Beto O’Rourke to teach seminar at UT-Austin this spring

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Photo Credit: Pedro Luna | Daily Texan Staff

Former congressman and El Paso city councilman Beto O’Rourke will teach a class at the LBJ School of Public Affairs about voting rights in Texas, titled “Texas Democracy and the Fight for Representation.”

The class will focus on Texas legislative policy and the history of voting rights and voter participation in Texas, and will bring O’Rourke’s experience as Senate and presidential candidate to discuss political campaigns in the state, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The class, beginning in January 2021, will enroll 16 graduate students in the LBJ school by lottery and will take place via Zoom, LBJ school officials told the Statesman.

O’Rourke said Texas is one of the most restrictive states in terms of voter participation, and he wants to examine voting tension in Texas in the seminar. He told the Statesman the course will discuss what it’s like to start a campaign and run for office.

“Part of the price of being an American is your expectation to participate — civically, in front of the school board, voting in a presidential election,” O’Rourke told the Statesman. “For young people, time and again, inside and outside of official power, they’re able to move this country ultimately to do the right thing — though it can take a long time and be frustratingly slow.”

O’Rourke will also teach an undergraduate politics course at Texas State University in the spring.