Category Archives: 2015

DCs Top 10 Posts of 2015

Well, another year has ended and a new one has begun. It’s been another good year for DosCentavos–at least good enough to keep the blog going for another year. As always, the Top 10 contain a mix of politics, music, culture, and more politics. So, here are the Top 10.

  1.  RIP Sheriff Jose Serna, Zavala County
  2. Rest in Peace ~ Reies Lopez Tijerina, Chicano Movement Leader
  3. Adrian Garcia Raises $1.5M in 56 Days
  4. KHOU 2015 Mayoral Poll Has Some Interesting Results
  5. District H: Jason Cisneroz
  6. The Annual “There’s No Tejano on Go Tejano Day” Post
  7. DC Reviews: The Mavericks ~ Mono
  8. DC (Finally) Reacts To Tuesday
  9. The Jorge Ramos Thing
  10. Anti-Latino Bills Move Forward in Texas Senate

Honorable Mention goes to local music group, Grupo Alianza, on my post about the video debut of their single, Todo De Mi, and to Tejano music legend, Johnny Hernandez, who brought a lot of readers to my review of his book, The Cotton Picker:  An Odyssey.

 

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Here’s Your Chance to Sponsor a Newcomer Student!

’tis the season to help out our fellow humans, and when this came across my inbox, I decided that, along with the Houston Food Bank, this cause should get everyone’s attention. These causes that make a direct impact on an individual always tug at my heart, and here’s your chance to sponsor a newcomer student. Read below and get involved!

newcomerxmas

The Stace Run-Off Slate 2015

LatinoVoteMayor:  Sylvester Turner ~ Rep. Turner is the only candidate with a realistic plan to keep Houston moving forward. He not only recognizes the diversity of Houston, but wants to move the city toward equality for all, especially regarding equality in socioeconomic status. When it comes to roads, Rep. Turner wants to ensure they are paid for, rather than drown the City in debt. The City faces some challenges in the future and it will take someone like Rep. Turner to stand up to gloom-n-doom ideas like his opponent’s, and, instead, stand up for the needs of the City. Vote Sylvester Turner for Mayor.

Controller:  Chris Brown ~ Chris Brown has the institutional knowledge–twelve years of working in city finances–that taxpayers need. He’s a professional in the field and offers years of experience in producing effective governmental audits. Chris Brown will be a practical, forward-thinking City Controller. Houston needs a Controller who will ensure that our City Council members are presented with options, rather than a financial map to nowhere. I’m voting Chris Brown for City Controller.

At-Large 2:  David Robinson. Robinson had a great first term. He leads and brings people together. Vote Robinson!

At-Large 4:  Amanda Edwards ~ Edwards is a forward-thinking woman who offers some much needed energy to the Council table. I’m voting Edwards.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz ~ Did you see Jason’s performance on Viva Houston? Jason is the young, articulate, energetic, Latino candidate District H needs to ensure its needs are addressed. Vote Jason!

District J:  Mike Laster ~ Mike’s the incumbent. He’s done a great job–and he served as my Council Member for a couple of years before I moved to District F. Vote Laster!

District F:  Richard Nguyen ~ Let’s get Richard re-elected. He has served our neighborhoods well, even the small part on “this” side of the beltway. Richard represents everyone in the district, and that’s why I like residing in F. Vote Nguyen!

Click here for Early Voting Locations

December 2 – December 5: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

December 6: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

December 7 – December 8: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m

 

 

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

Tony Diaz Needs Every Vote Counted

In my election thoughts from yesterday, I failed to mention a very important race in Aldine ISD, where my friend, Tony Diaz, was challenging an incumbent for a seat. Diaz’s campaign put forth a valiant Election Day effort, earning almost 60% of the vote after a slower show in mail ballots and early voting. The five vote margin shows that every vote really does matter; unfortunately, it was Diaz who was short.

I’m not sure about a recount process at this time, but I do know every vote must be counted before the official canvass. That said, there are provisional ballots which were cast in the race that can only be counted if the voter heads over to the County to prove their eligibility to vote by way of a Voter ID by Monday. As Diaz reminded voters:

Provisional Votes MUST be Counted. Every Vote Counts.

If you voted a provisional Ballot on Nov 3 in the Aldine School Board race. You have time to make your vote count.

Monday Nov 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm is the deadline to make you Provisional Vote count.

To Make you Provisional Vote Count for Tony Diaz for Aldine ISD you will need to go to the Harris County Administrative Building, 1001 Preston St, Houston, TX and present one of the following approved ID’s to make you Vote Count:

TX Drivers License
TX Election ID Certificate
TX Concealed Handgun License
TX Personal ID Card
United States Military ID
United States Citizenship Certificate
US Passport
US Military ID

To find out more about what forms approved of ID’s visit:
www:harrisvotes.com or call 713-755-6965

Provisional Votes MUST be Counted. Every Vote Counts.

So, if you voted provisionally because you forgot your ID, or for whatever reason, and you live in Aldine ISD, make sure your vote is counted!

Review: Johnny Hernandez ~ The Cottonpicker-An Odyssey

I just got done reading the autobiography of Chicano music legend (and friend) Johnny Hernandez. Titled The Cottonpicker–An Odyssey, Hernandez takes us through various phases of his life:  The kid who worked the cotton fields and went through a racist school system that left him in need of a formal education; the young teen dropout (I prefer pushout) who struggled job to job with a young family; the vocalist of an up-and-coming Chicano music band that made it big nationally and internationally; the successes of his songwriting and La Familia with him at the mic; the trials and tribulations that brought an end to the “Little Joe, Johnny y La Familia” era of the band; and his struggles as a solo act and a person.

