Gus Bova

Gus Bova writes about the Texas-Mexico border, immigration, labor, politics, and occasionally other topics. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @gusbova
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, a worker restocks products at a grocery store in Dallas, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Economy

Will Grocery Workers Still Be ‘Heroes’ When COVID-19 Subsides?

In Texas, grocery employees labor for low wages and few benefits. Now they’re part of a nationwide struggle in which workers are fighting for their lives.

For Joshua Cano, every cough “sounded like a gunshot.” Twenty-four years old, Cano works as a vitamin clerk at a Sprouts grocery store in the Texas border city of McAllen. For all of March, Cano says, he was working without … Read More

Economy

State Employees Criticize Texas’ Uneven Approach to Worker Safety Amid COVID-19

A slow, patchwork response to COVID-19 has jeopardized worker safety for some of Texas’ lowest-paid public employees.

Last week, an El Paso TV station broke the news: A longtime worker at the city’s state-run psychiatric center had died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. It was, according to the Texas State Employees Union (TSEU), the first confirmed death … Read More

Rachel Schuyler
Health Care

From Jail to the Streets: One Texan’s Story During COVID-19

The homeless are 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than the rest of the population.

With the novel coronavirus upending society, Rachel Schuyler felt like a sitting duck. At the Bexar County lockup in downtown San Antonio, she lacked supplies like hand sanitizer and cringed each time a dormmate coughed. On April 3, she was … Read More

The redevelopment of Alazán-Apache is one of multiple projects looking to land on the West Side.
News, News, The Issue

Mi Barrio No Se Vende

San Antonio is planning to demolish its oldest and largest public housing project, threatening the future of a deeply historic neighborhood—one that anchors the city’s identity as the nation’s Mexican American capital.

Mi Barrio No Se Vende San Antonio is planning to demolish its oldest and largest public housing project, threatening the future of a deeply historic neighborhood—one that anchors the city’s identity as the nation’s Mexican American capital. By Gus Bova … Read More

In this Feb. 20, 2019, photo a worker carries interior doors to install in a just completed new home in north Dallas. On Wednesday, March 13, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in January. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Economy

Construction Workers Labor on, Vulnerable and ‘Essential’

While white collar professionals work remotely, and laid-off service workers seek unemployment, construction laborers are still reporting to job sites.

On Wednesday morning, as America’s COVID-19 death count neared 5,000 and workers flooded state agencies with a record-shattering deluge of unemployment claims, business carried on as usual at the site of a future soccer stadium in North Austin.  Dozens of … Read More

Human Rights

COVID-19 Reveals the Urgent Need to House the Homeless

As state and local governments scramble to provide the homeless access to rooms in order to save them (and us) from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth keeping one eye on the future. 

For weeks, advocates and news outlets have been sounding the alarm: The homeless are profoundly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease is a new and urgent problem that demands emergency solutions, but the crisis should also etch into our … Read More

Health Care

The COVID-19 Crisis Points the Way Toward a Better Texas

Once the virus passes, there's no reason to let the powerful return peacefully to business as usual.

The time has come for progressives to exploit a crisis for political gain.  As the novel coronavirus sweeps across America, it isn’t tanking an otherwise healthy country; it’s exposing our society for the wobbly tower of inequity and brutishness it … Read More

paid sick leave
Texas Politics

With Paid Leave Policies, Texas Cities Tried to Prepare for Coronavirus

Too many Texas workers can’t stay home when they’re sick. Two years ago, a movement tried to change that.

As the coronavirus spread across the nation late last week, U.S. Senator John Cornyn had some simple advice: “If you’re sick, stay home.”  Easy, right? Texas’ other Republican senator, Ted Cruz, has already heeded that counsel: He is now tweeting … Read More

Descendants of those buried in the Eli Jackson Cemetery visit the graveyard in November. Activists have since cleared the cemetery of grass and weeds.
Border

Trump’s Wall May Have to Avoid Multiple Historic Cemeteries

In a bid to protect a high-profile South Texas graveyard, Congress appears to have shielded other notable cemeteries too.

The Texas-Mexico border is not a blank slate for the projection of campaign promises. It’s a real place where some 2.5 million Texans live, love, and bury their dead.  In December, Congress passed a funding bill that included $1.375 billion … Read More

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