A small, but vocal group of community members held a protest outside of the HISD headquarters calling out HISD Board member Manuel Rodriguez for an anti-LGBT campaign flyer attacking his opponent, Ramiro Fonseca.
Rodriguez got just enough votes to seem like the winner on Tuesday night, and Fonseca is awaiting the canvassing of the votes before making any decisions on which direction to take.
Organized by activist Mike Pomeroy, representatives of the GLBT Caucus, Stonewall Dems, Young Democrats, HISD students, and vocal members from the Latino community came together to voice their displeasure regarding Rodriguez’s desperate tactic.
Rodriguez released what he called an apology, but for those in the protest, it was too little too late. Citing that the flyers were being delivered house-to-house, as well as at polling locations on election day, some felt the apology was empty.
The Chron had more from inside the meeting:
Inside the board meeting, Rodriguez did not address the campaign ad controversy during the open comment period for trustees. But his colleagues, trustees Anna Eastman and Juliet Stipeche did, without mentioning Rodriguez or the ad.
Stipeche read a list of names of children who committed suicide after being bullied.
“Living by the golden rule, we do not bully and we do not judge others for who they are,” Stipeche said, drawing a standing ovation from some in the audience.
And then this.
UPDATE (7:45 p.m.): After hearing from several impassioned speakers who called Rodriguez’s campaign ad unethical, the HISD trustees voted unanimously to work on revising their own ethics policy to forbid discrimination based on sexuality.
Trustee Anna Eastman proposed the revision. Rodriguez voted in favor of the change but did not make any comments.
Trustee Carol Mims Galloway joined her colleagues, Eastman and Stipeche, in condemning Rodriguez’s ad. Galloway said she was apologizing on Rodriguez’s behalf. She said she believed he supported the district’s anti-discrimination policy. “But I guess when it comes to politics, people forget,” Galloway added.
Rodriguez sure earned himself all of this. Galloway is correct, though. Politicians are usually immune after using hateful language, whether it is toward the LGBT community, the Latino or immigrant community, etc. It seems the politicians easily separate things because it’s just politics, as the Republican presidential debates have exhibited. This needs to change.