Tag Archives: houston

FIEL Collecting Clothing for Refugee Children

Local immigrant rights organization, FIEL, posted on Facebook that they were collecting clothing and other supplies for the unaccompanied minors who are currently being housed across the state. They posted as follows:

In an effort to help out the humanitarian crisis along the border FIEL Houston will begin collecting supplies for the unaccompanied minors: We need the following items:
1. Gently worn (clean) children clothing
2. Childrens undergarments in new packages (ages 2 -17)
3. Toothbrushes
4. Toothpaste
5. Deodorants
6. Body Soap
7. Shampoo
8. Socks
9 Children Shoes
10. Backpacks and or large plastic bags to make welcome packages.

More info to come as the need arises.

We will also be needing volunteers soon to help put welcome packages together. But we will let you all know of specific opportunities for that.

All donations may be dropped off at FIEL HQ at 6610 Harwin #214 Houston, TX 77036 for more info please call (713)364-3435

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En un esfuerzo para ayudar con la crisis humanitaria en la frontera, FIEL Houston empezara a recolectar articulos para los inmigrantes niños sin acompañamiento. Necesitamos los siguientes articulos:
1. Ropa para niñ@s en buens condiciones y limpia
2. Ropa interior para niños/as en paquetes nuevos (edades 2 a 17)
3. Cepillos de dientes
4. Pasta de dientes
5. Desodorantes
6. Jabon de Cuerpo
7. Shampoo
8. Calcetines
9. Zapatos para niños/as
10. Mochilas y/ o bolsas de plastico grandes para hacer paquetes de bienvenida.

Tendremos mas informacion conforme se nos presente.

Tambien estaremos necesitando voluntarios pronto para armas los paquetes de bienvenida. Les dejaremos saber de oportunidades especificas para eso.

Todas las donaciones pueden ser traidas a la oficinas de FIEL localizada en el 6610 Harwin #214 Houston, TX 77036 para mas informes por favor llamen al (713)364-3435

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Operation Change Debuts on OWN, Monday 6/23/14

Operation Change, a documentary series featuring, among others,  local social entrepreneur Carlos Paz, Jr., debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) at 9 pm on Monday, June 23. Learn more about Operation Change here.

The series follows Starkey Hearing Foundation co-founders Bill & Tani Austin, their son Steven Sawalich, two volunteers Carlos Paz, Jr. and Snejana Daily, as they team up with other organizations to work on sustainable projects that will profoundly affect each community.

I’ve always seen Carlos as a busy guy–very involved in the community–but this particular project has global implications and benefits. The trailer itself will draw one into this 10-part series and hopefully set one on a course to make any corner of the world a better place.

I was unable to attend the pre-screening held this past Friday, but I do want to congratulate Carlos and all those involved in these project. Although it’s important to create change, it is equally important to be a motivator of change agents and I think this series will serve as such. Check it out on 6/23 at 9 pm. The trailer:

 

 

La Mafia’s New Album Set To Drop June 3

lamafia

Houston supergroup, La Mafia, is set to drop its first full-length production in six years on June 3rd.  Announced on their Facebook page, the new album is titled, Amor y Sexo.

Oscar de la Rosa and the band have been around for over 30 years. Dubbed, “the pride of the Northside,” La Mafia was one of the first Tejano bands to break into Mexico and the rest of the Americas. Recently, they have continued a busy touring schedule across the U.S.

Personal story:  The first time I caught La Mafia was around 1983 at the Crystal Ballroom in Crystal City–I was 12. The opening band was fronted by a talented 12-year old vocalist named Selena Quintanilla.

Fans may pre-order the new music on iTunes starting on May 5.

Expect a review right here on DosCentavos.net!

Bloggers Talk on Politics Done Right

Politics `Done Right (Bloggers)

Thanks to Egberto Willies, I’ll be joining him, Kuff, Katherine from BOR, and Tiffany from Liberal America tonight on KPFT 90.1 for an episode of Politics Done Right.

Tune in Monday 9:00 PM on KPFT 90.1 FM (Houston Area)

Livestreamhttp://KPFT.org (Entire USA) – Podcasts: <here>

Call (713) 526-5738 to talk to me on air.

Have you ever wondered why when you watch CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC they are invariably featuring the same news? Have you ever wondered why most of the issues that have material effect on your life are never really covered? Have you noticed that the news of today is shallow and un-researched?

This is all by design. An uninformed, a misinformed, an ill-informed populace is one that can be controlled. The arbiters of our news domain are mostly discredited.

Luckily good reputable bloggers are starting to assert themselves. They are providing quality prescient news to their followers. They are making a difference. Going forward they must take the mantle if the reversal of a poorly informed citizenry is to occur.

The show will feature four bloggers that are making a difference in local, state, and national news. Katherine Haenschen of BurntOrangeReport.com, Stace Medellin of DosCentavos.net, Tiffany Willis of LiberalAmerica.org, and Charles Kuffner of OffTheKuff.com will discuss these issues. We will discuss why bloggers are important, why the traditional news media is discredited, and the crowd sourcing of news by citizens.

