Riverdale comes to an end of its current season this July on The CW, leaving fans wondering whether there will be a Season 7 of the show.
The CW canceled nine of its shows earlier in 2022, so Riverdale fans have plenty of reasons to be concerned.
Riverdale has been a hit for the network. But with so many shows getting the ax due to an upcoming potential buyout of The CW, could this finally be the year that the Archieverse comes to an end (arguably a few years after it should have).
Here’s what we know about the future of Riverdale on The CW and Netflix.
Is Riverdale Getting a Season 7?
There is good news and bad news about the future of Riverdale.
The good news first. The show escaped the cull of CW shows because it had already been renewed. In March, the network confirmed that the show was coming back for Season 7. This was part of an announcement that also renewed All American, The Flash, Kung Fu, Nancy Drew, Superman & Lois and Walker.
“As we prepare for the 2022-23 season, these scripted series, along with the alternative series we renewed earlier, will serve as the start of a solid foundation utilizing some of our most-watched series for us to build on for next year and beyond,” said CW chairman Mark Pedowitz at the time.
However, more news joined this announcement in May. At that time, it was confirmed that Season 7 would be the final season of Riverdale. Following the cancelations of Katy Keene and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, this brings to an end the so-called “Archieverse” of programs.
KJ Apa lead reactions to the news, saying during the CW Upfronts presentation: “I’m sad to be saying goodbye to Riverdale next season, to our sets, to our crew, to our producers, to our CW family but I can speak for everyone, for Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica], Cole [Sprouse, Jughead], Lili [Reinhart, Betty], and the rest of our cast that we are so grateful for everyone’s support.
“To the fans, without the fans, none of this would be possible.”
This announcement also came with a release date-of-sorts, meaning viewers know when they can expect the final episodes of the show.
When Is Riverdale Season 7 Coming Out?
In that announcement, The CW announced viewers would have longer than usual to wait for more Riverdale.
The Season 7 release date has been set for midway through the 2022-2023 TV season, meaning viewers will not be getting new episodes until the start of 2023.
The exact release date has not been announced, but is likely to be in January of that year. As for when it is coming to Netflix, Season 7 will drop in the U.S. on the streamer eight days after the series finale airs on The CW. When that will be is uncertain, but could be as early as May 2023.
Former President Donald Trump “has to be rattled” now that the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on U.S. Capitol is speaking with some of his former top Cabinet officials, a biographer of his said on Sunday.
The comment came from Tim O’Brien, the author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald and senior executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion, during an interview on MSNBC after he was asked about the possible plans for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be interviewed by the panel.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that the House committee interviewed former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and that lawmakers had asked the former Trump official about discussions at the Cabinet level to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the wake of the riot. Pompeo is also likely to speak with the panel soon, according to the AP, which has also reached out to former Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
“Mike Pompeo said he’s considering talking to the committee about possibly testifying. Do you think Trump is rattled by these senior members of his administration cooperating?” MSNBC host Lindsey Reiser asked O’Brien.
“I can’t get inside his head that completely, but Trump has always believed in unwavering loyalty….And I think throughout most of his presidency that was a pretty firm wall. I don’t think you saw many people in his inner circle—they quit before they really decided to rat him out,” he responded.
The biographer said he believes “the work” of the January 6 panel “has convinced” high-ranking Trump officials to testify. He added that it’s “unfortunately very late in the process,” but thinks these ex-Cabinet members “took their cues” from other Republicans like former Attorney General Bill Barr, who testified before the committee, and Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is vice-chair of the panel.
“The substance of what the committee appears to be asking Mnuchin and Pompeo and others about…is whether or not they were so alarmed by what happened on January 6 that they wanted to invoke the 25th Amendment and force Trump’s removal from office,” O’Brien said. “So he has to be rattled by that because these are people in the past…I think who never would have publicly gone on the other side against him.”
Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s press office for comment.
In a separate interview earlier this month, O’Brien said that Republicans are “telling themselves lies” and are hoping that Trump will go away.
