Category Archives: Accion

The Annoyance That Is Democratic Pragmatism

donkey-fightIt’s not a secret. I support Bernie Sanders. I support his platform.

I don’t mind debating actual policy with Hillary fans, and I’ve met one or two who actually debate, rather than just blindly follow.  Most will debate economic issues, or Bernie Sanders’ existence, but other issues, like immigration, are ignored.

I understand. You want to avoid an issue in which Hillary Clinton is terrible. No one wants to admit that Clinton wants to deport children and moms back to violent countries in which they will face even more violence. The simplistic “I support Comprehensive Immigration Reform” line is pretty much ineffective when we have tens of thousands in freezing private prisons and deportations are being stepped up. We want to hear solutions.

As Bernie Sanders steps up his game on issues, especially immigration, the Hillary fans are now coming up with new material:  We can’t afford Bernie’s ideas; We can’t pass it in Congress; We can’t!

In other words, Clinton will work from the middle to the right to convince Republicans, as if this worked for President Obama. The fatalism that has penetrated supposed liberals in defense of their candidate is quite sad.

That I first noticed these chants around the MLK, Jr. holiday makes it even sadder. Martin had a dream, remember? Suppose white allies back then told him he couldn’t get all he was calling for.

Oh, that’s right, they did.

“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action; “who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Now, I won’t dare compare Bernie to MLK, but we can agree that ideas of social and economic justice are quite similar. Recently, even Chicano scholar Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez stated that Bernie Sanders’ platform is similar to that of La Raza Unida Party as he endorsed Sanders. Ideas and pronouncements that brought thousands to Washington, DC and that once empowered and excited Texas Mexican Americans enough to vote in huge numbers are once again being discussed because of Bernie Sanders. Yet, “we can’t”?

Frankly, the oft-stated “she can get things done” quote that Hillary fans are selling is also pretty annoying. It’s a reminder of the last eight years in which the Obama administration gave away the store to the Republicans prior to beginning negotiations on any given issue. Immigration reform is a great example as President Obama stepped up deportations (numbering 2.5 million) as a means of convincing Republicans that Democrats were “tough” so they would pass reform. Watered down legalization was discussed over citizenship. Instead, a co-opted immigration reform movement looked weak, and Democrats even weaker and inhumane when they didn’t call out the administration for the deportations and human warehousing of children and mothers in private prisons. And all efforts failed. Meanwhile, we’re left begging the Supreme Court for deportation relief for a few without any real rights for the migrants who might benefit. I’m sure Hillacrats are secretly mortified that the Supreme Court may side with the administration and “hurt Hillary’s chance.”

Now, all of us who want justice are being told to wait our turn, and to elect someone who can supposedly pass (watered down) legislation. If it’s in the same way as President Obama, then we’re sure not building an excited progressive base for 2016. Let’s recall that we had an excited base in 2008 only to return to failed Democratic pragmatism, thus demoralizing said base (I give you the 2010 midterms as an example of what happened). If you want to excite voters, then you must call for what is needed, not for what we can maybe, sorta get, if even that. Let’s excite the electorate and win big, then we can negotiate later with the backing of a committed base. But we need start with what we want.

Instead, Bernie Sanders’ opposition seems to want more of the same. And this needs to change. Because “We can’t!” should not be in our political vocabulary as Democrats. If that’s the response to Bernie Sanders, then, spare me.

CityVoter Best Charity Contest – Vote Neighborhood Centers

Houston.CityVoter.com has an online contest where visitors to the site pick “Houston’s A-List,” including the category of Best Local Charity.

There are a lot of good ones listed, but one of the most impactful organizations is Neighborhood Centers. So, join me, and vote for Neighborhood Centers!

Note:  You’ll have to sign up to the site, but it’s easy! Voting ends May 31st.

Chavez Day-Houston [Photos]

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Parade Grand Marshal Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

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State Rep. Sylvester Turner visiting Chavez Day prior to his campaign kick-off for Mayor.