Give me a call at (713) 526-5738. That is 713-526-KPFT. Remember you can also send me a tweet to@egbertowillies. Let us engage. It is politics done right.

I’m looking forward to an interesting talk. What I say may end up shocking you!

Van de Putte Takes Houston

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, candidate for Texas Lt. Governor, spent the entire day in Houston on Saturday, moving from one end of town to another. And this blogger turned into a groupie who went to at least a few of her Houston stops–and let me tell you, it’s pretty easy to support such a magnetic and real candidate.

My day started at the Universal Shopping Center in the far western reaches of Bellaire Blvd. A diverse and energetic crowd welcomed Senator Van de Putte to Houston as her tour bus rolled in. No sooner was she off the bus, she was shaking hands and giving out heartfelt abrazos to supporters.

The Vietnam Veterans memorial provided a powerful backdrop for the Senator’s speech which covered everything from Veteran’s affairs to public education to infrastructure development (roads). Van de Putte also gave a defense of the Rio Grande Valley, which some Republicans have called the “third world,” citing over $700 million in trade per day and the vibrancy of the area. The responsive crowd stuck around after the speech to meet-greet and take selfies with the Senator.

While the Senator went to a couple more events, including the Texas Democratic Women’s “Women Making History” Luncheon, I headed out to Fiesta Loma Linda for some menudo and to await a sit-down between the Senator and the local progressive blogosphere.  What could have been a Q&A was more like a family around the table, joking a little, discussing policy and politics, and mostly, getting to know the Senator. Let me tell you, watching her on TV or on the web, one gets the feeling that she’s as real as they come. In-person, though, she is amazing, and as one blogger friend of mine states, “formidable.” She doesn’t mince words and she tells one how she feels. As I like to say, and actually told her, my favorite thing about her is that she is a Latina candidate who wasn’t created in laboratory and doesn’t run away from her upbringing or feels the need to revamp her story for political purposes. She’s a proud mom and abuela who is basically fighting for what’s right. Plus, she’s a state university-educated woman and I really like that about her.

The fact that she was the real-deal became quite obvious when she spoke to a group of college student leaders, most from collegiate Dem clubs. The most powerful part of her speech was her breakdown of tuition deregulation and how it has affected tuition rates to the tune of a 58% increase since it was first made policy. The compare/contrast in which she admits that during her days in college, one could work a part-time job and still afford tuition and living expenses, but that today’s college students are racking up loan debt even while working, showed me a candidate who understands the current situation. I had never seen a Texas Dem candidate who could connect so well with college students about the issues that affect them, and the future that awaits them if given the right opportunities with leaders that care at the helm of the Texas government.

For me, the day was over, but for Van de Putte, the bus was on its way to Fort Bend County and then on to Corpus Christi for another leg of her 2500 mile Texas tour–the first of several around the state. I highly recommend Texans give their attention to the Senator–attend her events, seek her out on social media and spread word about her campaign. Either of her prospective opponents will continue Texas’ race to the bottom, and Senator Van de Putte is all about the future of Texas.

Website:  www.LeticiaVandePutte.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LeticiaVandePutte

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/leticiavdp

 

UPDATE:  I also captured some video of her speech to the college students. I had to reduce it to 11 minutes, but, here you go:

 

Update: Houston Dept. of Health Extends Hours for ACA Sign-Up

From the Inbox:

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will open four of its multi-service centers on Sunday and extend the business hours late into the night at six centers Monday, giving uninsured people a last chance to enroll in a health plan before the Affordable Care Act’s deadline.

Uninsured residents can set up an appointment for one-on-one help from HDHHS’ certified application counselors at the centers by calling 832-393-5423. The counselors are able to help residents compare health plans and find one that fits their budget and health care needs.

Multi-service centers opening from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30, are:

  • Denver Harbor MSC, 6402 Market Street
  • Northeast MSC, 9720 Spaulding
  • Southwest MSC, 6400 High Star
  • Third Ward MSC, 3611 Ennis Street

HDHHS’ centers extending hours until 10 p.m. for the enrollment deadline date of Monday, March 31, are:

  • Denver Harbor MSC, 6402 Market Street
  • Northeast MSC, 9720 Spaulding
  • Southwest MSC, 6400 High Star
  • Magnolia MSC, 7037 Capitol Street
  • Hiram Clarke MSC, 3810 West Fuqua
  • Sunnyside MSC, 9314 Cullen

HDHHS will set the last ACA enrollment appointments with its counselors for 8 p.m. Monday. The appointments are on a first come, first served basis.

Documents needed to enroll during an appointment include:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship: social security number or copy of U.S. passport for all family members
  • State residency: driver’s license, housing lease or utility bill
  • Income:  W-2 forms or pay stubs; unemployment or disability; social security, pension and retirement income; or copy of 2012 tax return
  • Current health insurance: policy numbers for any current health insurance and information about job-related health insurance
  • Immigration status or legal residency: Immigration document status numbers.

More than 114,000 people in the Houston area already enrolled in one of the more than 40 low-cost ACA health plans available in the region.

HDHHS set up an ACA call center as part of the Gulf Coast Health Insurance Marketplace Collaborative, a group of 13 agencies helping people obtain insurance coverage through the ACA.

