Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cafe College Coming to Houston

When the notice from the City of Houston landed on my inbox, I must say that I was pretty excited. Something like CafeCollege, which helps prospective college students through the college-going process, has been needed for a long time. I recall then-Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio pushed this concept through, and I now send kudos to Mayor Annise Parker and all involved for bringing it to Houston.

Here’s the info on the grand opening of CafeCollege Houston:

Cafécollege Houston – Grand Opening at the Houston Public Library

Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 10 AM

Cafécollege Houston at the Houston Public Library (HPL) is a free resource and service center offering assistance to anyone with the desire to go to college and to also encourage those who are undecided about attending. Cafécollege Houston is located at Carnegie Neighborhood Library and Center for Learning at 1050 Quitman, 77009, 832-393-1720. The community is invited to the Grand Opening on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 10 AM. This center will provide the opportunity to make college dreams become a reality.

Cafécollege Houston is a “one-stop-shop” for teens and adults to receive help in finding the right college; SAT and ACT preparation, college admission assistance, filling out college applications, workshops, deciding on a career, finding financial aid; as well as having free Wi-Fi available. Whether attending college to get a degree or work on a certificate for a professional trade, HPL will have experts offering guidance to every applicant to make sure they get help through each step.  No one is too young or too old to get started.

Kicking off the grand opening celebration will be:
Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Director, Houston Public Library
Mayor Annise D. Parker, City of Houston
Ed Gonzalez, Mayor Pro-Tem, District H, City of Houston
Ann B. Stiles, Ed.D., President & CEO, Project GRAD Houston
Dr. Adriana Contreras, Executive Director, San Antonio Education Partnership / cafécollege

Cafécollege Houston is an educational partnership between the City of Houston, Ed Gonzalez, Mayor Pro-Tem, District H, the Houston Public Library, Project Grad Houston, and the City of San Antonio.

Cafécollege was implemented in the City of San Antonio and is one of two statewide pilot programs for the Texas College Access Network (TxCAN).

Houston Public Library’s cafécollege Houston hours of operation will be:
Tuesday – Thursday, 9 AM – 7 PM
Friday, 1 PM – 5 PM
Saturday, 10 AM – 3 PM

Post-Turkey Read: TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at Rick Perry’s day in court as he tries one more time to quash the indictments against him.

Libby Shaw contributing to Greg Abbott Brings Out the Worst in Texas. Again.

Stace at DosCentavos offers a tribute to his uncle, Sheriff Jose Serna. Sheriff Serna was the first elected Mexican American sheriff in Zavala County.

There may be some lessons for Democrats to learn from Louisiana, where they elected a Democratic governor on Saturday, but PDiddie at Brains and Eggs suspects the biggest one is “Run the Bluest Dog you can find against the worst Republican you can find”. And that’s just a tired recipe for the same failed election results in Texas over the past twenty years.

SocraticGadfly appreciates the intent, but questions the wisdom, of states making a state-by-state attempt at single-payer type “national” health care.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme doesn’t understand why some Texas pastors go out of their way to spew hate.

Neil at All People Have Value said the value of everyday life is a good foundation for a broad movement demanding that our everyday work and relationships be given proper regard. APHV is part of


Grits for Breakfast calls for police disciplinary files to be opened up.

Juanita goes biblical on Greg Abbott’s shameless announcement refusing refuge to people from Syria.

Robert Rivard notes that Abbott’s decision is in contradiction to Catholic teaching and practice.

The Texas Election Law Blog mocks the three-judge panel for its refusal to act on the ongoing redistricting litigation.

Dallas City Council member Lee Kleinman touts hit town’s non-discrimination ordinance.

Paradise in Hell annotates Greg Abbott’s surrender to the terrorists.

Mary Pustejovsky says no one should have to lose a love one to an automobile accident.

Austin On Your Feet provides five lessons from the passage of a “granny flat” ordinance.

Haley Morrison says it is our American duty to show compassion to refugees.

Bernie Sanders is a Regular Cesar Chavez on Immigration

cesarI haven’t been falling for the latest attacks on Bernie Sanders’ immigration stances–whether they come from the right or Hillary Clinton’s supporters. Much like Cesar Chavez did back in the day, Bernie has a problem with cheap, exploitable labor and its effects on the labor market, fair pay, and fair working conditions. So, when he called the concept of “open borders” a Koch-brothers idea, he wasn’t all that far off the mark.

What self-serving, profiteering, union-busting corporation wouldn’t want cheap labor and dismal working conditions to drive up profits? Yeah, that does sound like the Koch Brothers, or corporate farms.

I remember as a kid how corporations, like the vegetable cannery in my hometown, were bussing in undocumented laborers from 40 miles away as cheap, exploitable labor, pushing out Mexican Americans from these jobs–agri-jobs. It was a great scheme of divide and conquer and it worked.

