Category Archives: DC Housekeeping

The 2011 Top 10 Most Visited Posts

Well, I took the time to look through my stats and found the Top 10 Most Visited Posts of 2011. I can’t say I’m surprised at the outcome. You all like my cultural and political posts, and that just tells me I need to continue that formula. So, here they are:

1. DC Reviews:  Intocable – 2011

2. Chron:  One Arrested at Rally and DC Has Pics!

3. DC Reviews:  Jay Perez – The Voice of Authority

4. Guest~Dr. Rey Guerra:  On Nationwide Falling Crime Rates:  A Surprise Hypothesis

5. Post Election Thoughts ’11 – Round 1

6. Theft of Service Bill Passes TX Senate

7. Houston, We’ve Got a Latino

8. Conservatives Attack Long-Term Citizen for Speaking Spanish

9. COH Elections Are Done:  Some Initial Thoughts

10. Groups Call on TX Senate to Reject HB12

10 and 1/2. Rick Perry’s Tent Revival Coming to Houston

About these ads

DC’s Thanksgiving 2010 Message

I’ve got lots for which to be thankful in 2010.

  • My Mom, Flora, is doing much better.
  • My sisters, Sylvia and Toni, for being the best cheering section (and critic’s circle) I could ever have.
  • My big brother Mike Kelley for continuing the fight for GLBT rights with his amazing craft and for always hanging out with the Cartel during the holidays.
  • Candidates like JULIET KATHY STIPECHE…because on top of being a top-notch lawyer and really freakin’ smart, she’s also very real. She’s the kind of person we need on the school board…period.
  • The DCMedia/MedellinGroup 2010 family of clients and their staffers (Ashley Williams!) for giving it all you got and continuing the battle. And because of you all, I finally got to open my closet DosCentavos World HQ almost inside the loop.
  • Carlos Guerra–For what seems like my political lifetime, his writing has influenced me greatly and now that he’s a good friend and “colega en la causa,” it’s been quite the experience. And now that he’s got Sara Ines Calderon, Victor Landa and that whole NewsTaco thing, I’m just hoping they don’t put me out of business. Thank you?
  • DosCentavos.net readers:  What can I say? Five years later, none of you have killed me, yet. Sure, I get called names when truths are pointed out, but hey, it’s part of the game. Agree or disagree, the traffic keeps coming and I’m thankful for that. At least some of us can still be friends in the end…I think!
  • The Texas Progressive Alliance and Houston Blogists Bloggers…see you at the Holiday Party!
  • And all my Kingwood Area Dems friends for all that you do on our treacherous ground.
Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday weekend everyone.

BARC Needs You!

BARC, the City of Houston’s dog and cat adoption center, is beyond capacity.  The shelter currently has 671 dogs and cats at the facility designed for 550.  The high population is due to an increased number of owners surrendering animals to BARC over the last two weeks.

To increase adoptions, BARC has recently extended its presence in the Houston community by hosting five weekly adoption locationsaround the City, attending special events such as PetFest 2010, promoting its pets on Facebook, and launching a new website (www.houstonbarc.com).  BARC is upping the ante again this Saturday, hosting an event from 12pm to 6pm at the facility located at 3200 Carr, 77026 in a huge effort to attract potential adopters to the shelter to address the over-population.  The event will also provide benefits to previous BARC adopters and all Houston citizens.

The theme at BARC this weekend is: “Shelter animals bless so many lives, it is time for us to bless them in return.”

On October 30, BARC will partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Houston to offer non-denominational pet blessings for both shelter animals and members of the public.  Non-denominational pet blessings of animals will begin at 2:15 to our public pets at two BARC facility entrance locations, followed by a blessing of the shelter animals.  BARC adopters and service animals are particularly encouraged to attend.

“Many of our Episcopal churches do pet blessings each October to celebrate St. Francis’ Day and we are delighted to take that tradition to BARC. It is especially gratifying to have the opportunity to bring attention to the large number of animals that need permanent homes and to say thanks to the people who work with them daily. We hope lots of folks bring their pets this Saturday to join in that celebration,” said Carol Barnwell, Communication Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

The band Cow-Jazz will be playing from 1 to 4pm, during which BARC Houston visitors will be able to take part in face painting, moonbounce games, discounted pet microchipping, a pet costume contest sponsored by Friends of BARC.  BARC will also have booths for local vendors, who include: Fido FitInvisible FenceSNAPWoof Pet BakeryCall to DoodyPet Photography, and Animal Companions Pet Sitting.  Visitors may also have their pets tested for Canine Good Citizen Certification, which is administered by American Kennel Club certified instructors.  You may view the promotion flyer at http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/barchalloween2010.pdf.

