Joy Diaz

City Reporter

Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now the station’s city reporter.

Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke's NPR station WVTF.

Joy speaks English and Spanish, which is a plus in a state like Texas. She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.  

Pages

Transportation
6:03 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

SideCar Disables Ride-Sharing App in Austin for Now

For a while at least, if you want to get a ride with a stranger you'll have to call a cab.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The city of Austin has a long-running dispute with the various ride-sharing groups -- people who say they are in their cars anyway, so through mobile apps they offer to “share” their ride in exchange for some money. The city has said that’s an illegal taxi, but today it made a truce with Sidecar.

San Francisco-based Sidecar says it’ll disable its mobile app until the Austin City Council meets again in August. Conversations and negotiations will take place in the meantime, because ride-sharing services found loopholes that they say allow them to operate legally in the city.

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Austin
5:43 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

City Hall Honors Local Centenarian

Martha Coleman has seen a lot of change in Austin.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

This is Martha Coleman Day in Austin. Mayor Lee Leffingwell made that proclamation in honor of one of Austin’s oldest living residents.

Coleman is a tiny woman. At a quilting party celebrating her 108th birthday she wore a pink dress that was a little too big for her. Coleman’s 93-year-old niece had been stitching while she waited for her aunt’s arrival. One of Coleman’s great-grandnieces put a Happy Birthday rhinestone tiara on her head. Coleman’s slim fingers grabbed a needle and start putting the shapes together.

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Austin
2:52 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Under Chief Acevedo, Different Reactions to Police Shootings

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo's tenure has been a contrast with his predecessor’s – especially with regard to police shootings.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

Last month, there were two officer-involved shootings in the Austin area. But the community reacted differently than it had in a not-so-distant past. After the shootings, there were no marches, no press conferences from civil rights organizations, and no riots. 

It’s almost like one can mark the history of the Austin Police Department in the community as “Before Art Acevedo” and “After Art Acevedo.”

Before Art Acevedo became APD chief, there was Stan Knee. His tenure was very different.

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Austin
6:07 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Matt's El Rancho Co-Founder Dies

Janie Gaytan Martinez, right, died Saturday. She's pictured with her granddaughter Audrey Glickert and daughter-in-law Estella Martinez.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

The co-founder of one of the oldest restaurants in Austin died over the weekend. Janie Martinez helped her husband open Matt’s El Rancho in 1952.

Martinez died Saturday at the age of 90. Her death comes almost a year after the Tex-Mex restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary. Matt himself died in 2003.

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Texas
3:27 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Post-Conviction Appeals

In a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that will allow those convicted of crimes to appeal on the basis of inadequate defense
flickr.com/fisherfotos

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that could help people already convicted of crimes appeal their convictions in federal court.

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Transportation
4:55 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Border Crossings Could Charge Admission to U.S. Visitors

Fees at border crossings like this one in Montreal could raise millions for infrastructure.
flickr.com/xiaozhuli

The story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM.

The federal government is mulling a possible entry fee to cross the border into the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security wants to study if, and how much, it could charge people on the millions of trains, buses, personal vehicles and even pedestrians crossing the U.S. border every year.

The idea would be to use the money for infrastructure repairs and maintenance at the ports of entry.

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Texas
10:01 am
Mon May 27, 2013

For One Austin Man, Every Day Is Worth a Memorial

Rick Smith began his Memorial Day morning just like he does every day – by ceremoniously raising the U.S. flag.
Joy Diaz for KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM.

Every Memorial Day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty.

But Rick Smith doesn’t wait on any specific day of the year. He has made it his mission in life to honor the U.S. flag every morning and night – and plans on doing so for the rest of his life.

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Austin
5:57 am
Thu May 23, 2013

First 8 Members Chosen for Austin Redistricting Commission

A city worker rolls the barrel with the names of commission contenders.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The city of Austin is one step closer to drawing new geographic district maps for the city council. Eight names were drawn yesterday at City Hall to serve on the city’s new redistricting commission, and they have already received their first assignment.

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING 101
6:05 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Under One Roof: Who Develops Affordable Housing for Austin?

Scott Wilson says affordable housing is built to last. "At a commercial project, the owner often may only be there for four or five years.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Under One Roof, Part Two: The Developers

It’s early morning – still dark outside – and Walter Moreau is already done with his morning run. When I meet him he’s downtown, getting ready for his workout.

“I think there’s a lot of things here in the gym that translate to work,” he says.

Moreau leads Foundation Communities – Austin’s largest non-profit builder and manager of affordable housing.   

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Affordable Housing 101
6:05 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Under One Roof: Who’s Using Affordable Housing in Austin?

A home in the Blackland neighborhood of East Austin. A neighborhood development corporation helps create homes affordable to low-income families.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Under One Roof, Part One: The Users

If you’re going on a tour through the world of affordable housing, it’s good to have one of Austin’s most knowledgeable experts as your tour guide.