LONDON — The full-time whistle on England’s 2-1 Women’s Euro 2022 final win against Germany was still being blown Sunday when “Three Lions” — aka “Football’s Coming Home” — began to ring out from Wembley Stadium’s sound system. The song has been something of a curse for English football since being released in the buildup to Euro ’96, but finally, after so many heartbreaking near misses for the nation’s men and women, England has a team of winners to celebrate in Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses.
Captain Leah Williamson, tournament Golden Boot winner Beth Mead and other star performers — including Ella Toone, Chloe Kelly and Alessia Russo — have, with their performances over the past month, taken the women’s game to a whole new level, and their success will ensure a future without limits in England.
For the men, the wait to add to their solitary World Cup win in 1966 goes on — Gareth Southgate’s team might just do that at Qatar 2022 later this year — but the women have ended their own lengthy years of hurt. Two losing semifinals in the World Cup, in 2015 and 2019, and losses in the European Championship finals of 1984 and 2009 had been England women’s tale of woe in major tournaments, but goals from substitutes Toone and Kelly, either side of Lina Magull‘s 79th-minute equaliser for Germany, sealed this team’s place in English football history.
The collective success of the team is one thing, and its importance cannot be overstated for a country as powerful, but traditionally underperforming, as England. Yet the Lionesses have done more than simply end the country’s lengthy wait for glory. They haven’t just brought football home; they have enabled the game to rediscover its soul, on and off the pitch.
It is perhaps unfair to draw too many comparisons between the men and women’s game, but with both reaching a Euro final Wembley within 12 months, it is inevitable that both occasions will be measured against each other. A year ago, the men’s final was marred by disgraceful scenes of fan violence outside the stadium, with ticketless supporters rushing the turnstiles and physically intimidating children in order to illegally enter the ground. An inquiry has since confirmed excessive alcohol and drug consumption during a day of carnage before and after England’s biggest game since 1966.
But for the women’s final, the atmosphere was completely different. It was welcoming and inclusive, as young families were able to mingle without fear of being attacked or verbally abused. There were no abusive chants, and no booing of national anthems from a crowd of 87,192 — a record for both the men’s and women’s European championships, surpassing the men’s 1964 final, in which 79,115 watched Spain play the Soviet Union in Madrid. (Also, the overall tournament attendance finished with 574,875 across the past three weeks, more than double the previous record of 240,055 in 2017.) It was a day when football showed that it can still take place in an atmosphere of civility.
The louts that attach themselves to the men’s game have shown no interest in Euro 2022, for which we can be eternally grateful. As Emma Hayes, the Chelsea women’s coach, said on ESPN, “The fans have been immense. It’s not been hostile.”
Of course, there are many fixtures in the men’s game that pass without incident and many clubs are a welcoming environment for families, but that has not been the case with the England national team for too long. The English FA must now find a way to make the men’s game as welcoming and as friendly as the women’s for what is clearly a huge audience wanting to build on their experience of Euro 2022.
This tournament, and the final, gave us all a reminder as to why we fell in love with football in the first place. There was no nonsense or aggravation off the pitch. While on it, the game was played without the anger and ego that has become a regular sideshow in the men’s game. That is not to say that the final wasn’t fiercely contested. Both sets of players threw themselves into challenges, forcing Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul to issue five yellow cards for over-physical tackles and fouls. But there was a refreshing honesty to it all, as well as an acceptance that the officials were in charge and had the last word, rather than a succession of players waiting to argue with or berate them.
None of the above would really matter, though, if the spectacle on the pitch failed to measure up. There has to be top-level quality and determination to excel and win, but both England and Germany displayed world-class technical ability during 120 minutes, as did Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands in the earlier rounds.
In all, Euro 2022 has shown that there is a depth to the women’s game that deserves the biggest possible stage. Who will forget Russo’s stunning back-heel goal in the semifinal against Sweden, or Georgia Stanway‘s long-range winner against Spain? How about Alex Popp‘s double strike in Germany’s 2-1 semifinal win against France?
The muscular strain — suffered during the warm-up — that forced Popp to pull out of the final possibly cost Germany their chance of winning a record ninth Euro title. But this has been England’s tournament, and the manner of their victory will inspire a new generation.
