Twenty years ago, our country came together to grieve, assess, and prepare what we all knew would be a new path for the United States and the world.

The horror we witnessed delivered a fleeting moment of national solidarity, compassion, and self-examination.

Since then, louder voices and lesser nature have worked to drown out the moment and diminish the lessons learned.

Heroes emerged in 2001 and their efforts are best honored by ensuring their legacies carry on. My thanks to each of you who run toward the guns, lend a helping hand, and believe in the promise of our still…


I rarely focus on municipal politics here, preferring to focus on the trends that are driving our electorate either (1) forward or (2) apart. When you examine local politics too closely, it’s sometimes too easy to mis-identify a neighbor as a threat.

Last weekend, Austin held its regular bi-annual May election. Originally calendared to facilitate a more focused approach to local issues, local voter participation is notoriously low. Saturday’s election was no different.

This year’s spring ballot proposed several updates to Austin’s political landscape, including a couple of initiatives that, on substance alone, instead revealed the torn political landscape in…


Like many places around the country, the Texas Legislature continues to fuel an increasingly hyper-partisan discussion on the state of politics and governance in the Lone Star State.

I won’t go so far as to say it’s a strategy, but the noise certainly draws attention away from recent (and long term) shortcomings.

Any effort put into initiatives designed to further divide our communities into red and blue voter banks only delays what should be our primary, perhaps sole, objective: establishing and delivering a stronger, sustainable, and more resilient future to the next generation of Americans.

Work is a core component…


In one of the more bizarre moments during the election security debate currently underway in Texas, Governor Abbott said that Texas business interests ‘need to stay out of politics.’

Seriously?

Senator Mitch McConnell said the same thing to business leaders last week: “Stay out of politics.”

What?

Political interests are all too ready to take their donations but when business leaders have an opinion that reflects the majority of Americans, they suddenly want them to sit quiet and color.

I’ll remind the Governor that Texas employers and business leaders provide a vital perspective and one much more directly tied to…


From November 3 to January 6 to January 20 to today, we’ve watched election security evolve to become the biggest wedge issue of them all.

Last week, I expressed my disappointment in the Texas Legislature’s focus on revising election laws in what appear to be attempts to put a thumb on the scales of American democracy.

The response was incredible but also reinforced a troubling reality.

A couple of examples which illustrate the point follow. These come from respected community leaders and trusted personal advisors. My thanks to each of you who took the time to provide substantive feedback and — occasionally strongly worded — perspective.

  • I have been an election judge or alt judge for the past 7 years. There is nothing wrong with…

Across the country, hyper-partisan strategists are writing restrictive voting laws to restore confidence in a secure electoral system that they themselves fabricated a narrative to undermine. Up is down, down is up, fairness is slipping off the board, and exhausted voters are expected to let it slide.

Relativity, M. C. Escher

In 2017, I joined other Texas business leaders — representing the entire political spectrum — to demand that the Legislature prioritize our economy, our communities, and our fellow Texans over an escalated and hyperbolic culture war over bathrooms.

We won.

Last week, hyper-partisan politicians in Georgia, still smarting from a 2020 loss which…


The disaster that followed the cold weather in Texas was preventable and predicted. Join the discussion.

Many of us witnessed, up close and personal, a broken system and it’s up to us to fix it. But what are we working to change? The politics? The policies? The people? The parties? All of it?

In America today, these questions apply to almost every challenge we face.

Starting next week, in an upcoming live, virtual series with experts across the spectrum, the UST community will dive deeper into the Texas weather crisis as a case study for turning frustration into progress.

You’re an important part of the conversation. You can submit your questions in advance via email or…


The recent tarnish on the Texas Miracle is the result of monopoly governance and small politics. It should serve as a warning to Texans and the nation.

In the same week that NASA successfully delivered a helicopter to Mars, many Texans were without food, water, electricity, communications, and heat, enduring sustained, sub-freezing temperatures alone and in the dark.

How did this happen?

My answer:

  • The Mars project is run by scientists expected to build on facts and succeed against odds (and funding), look around corners and far down the road to anticipate any and all potential obstacles, and innovate to meet those unknowns.
  • Although Texas government also possesses its share of dedicated experts and civil servants, much of it is run by either career politicians or political…


The best 17 minutes of your day. Any day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech is good for your soul (and returns us to an important perspective) in turbulent times.

Although we are currently presented with the greatest challenge our democracy has faced in generations, from a political, economic and cultural standpoint, the division we see in America today is not unprecedented. As Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett point out in their new book, The UpSwing, the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th century shared one critical characteristic: simultaneous turmoil in the political, economic, and cultural arenas.

Dr. King was part of the high…


Before we move on, we need to make a full stop.

Last week laid bare our compromised politics. Manipulated to meet the lowest expectations of our fellow Amercians and manufactured to leverage vulnerabilities within the American electorate, hyper-partisanship was fanned into full insurrection.

The “servant’s heart” abiding in most Americans was misappropriated by political leaders as a means to selfish ends. They have led us down a disastrous, dead end path and many are asking us to just keep on moving.

However, first we need a full stop.

Those of you who have traveled with young children or pets know that, while making haste to your destination, sometimes things happen that…

USTomorrow

Using new data to educate and engage community coalitions on the issues left behind by today’s divisive politics.

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