Now, if you’re talking about “open borders” from the extent of fixing the legal immigration system to ensure the free-flow of workers who will be treated with respect and fairness, that’s different, and Bernie Sanders, much like Hillary Clinton, supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship and a reformed “legal” immigration system that will ensure wages and working conditions are kept fair and even competitive. But you better explain yourself, rather than just throw the term around looking for a quote to exploit.

What many of these lib-labs are doing is asking the question rather openly, instead of getting into specifics. The term “open border” is already being used by right-wingers for the current state of immigration. What this does is bring the same answers from most Democrats:  “I support comprehensive immigration reform.”

I mean, how many of these so-called reporters or journalists have asked Hillary Clinton any tough questions about her support of immediate deportation with no due process for Central American children? How many of these lib-labs who want to suddenly talk immigration by exploiting a quote have asked anything about the immigration detention scheme that has exploded under a Democratic administration? How many want to talk Latin American relations, support of Central and South American coups, etc.?

What we need is a real discussion on Latin America. It is easily avoided because of the Middle East, Russia, and other parts “over there.” Meanwhile, political, business, drug, and military interests consort to treat people unfairly, or even kill people, in order to support or bring back right-wing extremist governments to Latin America–a scheme that is as American as, oh, I don’t know, a broken immigration system that exploits cheap labor.

So, let’s have a real discussion, rather than playing the usual finger-pointing “GOTCHA!” politics that has kept the issue of immigration a dead issue in America.

UPDATE:  Jorge Ramos at Fusion had a pretty good interview with Sanders.

Find Your Towed Car…

Originally posted on :

Ever had your car towed and you just don’t know where it went? After smacking your head for not paying your parking fines, you can now go to a website which may point you in the right direction.

The city of Houston has just added a convenient little tool to help you deal with the tremendous inconvenience of having your car towed.

A Houston Police Department bulletin to the media announces a new Web site,, which provides access to information about towed vehicles.

By entering your license plate or vehicle identification number, you can find out where your car is.

Here’s a link to Police Chief Charles McClelland explaining the site, which launched last week.

This hasn’t happened to me (knock on wood), but one time in college I came close. Considering that the City or any impound yard could make a killing during the time you seek your…

View original 17 more words

June 4: David Lee Garza -vs- Telemundo’s Mayoral Candidate Forum

You heard correctly. Telemundo is hosting a Mayoral candidate forum on June 4 at the University of Houston on the same evening as thousands of Mexican Americans and others will be attending a free concert  at Discovery Green featuring Tejano great David Lee Garza y Los Musicales.

#politicsfail ?

Anyway, this blogger will be at Discovery Green because it’s also my birthday week. The week culminates with another huge concert on June 6–my actual birthday:  Accordion Kings and Queens at Miller Outdoor Theater featuring DC faves, Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs.

Both events are great opportunities to press the flesh–just throwin’ that out there.

Telemundo–for future reference, might I suggest a free concert-slash-candidate forum? ¡Querer es poder!

UPDATE:  The Meyerland Area Democrats will be hosting a candidate forum on June 15, so make sure to attend that one!

Retail Politics Really Worked in Alief ISD Election

Well, at least where it involved me as a voter.

From Alief ISD:

Alief ISD voters approved the district’s bond referendum on May 9, 2015. The approval rating for the referendum was 72.3 percent as 830 votes were cast FOR the referendum and 318 votes cast AGAINST the referendum. The 2015 Bond Referendum is the district’s first since 2003.

Dedre’ “Dede” Jefferson was elected to the Position 4 seat in the special Board of Trustees election which was also on the same ballot. Jefferson received 426 votes to defeat Celia I. Morgan (153 votes), Gigi Myung (254 votes), and Natasha Butler (180 votes). Jefferson will replace Trustee Kimberly Wallace. Wallace was appointed to fill the vacancy in March and chose not to run in the special election.

The bond was not astronomical and very practical and will bring about some great things for the district. I’m glad it won.

Now, when it came to the Position 4 special election race, I was clueless. I sought out information and found a little bit on a few candidates. Was told of at least one endorsement that made me consider a vote for one candidate. Still, since I was new to the district, I didn’t get any contacts from candidates.

It wasn’t until I went to vote that I met with two of the candidates. I was really impressed by Dede Jefferson who had served as an educator for AISD, is a small business owner and is hoping to enter law school in the near future. She had some great ideas and presented herself so well that I voted for her.

So, as it stands, I’m batting 1.000 in my new school district.

Congrats to Dede Jefferson on a good win.

Adrian Garcia To Announce for Houston Mayor Today


The press advisory is in!

Adrian Garcia will be making an announcement at 2PM at the Lindale Park Civic Club that he will be running for Mayor.