Toone’s stunning opener — a cool lob over Merle Frohms from Keira Walsh‘s pinpoint long pass — was a magical moment, but the honour of scoring the winner fell to Kelly, who turned the ball in from close range in the 110th minute before racing away with a Brandi Chastain-style celebration, taking off her top and waving it above her head. (The USWNT legend certainly noticed, tweeting, “I see you Chloe, well done!”) It earned her a yellow card, the sixth of the game, but she had also just sealed England’s Euro 2022 final victory, so it was probably worth it.
The next challenge is the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. Who knows whether the men’s team will beat them to becoming world champions later this year. Regardless of whether or not Harry Kane & Co. do it, it’s the women who have shown them how to win.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels starter Reid Detmers became the first pitcher in seven years with a no-hitter and an immaculate inning in the same season, achieving the latter against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
The Rangers matched the 1979 San Francisco Giants as the only lineups to have three immaculate innings thrown against them in a season. Houston got Texas for two immaculate innings in the same game June 15.
Detmers, who pitched a no-hitter against Tampa Bay on May 10, struck out three Texas hitters on nine pitches in the second inning for the 109th immaculate inning in baseball history.
The Rangers became the first team to have it happen twice in the same game when Astros starter Luis Garcia retired the side in the second inning and reliever Phil Maton did it in the seventh on June 15.
Duran has been one of the batters in all three against the Rangers, a first according to MLB.com.
Detmers has struggled since his no-hitter. He was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake for a couple of weeks before being recalled.
Before Detmers, Houston’s Mike Fiers in 2015 was the latest to do the immaculate/no-hitter double in the same year.
It is only the third immaculate inning in Angels history, with all three occurring in the second inning. Nolan Ryan was the first on July 9, 1972, against Boston, and Garrett Richards accomplished it on June 4, 2014, at Houston.
Immaculate innings remain special but aren’t as rare as they once were. This is the 10th since 2020 and 61st since 2000. There were none recorded from 1929 to ’52.
Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker aims to defeat Georgia’s Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and win back a seat the GOP narrowly lost in a January 2021 runoff—but with 100 days until the midterm election in November, the former football star appears to be trailing the liberal incumbent.
In 2020, President Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in the state since 1992. Meanwhile, Warnock and fellow Senator Jon Ossoff managed to flip both of Georgia’s Senate seats for Democrats in close runoff elections.
While polling had previously shown Walker and Warnock in a neck-and-neck contest, a recent scandal involving how many children Walker has appears to have affected the former football star’s standing with voters. The incumbent Democrat has pulled ahead with a lead over his GOP rival, but the race is still close.
The current Real Clear Politics average of Georgia polls shows Warnock ahead by about 4.4 points. On average, the incumbent Democrat has the support of 47.6 percent of Georgians and Walker is backed by 43.2 percent.
A poll conducted by Fox News from July 22 to 26 had Walker down by 4 points. The Trump-backed candidate had the backing of just 42 percent of registered voters compared to 46 percent who supported Warnock. The survey included 901 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.
Polling by WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA from July 21 to 24 showed the incumbent Democrat with a larger lead of 9 points. Warnock received support from 48 percent of respondents and Walker was backed by just 39 percent. The poll included 604 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 points.
Prior to that, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey carried out from July 14 to 22 showed Warnock ahead by 3 points. The poll had the Democratic senator at 46 percent and the Republican challenger at 43 percent. Just over 900 likely voters were polled and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.3 percent.
If Walker manages to pull off a win, it could shift control of the Senate back to Republican control. The legislative chamber is currently evenly split, but Democrats maintain the slimmest possible of majorities with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tie-breaking votes. If Democrats lose even one seat without gaining another held by the GOP, the Republicans will once again return to holding the majority.
She was among the first Black women to have a leading role in a TV series. She later worked with NASA to recruit minorities for the space program.
Nichelle Nichols, the actress revered by “Star Trek” fans everywhere for her role as Lieutenant Uhura, the communications officer on the starship U.S.S. Enterprise, died on Saturday in Silver City, N.M. She was 89.
The cause was heart failure, said Sky Conway, a writer and a film producer who was asked by Kyle Johnson, Ms. Nichols’s son, to speak for the family.
Ms. Nichols had a long career as an entertainer, beginning as a teenage supper-club singer and dancer in Chicago, her hometown, and later appearing on television.
But she will forever be best remembered for her work on “Star Trek,” the cult-inspiring space adventure series that aired from 1966 to 1969 and starred William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the heroic leader of the starship crew; Leonard Nimoy (who died in 2015) as his science officer and adviser, Mr. Spock, an ultralogical humanoid from the planet Vulcan; and DeForest Kelley (who died in 1999) as Dr. McCoy, a.k.a. Bones, the ship’s physician.
A striking beauty, Ms. Nichols provided a frisson of sexiness on the bridge of the Enterprise. She was generally clad in a snug red doublet and black tights; Ebony magazine called her the “most heavenly body in ‘Star Trek’” on its 1967 cover. Her role, however, was both substantial and historically significant.
Uhura was an officer and a highly educated and well-trained technician who maintained a businesslike demeanor while performing her high-minded duties. Ms. Nichols was among the first Black women to have a leading role on a network television series, making her an anomaly on the small screen, which until that time had rarely depicted Black women in anything other than subservient roles.
In a November 1968 episode, during the show’s third and final season, Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura are forced to embrace by the inhabitants of a strange planet, resulting in what is widely thought to be the first interracial kiss in television history.
Ms. Nichols’s first appearances on “Star Trek” predated the 1968 sitcom “Julia,” in which Diahann Carroll, playing a widowed mother who works as a nurse, became the first Black woman to star in a non-stereotypical role in a network series.
(A series called “Beulah,” also called “The Beulah Show,” starring Ethel Waters — and later Louise Beavers and Hattie McDaniel — as the maid for a white family, was broadcast on ABC in the early 1950s and subsequently cited by civil rights activists for its demeaning portraits of Black people.)
But Uhura’s influence reached far beyond television. In 1977, Ms. Nichols began an association with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, contracting as a representative and speaker to help recruit female and minority candidates for spaceflight training; the following year’s class of astronaut candidates was the first to include women and members of minority groups.
In subsequent years, Ms. Nichols made public appearances and recorded public service announcements on behalf of the agency. In 2012, after she was the keynote speaker at the Goddard Space Center during a celebration of African American History Month, a NASA news release about the event lauded her help for the cause of diversity in space exploration.
“Nichols’s role as one of television’s first Black characters to be more than just a stereotype and one of the first women in a position of authority (she was fourth in command of the Enterprise) inspired thousands of applications from women and minorities,” the release said. “Among them: Ronald McNair, Frederick Gregory, Judith Resnick, first American woman in space Sally Ride and current NASA administrator Charlie Bolden.”
Grace Dell Nichols was born in Robbins, Ill., on Dec. 28, 1932 (some sources give a later year), and grew up in Chicago. Her father was, for a time, the mayor of Robbins, and a chemist. At 13 or 14, tired of being called Gracie by her friends, she requested a different name from her mother, who liked Michelle but suggested Nichelle for the alliteration.
She was a ballet dancer as a child and had a singing voice with a naturally wide range — more than four octaves, she later said. While attending Englewood High School, she landed her first professional gig in a revue at the College Inn, a well-known Chicago nightspot.
There she was seen by Duke Ellington, who employed her a year or two later with his touring orchestra as a dancer in one of his jazz suites.
Ms. Nichols appeared in several musical theater productions around the country during the 1950s. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, she recalled performing at the Playboy Club in New York City while serving as an understudy for Ms. Carroll in the Broadway musical “No Strings” (though she never went on).
In 1959, she was a dancer in Otto Preminger’s film version of “Porgy and Bess.” She made her television debut in 1963 in an episode of “The Lieutenant,” a short-lived dramatic series about Marines at Camp Pendleton created by Gene Roddenberry, who went on to create “Star Trek.”
Ms. Nichols appeared on other television shows over the years — among them “Peyton Place” (1966), “Head of the Class” (1988) and “Heroes” (2007). She also appeared onstage occasionally in Los Angeles, including in a one-woman show in which she did impressions of, and paid homage to, Black female entertainers who preceded her, including Lena Horne, Pearl Bailey and Eartha Kitt.
But Uhura was to be her legacy: A decade after “Star Trek” went off the air, Ms. Nichols reprised the role in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” and she appeared as Uhura, by then a commander, in five subsequent movie sequels through 1991.
Besides a son, her survivors include two sisters, Marian Smothers and Diane Robinson.
Ms. Nichols was married and divorced twice. In her 1995 autobiography, “Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories,” she disclosed that she and Roddenberry, who died in 1991, had been romantically involved for a time. In an interview in 2010 for the Archive of American Television, she said that he had little to do with her casting in “Star Trek” but that he defended her when studio executives wanted to replace her.
When she took the role of Uhura, Ms. Nichols said, she thought of it as a mere job at the time, valuable as a résumé enhancer; she fully intended to return to the stage, as she wanted a career on Broadway. Indeed, she threatened to leave the show after its first season and submitted her resignation to Roddenberry. He told her to think it over for a few days.
In a story she often told, that Saturday night she was a guest at an event in Beverly Hills, Calif. — “I believe it was an N.A.A.C.P. fund-raiser,” she recalled in the Archive interview — where the organizer introduced her to someone he described as “your biggest fan.”
“He’s desperate to meet you,” she recalled the organizer saying.
The fan, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., introduced himself.
“He said, ‘We admire you greatly, you know,’ ” Ms. Nichols said, and she thanked him and told him that she was about to leave the show. “He said, ‘You cannot. You cannot.’”
Dr. King told her that her role as a dignified, authoritative figure in a popular show was too important to the cause of civil rights for her to forgo. As Ms. Nichols recalled it, he said, “For the first time, we will be seen on television the way we should be seen every day.”
On Monday morning, she returned to Roddenberry’s office and told him what had happened.
“And I said, ‘If you still want me to stay, I’ll stay. I have to.’”
The exoneration of Elizabeth Johnson Jr., the last person whose name was not officially cleared, came from the efforts of an eighth-grade civics teacher and her students.
Elizabeth Johnson Jr. is — officially — not a witch.
Until last week, the Andover, Mass., woman, who confessed to practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, was the only remaining person convicted during the trials whose name had not been cleared.
Though she was sentenced to death in 1693, after she and more than 20 members of her extended family faced similar allegations, she was granted a reprieve and avoided the death sentence.
The exoneration came on Thursday, 329 years after her conviction, tucked inside a $53 billion state budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. It was the product of a three-year lobbying effort by a civics teacher and her eighth-grade class, along with a state senator who helped champion the cause.
“I’m excited and relieved,” Carrie LaPierre, the teacher at North Andover Middle School, said in an interview on Saturday, “but also disappointed I didn’t get to talk to the kids about it,” as they are on summer vacation. “It’s been such a huge project,” Ms. LaPierre added. “We called her E.J.J., all the kids and I. She just became one of our world, in a sense.”
Only the broad contours of Ms. Johnson’s life are known. She was 22 years old when accused, may have had a mental disability and never married or had children, which were factors that could make a woman a target in the trials, Ms. LaPierre said.
The governor of Massachusetts at the time granted Ms. Johnson a reprieve from death, and she died in 1747 at the age of 77. But unlike others convicted at the trials, Ms. Johnson did not have any known descendants who could fight to clear her name. Previous efforts to exonerate people convicted of witchcraft overlooked Ms. Johnson, perhaps because of administrative confusion, historians said: Her mother, who had the same name, was also convicted but was exonerated earlier.
The effort to clear Ms. Johnson’s name was a dream project for the eighth-grade civics class, Ms. LaPierre said. It allowed her to teach students about research methods, including the use of primary sources; the process by which a bill becomes a law; and ways to contact state lawmakers. The project also taught students the value of persistence: After an intensive letter-writing campaign, the bill to exonerate Ms. Johnson was essentially dead. As the students turned their efforts to lobbying the governor for a pardon, their state senator, Diana DiZoglio, added an amendment to the budget bill, reviving the exoneration effort.
