Category Archives: City of Houston

Turner Earns Key Endorsements

turnerAfter receiving the endorsement of former opponent Adrian Garcia, as well as the collective nod of local Latino elected officials, another former opponent, Steve Costello, announced that he, too, will support Sylvester Turner for Mayor.

“Sylvester and I agree that ReBuild Houston is a good baseline infrastructure program that can and must be improved to meet the needs and expectations of Houstonians,” said Costello.  “We agree that our police force needs to be increased to match the city’s growth and growing needs, and that we must get back to community-based policing so officers are connected to our neighborhoods’ challenges and successes.”

“After leaving office in January, my focus will be on finding a path forward to position Houston for its next steps in mass transportation,” said Costello.  “Sylvester Turner is the best candidate to connect all of Houston through multi-modal transportation, and I look forward to working with him on critical transportation issues like commuter rail.”


Credit: Turner Campaign

Among the Latino elected officials endorsing Turner are:  HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche, CM Robert Gallegos, CM Ed Gonzalez, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, State Reps. Ana Hernandez, Armando Walle, Jessica Farrar, and Carol Alvarado, and Constable Chris Diaz.

Thus far, the most notable post-first-round endorsement is that of former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who came in at third place in the race.  No doubt that these lighting fast endorsements from former foes with slightly varying platforms and views are evidence that Houston can come together to elect a “mayor for all.”

Stay tuned for more Run-Off news. Run-off is December 12.

DC (Finally) Reacts To Tuesday

By the time I clicked [REFRESH] a little after 7PM on Tuesday night, I knew most of my picks were going down in flames. Here are my reactions to a few races a few days after sifting through the ashes–in no particular order.

LatinoVoteJuliet Stipeche-HISD8:  It was pretty upsetting to see her down by 10% the whole night. What was the reason? Her unique name versus a familiar “Hispanic-sounding” name? Her opponent endorsed by anti-Equality bigots? The fact that there were almost 5,000 (29%) undervotes? And what caused the undervote? Interest in smacking down HERO? Interest in voting for Adrian Garcia and pushing [CAST BALLOT]? Or are people fed up with HISD and any incumbent was a target? Or as Campos mentioned, was Juliet’s opponent not taken as seriously as she should have been? One thing is for sure, Stipeche had a good team and partnerships with other campaigns to GOTV. Perhaps all of these reasons are the reason for such a defeat in one way or another. A loss is still a loss, but I expect Stipeche to stay in the game, giving back to her community as she always has, and fighting for the people. What’s next for HISD? I don’t know, I reside in Alief ISD.

Adrian Garcia-Mayor:  Garcia started out criticized by most Dems for leaving his post as one of the top Dems in the County. Funny, these are the same people who’d get mad at me for challenging him on 287g and other immigration issues because “we need to re-elect him and then we can work on ‘your’ issues.”  So, I threw caution to the wind and decided to support Adrian–a progressive-to-moderate Latino who I thought had the most potential to be a mayoral “first” during the next decade. (I don’t see many other Latin@s with that potential locally, yet.)

Kuff has a good post on what may have happened to Adrian. One “cause” may have been a lack of (or slow) reaction to when the white Dem candidate and the right-winger who made the run-off went on the attack about the jail conditions and jail budget issues, which were mostly inherited by Garcia. I asked myself, “How can we expect a major culture change in a law enforcement agency that is over a century old led by any one Democrat (with no help from a Republican commissioner’s court) for a few years?” At least, that would have been my defense for the purpose of not losing Dem loyalists and moderates, since he needed more of those to make a run-off. Garcia was still a cop at heart, but he made some impressive gains in less than two terms. But he left, so, that left him open to attacks from Dems who weren’t happy he left, I guess. I’d like to think that if he had stayed in the post, the Dem loyalists would have been defending him for a third term. Maybe? Or would he have been primaried? I’m not afraid to say that this part showed a lot of hypocrisy by Dems all because they wanted their guy to win. Sure, you might say I’m a hypocrite for overlooking my differences with Garcia, but at least I embrace my hypocrisy and still criticize those I support (like Adrian), when needed. Ah, politics! 