“Houston is a great pet community, and City residents support us so much.  We want folks to know that BARC is the place to come if you’re looking for a new animal companion, and that we recognize everyone who supports our shelter and animals.  Our event this Saturday is a chance to thank all of our adopters, fosters, volunteers and their families.  We also hope we get to introduce ourselves to Houston residents that may not be familiar with us, or haven’t visited BARC lately,” said Carlene Lormand, BARC Marketing & Outreach Manager.

The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help the BARC Houston shelter, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly.  We encourage everyone to visit the new www.houstonbarc.com.

Winning 2010: The Bill White Community College

Thanks to John Coby for sending this information.  If you live in Bay Area Houston, now you have an opportunity to learn how to get your neighbors out to vote.

Bill White Community College

Learn how to reach out to prospective voters through proven techniques at a training session for volunteers interested in working on the Bill White for Governor campaign. Advance registration is strongly recommended but not required.  RSVP to Suzy Allison at suzy.allison@att.net
When:  Saturday, August 14th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where:  City of Webster Recreation Center building, 101 Pennsylvania (at the corner of Pennsylvania & S. Austin streets),77598.

Cost:  Free

Food:  Light refreshments will be provided during the break.

Sponsors:  BAADWomen (Bay Area Association of Democratic Women) and BAND (Bay Area New Democrats)

If you haven’t been able to attend an all-day Bill White University training session at the Bill White headquarters in Houston,  you will benefit from this Bill White Community College, a shorter (3 hours), local (Webster) Bill White volunteer training program.

Program segments include  the following:

Block walking training:  presented by Sherry and Mark Weesner, CJ Farley and Cheryl Germain.  We will have an opportunity to divide up and practice on each other after the presentation.

Virtual phone bank familiarization:  by John Cobarruvias, a VAN trainer for the State Democratic Party.

Phone bank training:  by Kris Banks.

Strategy overview for the Bill White effort along with problems and opportunities in specific parts of our area using data from the ’08 election cycle: by Suzy Allison.

Issues, talking points, and charges and rebuttals:  by Bob Tomlinson.

Plans for Bay Area headquarters and an opportunity to sign up to help:  by CJ Farley.

Information on all nearby headquarters will be provided.

We hope this will be informative and give volunteers the comfort and confidence you need to get to work  to ELECT BILL WHITE OUR NEXT GOVERNOR.

We’d like some clue as to how many will attend, so RSVP to Suzy Allison at suzy.allison@att.net, but feel free to come if you didn’t get around to replying – we’re pretty flexible.

The Celebration Begins…And…April Fool!

After fooling a few local notables with my previous post, I must announce that DosCentavos.net is actually celebrating FIVE YEARS of existence this month!

Yes, right-wingers (and a few “Democrats” who don’t like me), I am NOT leaving the blogosphere. Far from it.  DosCentavos will be around for a long time–I’ve actually left instructions in my will about who gets it next–that’s how long it will be around.

A little over five years ago, I wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in the Chron where I lambasted the Bush appointment of Al Gonzalez as AG.  The skewering was even featured on a Sunday dueling with a V & E partner that defended Al Gonzalez.  Well, DosCentavos is still here, and I doubt the V & E partner even wants Betito around.  It was then when the thought of “DosCentavos” even existing began.

A few months later, I was invited to a “communications” meeting at Harris County Democratic Party HQ which had two of my good friends, Charles Kuffner and Greg Wythe, talking about “blogs.”  I didn’t really know what the heck a “blog” was, other than thinking that it happens to people when they feel “irregular.”  Nope, I was wrong.  After reading their stuff, I looked around and found that locally there were no Latin@ bloggers, or bloggers who wrote from that perspective, whether it be in politics or culture.  Then I figured, if these guys can do it…

Soon after, DosCentavos.net was born wreaking havoc throughout the liberal – progressive blogosphere and I am proud to have readers all over Texas, the U.S., and around the world–even some of our Men and Women in the Armed Forces.

It has been an amazing five years.  I have made a lot of friends, a few enemies, and even some frenemies from various political campaigns and issues battles.  Blogging has given me the chance to meet some pretty cool VIPs–some that I can call good friends, too.  And I cannot forget my bloggin’ compadres and comadres, whether it be folks in the Texas Progressive Alliance, the Latino blogosphere, or others who are just entering “the field.”

