Five stories that have North Texas talking: Five Texans in Congress are skipping the inauguration; Rick Perry regrets his “oops” moment; the lease is up for a Dallas artist residency; and more.
Joining dozens of House Democrats around the country, U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela of Brownsville, Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen, Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Lloyd Doggett of Austin and Al Green of Houston have all declared their boycott of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday in Washington D.C., The Texas Tribune reports.
Castro cited Trump’s “utter lack of respect for so many Americans,” and his inflammatory comments made over the weekend about U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon. Green said his decision not to attend was a matter of conscience. Doggett said in a statement Tuesday, "Respect, like Pennsylvania Avenue, is a two-way street. Instead of uniting our country, his continued, unprecedented, unpresidential actions are further dividing it."
On Thursday, Vela said while visiting Washington D.C., 40 migrant students from his district were subjected to derogatory name-calling from inauguration attendees. Both Vela and Gonzalez cited a lack of diversity in Trump’s cabinet as a reason for not attending.
Some state Democrats will be in attendance, including U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Gene Green of Houston, Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, and Marc Veasey of Fort Worth, the Tribune reports. Watch live coverage of the inauguration from NPR. [The Texas Tribune]
- During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Rick Perry said he regrets his “oops” moment. In a 2011 presidential debate, the former governor failed to remember the U.S. Department of Energy as one of three he’d eliminate. More than five years later, he’s Donald Trump’s pick to lead that very department as Secretary of Energy. The Associated Press reports: “Perry told a Senate committee that if confirmed, he will be a passionate advocate for the department's core missions and will seek to draw 'greater attention to the vital role played by the agency,' especially in protecting and modernizing the nation's nuclear stockpile.'” Read more coverage. [The Associated Press]
- George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara remain hospitalized in Houston. The former president remains in intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital while being treated for pneumonia, spokesman Jim McGrath said Thursday. He was admitted to the hospital Saturday after having trouble breathing. Barbara Bush was admitted Wednesday after experiencing fatigue and coughing. She’s being treated for bronchitis but felt “1,000 percent better” Thursday after antibiotics and rest. Both in their ‘90s, the Bushes both planned not to attend the inauguration due to their health and age, but they sent an apologetic letter to Donald Trump last week. [The Associated Press]
- A Texas-based group was added and then removed as a partner of the Women’s March on Washington the day after inauguration. New Wave Feminists, a group that describes itself as “pro-life” learned Monday that it had been removed as a listed partner of the event. The Texas Tribune reports: Founder and president Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of Dallas said a friend made her aware of an outcry on Twitter from supporters of the march calling for the removal of her group as a partner after The Atlantic published an article that mentioned the group's participation. She told the Tribune she believed organizers were “bullied” into removing her group as partner after its participation was made public. [The Texas Tribune]
- An artist residency program in Dallas will close its doors this summer with a future uncertain. The University of Texas at Dallas opened CentralTrak seven years ago, but the lease on the space located near Fair Park is up and won’t be removed. Art&Seek reports: “Other universities bring artists to campus to work with students. But no other university had students and artists living and working in converted lofts with an art gallery on the first floor. And this in a former post office on Exposition Avenue surrounded by notable galleries like the Power Station and the Reading Room.” The grad students living at CentralTrak were told to move out by the end of June. [Art&Seek]