Run-Off:  I’ll support Sylvester Turner, as Adrian Garcia has.

Controller:  Chris Brown must win. No-brainer.

At-Large 1:  There are a lot of upset people because their guy didn’t make the run-off. Well, you can’t run on a sweet resume and wealthy connections alone. You actually have to be personable, talk to people, and make connections with regular people. That’s why I liked Lane Lewis, because he’s been doing that for a while and it would have been a good quality to have on Council. Hell, it’s hard not to support someone who “likes” FB pics of your mom or asks about “Flo,” right? Instead of the DosCentavos nod, perhaps the #FriendsOfFlo nod would have helped more. (Of course, this is just my perspective.) Keep on truckin’, Lane!

In other thoughts, a few more elections and Griff may make it to Council!

Run-Off:  [Blank] Anti-Hero BS bothers the hell out of me.

At-Large 2:  David Robinson had too many opponents and is left challenged by a right-wing, anti-Equality, anti-Civil Rights preacher. Obviously, we need to keep Robinson.

At-Large 3:  Nice try, Doug Peterson. Thanks for stepping up and giving us a choice.

At-Large 4:  Amanda Edwards made the run-off against anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Latino Ol’ Roy. Amanda must win the run-off!

At-Large 5:  Philippe Nassif ran a good campaign. He’s got more potential in his pinky finger than most office holders have in their entire bodies, so, keep an eye open for this guy. This is another run-off that I’m leaving BLANK. The whole anti-HERO BS just bothers the hell out of me.

HERO: I’ve had conversations with a few people. There’s talk that Mayor Parker will bring it up before she leaves office–and during the run-off campaign. That has a lot of people upset who want to make sure pro-Equality candidates aren’t caught in the undertow of hatred and ignorance in a run-off that will surely bring out the bigots if HERO is still an issue. There’s talk of adding other protections to HERO to make it more palatable to the haters. Well, in that case, add protections for gun nuts and “persecuted” christians. I don’t know what the answer is. I do know I’m not a fan of voting on civil rights protections. They should just exist–even after a fight in the courts. One thing is for sure, there is a hate-slate for the haters that must be defeated on December 12.

District F:  I hope my CM Richard Nguyen isn’t in trouble. The results between two anti-Equality candidates and Nguyen scare the heck out of me. Nguyen needs to be re-elected.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz must win this one. More than the issue of Latino representation, this is also about ensuring constituents are well-served from day 1, and Jason has that edge.

District I:  Congrats to Robert Gallegos. He ran a great race, and stayed classy against an unclassy opposition.

Ramiro Fonseca-HISD3:  Ramiro has so much potential and is sincere in what he does. Perhaps getting out of a district and trying citywide is better for him? Maybe I just want the chance to cast a ballot for him.

Final thought:  When we look at the numbers, a couple of things will be true:  Latinos still aren’t taking their responsibility to vote seriously, and, those that are voting aren’t friendly to Equality issues, even though our community’s history is steeped in the Civil Rights era. All of this has got to change. What’s the answer? I found a recent Noam Chomsky quote that put things in perspective:

“The only thing that’s gonna ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements which don’t pay attention to the election cycle.”

Retired Cop is Voting for Prop 1 (Video)

Great to see CM Ed Gonzalez “on tape” supporting HERO (Proposition 1). Check it out. DosCentavos supports Prop. 1, too.

Ad: Vote Yes to Protect HERO

City of Houston Races Are Set!

city-of-houston5PM Monday came around and the final filings were released by the City of Houston for the 2015 races. Looks like there will be contests in most races, some will be decided on November 3, others in the December run-offs.

