Tag Archives: garcia

SD6 ~ Sylvia Garcia Wins!

Looks like it’s State Senator-Elect Sylvia R. Garcia who will be headed to Austin to represent Senate District 6. After starting the evening with comfy lead after the Early and Absentee votes were tallied, Garcia kept the lead en route to a 1000+ vote victory at the end of the evening.

Now, the bad news, as Kuff and the Trib reminds us.

Harris County has 10 days to canvass the results after Saturday’s contest, and Gov. Rick Perry‘s office of has an additional four days. The winner cannot take her oath until the governor’s canvass, which means the victor will not be able to file any bills after taking office.

Well played, Rick Perry. Which is why many of us were calling for Perry to call the election from the get-go, and which goes to show where Perry’s priorities are during the session.

Yeah, sounds like it sucks, right? But the new Senator had the perfect response to the Trib.

“What we’ll do is just work with some of the legislation that’s already been filed, not only on the senate side but with some of the house members that I have been working with during this campaign,” she told the Tribune. “We’ll just have to work with what we got.”

There’s no doubt that things got a bit serious in this race; even I enjoyed a few insults from some more overzealous supporters of Alvarado. (I drink coffee with the wealthy people of Memorial and that should bar me from having an opinion, apparently.) But Garcia hit the nail on the head.

Garcia said she will make health care and public education her priorities and said she anticipated that the delegation, which was split in its support between the two candidates, will heal and come together. Both she and Alvarado will be in Austin now as members of the same delegation.

“It’s all about moving forward and moving the ball forward and making sure we get things done, not only for this district but for the state of Texas,” she said.

State Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, was one of Garcia’s earliest supporters and said Saturday’s election means the delegation has added a strong and motivated Latina to fight for Houston.

“The election is over. District 145 gets to have a strong leader and advocate,” he said. “And it has a strong senator to advocate for our community in tandem.”

All that’s left to be said is:  How dare Garcia and Alvarado make friends pick between them!

Seriously, though, this is something that will keep occurring, but I hope this just means we’re another step closer to creating a Latina/o break-out candidate who can run competitively city-/county-wide and statewide. We’re overdue!

PDiddie has more.

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Univision Does Better Job on SD-6 Report

Univision has done a better job on reporting on SD-6 than most mainstream media outlets here in Houston or Texas. And this one is a discussion on the issues, as mainstream media should do. Billing Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado as two powerful Latinas, Univision’s Jose Carrera does a great job of introducing the candidates and an even better job of promoting their stances on issues, even that of driver licenses for undocumented immigrants.

State Immigration Issues

Both Garcia and Alvarado stated their support for the Texas DREAM Act, which allows undocumented students access to a college or university at in-state tuition rates. This should be a no-brainer beyond SD-6, in my opinion, given that these students and their parents have more than met residency requirements for in-state tuition. Both also support driver licenses for undocumented immigrants, Alvarado stating that all driver’s should have access to vehicle insurance as a measure of safety, and Garcia stating that all residents should have a State ID no matter their immigration status.

On Voter Turn-Out

I’ve made myself clear on the disappointing turn-out after both Garcia and Alvarado spent a nice chunk of change on Round 1. So, what’s the plan during the run-off?

Garcia:  States her campaign will be more forceful and motivated. If they knocked on your door 3-times, this time, they’ll knock 6. If they called you 4 times, this time, they’ll call 8 times.

Alvarado:  With a smile, she states that she will be getting in the middle of street, yelling at voters to go vote because of the election’s importance.

On Education

Both have stated their support of any effort to restore the $5.4 billion cut from K-12 education. Alvarado stated that more money beyond what has been cut is needed. The report stated Garcia was emphatic about this, but also supported reforming public education in Texas that would free teachers to teach everything and not just to the test. In the report, Garcia also stated she would fight against Rick Perry’s idea to take funding away from public schools for private school vouchers.

On Medicaid, Health Care

Both Garcia and Alvarado support an expansion of Medicaid. Garcia cited that Rick Perry not accepting federal dollars only means that what Texas invests in federal income taxes will only go to other states. Alvarado added that one in four Texans do not have health insurance.

Although both campaigns have gone negative in various ways, there is agreement beyond the issues. Garcia stated that both are going to make history, with Alvarado adding both are of good quality and hopes to see more Latinas elected to other posts.

The Main Difference? (My own commentary)

I delve deep into word games, particularly the code words campaigns use. In this race, I see a huge difference in one instance. From Day 1, I’ve seen Carol Alvarado using her “born, raised in the East End” meme as an asset, which obviously points to the fact that Sylvia Garcia was not. Garcia, on the other hand, has not run away from being born and raised in a farm-worker family in Palito Blanco, Texas down in the Valley, and it has been an asset which shows a small-town girl grew up to be a major player in the big city. In this case, I relate a lot more to Garcia because I’ve been the recipient of that kind of commentary from many locals when all one wants to do is serve and do some good. And the bottom line, some would say that most people in Houston are arrivals, rather than born here. Just sayin’.

I figure since no one had mentioned this before, I thought I’d throw that out there for conversation’s sake. Or if that makes the decision for you, great!

Great job by Jose Carrera!

SD6 ~ Re-Checking the Mail–Direct and Electronic

My post this morning about the start of early voting earned me a call-out about my take, and let’s just let be known that if you call me out and state your case, then, I can be a fair guy–even though this blog wasn’t designed to be “fair and balanced.” But I may just take the pay-route like the Chron, so, be warned.