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¡Que Viva!

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Leader and Activist Maria Jimenez honored for her years in La Causa.

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CM Robert Gallegos mentioned that the Cesar Chavez Parade was among the first events he attended when he launched his campaign for District I.

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Part of the crowd.

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Constable Heliodoro Martinez of Pct. 6 working the crowd.

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The Congresswoman had kind words for Tejano Association for Historical Preservation and Cesar Chavez Street activist Benny Martinez.

It was a well-attended event that must continue to grow. It was great to see Chavez High School students enriched by this celebration, as well as Pct. 6 Constable Martinez challenging the students to get involved as the struggle for civil rights is far from over.

Some kudos must also go to Sylvester Turner for showing up, which is more than I can say about the other announced candidates. As CM Robert Gallegos stated, a couple of years ago, this was the first event he attended and look at him now. One cannot expect votes if they don’t show up. And here’s a secret:  People who show up to these events celebrating activists actually vote–or are willing to listen.

Congrats to the TAHP and all involved for a great event.

 

Chuy Garcia Makes The Run-Off in Chicago

Chuy Garcia, the Cook County Commissioner who forced Rahm Emanuel into an April 7 run-off, is a pretty good candidate. A Durango, Mexico native, he is the son of a bracero whose family ended up in Chicago in 1965. Garcia served his community while going to college–an honest to goodness community organizer. After serving on City Council, he was the first Mexican American elected to the Illinois Senate and was re-elected, only to be defeated by a Richard Daley-supported opponent. After his defeat, he returned to organizing in his community. In 2010, he was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners and was re-elected in 2014.

On Tuesday, after being outspent by the corporate-supported Emanuel 12-to-1, his grassroots campaign earned him 34% of the vote to Emanuel’s 45%. It was a complete embarrassment for Emanuel who boasted some pretty big political bosses on his resume. Emanuel even got an end-of-campaign endorsement from President Obama.

“Today, we the people have spoken. Not the people with the money and the power and the connections. Not the giant corporations. The big-money special interests. The hedge funds and Hollywood celebrities who poured tens of millions of dollars into the mayor’s campaign. They all had their say. They’ve had their say for too long. But today, the rest of us had something to say.”

One must wonder if President Obama and/or Bill and Hillary will get involved deeper in the run-off campaign. Certainly, it wouldn’t look good for Hillary Clinton to side with Emanuel over Garcia. Frankly, I think it best for that little group to stay out, or be bold and side with the right side of history.

One thing is or sure, Emanuel will once again sell out to the highest corporate bidders, so Chuy Garcia needs your help. Donate to his campaign today.

Let’s face it, this blogger has never been a fan of Chicago’s current Mayor. Didn’t like him under Clinton, in Congress, and especially under Obama. Didn’t like it when Rahm Emanuel attempted his own brand  of “comprehensive immigration reform” with Colorado bigot Tom Tancredo. Beyond Obama, I think Emanuel was behind the Term 1 delays on CIR. And to know he’s also the most bought politician in the Chicago Mayor’s race just makes me ill. That Chicago can make history by electing its first Mexican-American Mayor would be monumental.

 

DC Xmas Eve Message

Not everyone will get to enjoy all these Christmas treats, but you can make sure families are fed and enjoy the holidays a little bit.

Make a contribution to the Houston Food Bank today. It really doesn’t take much.

Video: #UStired2 is English for #YaMeCanse

Watch this!

Saturday in Houston’s Northside: Loteria The Vote!

Click image to enlarge. This sounds like a fun event–Food, Music, Voting! Democrat for Lt. Governor, Leticia Van de Putte, will be there to shake hands and speak. Now, this is democracy!
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Walk2Vote: A Student-Driven GOTV Event on Thursday

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UHD Student Leaders Bring “Walk to Vote”!
Empowering The Student Body Houston Use Their Constitutional Rights!!