Council Races on my radar (click here for full lists):

District F (home):  Kendall Baker, Steve Le, and incumbent Richard Nguyen. From the looks of it, Baker and Le are pro-discrimination, while Nguyen is a HERO supporter and has served my new district well.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz, Roland Chavez, Karla Cisneros, and Abel Davila. Jason is a friend of mine, I’ve made no secret of that.

District I:  Robert Gallegos (incumbent) and Herlinda Garcia. If this is the same Garcia who ran for HCC on the fake-Black Dave Wilson anti-Gay ticket, then, we know where she stands. Gallegos, on the other hand, hit the ground running once elected and has done a great job for the district that I almost landed at when moving.

District J:  Mike Laster, Manuel Barrera, and James Bigham. Before I moved to F, I supported Laster for his second term. He’s represented the district well and is a HERO supporter.

At-Large 5:  There are five candidates, but the only one worth watching is Philippe Nassif.

At-Large 1:  With eight candidates, only two have interested me:  Lane Lewis and Tom McCasland. Of course, I’ve known Lewis for a while and have supported him in the past.

At-Large 2:  Incumbent David Robinson remains the only candidate of the five who filed that is interesting and serving constituents well.

At-Large 4:  Seven filed for this seat; however, the two that I have met and remain the most interesting and qualified are Amanda Edwards and Laurie Robinson.

At-Large 3:   Doug Peterson is the only candidate I’ve really met from my Democratic activism. Some might want anyone but Kubosh, but Peterson is getting the Dem nods.

City Controller:  This one has six candidates, but the only one I’ve given my attention is Chris Brown.

What is unfortunate is that while many of my favorite candidates have an actual interest in serving and addressing multiple issues, their opponents seem to be more interested in being bigots, or making this a bathroom election. Houstonians need to learn about the candidates, about the real issues, and vote accordingly.

Well, those are my thoughts for now. I’ll work on something for the Mayoral race soon.

Chron did a little breakdown of the races.

Catching Up on a Lunes

First Day of School

juiceboxGood luck to all involved in educating kids. If you’re a college student, take responsibility for your academics, take advantage of all kinds of student services (especially tutoring!), and don’t expect any hand-holding. Teachers, please enjoy your after-school juice box (see pic). All, be safe on the streets.

Local Campaigns

Now that it seems the club endorsements are about done, I’m looking forward to the actual campaigns, including the pro-HERO campaign. If you want to catch up on some of the local races, check out Kuff’s interviews with District F’s Richard NguyenDistrict H’s Jason Cisneroz, At Large 3’s Doug Peterson and  Texas Leftist’s questionnaire of At Large 5’s Philippe Nassif.

Protesting Children

Just when Hillary double-downed on Central American kids last week, we’ve got some anti-kid activity at a local HISD Arabic magnet school on the first day of school. See what I did there?

Monday Music ~ Ram Herrera – Los Años (Mucho Mas Que Amor-2015)

Emerging Latino Leaders Video Series: Adrian Garcia

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship program has started a video interview series featuring Houston mayoral candidates with the purpose of informing young voters about the local 2015 elections. They kick-off the series with Adrian Garcia.

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship, Mi Familia Vota, El Gato Media Network, and Kalipsous Production joined forces to organize and produce interviews with Houston’s mayoral candidates with the goal of attracting the youth to vote this November.

Emerging Latino Leaders is a collaboration between Rice University Center for Civic Leadership and Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing Latino civic engagement. ELL provides future leaders with the confidence, support, and skills needed to take an active role in their communities.

ELL Fellowship, along with other groups, will be hosting a Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 12, 2015 at Rice University at 10:30AM. Stay tuned!

And now, here’s Adrian Garcia:

Houston Activates Heat Plan; Extended Through Monday


From the Inbox:

HOUSTON – The National Weather Service has extended the Heat Advisory for Houston until Sunday evening, as high heat indices are expected over the next week. The City of Houston’s Public Health Heat Emergency Plan is currently in effect, and provides for free transportation from METRO to designated Cooling Centers, for Houston residents.