Certified application counselors and outreach staff with HDHHS and the other agencies in the collaborative have met face to face with more than 152,000 area residents since the enrollment period began in October. They have also reached out or distributed ACA brochures and information to approximately 538,000 people.

Uninsured residents can also sign up for a health insurance plan online by visiting HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov.

 

March 15: Own The Dream DACA Clinic

Own The Dream is a national campaign whose focus is to connect undocumented youth to available resources in their communities. The organization provides free assistance for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants, and also works with school counselors and teachers on how to better communicate with the undocumented community in their schools regarding higher education opportunities.

Local organizers, Oscar Hernandez and Carolina Ramirez, know first-hand the challenges that the undocumented community experiences, especially the misinformation that can spread locally and in the schools. So, OTD is definitely a welcome resource in Houston.

Own The Dream will be hosting a DACA Clinic on March 15 at Cleveland Ripley Center in Pasadena. You may register online for the clinic here. Below is a printable flyer. (click on image to enlarge)

OTD Clinic Flyer -English

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Some Opposition to Payday Lender Regs

Texpatriate provides some in-depth coverage of the opposition to Mayor Annise Parker’s proposal to regulate payday lenders here in Houston. The regulations are similar to other cities around Texas.

Perhaps the most vocal opponent of this regulation was Councilmember Dave Martin, the conservative who represents Kingwood and Clear Lake. Councilmember Martin, as your might recall, was the one who first threw cold water on the Wage Theft regulation. Today, he lamented the Payday lending reform as “looking for a solution where there is no problem.”

Meanwhile, Councilmember C.O. Bradford blasted the measure as something that should be solved by personal responsibility, trying to pass off the duty to the borrower. I have to say that I had expected better out of Bradford. Also in opposition was Jerry Davis, as well as Helena Brown (who opposes just about everything).

Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Councilmember James Rodriguez also appeared hostile to the regulations. Given that District I is one of the most vulnerable districts to such usury, it really caught my eye that Rodriguez would take such a position. One may recall that Rodriguez’s close friend and predecessor on the Council, Carol Alvarado, when she ran for the State Senate, was heavily underwritten by the payday lenders. A little cursory research reveals that these same benefactors are supporting Rodriguez’s hand-picked successor, Graciana Garces, in her bid to succeed Rodriguez on the Council. I contacted the Garces campaign and was told that she has not made up her mind on the measure since “she has not studied it.” I find this absurd in no small part, mainly because the ordinance is nearly identical to those passed in other Cities; we have known for a while what it looks like.

And Horwitz is correct. One look at contributions from corporate PACs like Cash America, and one will find some contributions to some of those who aren’t rallying around the ordinance. More telling is the fact that Mayor Annise Parker also accepted some sizable checks from them, but doesn’t seem fazed by that fact as she introduces this ordinance.

The payday lending lobby has grown in influence, even making a play in 2012 by supporting Mitt Romney. Obviously, a few rules that allow for fairness in lending while allowing these corporations to keep their sizable profits, irks them to no end. On top of all of the political contributions, one must ask how much they spend on lobbying these government bodies. Certainly, the people don’t have PACs to defend and protect them.

Obviously, this was just introduced and there will be some negotiation and back-and-forth, much like with the wage theft ordinance. One thing is for sure, I’m glad Robert Gallegos, candidate in the run-off for District I, is on record as being for the ordinance.

KUHF has more.

Big Money Lobbyists and Groups Line Up Against Wage Theft Ordinance

ABC-13 has the latest (video).

Apparently, members of a couple of local restaurant and contractors association are OK with companies stealing wages from hard-working Houstonians. These groups are threatening to weaken or just defeat a wage theft ordinance that would protect thousands of workers.

Much like they write checks to incumbents and candidates, it seems they are willing to put up some big money lobbyists to fight for them, too. I’m looking forward to finding out who these lobbyists are, or if they have PACs.

Here’s a note from Fe y Justicia Worker Center.

While we were disappointed the vote on the Wage Theft Ordinance was postponed until next week, that feeling is overcome by the warmth of the strong solidarity from each of you!

Apparently creating consequences for employers that intentionally steal their employees’ pay is such a threat to some unscrupulous businesses that they’ve hired high-paid lobbyists to work behind the scenes against it. You know what that means?

As Martin Mares, Fe y Justicia Worker Center’s Board Treasurer commented, “les pusimos el dedo en la llaga” – we’re hitting them where it hurts!

Give ‘em a few bucks, so they can continue their work against the big money.

Will you join us for the final vote on Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 1:30pm at City Hall Council Chambers? Can you make one more call to your council members

Together we can win respect for the value of all Houstonians’ labor!

Wage Theft Ordinance Vote Today at City Council

UPDATE:  ITEM consideration has been postponed until next week, according to Mayor Parker. Today’s public comments have had mostly supporters of the wage theft ordinance, as written. There was one business group who stated they were fine with the ordinance affecting only city contractors, but they appear to want to protect non-city contractors who screw workers. What’s up with that?

Anyway, Mike Morris at the Chron has a write-up of the latest on the issue.

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