Meet Stuart Hersh. He’s a consultant with non-profit organizations that help produce affordable housing. During the last 30 years, Hersh has worked in a variety of fields that have to do with writing and enforcing building codes to writing affordable housing regulations.

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Austin
1:55 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Report Asks: Why Aren’t Hispanics Sharing in Austin's Boom?

A mural outside the Mexic-Arte Museum downtown.
flickr.com/monad68

A five-year effort from a group of Hispanic community leaders is about to wrap up. In 2008, the Austin City Council asked the group to evaluate the quality of life for Hispanics in the city. They found big disparities between Hispanics and their peers in areas including education, health care, even access to cultural institutions.

Last night, about fifty people came together at City Hall to share ideas on how Hispanics in Austin could bridge those gaps.

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Transportation
8:26 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Transportation Group Seeks Input on Changes to CAMPO 2035 Plan

The Capital Are Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is adjusting its 2035 plan.
CAMPO

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

Starting tomorrow, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – better known as CAMPO – begins asking for the public’s ideas on a series of projects.

Some projects are being dropped, while others are being picked up for consideration. 

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Texas
9:02 am
Mon May 13, 2013

From Austin to Boston: Artificial Limb Company to Help Marathon Bombing Victims Run Again

Courtesy of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

It’s been a month since the Boston Marathon bombings that injured more than 250 people. At least fourteen lost limbs.

Experts say it takes healthy, strong people about six weeks to recover enough from an amputation to begin considering their prosthetic choices. Austin-based Hanger Orthopedics, one of the largest prosthetics and orthotics companies in the US, says it’s ready to help.

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Austin
12:53 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

APD Officer Shoots At, Misses Driver of Car That Ran Red Light

APD Chief Art Acevedo at the scene of this morning's officer-involved shooting.
Joy Diaz/KUT News

No one was injured this morning when an Austin Police officer shot at a 58 year-old man at the corner of 12th Street and Airport. But the incident is likely to, once again, raise questions about the use of lethal force by Austin police.

APD says the incident started as a routine traffic stop just a few minutes before 8 o'clock when a truck ran a red light. After the truck was pulled over, police say the driver got out of the vehicle and walked towards the officer making the stop.

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Austin
5:10 am
Fri May 3, 2013

This Air Force Vet Makes Socks for Austin's Homeless. Here’s Why.

Tim Scott named his company MitScoots, a tough name to pronounce, which comes from Scott’s childhood.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM

As you got ready this morning, how much did you think about which socks to wear? Socks are one of those items most people don’t dwell on. But an Austin Air Force veteran learned the importance of a pair of good, clean socks the hard way -- which led him to start his own socially conscious sock company.

Tim Scott named his company MitScoots, a tough name to pronounce, which comes from Scott’s childhood. As a 5-year-old with dyslexia, he was learning to write his name. Tim became Mit. And Scott became Scoot.

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Austin
11:24 am
Thu May 2, 2013

African-Americans Are Austin's Only Shrinking Ethnic Group. Here's What Some Are Doing About That

The historic Victory Grill in central east Austin. Gentrification of once traditionally black neighborhoods has helped shrink Austin’s African-American population.
flickr.com/wallyg

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

To say that Austin is growing is an understatement. But amid Austin’s exponential growth, one group is declining – and fast. The African-American community in Austin is shrinking, due to two major factors: moving out of the city’s core, and a mortality rate higher than any other group.

Last night, a diverse group of people met on the UT campus to discuss if there’s a future for black life in Austin.

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Austin
11:40 am
Tue April 30, 2013

What Will it Take for Austin to Become a Bicycling Capital?

Several bike projects hope to create a safe and friendly biking culture.
City of Austin

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

Austin is steadily pedaling its way to becoming one of the bike-friendliest cities in the country.

With more than two percent overall of Austinites biking to work – and in some parts more than eight percent – the city has surpassed commuter goals set in its bike master plan. (The plan’s linked here.)

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Austin
10:06 am
Mon April 29, 2013

How Sequestration Threatens Austin's Most Vulnerable Seniors

Meals on Wheels and More delivers food to area seniors.
facebook.com/mealsonwheelsaustin

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

Little by little, the effects of sequestration are becoming more tangible in the everyday lives of some Americans. And though the federal government has reinstated some agencies’ funds, cuts are coming to the programs destined to feed some of the country’s most vulnerable adults.

But there’s at least one Austin non-profit that’s looking for ways to keep feeding adults in need.

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Austin
11:47 am
Tue April 23, 2013

The Austin Program That Offers Down Payment Cash for Homes

Guadalupe Alcalá bought her home with assistance from a city program. She was recently able to refinance her home without having to pay a penalty to the city.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

There’s a little-known program run through the City of Austin that provides down payment money to low-income people free of charge. Of course, there's a catch: homeowners must live in the property for 10 years, or pay the city back.

Those who bought in when interest rates were almost twice what they are today, now wonder how can they refinance their mortgage without having to repay the city.

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