“These students have set an incredible example of the power of advocacy and speaking up for others who don’t have a voice,” Ms. DiZoglio, a Democrat whose district includes North Andover, said in an interview.
At least 172 people from Salem and surrounding towns, which include what is now North Andover, were accused of witchcraft in 1692 as part of an inquisition by the Puritans that was rooted in paranoia, according to historians.
Emerson W. Baker, a history professor at Salem State University and the author of “A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience,” said there were many reasons innocent people would confess to witchcraft. Many wanted to avoid being tortured, or even believed that perhaps they might in fact be a witch and just didn’t know it, the result of a pressure campaign by religious ministers and even family members.
“At what point does she say,” Mr. Baker asked, “‘For the good of the community, I probably should confess? I don’t think I’m a witch, but maybe I had some bad thoughts and I shouldn’t have had them.’” It would have been a logical thought process for a society that widely believed in the existence of witches, he said.
Another common reason for confessions, Professor Baker said, was for survival. It became clear by the summer of 1692 that those who pleaded not guilty were quickly tried, convicted and hanged while those who pleaded guilty seemed to escape that gruesome fate: All 19 people who were executed in Salem had pleaded not guilty while not one of the 55 who confessed was executed, he said.
Professor Baker said he was happy to see Ms. Johnson’s name cleared. The accusations against her and her family must have ruined their lives and reputation, he said.
“For all the government and people of Massachusetts Bay put Elizabeth and her family through,” he said, exonerating her is “the least we can do.”
A fully automatic “ghost gun” was found in the possession of a California man arrested on Sunday for reckless driving.
Luis Angel Varela, 21, of Santa Rosa was pulled over by a police sergeant in the early hours on Sunday after he was caught doing “donuts” in his car, CBS News reported. A subsequent search of his car yielded a 9mm polymer ghost gun, capable of fully automatic fire, and with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding 30 rounds. Despite resembling a handgun, its automatic capabilities met the legal definition of a machine gun.
The term “ghost gun” refers to any firearm that can be purchased as a kit, usually online, and assembled at home. Its name derives from the fact that they are untraceable, unlike traditional firearms, lacking any sort of serial number and therefore posing a considerable predicament for law enforcement.
Following his arrest, Varela was booked into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Center. He currently faces a litany of charges, including possession of a loaded unregistered firearm, reckless driving, and driving with a suspended driver’s license. Due to the ghost gun’s fully automatic capabilities, he also faces charges of possession of a machine gun and its conversion, manufacture, or sale of a machine gun. His vehicle was also impounded for 30 days.
Newsweek reached out to the Santa Rosa Police Department for comment.
Due to the distinct threat they pose, ghost guns have come under heavy scrutiny by gun control advocates and politicians. Last year, President Joe Biden signed executive orders meant to implement new measures in the wake of several mass shootings, including a crack down on ghost guns.
“We are experiencing a growing problem: criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes,” a statement released by the White House at the time said. “When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of these firearms.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives last month passed the Protecting Our Kids Act following a 223-204 vote, with five Republicans breaking partisan lines to vote in favor of it. Introduced by Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York in the wake of more mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, the bill includes a provision that would outlaw ghost guns.
As of Sunday, the bill awaits a vote before the Senate.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourkehopes to defeat Texas incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott, but with 100 days until the midterm election in November, polls show the former congressman facing an uphill battle.
O’Rourke, who served as a representative for Texas’ 16th District from 2013 to 2019, significantly increased his national profile by unsuccessfully running against GOP Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. He went on to launch an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party‘s 2020 presidential nomination as well, before ultimately endorsing President Joe Biden. Now, the former congressman hopes to become the first Democrat to lead Texas as governor since 1995.