And, believe it or not, it has also been good for business.  I mean, c’mon, when a current judicial candidate who paid $1000 to an endorsing organization’s “push card program” states that my endorsement of the better candidate was bought (for a $40 ad on DosCentavos), well, I must be doing something right.

Actually, the blogging did cause a few candidates to come my way to boost the consulting side of things.  Some of you have touched, received in the mail, or answered a call a push card, a direct mail piece, or a robocall I put together this year.  And this includes working on the campaign of what could well be the only experienced, qualified Latina judicial candidate left to support–Julia Maldonado.  I don’t think endorsing organizations and the self-proclaimed Democratic powers have thought of the historic nature of this campaign–and that’s shameful!  Still, our job is to make that 44% of the vote 50%+ 1 because Julia is not only Latina, she’s the Wise…candidate in the race.

Well beyond the 2010 Democratic Run-Off, DosCentavos.net has a few bones to pick with so-called liberals.  President Obama’s call for drilling up the coast for a few drops of oil has left this Chicano blogger quite disappointed.  Comprehensive Immigration Reform should have been the next issue considering that NO OTHER ISSUE has attracted over 300,000 to Washington, DC.  Latinos are watching and if Democrats want to win handily in November, they better start working on the issues that matter, rather than appeasing the right.

DosCentavos was not created to be an immigration blog, but it will be one if it needs to be because we have a human rights and economic stake in this as Americans.

On the cultural side, it seems the Tejano Music scene refuses to die, to the chagrin of Cowboy Leroy at the HoustonRodeo.  With Tejano notables like Chente Barrera opening up his own indie record company (QVo Records) and even utilizing online portals to release the music to the market (MP3s), Tejano will continue coming back and DosCentavos will continue following it and  reporting on it.  Because just like health care reform, La Cultura is also a big f*****g deal!

So, thank you to my readers and friends who have supported DosCentavos.net from the beginning.  To those I “fooled” today with my abrupt blog-ending-post, my apologies–but I got you good, Y’Honor! (See Facebook).

I do have plans for a little happy hour with friends to celebrate DCs Cinco.  Stay tuned!

The Last DC Post…

It has been a great five years, but with readership down to about 3 (including me) I have decided to pull the plug on DosCentavos.net.

I have made a lot of friends during these last five years, even a few right-wing Republicans. Along the way, I’ve also made and met a few good clients and grew the blog to great heights.

Now, things are boring. I mean, c’mon, you can only write so many good things about Democrats.  After a while, Democrats just get boring.  It’s a fact.

So, thanks for reading.  I’ll be deleting the blog at the end of the day, so if you need to copy anything I’ve written, please do so.

Adios!

Diversity in Denton County…

It seems my sis Toni Medellin is busier than ever in Denton County.  Appointed as Diversity Chair for the Denton County Democratic Party, it didn’t take long for Toni to get the Party involved in local groups and events; most recently, the Epiphany Party for the Poor.  Here’s a story from the Denton News Connection on Denton County’s diversity efforts.  (DC has a soft place in his heart for the DC folks–they have a great County Chair and there is also this amazing Democratic Women’s group that is going places.

Meet Toni Medellin, the Diversity Chair for the Democratic Party in Denton County.  According to Medellin her main responsibility is to appeal to people who are not well represented within the party.  “The Democratic Party is a very diverse group, but, if you look at the leadership, it may not look so diverse.  My job is to find voters and candidates, especially people of color; women, minorities, under-represented groups and invite them to become more active,” she said, “We know they (the under-represented groups) are our constituencies, but they’re not necessarily in leadership positions.” Medellin is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and Rutgers University School of Law, in Camden, New Jersey. She is married to Ben Briseño and they have a 23 year-old son, Benny.  The family moved around the country while her husband was in the oil business.  Her law career began in Oklahoma where she worked at a non-profit organization that advocated for people with disabilities and then eventually for a large law firm in Houston, before moving to South Denton County.

Up until the last presidential election, Denton County voters were primarily Republican, but Medellin believes that is changing.  “The 2008 Democratic primary saw almost 55,000 voters, which is huge,” she said, “as voter turnout is usually low for primaries.” According to Medellin, for the first time, Texas mattered for Democrats because the Presidential nomination was up for grabs. Medellin said that as the Diversity Chair she encourages Denton County Democrats to get involved in the community, especially in this area where Democrats have traditionally been the minority.  “We have become members of the Chambers of Commerce, attend all kinds of community events and are active with charity organizations,” she added. An important factor, she said, is to make sure Hispanic representatives are at these events who can speak with the locals, as well as the Spanish speaking press. She said the concerns of Hispanics are the same as everyone else’s; they are worried about the economy, jobs, access to healthcare, the rise of college tuition and the fall of financial aid.  “One half of all new voters are Hispanic, they trend two to one Democratic voters.  As the Hispanic population grows the Democratic victories will grow,” Medellin explained.

