Divisible / Indivisible
What do we want from our government? How do we get it? And what is the chance your member of Congress will listen to you?
We sought answers to these weighty questions in the vast stretches of Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, in the southwest corner of the Lone Star State which sits along 800 miles of border with Mexico. Last fall, we followed Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican congressman who represents the 23rd and is retiring. He represents a district where party registration is nearly evenly divided, and his last margin of victory razor thin, prompting him to work across party lines. Hurd’s actions in Washington help sustain support for constituents in funding much needed programs, clinics and services. But what happens when Hurd leaves office?
During the 2018 midterm election, young voters turned out in record numbers helping to flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control. They are expected to play an important role again in the upcoming presidential elections. Last winter we traveled to University of Wisconsin in Madison and La Crosse — in one of the most talked about swing states — to talk with college students about what they care about, what motivates them, how they motivate others and how are young voters understanding their role.
But months later, something had changed. A multitude of major events, unfolding right after another. The President was impeached by the House of Representatives, but acquitted in the U.S. Senate. The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered classes and caused difficulty voting in Wisconsin. Then the Black Lives Matter movement spurred the largest protests in years. The events of the last few months, along with the strains of remote learning and a cratering economy, were testing the students’ optimism.