The Texas Democracy Foundation

A nonprofit organization

2 donors

The Texas Observer writes about issues ignored or underreported in the mainstream press. Our goal is to cover stories crucial to the public interest and to provoke dialogue that promotes democratic participation and open government, in pursuit of a vision of Texas where education, justice and material progress are available to all.

Our Mission

We vow to serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.  We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation for democracy.  We will take orders from none but our own conscience and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit.  

A historic institution with the weight of literary luminaries like Molly Ivins to back our reputaion, the Observer has refused to remain static and works to bring this unique perspective to new readers throughout the state and country.  

Our Stories 

The Texas Observer provides the world a window into the craziest state in the union. Focusing on issues ignored or underreported in the mainstream press, the Observer strives to provoke dialogue that promotes democratic participation and open government, in pursuit of a vision of Texas where education, justice and material progress are available to all.

Recently, the Observer has made headlines of its own (drawing attention from the likes of Time Magazine and Planned Parenthood) with Carolyn Jones' controversial, first-person look at the new Texas sonogram law. You can read the story, "The Right Not to Know," here.

Compelling stories published over the last six months include:

“The Valley of Death,” Melissa Del Boxquie’s harrowing tale of Mexico’s drug war and its effects on the people living in the Juarez Valley.

"Heritage of Abuse" in which Alex Hannaford peels away at the gentile veneer of a Waco religious sect to reveal child abuse, beatings and cover-ups.

"Backlogging the Backlog," Patrick Michels reveals the startling fact that Texas law enforcement agencies have a massive backlog of untested rape kits, which despite a state mandate, are still not being tested.

“The Long Road Home,” by Saul Elbein, chronicles how Guatemalans are finally discovering what happened to their loved ones missing and presumed dead during the country’s 36-year civil war.

Our Awards 

Adding to the more than 50 national journalism awards we've won over the years, Melissa del Bosque and Eugenio del Bosque were just selected as winners of the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism in the Magazine category, one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. Melissa's reporting and Eugenio’s videography revealed the chilling facts and personal stories of children deported to Mexico, where there is very often no family member to claim them. Many are apprehended in the South Texas desert and are sent to over-stressed Mexican agencies—deeply traumatized, both physically and mentally. It's a classic example of journalism that brings to light a humanitarian crisis and the reasons behind it.  Melissa also appeared on Democracy Now to talk about her story.

These are but a few examples of the Observer’s investigative work and ensuing recognition over the last six months.

And How Do We Reach the People?

In addition to continued increases in our print subscription numbers, the overall readership of the Observer website continues to increase. In 2011, the Observer website had 500,000 absolute unique visitors.  That’s a significant increase from the previous year: in 2010, we had 385,000 absolute unique visits. 

The Observer is also working to draw new readers to the site by building our social media presence.  The Observer now has close to 6,000 friends on Facebook and over 11,000 followers on Twitter.  We are also building our multimedia presence and have included a series of photo slideshows on the website that are getting good attention.  

Why We Need Your Support: 

Your support is integral to our success as an independent journal.


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Organization Data


Organization name

The Texas Democracy Foundation

Tax id (EIN)



307 W 7TH ST
AUSTIN, TX 78701


(512) 477-0746