In addition, The Houston Health Department has extended hours for the following Multi-Service Centers on Sunday, August 9th to ensure that an adequate number of facilities are open to serve as Cooling Centers.

The following Multi-Service Centers will be open Sunday from 12:00pm – 7:00pm:

  • Acres Home Multi-Service Center (6719 W Montgomery)
  • Kashmere Multi-Service Center (4802 Lockwood)
  • Third Ward Multi-Service Center (3611 Ennis)
  • Southwest Multi Service Center (6400 High Star)

A full list of air conditioned City facilities and their normal operating times are online at

Residents requiring transportation assistance may contact the Houston 311 Help & Information Line by calling 311 or 713.837.0311

In addition, residents are reminded to take precautions to keep themselves safe in extreme heat.  The Houston Health Department has posted tips for reducing heat-related illnesses at their website,

Adrian Garcia Raises $1.5M in 56 Days

adrianpicThe Adrian Garcia for Mayor campaign reports raising $1.5 million in the 56 days it had to raise funds before the first reporting deadline. Giving credit to grassroots energy and a base of loyal supporters, Garcia states that voters are attracted to his fiscally responsible management practices during his terms as Sheriff.

Garcia:  “Our message that we reformed the Sheriff’s Office, saved the taxpayers millions of dollars, and kept people and families safe is resonating with voters across Houston.  We will bring that same fiscally responsible approach and smart management practices to tackle the tough issues at City Hall.  The broad base of support we have already built puts us well on the way to victory in November.”

Local pundits had stated that for Garcia to look viable he would need to report raising at least $500k during this period, shortened because he was still on the job as Sheriff. Pundits also stated he would need to raise $2 million or more to run a viable campaign thru the first round. What this blogger noticed upon Garcia’s launch was a burst of energy and excitement from supporters that I hadn’t seen in a local campaign, especially from people who aren’t always involved in the political process. From Garcia, I expect a pretty different campaign than what we have seen from others in the recent past.

That said, for perspective, Garcia’s fundraising abilities seem to be pretty awesome if one considers the first Annise Parker campaign in 2009 raised about $800,000 in a period of five months. Garcia’s campaign calls it unprecedented in Harris County. I’m not surprised that he could do it given the energy that is backing him up, but I think I did let out a “¡Hijole!” when I read the press release. Or something like that.

Garcia’s campaign is quick to point out that he basically started from zero in the fundraising department and that he did not transfer any money from his Sheriff’s campaign account. As the Garcia campaign stated:

“We have always believed that Texas Ethics Commission rules and the City of Houston’s campaign finance laws were clear that it is inappropriate to raise money into an account for a different office with the intent to transfer those funds into a city campaign account.  We saw this recently in San Antonio when Leticia Van De Putte ultimately decided not to transfer funds from her lieutenant governor’s campaign account into her mayoral campaign account.”

As some will recall, Garcia opponent, Sylvester Turner went on a fundraising frenzy during his re-election campaign for State Representative and it is known that he will be transferring as much of the million dollars in his legislative account into his mayoral campaign account as possible. It is what it is, I guess.

Obviously, I’m looking forward to the actual report, but I am told that in-kind contributions to Garcia were minimal considering that we’re talking seven figures in total contributions. So, we await the press releases and finance reports from everyone else in the race. I can’t say I’m a fan of money races in politics, but, as they say, “money isn’t everything in a campaign, but it helps.”

Houston Mayoral Candidate Forums – This Week!

Arts Forum
Wednesday, June 3
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Asia Society
1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004

City Budget & Economic Development Forum
Thursday, June 4
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: University of Houston Student Center South (ballroom)
UC – Building 565
126 University Drive, Houston, TX 77004

Area Labor & Community Organization Forum
Saturday, June 6
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: Talento Bilingue
333 S Jensen Dr, Houston, TX 77003