Category Archives: LatinoVote ’11

Eight Arrested Protesting KBH’s Anti-Jobs Vote

Eight pro-Jobs activists were arrested yesterday after staging a sit-in at the Mickey Leland Federal Building. Showing their disappointment at Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn’s “no” vote on President Obama’s American Jobs Act, hundreds of protesters, including folks from SEIU, Good Jobs = Great Houston, and the Occupy Houston movements, among others, assembled at the federal building.

Three women and five men were charged with criminal trespassing. The demonstrators also included representatives of the Jobs Not Cuts organization.

In a display that put to shame the County Commissioner’s lack of support for more Harris County jailers, HPD sent out 50 officers, some in riot gear and others on horses, to arrest the eight activists and “control” the 200, which included some good people I know. That’s 1 officer for every 4 protesters, right?

Kudos to the protesters. I’m of the opinion that a movement should take the fight to those in power–the elected officials–and this protest did just that. The final step, though, is finishing the job–by voting and then staying involved.

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Houston ISD Finance Reports Are Out

Ericka Mellon at the Chron Education Blog reports on the latest finance reports for Houston ISD Trustees and their challengers. I tried looking on the HISD website for the reports to look at specifics beyond the numbers, but it is yet to be updated–unless it’s hidden somewhere.  One thing is for sure, HISD School Board needs to have an updated system to search for these reports.

Harris, who is seeking re-election to the District IV seat, has $37,577 on hand, according to her report. She raised $17,150 this reporting period. She has spent about two-thirds of that and has outstanding loans of $17,500.

Harris’ challenger, Davetta Daniels, raised $12,048 this reporting period and has $4,104.25 on hand after spending.

Ramiro Fonseca, who is challenging Manuel Rodriguez Jr. for the District III seat, brought in the most money of all the candidates this reporting period. He raised $19,490, compared with Rodriguez’s $10,206.

In the District VIII race, incumbent Juliet Stipeche has raised nearly six times the amount of her challenger, Dorothy Olmos.

Adding:

District VIII - Dorothy Olmos

Total contributions: $2,450
Total spent: $2,064.74
Amount on hand: $385.26
Outstanding loans: $2,500

District VIII – Juliet Stipeche

Total contributions: $14,550
Total spent: $18,536.71
Amount on hand: $4,072.51

DosCentavos hasn’t been following the races much this time around, although I am rooting for Juliet Stipeche in HISD-8. Other than some of the controversies surrounding Twitter blocks and contracts with vendors, which probably won’t take hold in single-member district elections without some “real money” to mass communicate, this will be a low-turnout election whose winners will win on shoe leather and “hand-kissing and baby-shaking.”

Still, it would be good to see the reports.

Chron Endorses in New Latino Opportunity District…

…and they didn’t pick the Latina candidate…or even the Latino candidate in the race for the new Houston City Council District J.

Don’t get me wrong, Mike Laster is a good candidate and I appreciate his work in the community and in politics, but when given the opportunity of a Latino-opportunity district, one would think that there would be a community consensus (including the media) gathering around the Latina or Latino; especially if they are progressive-minded. (I don’t support just any Hispanic candidate, now.)

I had the opportunity to help moderate a radio forum featuring candidates Criselda Romero and Rodrigo Cañedo, both whom were impressive in their presentations and responses. Unfortunately, because of a scheduling conflict, Mr. Laster was unable to participate; but, I have no doubt that he would have been as impressive. As the Chron states, all are “capable candidates.”

Although the Chron gives the district its due as the most diverse area of the City, it failed to even mention how this district was created, the actors involved in its creation, the population changes that lead to its creation and the process of cooperation between activists and the Mayor’s office. And that is what bothered me most, I think.

Ultimately, a Chron endorsement does not constitute a “win;” if anything, those not endorsed, basically, did not get something to put on a push card, or if they can afford it, a direct mail piece. This election is far from over for all of these candidates, and it is common campaign knowledge that the path to victory is on the streets, door to door.

Let’s see what happens as we inch closer to Early Voting.

2011 Houston Vote Happenings

Look, Mom, I’m on the Radio!

I’ve been providing my voice to help moderate the candidate forums put on by This Week With Sylvia Garcia and UCTCRadio.com these last few weeks. Today’s forum was quite exciting as we had the candidates for At-Large 2 (Pool, Thibaut, Robinson, and Fraga) and At-Large 5 (Robinson and Christie), and because these seem to be among them most competitive for 2011, we went hard-core in one segment, too. If only we had video.

For those of you that didn’t catch the live-version, you can tune in on Friday morning at 9AM for the replay. I believe there is one more replay in the evening. I’m also going to try to procure the mp3s of this and the previous ones and put them on here for your political education purposes.

Thanks again to Sylvia Garcia for this great service she is providing to voters, as well as to the candidates.

Show Us The Money!

The campaign finance reports for the City of Houston election are coming in. My friend Erik Vidor has developed a Google spreadsheet outlining the dollar amounts, along with links to each specific finance reports. These things never cease to amaze me. I either find a candidate doing a lot with not much, or a candidate with much doing all the wrong things (I’ll keep you all guessing). But it is a good way for voters to see who is supporting whom–whether it is a $5 check or a $5000 check. And you can see who the candidates are spending their money on, too–whether it’s a whole list of bars to appease the volunteers or a campaign meeting at a swanky restaurant…you get the picture. Some of the money even went to consultants, staff, signs, and pushcards. Check it out.

Kuff Is Still At It

El Kompadre Kuff is still at it providing his own set of candidate interviews. Visit his site here for links to each interview.

