Last Wednesday, Texas 2036 founder Tom Luce, President and CEO Margaret Spellings, and Executive Vice President A.J. Rodriguez joined The San Antonio Report’s Robert Rivard for a compelling discussion about the challenges facing the state of Texas. Texas 2036 plans to approach these issues by identifying and building consensus for policy solutions grounded in actionable and transparent data to move Texas beyond partisan, regional and generational politics.
Texas 2036 was founded, Tom explained, out of “concern for the future and opportunities for the next generations that follow” and named after our bicentennial. What makes Texas 2036 different from other organizations, though, is what Margaret described as “our fealty to data and our holistic look across the various policy realms.”
And data really is the backbone of Texas 2036’s work. The organization’s website features an interactive database that explores workforce outcomes for students from different counties or schools, and earlier this year released a Texas COVID-19 dashboard that tracks not only COVID case data, but the impact of the pandemic on critical economic and social indicators.
All of this data serves a specific purpose. A.J. spoke to “the long-term nature of how focused we’re going to be over seven legislative sessions” which brings the state through its bicentennial to bring about the kind of change that is going to secure Texas’ continued prosperity for years to come. That will require, as Tom says, a bipartisan effort. “We have to mobilize the middle around what I call a ‘for’ agenda,” Tom explained. “Too often when we’re voting these days it seems like we’re voting against something, and we need to educate the public about what to be for. And my hope and dream would be someday that we have candidates from both parties saying ‘I can better implement the Texas 2036 agenda than my opponent.’”
As Texas prepares for its first legislative session to convene in January, Texas 2036 will be releasing more reports and more data to equip voters and lawmakers with the tools and information necessary to advance solutions that will matter the most to Texas’ prosperity now and in the future.
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