Category Archives: 2012 Profiles

July 11: Education and Safety Matters to Latinos

A new political engagement group, Latinos. Engaged. United. Voting., is hosting a community education forum and fundraiser next week on Wednesday, July 11 at Bambou in Rice Village. Here are the particulars of what will be a fun and educational evening.

Is Education and Safety important to you and your community? 

Join us and get informed on the issues that impact us all.

Event: “Education & Safety Matters to Latinos”

Guest Speakers on Education and Safety:
I. Joey Cardenas III – Former State Director of LULAC
II. Erica Lee – Candidate for Harris County Board of Education
III. Cindy Vara-Leija – Harris County Constable, Precinct 1

Location: Bambou
2540 University Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

You are also encouraged to be a founding contributor to: Latinos. Engaged. United. Voting. (L.E.U.V.) on the day of the event. Your support will shape the future of our community!

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Schedule for Education & Safety Matters to Latinos:
A. Latino Gallery, Networking with a Purpose 6:30 – 7:30 PM
B. Topic: Education in Texas Matters 7:30 – 7:45 PM
C. Topic: Education in Harris County Matters 7:45 – 8:00 PM
D. Topic: Safety in Harris County Matters 8:00 – 8:15 PM
C: Question & Answer with Speakers 8:15 – 8:30 PM
E. Live DJ and Dancing with L.E.U.V. 8:30 – ?

The new organization, LEUV, will develop and support candidates while championing community issues with the goal of increasing Latino/a voter participation and achieving effective representation of the Latino community in Harris County.

I will be at this event, so, come on over and let’s talk education and safety with some local and Texas talent.

When All Else Fails, Compare the Platforms

Whenever I get into a debate with a Republican–a sensible, meaningful one–I usually find out that they are clueless as to how the party they favor actually feels about certain issues. Usually, they’ll go by some touchy-feely response or quote made by one of their candidates to determine the “party line.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, although the vast majority of Republicans live by their platform, we do have a few errant Democrats who feel the need to venture away from certain planks, especially on immigration. Take, for example, the guy that just replaced the former Arizona Congresswoman. Both were among the most anti-immigrant Democrats–right up there with the doofus from North Carolina that used to be a quarterback.

Still, what the Party faithful determine as their planks are usually what keeps me in my Party. And being the honest guy that I am, I’ll point to “our own” who fail to meet those principles. Still, unless you carry a copy of the platforms with you, the only way you can pick a party is if some candidate has a macaca moment that defines the other side. So, here’s a breakdown from the Texas Democratic Party that will make it easier.

Three Primary Day Messages

The first is from State Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas titled TERROR BABIES!:

The second is from me:

Remember that today, you must vote in your neighborhood polling location. Polls opened at 7am and close at 7pm. Here’s a link to get yourself a sample ballot and the address of your location.

And the third is just a reminder. VOTE THE STACE SLATE!

CAP’s Top 10 About Texas Demographics and Immigration Politics

The Center for American Progress put this Top 10 list together about Texas, which includes links to the facts and pertinent info to back it up.

Read it, feel it, then go out and vote in the Democratic Primary!

A Look at the State’s Emerging Communities of Color

Washington, D.C.—On today’s Texas’s Republican primary, the Center for American Progress released 10 important facts about immigrants and people of color in the state that display their significant economic, cultural, and electoral power.

1. Communities of color are driving population growth in Texas. Texas is one of five states in the country where people of color make up the majority of the population. Between 2000 and 2009 Hispanic population growth accounted for 63.1 percent of all growth in the state. Texas’s black and Asian populations—2.8 million people and 850,000 people, respectively—were the third largest in the country in 2010.

2. The majority of children in Texas are children of color. For children under age 5 in the state, children of color outnumbered non-Hispanic white children 2.2-to-1 in 2011. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in 2009, 64 percent of the state’s children were of color.

3. Houston is the most racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country. According to a report from Rice University, the percentage of Latinos in the region increased dramatically from 20.8 percentin 1990 to more than one-third at 35.5 percent in 2010. This thriving racial and ethnic diversity places Houston at the head of the state’s rapid demographic changes.

4. Nearly a third of immigrants in Texas are naturalized—meaning they are eligible to vote. In 2010 immigrants comprised 16.4 percent of the state’s total population. That year there were 1.3 million naturalized U.S. citizens in Texas, approximately 32 percent of immigrants in the state.

5. Voters of color make up a growing portion of the Texas electorate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos accounted for 20.1 percent of Texas voters in the 2008 elections. African Americans and Asians comprised 14.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the state’s voters that same year.

6. Even more Latinos are eligible to vote but are currently unregistered. According to the political opinion research group Latino Decisions, there are 2.1 million unregistered Latino voters in Texas in 2012. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are an additional 880,000 legal permanent residents (green card holders) in Texas who are eligible to naturalize and vote for the first time. Put together, this means Texas has close to an extra 3 million potential voters this fall.

