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Three Questions with Sergio Martínez-Beltrán

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Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports on Texas politics and government for The Texas Newsroom, the public radio journalism collaboration between NPR, KERA in North Texas, Houston Public Media, KUT News, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio and stations across the state.

The 88th Legislative session starts Jan. 10 and Sergio will be reporting on the future of Texas’ surplus, which is over $27 billion. He’ll also be paying attention to the multiple bills that would ban gender-affirming care, as well as other bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

Additionally, Sergio is working on a reporting series exploring H-2A visas in Texas. The first story in that series, Without enough workers in the U.S. to fill jobs, ranches and farms in Texas look abroad, is out now.

Prior to moving to Austin, he worked for the nonprofit news outlet Bridge Michigan, where he reported extensively on the state’s inaugural redistricting commission, campaign finance and state government. He’s won multiple awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for a story he did on mariachi education while covering politics for Nashville Public Radio.

Sergio is a Puerto Rico native and a graduate of Michigan State University.

Connect with Sergio on Twitter @SergioMarBel.

What are you listening to these days?

I’m still recovering from the World Cup, and from listening to the ah-mazing podcast “La Ultima Copa/The Last Cup” by NPR and Futuro Studios.

The podcast is about the G.O.A.T. Lionel Messi and why this cup was so important for him, and about what it means to leave your country, something I can relate to. It’s so, so, so good.

Besides that, I’m listening to my Spotify top songs of 2022... so, a lot of Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, iLe and Frankie Ruiz. Look at that range!

Read anything interesting lately?

I just finished reading a book called “The Last Hunger Season” by journalist Roger Thurow. The book is about the heartbreaking challenges small farmers in Kenya face every year due to the severe droughts, and how they are improving their odds through some agricultural developments.

However, one of my resolutions for this year is to read more fiction! So, I’ll keep you posted on that.

What are you loving about the ATX these days?

I’m loving everything about ATX. I mean, everything except the cost of rent.

But I really like the weather, the food, the community I’m building here, and I LOVE Lady Bird Lake trail. I was in Michigan before, and even though that’s a beautiful state, Austin is so, so, so fun. I’m lucky to be here!