She expects that Texas will soon be a minority majority state where Hispanics and African Americans will make up over 50% of the population, and both these groups overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Medellin believes the Republican Party will have to do a better job at courting these groups. Currently, Medellin continues to practice law while juggling her political outreach activities.  In addition to her role as the Diversity Chair, she is the Chair for the Lantana/Copper Canyon Precinct, serves as the Vice President of the Democratic Women of Denton County and volunteers with the local Stonewall Democrats (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender organization). Medellin said the 2008 president election was an enormous victory for the Democrats and they are hoping to build on that in the future. Her message to Democrats in Denton County is “you’re not alone; there is a very vibrant and active community of Democrats scattered throughout the county.”   She urges people to get involved, get to know all the candidates and their platform and most importantly, vote. “If you want to be active and don’t know how, get in touch with me,” she said. “We will plug you in and make sure you find a home with the Democratic Party of Denton County.”  She can be reached by email at dentondemocratsdiversity@gmail.com  or through the Denton County Democratic Party headquarters at 940-566-1165.

A Blogger Get-Together: Monday

“Celebrate the Inauguration With The Blogateers!” on Monday, January 4 at 4:00pm.

Event: Celebrate the Inauguration with local Bloggers!
Start Time: Monday, January 4 at 4:00pm
End Time: Monday, January 4 at 10:00pm
Where: Flying Saucer 705 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002

If you will be in town for the inauguration celebration come by the Flying Saucer and have a cold drink with the local bloggers of Houston. Cash bar. Beer is only $2.75 a pint all day. The Flying Saucer has a very large selection of beer. Drink one or drink many! Come on by before the concert and fireworks.

TPA’s Texan of the Year: Annise Parker

As I’ve mentioned previously, DosCentavos.net is a member of the Texas Progressive Alliance, a group of around 46 progressive Texas bloggers who cover all sorts of political campaigns, issues, etc.  Every year, we choose a “Texan of the Year” and this year’s award goes to Annise Parker. DC had the privilege of working closely with other fellow bloggers in supporting the campaign of Annise Parker, and all of our work, individual activism and campaign volunteerism will be celebrated “en grande” on Monday.  Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Parker.

With the election of Annise Parker as mayor of Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States signaled that they pay more attention to qualifications than to sexual orientation.  This news reverberated around the globe, and brought positive attention to Texas. National Democratic groups took note of a more progressive Houston than they assumed, and the talk and speculation turned to the possibilities of Texas turning blue sooner rather than later.

The Parker win was no accident. She put together a talented campaign team that ran on the strength of the grassroots, rather than City Hall insiders. Key Houston area progressive bloggers aligned themselves with Parker, and were embraced by the campaign. Blogs became an effective messaging strategy, emphasizing Parker’s qualifications, and her opponent’s weaknesses.

In the runoff, several third parties, including one longtime right wing operative who endorsed Parker’s opponent, launched a series of homophobic attacks against her, but they failed to do her any serious damage because voters recognized her distinguished service as a member of Council and City Controller, and valued her experience and financial acumen. Voters knew who she was and what she was about because she had always been open and honest about it, and that was more important than anything some agitator could say.

For her historic victory, for making the rest of the world re-evaluate its opinion of Texas, and for running a truly modern grassroots campaign, the Texas Progressive Alliance is proud to name Houston’s Mayor-Elect Annise Parker its Texan of the Year for 2009.

For 2009, the TPA also chose a stellar group of “Gold Star Texans.”  Here’s the list:

“Gold Star Texans” for 2009

Ramey Ko – Ramey Ko is an attorney and activist in Austin. He should be best known for his work in Asian Americans for Obama, but Republican stupidity assured us he will be best known as “the guy who held his cool while on the receiving end of a massive dose of both ignorance and racism from Betty Brown.” With extreme professionalism, he tried to help Brown understand why it would behoove her and all Texans that voting rights for Asian Texans and all Texans not fall prey to bureaucratic errors creating name mismatches. Brown’s ignorance/racism and Ko’s cool reasonableness drew worldwide media attention. Watch the video of their exchange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9hdVUzMeDw

Calvin Tillman:: Calvin is mayor of a tiny town at the epicenter of the Barnett Shale. Several industry giants seized DISH land and installed a several huge compressor stations and processing plants right next to neighborhoods. They built a crisscross of pipelines all through the town and on private property. He has taken a hard line with industry, crafting a strategy to get the most bang for his press releases.