And for 2011 Politics from a Greg point of view, visit Greg’s Opinion.

EARLY VOTING IS SOONER THAN YOU THINK!

And below is a map and information on Early Voting locations for the City Elections, which also will include the state amendments.

Grad Rates Suffer During Enrollment Boom

You mean, the recruitment of underprepared high school graduates into our Texas colleges and universities didn’t automatically amount to increased graduation rates?

In Texas, only 20 of every 100 students who enroll at a public community college or university earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within twice the normal amount of time, the report found.

This isn’t news, although for some who work in the field it will probably be a source of increased frustration and stress. The State of Texas committed to “Closing the Gaps” in our universities and colleges by working more on recruitment; however, the State failed to “Close the Deal” by failing to adequately fund First Time In College and college retention efforts; not to mention decreasing the value of financial aid through tuition deregulation and cuts to scholarships and aid.

The failure to fully fund, and now, cut K-12 education will only add to the problem with few solutions that are well-funded being created. This “nontraditional” population in the report by Complete College Americais described as:

Graduation rates for this “new majority” are lower than for traditional students, particularly those who are part-time, older, poor, Hispanic or African American.

In other words, those who have been heavily  recruited recently to “Close the Gaps”, as well as those hit by the economy.

Republican (and a few privileged, clueless Democratic) politicians, of course, will try to lay the blame on “liberal” professors and academic advising offices, but the bottom line is that you cannot set out to “close the gaps” without addressing every single issue involved in the college going to college graduation process. In this case, we can only blame political expediency for this challenge because, certainly, colleges and universities have been doing without adequate resources for years.

The response now is to tell people, “There is no money.” But there is plenty of money which is being irresponsibly left untapped by Republican elected officials who fail to close tax and fee loopholes. And in Texas, Republicans may commit to using the Rainy Day Fund and other Education money for possible corporate welfare giveaways to oil companies. I guess we know what their priorities really are.

If those affected aren’t being targeted by the likes of Rick Perry and his wealthy buddies, then someone please explain to me this failure in leadership.

This Week With Sylvia Garcia To Feature Districts J and K

It’s time for another edition of “This Week With Sylvia Garcia” and this week’s show continues the public service that she is providing with a weekly set of candidate forums. This week, it is the candidates running for Districts J & K.

Catch the show on UCTC Radio on Tuesday, October 4 at 10AM.

Before the candidates are asked some tough questions by Sylvia and myself, you will listen to some call-ins from State Rep. Armando Walle and State Rep. Ana Hernandez-Luna; Congressman Gene Green; and the weekly chisme from Yolanda Black Navarro.

Tune-in at 10AM!

UCTC Radio, “This Week w/ Sylvia Garcia” to Host COH Candidate Forums

UCTC Radio’s “This Week with Sylvia Garcia” announced recently that it will host their first ever “Candidate Forum” in contested and open races in City, HISD & HCC races beginning with the show airing Tuesday, September 27. The public is invited to tune in to learn about the candidates, the issues and the future of our Houston/Harris County Region.

Tune in on Tuesday, September 27 for an exciting show that includes a Capitol Update-Austin with State Rep. Armando Walle; Capitol Update-DC with Congressman Gene Green; the Chisme of the Week with Yolanda Black Navarro and then the Candidate Forums for Districts B and C.

I’ll be helping out the Commish with some of the questions, too! Tune in at 10 AM on Tuesday at http://www.uctcradio.com.

A big thanks to UCTC Radio and Sylvia Garcia for putting on these candidate forums for the next few weeks, and especially for keeping the voters informed on these races.

More Endorsements in Houston City Elections

Planned Parenthood of Houston and SE Texas Action Fund has announced its pick for the 2011 City of Houston Council elections. Above most endorsing organization, this is one endorsement I look to when making my decisions at the ballot box. This year is especially huge after Rick Perry’s attack on women and the poor whose access to health care and screenings is limited.

Southeast Texas Action Fund, Inc. PAC (PPHSETAF PAC) voted to endorse the following candidates for the November 8, 2011 elections:

  • Annise Parker for Mayor*
  • Ronald Green for Controller*
  • Stephen Costello for Houston City Council At-Large Pos. 1*
  • Melissa Noriega for Houston City Council At-Large Pos. 3*
  • C.O. Bradford for Houston City Council At-Large Pos. 4*
  • Jolanda Jones for Houston City Council At-Large Pos. 5*
  • Ellen Cohen for Houston City Council District C
  • Wanda Adams for Houston City Council District D*
  • Ed Gonzalez for Houston City Council District H*
  • James Rodriguez for Houston City Council District I*
  • Larry Green for Houston City Council District K
  • Ramiro Fonseca for HISD Board of Trustees District III
  • Paula Harris for HISD Board of Trustees District IV
  • Juliet Stipeche for HISD Board of Trustees District VIII

The Action fund also included a list of those who scored 100% on the questionnaire, but did not endorse in the race. I’m glad to see all the District J candidates scored 100%.

DosCentavos on the Air

Next Tuesday, I will be appearing on This Week with Sylvia Garcia on UCTCRadio.com at 10AM, along with Charles Kuffner of OfftheKuff.com to discuss the City Election filings, who’s missing, who’s a surprise, and more. It should be a fun a show.

The Shift: Hispanics in America

This vid I came upon today was produced by the Center for Hispanic Leadership, which has a commitment to creating Hispanic Talent. Warning to Tea Partiers – Your head may fall off after watching this.

Ramiro Fonseca Announces for HISD-3

Ramiro Fonseca, a local higher education professional and community activist has filed for Trustee, Houston ISD District 3. Here’s his announcement: