% and 18.7% respectively), and Asian and white Texans less likely (at 9.2% and 8% respectively). Texas has the worst uninsured rate in the country. Almost 1 in 5 Texans were uninsured in 2019. But within racial and ethnic populations, 11% of white, 15% of Black, and 29% of Latinx Texans were uninsured. This disparity, rooted in historic and systemic racial inequality, also appears in pre-COVID unemployment rates. In 2019, 5.3% of Black Texans were unemployed and 4% of Latinx Texans were unemployed, with only 3.2% of white Texans were unemployed.
At Every Texan, we envision a Texas where people of all backgrounds can contribute to and share in the prosperity of our state. We advance social justice through public policy because it is one of the most effective ways to deliver strategic and systemic change. Through fact-based public policy, Every Texan is rewriting the rules to build a more just and equitable Texas.
Our work has never been more critical. Every Texan is leading on the front lines, with short-term policy solutions to save lives and livelihoods during the pandemic, and a long-term policy road map to reverse systemic inequities and ensure every Texan can thrive.
What Policy Solutions Will Lead to an Equitable Recovery?
- Fully fund statewide health systems
- Remove financial barriers to COVID testing
- Close private health insurance loopholes
- Pursue federal funds to expand health coverage eligibility
Work and Financial Security Policy
- Ensure access to paid leave
- Reform unemployment insurance
- Stop worker misclassification
- Increase wages
- Maintain and strengthen commitment to supporting students
- Expand child care access
- Ensure debt and lending fairness
Equitable Tax Policy
- Improve property tax appraisals
- Disclose sales prices
- Implement “equal and uniform” appeals
Read more about these policy solutions in our new report, Toward an Equitable Economic Recovery for Every Texan.
In Texas, opportunity isn’t the same for everyone — but we can use public policy to build a more just and equitable future for every Texan. Through fully funding our public health systems, ensuring workers have access to paid leave, reforming tax policies, and more, we can make sure Texas’ hard-working families will not face long-term economic setbacks, and are able to thrive even in a pandemic.