7. The Department of Justice blocked a Texas voter ID law that threatened to disenfranchise Hispanics. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, far fewer non-Hispanic voters—4.3 percent, compared with 6.3 percent of Latino voters—lack a proper photo ID, which voters would have been required to show under the law. Texas’s own state data listed 174,866 registered Latino voters without an ID.

8. Communities of color add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Texas’s economy through entrepreneurship and spending. The purchasing power of Latinos in Texas increased more than 400 percent from 1990 to 2010, reaching a total of $176.3 billion. Asian buying power increased by more than 650 percent in the same period to a total of $34.4 billion. And in 2007 Texas’s nearly 450,000 Latino-ownedbusinesses had close to 400,000 employees, and sales and receipts of $61.9 billion.

9. Immigrants are essential to the economy as workers. In 2010 immigrants comprised 20.9 percent of Texas’s workforce. As of 2007, 21 percent of Houston’s total economic output and 16 percent of Dallas’s economic output was derived from immigrants.

10. Immigrants contribute to the state economy through state and local taxes. In 2010, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants in Texas paid $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.

Vanessa Cárdenas is Director of Progress 2050 and Angela Maria Kelley is Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

NALEO Releases Electoral Profile of Texas

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials has released their 2012 Primary Election Profile of the State of Texas. If you like stats, this is your report.

Here are some of the highlights:

TOTAL POPULATION (2010): 25,145,561
LATINO POPULATION (2010): 9,460,921

The report reminds us that, historically, Texas has voted for a Republican Presidential nominee; however, 2008 saw a marked change when John McCain only managed 55%. In this case, Latinos gave nominee Barack Obama 63% of their vote.

Of particular interest to me was the number of Latino voters that are registered. Although there are organizations out there trying to increase the number of registrations, it’s always good to know what you’ve got.

Texas’ Registered Voters (May 2012)

Nearly one of every four Texas registered voters (24%) is Latino.

Latino voter turnout in Texas’ Presidential elections grew from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.7 million in 2008, an increase of 31%.

Ultimately, these stats tell us that population growth is not our strength as much as registered voters. If 1 in 4 registered voters in Texas is Latino, then we can move an election. Heck, Latinos can effect monumental change.

And if in eight years, we have only managed to increase voting by a few hundred thousand voters, then something is very wrong, but I would venture to say it is well-funded campaigns and their minions (same old consultants) who have little idea of how to energize the Latino electorate. As I’ve said many times, you can’t just translate without making your literature and your positions culturally relevant.

Thanks to NALEO for the report.

Bottom line:  There’s a lot of work to do. The Democratic Primary is just about done and turnout is dismal. November must be in our sights.

In Case You Missed Tacos and Votes [Video]

Our friends, The Parra Brothers, produced a short highlight film of this past Saturday’s Tacos and Votes voter engagement program. Enjoy and/or be amazed!

Updated DC Virtual Slate Card

I had gotten some emails from concerned folks wondering if I was supporting President Obama, since he wasn’t on the first slate card. Then I figured, I may as well seek out some more complaints and add a few more DC-nods. So, here goes.

Apologies for running out of room, but I think I resolved the situation. Click to enlarge.

Promesa Vid: Rep. Jessica Farrar on the GOP Supermajority

Here’s the most recent installment from our friends at the Promesa Project, the Texas Democratic Party’s Latino youth outreach program. Visit the site and check out this vid featuring DC-Amiga State Rep. Jessica Farrar.

And I’ve gotta say…I’m proud to be part of the Buzz, too.

But we need to pick Team Dem, first. Early Voting in the Democratic Primary continues through the 25th. VOTE EARLY!

DosCentavos Endorses in 2012 Dem Primary

Here’s my virtual slate card. VOTE EARLY! And here’s the Early Voting schedule (pdf) from the county. Remember, you can vote at any location during this period. Might as well get it done early!

North Harris Dems To Host Candidate Forum

The 2010 HQ

Brad Neal has done it again. The candidate for State Representative, District 150, is set to open the North Harris HQ for suburban Democrats again in 2012. The HQ for his 2010 campaign, the storefront was the center of activity in the ‘burbs with the awesome and talented Ashley Williams at the ready to activate all who would walk in. And this Saturday, the HQ will be hosting a grand opening and candidate forum.

Here are the particulars:

Join Brad Neal, Candidate for State Representative for HD 150 at the Grand Opening of the campaign office for the North Harris County area. We will be hosting a candidate forum as well as allowing candidates to speak with voters about their plans for the future.

If you have any questions please email Ashley at or Brad at

Saturday, May 11, 2012, 11AM to 2PM

4884 Louetta Rd, Spring, TX 77388 (map)

A lot of campaigns have Brad Neal to thank for opening the office, and this year will be no different. Go check out the place, as I hear Ashley and the crew have been busy getting the place prepped and ready.

Just one question:  Will there be Brad Neal Cake again?