Although the Democratic contender set a massive new fundraising record, raking in $27.63 million from late February through June, polls still show him trailing Abbott by several points. The current Real Clear Politics average of Texas polls shows the incumbent Republican governor ahead by about 6 points. On average, Abbott is backed by 47.8 percent of Texans and O’Rourke is supported by 41.8 percent.
Polling by University of Houston/YouGov from June 27 to July 7 showed O’Rourke trailing by 5 points. The Democratic candidate had support from 44 percent of likely voters and Abbot had the backing of 49 percent. The poll included 1,169 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.
A previous poll conducted by The Texas Tribune with the University of Texas at Austin showed the incumbent governor ahead by 6 points. Abbott was backed by 45 percent of registered voters compared to 39 percent for O’Rourke. The survey included 1,200 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 points.
Another recent survey by CBS News/YouGov carried out from June 22 to 27 showed O’Rourke behind by 8 points. Abbott had the backing of 49 percent of likely voters and O’Rourke had the support of just 41 percent. That survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 points among 1,075 likely Texas voters.
The current FiveThirtyEight forecast for the Texas governor’s race gives Abbott a 95 in 100 chance of winning. Comparatively, O’Rourke just has a 5 in 100 chance—with the forecast predicting the incumbent Republican will garner about 54.4 percent of the vote and the Democrat will win just 41.7 percent.
Meanwhile, in a potentially favorable sign for O’Rourke, Abbott’s approval rating is currently underwater. Tracking poll data by The Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin shows more Texans disapprove (46 percent) of their current governor than approve (43 percent). That’s a 5 point increase in disapproval from April, when just 41 percent said they disapproved of the Republican governor.
To tap into the creativity of younger workers, and to offset a labor shortage, companies are offering four-day weeks, club memberships and work-from-anywhere flexibility.
Danielle Ross is a 26-year-old who lives in a small town in upstate New York. She describes herself as artistic and creative. She paints in her free time, and she has worked as a mermaid for children’s parties, swimming in a tail she made herself.
Ms. Ross, who identifies as L.G.B.T.Q., couldn’t imagine working a job that required her to downplay her identity or her skills, which is why she was thrilled when Legoland New York Resort, a theme park in Goshen, N.Y., hired her to be its first female master builder. Ms. Ross has been given wide latitude to use Lego bricks to create miniature cities throughout the park, drawing on her artistic side and her desire to promote diversity and inclusion.
“I’ve been building people of all different races and nationalities and religions and any type of thing I can imagine, because I want everyone to feel represented,” she said. Her miniature figures are blind and plus-size. They have prosthetic legs and wear burqas. Recently, she created a Hasidic Jew.
The creative freedom has made Ms. Ross love her job — and that’s the point. In the past year, Legoland New York has joined a growing number of companies that are working to create an environment that is attractive and stimulating to younger employees and that embraces who they are and where they hope to go. By recruiting Generation Z workers — born in the late 1990s and early 2000s — the employers aim both to tap their energy and creativity and offset an acute labor shortage, with some 11 million unfilled jobs in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Last fall, Legoland began to allow employees like Ms. Ross to have piercings, tattoos and colored hair. A national hospitality company has begun to experiment with a four-day workweek. The health care company GoodRx is permitting employees to work not just from home but from anywhere in the country, enlisting an outside company to provide ad hoc offices upon request. Other companies are carefully laying out career paths for their employees, and offering extensive mental health benefits and financial advice.
The goal is not only to get younger employees through the door but also to keep them in their jobs, not an easy feat. Surveys show that younger workers are comfortable switching jobs more frequently than other generations. But, with these efforts, many companies have so far avoided the labor shortages afflicting their competitors.
“We currently have over 1,500 employees,” said Jessica Woodson, the head of human resources at Legoland, “and I can confidently say at least half are Gen Zers.”
At Sage Hospitality Group, which operates more than 100 hotels, restaurants and bars across the country, 20 percent of the employees are members of Generation Z.
“We need this work force,” said Daniel del Olmo, the president and chief operating officer of the company’s hotel management division. “We recognize that Gen Zers are looking for different things than other generations, and we are trying to adjust for that.”
