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Reporter Recounts Her Experience in Texas, Claims the State Policies Drove Her Out

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Jules Rogers relocated to Houston for a job opportunity but ultimately decided to leave due to disagreements with the local political climate. She expressed concerns about the relaxation of gun restrictions and laws governing women’s healthcare choices. 

Additionally, factors such as transportation costs, weather conditions, and the voting process played a role in her decision to depart. According to Jules Rogers, she was born in Houston but grew up in Portland, Oregon. She mentioned that she returned to Texas as an adult in 2018 for a job opportunity at a local newspaper. 

Despite Houston offering a lower cost of living and proximity to family, including her husband’s relatives, she noted that it didn’t match the cherished memories of visiting her grandmother for Christmas.

Rogers recounted having several eye-opening experiences that did not align with her desired quality of life. As a result, she decided to leave approximately two years later.

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According to Jules Rogers, she decided to leave Texas and return to Oregon due to a troubling issue she encountered in a local school district. She recounted receiving a call in her newsroom from a parent who informed her that the school district was segregating students learning English as a second language.

They did this by requiring them to study in a separate building located across a major highway from the school. Jules Rogers recalled her disbelief upon learning about the situation, initially assuming it might be a misunderstanding.

However, upon contacting the school district for clarification, she discovered the truth of the matter. She expressed shock at the unfairness of the situation. Despite writing and publishing the story in her paper, she noted that it did not receive widespread readership.

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Reflecting on her experience as a journalist in a predominantly red-leaning city, Rogers remarked that the stories she covered differed significantly from her previous work in Oregon. She acknowledged that this experience tested her ability to remain impartial and separate her personal beliefs from her professional responsibilities.

Jules Rogers expressed her dismay at changes made to the state’s gun laws by the local legislature in September 2019, describing them as regressive. She highlighted HB 1143, which permitted licensed gun holders to store firearms, handguns, and ammunition in locked cars on school-campus parking lots.

Additionally, the legislation removed prohibitions on carrying guns in large religious-gathering areas such as churches and synagogues. Jules Rogers shared her experience of voting in person for the first time since she began casting her ballots by mail in Oregon.

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She noted the stricter mail-in voting criteria in Texas, where it is only permitted for individuals over 65, those who are sick or disabled, confined in jail, or meet other specified criteria.

Rogers mentioned that her white-collar company granted employees one day off to vote, which was considered a perk. However, she acknowledged that many shift workers may not have been afforded this luxury.

During her time waiting in line to vote, Rogers observed that no “materials” were allowed into the polling place, including her newspaper containing circled and underlined campaigning officials and bill details.

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