Not a UHD Student? Join and vote with us!!
#Walk2Vote #W2V #YouthRevolution #Oct23 #1pm

HOUSTON, TX –Hundreds of students will unite and march to the vote this Oct 23, 2014!! University of Houston-Downtown students vow to unite and play a critical role in the November elections as they pledge to walk to vote. Our student leaders resolve to empower all UHD students to get out and vote.

mayorIn 2012, the Student Government Association (SGA), started an initiative at UHD that aimed to empower students by registering them to vote and take action. From the month of August to October of 2012, the SGA was able to register 2,500 students to vote. During early voting in 2012, the SGA then hosted the Walk 2 Vote event which was attended by over 700 students, the Mayor and other distinguished guests. Following a brief rally, together we continued and marched with over 300 students at the same time and voted. The results at the UHD were truly unprecedented, as over 55% of the student population voted at UHD in 2012, compared to other University counterparts at 5-15% according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University.

Since the beginning of the fall 2014 semester, various student organizations have passionately competed with one another in an effort to see who could register the most voters. To date, we have registered over 1,500 students who will now be eligible to vote in the November elections. In honor of this, the Student Government Association has orchestrated an event to encourage our students to vote and inspire them to let their voices be heard.

Join us on Oct 23rd on the UHD’s South Deck from 1:00pm to 2:00pm as we celebrate our achievements and exercise our constitutional right to vote.

Who: University of Houston-Downtown Community
What: Walk and Exercise the Right to Vote
When: Oct 23rd, 2014
Time: Rally 1:00p-2:00p, March Begins at 2:00pm
Where: University of Houston Downtown South Deck to 1001 Preston, 77002 (4 blocks)
Guest: Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Rapper Bun B, Inspirational Hip-Hop Artist Rocko Steady, Artist Sara Alavi

Contact:
Ivan Sanchez, Senior SGA advisor, 832-713-4577
John Locke, UHD SGA President, 832-5424897

Dan Patrick’s Record on Latinos

Thanks to the good folks at the Texas Democratic Party, there’s a list of comments made by Dan Patrick about Latinos and immigrants. Let’s not forget that this would be representative of an Abbott-Patrick administration if Latinos don’t show up at the polls. Is it any surprise that Patrick has refused a debate with Democrat for Lt. Governor Leticia Van de Putte at tonight’s Univision Town Hall?

Another reminder:  Watch a frank discussion about the future of Texas featuring State Senator Leticia Van de Putte on Friday, 9/12 at 6PM. Watch it online here.

Background On Dan Patrick’s History of Disrespect Towards Hispanic Community

Patrick Said Number One Problem We Are Facing Is “Silent Invasion Of The Border.” At a campaign speech in October 2006, Patrick said, “The number one problem we are facing is the silent invasion of the border. We are being overrun.” [The Texas Observer, 2/24/2006]

Patrick Said Texas Faces “Hardened Criminals, Not Illegals Here For A Job…They Threaten Your Family. They Threaten Your Life. They Threaten Your Business. They Threaten Our State.” At a January 2014 forum, Sen. Dan Patrick said the question of border security was tied to violent crimes in the U.S. He said an improved immigration policy was necessary because the state had been facing “hardened criminals we arrested from 2008 to 2012—not illegals who were here for a job … but hardened criminals—141,000 we put in our jails just in four years in Texas. They threaten your family. They threaten your life. They threaten your business. They threaten our state,” he said. [Off the Kuff, 1/21/14]

  • Chairman of Associated Republicans of Texas Said Patrick’s Rhetoric “Sounds Like Thinly Veiled Racism.” In February 2014, New York Times reported Hector De Leon, Chairman of the Associated Republicans of Texas, stated that the issue of illegal immigration “can be addressed by not engaging in rhetoric that sounds like thinly veiled racism.” [New York Times, 2/7/2014]