So, I had written:

There was a flare-up yesterday over a Sylvia Garcia direct mail piece that called out Carol Alvarado’s METRO dealings, which PDiddie covers. Negative pieces are designed to tarnish competitors, and like most things, it’s all in the timing. It’s a lot harder to respond to a negative mail piece than to something on TV. And when the e-mail response to said piece has a couple of linked exhibits and is sent by a surrogate, well, it’s hard to be effective. Targeted voters have something tangible in their hands, in this case. Believe what you will, enjoy the negativity or not, in a race like this where there are too many similarities in issues stances, that’s what one does, beyond the door-to-door.

What seemed to me like an attack on Alvarado’s work for METRO was specifically about the East End rail line and the problem with running the new light rail line across the existing freight rail line crossing on Harrisburg and Hughes. One solution, which METRO supported, was an overpass–a six-block  long bridge over the freight line, 26 feet high. While many of the politicos supported it or thought it feasible, business owners and residents called for an underpass–below the freight line. So, as stated in the article, State Rep. Alvarado was hired as a consultant to find funding for the added cost of the project (bridge or underpass project). In the direct mail piece, Garcia seems to question Alvarado’s work for METRO in support of a bridge while also serving the same constituents who did not support METRO’s idea of a bridge.

In his response to the mail piece, CM James Rodriguez took exception to Garcia’s line of attack and provided a link to a letter from then-commissioner Sylvia Garcia which had stated that she supported “the concept of a bridge or underpass” at the freight rail crossing, and not just the underpass. Citing comments regarding elected officials and “guts” made by Garcia at a candidate forum, Rodriguez challenged Garcia  by stating that many of the area’s officials worked to find the funding for the project and that Garcia did not attend meetings on seeking a solution. Rodriguez further stated that Garcia “declined” to contribute County money to the project.

In fact, Garcia’s letter stated that there was no provision in the county’s most recent bond referendum for this money and that the county was “not in a position” to commit money for the proposed bridge.

So, hopefully, I’ve provided background and fairness to this whole thing about a mail piece. Obviously, there are differing takes and opinions to this whole thing and I have some of my own. Needless to say, the people got an underpass and that’s what matters.

To add a bit more fairness, there was a lot of online rumbling from supporters of Joaquin Martinez, who pointed to the two “serious” campaigns’ warring as a means of pushing the alternative–Joaquin. When other bloggers and even the Chron minimize the other candidates, they tend to get a little upset. As someone who has worked with those kind of candidates, I don’t blame them! But we all know political realities, and those other candidates do, as well.

As far as attacks go, let me say that I seldom mess with people’s livelihoods or personal lives when working campaigns–too many people can get hurt. The bigger story here is that the Texas Legislature was built to be occupied by wealthy people, or at least those who make enough money in their endeavors in a year that they are allowed to take 140 days off to be in Austin. (As if they don’t do Lege work the other days, right?). We seldom question the rich lawyers in the Lege about their money, thus, I’m not a fan of questioning anyone else.

Why can’t they all be like the late, great Ernie Glossbrenner? But that’s for a whole other blog post.

SD6 Early Voting Begins Today

It’s early voting season–again! Well, at least in Senate District 6. All is quiet on the western front where I reside, but since so many opinions are available on this race, I’ll share mine soon enough. Still, it is very important for my friends, relatives, and even a few enemies that reside in SD6, to vote–and early! Kuff’s got a bit of an overview.

There was a flare-up yesterday over a Sylvia Garcia direct mail piece that called out Carol Alvarado’s METRO dealings, which PDiddie covers. Negative pieces are designed to tarnish competitors, and like most things, it’s all in the timing. It’s a lot harder to respond to a negative mail piece than to something on TV. And when the e-mail response to said piece has a couple of linked exhibits and is sent by a surrogate, well, it’s hard to be effective. Targeted voters have something tangible in their hands, in this case. Believe what you will, enjoy the negativity or not, in a race like this where there are too many similarities in issues stances, that’s what one does, beyond the door-to-door.

Beyond that, there have been a few opportunities for voters to attend forums, although I tend to like the community forums more than the “business” group forums. This is about the people, and not the contributors or people wanting a government contract. There are a few more opportunities this week and weekend, including one breakfast forum being hosted by the National Hispanic Professional Organization on Saturday.

Early Voting locations can be found here. With eight candidates on the ballot, there’s no excuse not to vote. Show up! It’ll make you feel good!

Thoughts on Viernes…12142012

 

Dem Women Holiday Party–A Blast!

So, I, along with my sisters, attended the Holiday Party put on by the local Democratic Women’s clubs and, as always, it was a blast. Held at Planned Parenthood, the highlight for me was listening to two great speeches from SD-6 candidates Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado. Each, in their own way, has been at the front lines fending off the Republican War on Women, so, the fact that there are two Latinas with a strong record of supporting a Woman’s right to choose in the running to represent a predominantly Latino seat is a pretty exciting thing.

Good music by Carli Mosier and the band; great food and desserts; and some amazing libations were the icing on the cake. And yes, there was cake!

Grier Rewarded…

But for what? Should Houston ISD be giving money out like it’s going out of style? One thing is rebuilding high schools for kids–that’s an investment in the future. But a $115K salary bonus, part of it for being “satisfactory”? His tenure wasn’t even up until 2014! Anyway, my good friend Juliet Stipeche voted against it and she is to be commended for taking a stand. Unfortunately, my own trustee voted for the giveaway. Anyone ready to run against him?

Musica Break – Los Texmaniacs w/ Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos