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Username: Emily Cadik
PersonId: 7557
Created: Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM CDT
Emily Cadik's RSS Feed
Web Page: https://twitter.com/cadikova
Email: emily@burntorangereport.com

Emily grew up near Houston and attended UT-Austin before getting her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She now lives in Washington, DC, where she worked at HUD for several years and works on affordable housing policy and advocacy.  

Tens of Thousands of Texans are Losing their Cars to Predatory Auto Title Lenders

by: Emily Cadik

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

As part of their weeklong Bypassed by the Miracle series, the Texas Tribune takes a look at the tens of thousands of Texans who have lost their cars as a result of predatory auto title lending.

Auto title lenders are similar to payday lenders, except they use car titles as collateral. If the borrower defaults on the payments, the lender can repossess the car and sell it to repay the outstanding debt. Like a payday loan, auto title loans carry very high interest, are laden with exorbitant and often hidden fees, and are issued without regard to the credit of the borrower. The people who take out payday and auto title loans are low-income, with an average income of $26,000. On average, they renew their auto title loan eight times, eventually paying $2,142 in interest for $941 in credit, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending.  

Because of a lack of other options, low-income borrowers essentially sign over their highest value asset for a few hundred dollars - and then end up accruing massive debt and potentially losing their cars.

Read about auto title lending in Texas - and efforts to regulate it - after the jump.

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Texas Republicans are Warming to Medicaid Expansion

by: Emily Cadik

Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

Rick Perry's indictment isn't the only story about Texas Republicans realizing the error of the governor's ways. They're also starting to realize that we need to expand Medicaid in Texas.

According to Forbes, "Last week, while a grand jury indictment against Gov. Rick Perry grabbed much of the nation's political attention in Austin, Texas lawmakers in the capital were making headlines of their own in an unrelated, but highly publicized hearing on how to expand Medicaid and deal with a nation-leading number of uninsured."

Recognizing (better late than never) that something must be done to address Texas's astronomical uninsured rate, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee met this month to "start a conversation that will give us an accurate picture of who the uninsured are, what services are available to them and what we can do to help them." While there was not necessarily an interest in embracing Obamacare with open arms, there does seem to be openness to "market-based alternatives" like Medicaid block grants and waivers.

Though nothing conclusive emerged from the seven-hour hearing, it's a sign that Republican lawmakers are starting to realize how bad Texas looks - and is - by not expanding Medicaid.

There's more after the jump.

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Republican Pollster Thinks Rick Perry's Glasses Will Save Him

by: Emily Cadik

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Rick Perry's new glasses might just save his presidential ambitions, according to Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson.

On ABC News this Sunday, Anderson remarked that "the second incarnation of Rick Perry - hipster glasses Rick Perry, instead of cowboy Rick Perry" has helped him get a "second look" from Republican activists after his disastrous 2012 presidential run.

Asked if he still has a shot despite his recent indictment, Anderson said, "Yes, he does. As does anyone on his side who throws his hat in the ring. I mean, the polls consistently show all of these guys hovering somewhere between 5 and 10 percent depending on which day it is."

See how Donna Brazile called her out - and why his glasses won't cut it - after the jump.

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Texas Needs More Affordable Housing

by: Emily Cadik

Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:00 PM CDT

Nationwide, there is not one county where there are enough affordable apartments for every extremely low-income (ELI) household. Texas is no exception.

An interactive map from the Urban Institute shows how just how wide the gap is between the number of ELI households and the number of apartments they can actually live in.

The gap between the two represents just how difficult it is for the lowest income Texans to find a home - not to mention the thousands of other low- and median-income Texans who still struggle to find apartments they can afford as rent in Texas cities skyrockets.

There's more after the jump.

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Women's Health Champions Wrap Up Seven-City Listening Tour

by: Emily Cadik

Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Today marked the last day of the Women's Health Tour, a series of listening sessions around the state focused on women's health issues. The events were sponsored by Women's Health Champions of the Texas House - or, more specifically, State Representatives Senfronia Thompson, Donna Howard and Jessica Farrar.

The premise of the tour was simple: "Last summer, thousands of people came to the Capitol to stand with Texas women. But many more were unable to make the trip to speak up, raise their hands, and fight for their rights. Those voices deserve to be heard, and so the Women's Health Champions of the Texas House are embarking on a 7-city Listening Tour. They're traveling across the state, giving members of the community an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences on the topic of women's health."

Read more about the events and see the photos below the jump.

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Texans Have a Whole Lot of Debt

by: Emily Cadik

Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Over a third of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to debt collection agencies, according to a new report from the Urban Institute. They are disproportionately concentrated in the South - and in Texas in particular.

In order to be reported to a debt collection agency, people have to be so far behind on non-mortgage bills - such as credit card bills, utility bills, medical bills and child support payments - that the account is closed and given to a collection agency to track down.

There's more after the jump.

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The South is Now Home to Half of the Nation's Uninsured

by: Emily Cadik

Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

In the self-fulfilling prophecy of the decade, the states that resisted the Affordable Care Act the most are the ones who benefited the least.

Close to 12 million people have gained health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. But the millions who have yet to secure health insurance are disproportionately concentrated in the South more than ever before, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Considering that the South was already home to over 4 in 10 of the nation's uninsured, that's saying quite a lot.  

Southerners made up 41.5 percent of the uninsured as of September 2013. But now that millions of people around the country - and mostly in other parts of the country - have gained health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, Southerners now make up 48.9 percent of the nation's uninsured. Meanwhile, the Northeast, Midwest and the West have all seen declines in their share of the uninsured.

As a result of these shifts, almost half of all uninsured Americans now live in the South.

So what changed in the South between last fall and this summer? The issue is more about what didn't change. While people in every state gained access to federal health care exchanges, much of the rest of the country expanded Medicaid - while the South did not.

There's more after the jump.

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Children's Home of Lubbock Fires Employee for Being Gay

by: Emily Cadik

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

The Children's Home of Lubbock, which provides adoption, foster care and other family services, has fired an employee simply because of his sexual orientation. Children's Home knew that childcare worker Casey Stegall was gay. But when he introduced his fiancĂ© to some of the children he worked with, he was fired over his "lifestyle choices," the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.  

"I got fired just for being who I am," Stegall said.

According to Children's Home President Lynn Harms, "As a faith-based, church-related outreach providing welfare services, if you will, to children and families, there is a set of biblical values that we adhere to and live by. When you are implementing life training and so forth - particularly with children - to put a confused message out there is counterproductive."

"If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that's not going to go well," Harms continued. "I don't feel like the culture here has to meet an individual's desire for the world to be different."

Read about Stegall's response and his options for recourse after the jump.

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Texas has Some of the Highest and the Lowest Costs of Living in the Country

by: Emily Cadik

Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 04:30 PM CDT

Everything is bigger in Texas - including cost of living disparities.

The Atlantic Citylab looked at data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the price levels of various expenses like food, transportation, housing, and education.  

The analysis shows that in Texas, there are metro regions where the costs of living are among the highest in the country - generally in the major cities of Dallas, Austin and Houston where you'd expect higher costs. On the other hand, there are metro regions along the border where the costs of living are among the lowest in the country.

There are very few states that combine such low-cost and high-cost areas. But then again, there are no states like Texas.

There's more after the jump.

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Texas Among the States that Would Gain the Most from a Minimum Wage Increase

by: Emily Cadik

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

It's no surprise that, as one of the largest states in the nation, Texas has a high population of low-wage workers. But it turns out that Texas has a very high concentration of low-wage workers relative to the rest of the country too. These factors combined mean that Texas would gain tremendously from a minimum wage increase.

Oxfam America has mapped where low-wage workers are concentrated around the U.S. Based on that, they figured out how many workers would benefit by raising the minimum wage to $10.10.  The interactive map is broken out into congressional district to show members of Congress who could potentially make a difference in the lives of millions of low-wage workers just how much their districts would benefit.

Nationwide, more than 25 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10. In Texas, it would benefit almost 3 million workers - more than in any other state.  

Read about what Texas stands to gain from a minimum wage increase - and why Republican opposition to an increase is wearing thin - after the jump.

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