Patrick Said Immigrants Are Bringing Third World Diseases With Them Such As “Tuberculosis, Malaria, Polio and Leprosy.” In February 2013, The Monitor reported Dan Patrick said of unauthorized immigrants, “‘They are bringing Third World diseases with them.’ Although Patrick cited ‘tuberculosis, malaria, polio and leprosy,’ a state epidemiologist later rebutted his statement and said there was no evidence of that.” [McAllen Monitor, 2/19/2014]

Patrick Painted Immigration In Dire Terms, ‘There Are Terrorists and Drug Runners Coming Into Texas And Sheriffs Are Being Asked To Stop Them With Only .45 On Their Hip And A Shotgun In The Trunk.’ In February 2013, The Monitor reported, “At times in his political career, Patrick has painted illegal immigration in dire terms. ‘There are terrorists and drug runners coming into Texas and the sheriffs in 15 border counties are being asked to stop them with only a .45 on their hip and a shotgun in the trunk,’ he told a Houston business group in 2006, according to the Texas Observer.” [McAllen Monitor, 2/19/2014]

Patrick Said We Are Going To Be Overrun By People Who Have No Sense Of Our History, Our Culture, Or Our Language. Dan Patrick said, “We are going to be overrun by the masses coming here. By 2050 we could have over one hundred million people with no sense of our history, no sense of our culture, no sense of our language…Your property taxes will never go down as long as a fourteen-year-old can show up at the schoolhouse and we pay…And that student is destined to drop out anyway.” [TEXAS MONTHLY, 1/2007]

 

State Senator Sylvia Garcia Hosting Supply Drive for Refugee Relief

From the Inbox:

HOUSTON, TX – Senator Sylvia Garcia is asking the public for help with collecting supplies for the thousands of women and children refugees who are detained in South Texas after seeking asylum from violent conditions in Central America.

In the Rio Grande Valley where many of the refugees are entering the United States,  a group of non-profits have formed a coalition called, South Texas Refugee Response, to provide women and children with basic necessities while they are being processed by Border Patrol.

Senator Garcia is asking the general public and non-profit and faith based organizations from the Houston area to support South Texas Refugee Response, “While there has been much talk about the best course of action to address the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in South Texas, folks from the Rio Grande Valley are stepping up in a big way and giving women and children refugees a place to rest, access to showers, a few changes of donated clothes, meals, and items for their young children. They aren’t waiting on an act of Congress, they are doing something to help people now, and they need our support.”

The supply drive will be held from July 30th to August 15th.

The following Items Are Needed (All Items Must be New or Unused):

Women’s Walking Shoes (sizes 6-7), Men’s Walking Shoes (sizes 7-9) Children’s Walking Shoes, Backpacks, Sweaters/hoodies (small/medium sizes for adults and children), Women’s Clothing (sizes 0-8), Women’s Deodorant, Sippy Cups, Pedialyte, Newborn Nido (zero) formula, Hairnets, Soup Bowls, Disposable Spoons, Clorox, Mops, Lysol, Large Trash bags, Ziploc Bags (various sizes)Women’s Bras (32-34 cups, A, B, C) , Women’s Cotton Underwear (sizes 7 and under) Children’s Cotton Underwear.

Drop Off Locations and Times:

Senator Garcia’s Polk Office 5425 Polk Street, Suite 125, Houston, Texas 77023 M-F 8:30am-5:30pm

Senator Garcia’s East Harris Office 13301 East Fwy, Suite 304, Houston, Texas 77015 M-F 8:30am-5:30pm

Casa De Alabanza Church 10264 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77037 M-Sat 9am-8pm

St. Patrick Catholic Church 4918 Cochran St, Houston, TX 77009 M-F 9am-6pm

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 1510 Pannell St, Houston, TX 77020 M-F 9:30am-4:30pm

Financial Contributions Can Also Be Made:

Catholic Charities: http://www.cdob.org/catholic-charities135/donate-now

OR

The Rio Grande Valley Food Bank:

https://foodbankriogrande.ejoinme.org/MyPages/DonationPage/tabid/2309/Default.aspx