After the pandemic began, the company became acutely aware that many younger employees wanted a healthy work-life balance. In fact, studies like one recently conducted by ADP Research Institute show that many employees would quit if an employer demanded a full-time return to the office.
Sage Hospitality is now piloting a four-day workweek at select properties for positions including cooks, housekeepers and front-desk receptionists. These jobs have been the hardest to fill during the pandemic, and the company has about 960 open positions.
The four-day workweek has helped, Mr. del Olmo said. “Rather than having this negative feeling of, I have to go to work because I have to make a living,” he said, “suddenly it is, I want to go to work because I can combine it with my life that I love.”
Employees in the company’s home office in Denver are allowed to work remotely at least one day a week, and all employees are allowed to take their dogs to work one day a week.
“A team member will take care of the dog if an associate has to clean a room or show a guest something,” Mr. del Olmo said.
Mason Mills, 26, a marketing manager for one of the company’s hotels in Denver, said the pandemic had changed her generation’s perspective.
“We started seeing that while a career is incredibly important, so is living the life you have been given,” she said. “By allowing dogs in the office, and having a work-from-home schedule to accommodate some of those needs, it shows the company is evolving.”
According to Roberta Katz, an anthropologist at Stanford who studies Generation Z, younger people and previous generations view the workplace fundamentally differently.
“American Gen Zers, for the most part, have only known an internet-connected world,” Dr. Katz wrote in an email. In part because they grew up using collaborative platforms like Wikipedia and GoFundMe, she said, younger employees came to view work “as something that was no longer a 9-to-5-in-the-office-or-schoolroom obligation.”
Andrew Barrett-Weiss, the workplace experience director of GoodRx, which provides discounts for prescriptions, said giving employees that kind of autonomy and flexibility had helped the company close more than one deal. GoodRx offers employees the opportunity not only to be fully remote but also to have a desk wherever they want to travel in the United States.
GoodRx also provides financial advisers for employees. “A Gen Zer may not have enough money to have an investment account, but they can have this,” Mr. Barrett-Weiss said. Career coaching and fertility benefits are offered as well.
“We are trying to solve big problems in health care,” Mr. Barrett-Weiss added, “so we need the most fresh, young perspectives we can get.”
Sydney Brodie, 27, an account supervisor at Le CollectiveM, a communications agency in New York, was delighted when the company’s owner told her that in July she would provide employees with a house in the Hamptons, where they could bond with one another and their clients.
“I was already so loyal to the company,” Ms. Brodie said, “but now I’m like, Why would you look anywhere else?”
She was also given a membership to Soho House, an exclusive private club, in part as a means for networking. “My company sees what I need as a person,” she said. “They are giving me the tools to excel personally and professionally.”
Kencko, a subscription food service centered on fruits and vegetables, is focusing on mental health. All employees, as well as members of their household, get six sessions with a therapist, not an insignificant perk considering that hourly prices for such services have risen to $400 in some parts of the country.
Still other companies are trying to tap into younger workers’ desire to grow in their careers. In a LinkedIn survey this year, 40 percent of young workers said they were willing to accept a 5 percent pay cut to work in a position that offered career growth opportunities.
That’s why Blank Street Coffee, a chain of 40 coffee shops in the United States and England, makes career growth a part of its recruiting pitch, said Issam Freiha, the chief executive. Employees who want to advance in the company are shown a clear trajectory they can follow.
After Alex Cwiok, a Blank Street barista in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who has a passion for coding, told her manager that she wanted to be behind a computer, “he mentioned it to the higher-ups, and eventually they brought me into the headquarters,” she said. “I never in a million years thought I would get plucked from the field one day and given a desk and a salary.”
Ms. Cwiok, 27, now handles customer emails and reviews as a customer success associate. She also works on updating the brand’s app.
For baristas who see their job at Blank Street as a side hustle, the company helps them take their next step. “We use our alumni and investor network to get people where they want to go,” Mr. Freiha said. “We got one barista on a TV show.”
Blank Street is constantly asking its younger baristas what they want. “We have to keep innovating,” Mr. Freiha said. “This generation doesn’t want to work for something that is stale.”