Sources close to the campaign tell me he’ll be hitting the ground running today–blockwalking in the northside.

There will be more on this later today, but now we know.

Chron has some background.

TLEC Releases Statement as Voucher Bill Is Up For Texas Senate Vote

Senate Bill 4, a bill which is basically a backdoor voucher program, or what Republicans call “tax credit scholarships” is coming up for a vote this week, possibly tomorrow.

Under the program, businesses would be allowed to donate up to 50 percent of their yearly franchise tax liability to one of 25 pre-approved “educational assistance organizations,” according to Bettencourt’s statement. Those non-profits would then be allowed to provide public $500 scholarships and private school scholarships worth up to 75 percent of the average amount the state currently pays per public school student — or about $5,927.

The bill includes several provisions critics have demanded, including one to ensure students who receive scholarships are needy and others requiring that private schools receiving public money be accredited and administer annual “nationally norm-referenced” exams.

But some education groups still oppose the program, contending it is “school vouchers by another name.”

Here is a statement from the Texas Latino Education Coalition:

TLEC statement on vouchers (March 2015)

TLEC statement on vouchers p2 (March 2015)

April 18: Kingwood Area Dems To Host Annual Candidate Brunch; DC to MC

As reported by the Kingwood Observer.

The Kingwood Area Democrats (KAD) are pleased to announce that they are set to host their annual Candidate Meet-n-Greet & Brunch on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m., at the Kingwood Country Club.

The event serves as KAD’s annual fundraiser which covers the cost of organizing and engaging voters and activists in the Kingwood-Atascocita-Humble area.

Emceed by Houston political blogger Stace Medellín, the morning’s featured speaker will be 2014 candidate for Texas Comptroller Mike Collier.

The event is an opportunity to meet and hear from 2015 candidates for Houston mayor, city controller and city council, as well as elected officials.

For a $40 contribution, attendees will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast. This, along with a morning of political fellowship with Democratic neighbors, will make for an energizing event as the 2015 city of Houston campaigns take shape.

“Kingwood voters are vital to any electoral victory,” stated KAD president, Kevin McManis, “So, we invite city of Houston candidates to meet and speak to a group of committed voters who take their duty to vote and engage voters very seriously.”

Attendees may purchase tickets or make a contribution at Or for more information, contact Tony Morales at 832-593-3914.

Kingwood Country Club is located at 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail in Kingwood. For more information on KAD, visit

Yes, Hillary Clinton has announced, but we’ve still got 2015 elections to work and enjoy. I’m looking forward to emceeing the event because it’ll be one of my first chances to listen to the candidates who want my vote. To be clear, DosCentavos has not made any endorsements in Mayoral, Controller, and At-Large races, so, I will be fair to all candidates who attend. Those who don’t attend, well, that’s another story.

Register to attend. The $40 will be worth it–I PROMISE!

Schempp and Chancey Give Excellent Church/State Separation Talk

As a member and supporter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I am always seeking out great presentations on the subject. Last night’s talk at HCC-SW featured Ellery Schempp and Mark Chancey.

Schempp was the 16 year-old student who sued the Abington, PA school system after he protested the fact that the Bible was being forced upon public school students through readings of Bible verses. In 1953, the US Supreme Court ruled in Abington v. Schempp that state-sponsored Bible readings in public schools were unconstitutional. The ruling also stated that state entities could not promote one religion over another, which constitutionally mandated readings of the King James version did in Pennsylvania at that time. Fifty years later, the career physicist continues his church/state separation activism, re-defining the fight for religious freedom.

Chancey is a professor of religious studies whose thrust of his presentation proposed teaching academic, non-sectarian religious studies, rather than religion, as a matter of civic necessity, as religion has played a role in the history of the world. This has been a method which has not been up for debate or discussion as the debate has usually been about religious zealots wanting to force their versions of the Bible on everyone else without much inclusion of other religions. Meeting the Abington v. Schempp guidelines has seldom been a goal, politically.

That said, there is much to be learned about religion in the making of Texas. As I mentioned previously, the illegals the Southern US who were allowed to make Texas their home had to swear allegiance to Mexico’s Catholicism. Is it any wonder that religious references in Texas’ governmental documents are heavily stoked in protestantism? Even moreso, how those wanting to force the Bible on public school students come from a protestant background?

I guess I’m not much in agreement with Chancey’s argument because, given the nature of Texas politics, religion is probably best taught at home and church. Moreover, I wonder if the religious practices of indigenous folks would be considered, because, let’s face it, Mexican/Chicano Catholicism is filled with various Native practices, as well. And let’s not forget the paganism infused in all of them.

Excellent presentation, nonetheless. Thanks to Professors Schempp and Chancey and Americans United for some great food for continued thought and discussion.