Dane Walters / KERA News

The Madrids look like a lot of families in North Texas; a married couple in their 20s with a young child and a house in Rockwall.  Then a health emergency turned their world upside down.

The Madrids are the first family we’re profiling in KERA’s new series One Crisis Away. A third of North Texans don’t have enough savings to cover a three month financial disruption, which means folks like the Madrids are living on the edge.

KERA's new series One Crisis Away looks at four families on the financial edge. In the first profile, meet Isac Madrid, his wife Elizabeth and their 1-year-old son. Eighteen months ago, they had two incomes and a savings account. Now, after a medical setback, they're barely hanging on financially.

Learn more about the Madrid family.

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One out of every three North Texans is walking a financial tightrope and could be knocked off by just one crisis; a medical emergency, an eviction, a job loss.

In KERA’s new series One Crisis Away,  we introduce a concept known as asset poverty.

“This really measures the ability of a household to exist at the poverty level for just three months if their main source of income is disrupted,” says Andrea Levere, president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

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North Texas members of Congress headed back to Washington Thursday.  The Senate's first official agenda does not include the fiscal cliff, even though the deadline to avoid automatic budget cuts and tax hikes is Jan. 1.

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Fort Worth is scaling back its pension plan for employees. The city’s bill for future retirees is outpacing the pension fund budget by about half-a-billion dollars.

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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says the city is hot,  and he’s not talking about the temperature. 

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A study released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors predicts double-digit job growth over the next five years.

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Sep 20, 2012

A state district judge in Austin has blocked part of Texas' efforts to purge dead voters from registration rolls.


The proposed city of Dallas budget for next year does not include layoffs, cuts to libraries, or a tax increase. An improving economy is making the 2013 budget debate less painful.

The national economy remains challenging with unemployment over eight percent.  But commentator Rawlins Gilliland says he knows how some American manage when jobs are few.