Calvin and the DISH City Council spent @ 10% of their yearly budget for a private ambient air study. This is the first such study where the results were made public so that all citizens in the Barnett Shale area might benefit. The levels of toxins were amazingly high and many DISH residents are seriously ill but they are poor and do not have health insurance. Calvin worked with TDSHS and finally got them to agree to test DISH residents. This is the first time a state agency has tested residents for drilling toxins. Calvin travels to other areas and speaks about these issues. He has offered to speak and assist others and refuses any compensation for travel or time.

Calvin is largely responsible for TCEQ’s changed policy, announced today, in responses to Barnett Shale air emissions. Also, he is a blogger.

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat and his Capitol Staff: While he may not be a native Texan, the work that Representative Naishtat has done for the State of Texas earns him a spot on the Texans of the Year List for 2009. Even with Voter ID putting a choke-hold on progress, Naishtat and his Capitol staff worked diligently to pass more legislation than any other member of the House during the 81st session.  The Representative from Queens, who just completed his 10th session, has consistently proven himself to be an advocate for the sick and elderly, passing legislation that will create the Legislative Committee on Aging and ensuring Texas receives $15.2 million in Violence Against Women Act grants.  We would be remiss in acknowledging Elliott Naishtat — as the Representative is always quick to remind people — without also recognizing his longtime staffers (Dorothy Browne, Nancy Walker and Judy Dale) who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help make Texas a better, safer place to live.

Texas Watchdog: Texas Watchdog (http://www.texaswatchdog.org/) had a role in breaking stories in the just completed Houston city elections. Though their work can, at times, be controversial, we welcome another online news organization to the Texas media landscape with our nomination of the group.

Hank Gilbert – For his continuing work to defeat infrastructure privatization schemes and working with Democrats and more than a few Republicans, he helped put a stop to CDA’s this past session and handed Governor Perry and Commissioner Todd Staples a rare defeat.

Another End of Year Post…

2010 will be a huge year for DosCentavos.net.  Although our 5th Anniversary is in April, I’m going to celebrate it all year. Plans include:

  • A few meet & greets for some of my favorite candidates
  • A 5th Anniversary Get-Together-slash-Fundraiser
  • A few in-depth interviews with celebrities and political VIPs
  • And a lot more of the usual coverage

2010 Primaries

This will be a busy time for me as I will be working with a few clients with the hopes of getting them through the Democratic Primary.  We will have some good contested races from the top to the bottom of the ballot, perhaps even a few run-offs.  There’s nothing wrong with political competition as long as those in the running are doing it for the right reasons–to serve and not just for resume padding.  I expect a few below-the-belt punches; and, that shouldn’t surprise us.  Ultimately, we will have a good set of Democrats for the November ballot, but I’ll reserve comment as to whether I’ll vote a straight-ticket in November. (No, I will never vote for a Republican, but some Dumbocrats just don’t earn my vote if they take GOP stances on certain issues.)

2009 Resolutions

I was going over resolutions I made last year and it turns out I haven’t really done that bad.  DosCentavos.net grew and is running on a new platform; My Great Mexican American Novel continues to be developed; I took up a new hobby (photography), which I continue to add to (and find out that it is expensive!); there’s been some professional growth, which includes the development of a couple of businesses; I remained in Kingwood; and I’ve been quite thankful for the increased readership and friends I’ve made in the last year.

The only one that took a hit was getting into a daily workout regimen.  Sure, if I worked from home, I added some miles to my stationary bike, but much more is needed.  So, I think a gym membership is in order.  Something tells me that if a few bucks are extracted from my bank account that I’ll go and get my money’s worth.

So, for 2010, these are my resolutions:

  • Take DC to an even higher level.
  • Get the workout regimen down.
  • Continue developing the photography thing.
  • Continue developing the business.
  • Take a vacation outside of Texas.
  • Finish the Great Mexican American Novel…yes, Finish it!

What are you resolutions?  It is best to make those with which you can achieve measurable results, rather than going silly and failing.  As the song says, “Poquito a poco…”

Here’s wishing you all a great 2010 full of growth, victory, and prosperity.

Hasta la victoria, siempre!