All of this, along with familiar stories of family love, personal struggles with drugs, alcohol, women, and business, and much more make for a book that was hard to put down. Add some personal successes in overcoming these struggles, and finding success in the radio business, and one can’t help but to feel good that Johnny is still around and thriving.

What was the toughest read was Johnny’s depictions of his struggles with his brother. Frankly, I would think this is the part that people wanted to read most because for the longest time, people were too willing to blame Johnny for the “Little Joe/Johnny” break up. Like most band stories, there is much more to the story, and perhaps some bitter pills that we as fans must swallow. It is definitely an entry into musician life that we never experience.

Of course, disturbing to me were the challenges Johnny faced as he attempted a solo career after La Familia. Being met with unhelpful promoters, producing and marketing his own albums, and trying to keep a band together aren’t necessarily new stories in music. They are part the overall story of what became of the Tejano market, where (in my opinion) big corporations exploited Tejano music, picked favorites, and left the industry in disarray once the cash wasn’t as lucrative. For Johnny, adding the 800 lb. gorilla that he was no longer a part of the premier TexMex band (La Familia), and one can only imagine Johnny’s struggles.

As a fan of Johnny’s for a long time, I followed his solo career. I also noticed his long absence after his “big break” when Capitol EMI signed him, and his next return with various self-produced albums. This book fills in a lot of those gaps that many fans will appreciate.

I’ll also say that Johnny putting his story in print isn’t only good for the fans, but it’s good for Chicano history. Seldom has the story of our culture and music been put in print, especially by the people that make the music. I hope this is the first of many more projects put out by some of our graying, yet continuing, Tejano titans. Great job, Johnny!

Buy Johnny’s book at CreateSpace today.

Author, Educator Tony Diaz for Aldine ISD Board, Position 1

My good friend and colleague in various causes, Tony Diaz, is running for Aldine ISD’s School Board, Position 1, in the November election. If you live in the Aldine ISD, then this is your candidate.

Here’s a little about Tony:

Tony Diaz is a writer and professor with over 20 years of experience in the class room. He is Director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College-North Harris. In 1998, he founded the nonprofit Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say which went on to organize the largest book fairs in Houston.

He has received the Mexican American Bar Foundation Media Award. In 2012 he received the first Houston Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award for Arts in the Community, and was also named one of Houston’s 41 most fascinating people by the Houston Chronicle.

Tony needs the people’s support in time, treasure, and in your vote. There will be a fundraiser for his campaign that we can all go and support.

Last Fundraiser for the Tony Diaz Campaign.

Brown Sugars Barbecue, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

6pm-8pm, 111 Greens Rd, Houston, TX 77060

Donate: $5, $50, $500.

Come get your yard signs. Get involved. Our children matter. http://conta.cc/1OILIxp

Little Joe Wows MOT Crowd–Again!

Little Joe y La Familia headlined Friday night’s line-up at the 36th Annual Festival Chicano. Energized by another SRO-out crowd–including thousands seated on the hill–La Familia returned the favor with an energized show packed with hits and a couple of surprises.

Ljoe1Heading toward 75, Little Joe has not lost the voice and stage presence that made him an international superstar who has recorded and toured with greats, such as Willie Nelson and Tierra. Kicking off the gig with a medley of his early hits, such as  Cuidadito and La Bola Negra, the hits continued. Even Little Joe felt the energy of the crowd when the they joined him on Prieta Linda.

One surprise was LJ giving the main mic to bassist Mike Torres, III who belted out the salsa-tinged cumbia, El Alacran. Later, Little Joe would belt out Cartas Marcadas, Chicano national anthem Las Nubes, Borrachera, Cuando Salgo a Los Campos, and the tried and true Pa’ Todo El Año.

In between, Little Joe would bring out Neal Sharpe who would offer some R&B, as well as Houston Jazz pianist/keyboardist and La Familia alumnus Gilbert Sedeño for an instrumental version of Mañana de Carnaval–flawlessly and without having rehearsed prior to the concert.

LjoeDanielA poignant moment came when Little Joe brought out Festival organizer/founder Daniel Bustamante to recognize his most recent achievement:  Recognition by Mayor Annise Parker as an Hispanic Heritage honoree for Arts in the Community. Daniel will receive his award on Monday, October 5. A well-deserved recognition after 36 years of organizing an even which attracts thousands of Chicanos/Mexican Americans for a weekend of beautiful music and culture.

Earlier in the evening, we enjoyed the sounds of Cañonazo and Acordeon powerhouse AJ Castillo. So, it was a great night of dancing in your seats (since the union ushers didn’t allow any dancing in the aisles.) The best way to celebrate this event is with friends and family and I was lucky enough to enjoy it with both. Until the next Festival Chicano, ¡Que viva La Musica Tejana!

Kudos to Council Member Robert Gallegos for attending the event. It was a great opportunity for some hand-shaking, especially during the hour-and-a-half prior to the event while folks were picnicking. Too bad other candidates didn’t take this opportunity to do the same; although, I did hear of a few at the other festival down the street. Anyway…

10kfriends

Me and 10,000 of my closest friends.

Ad: Vote Yes to Protect HERO

Back to School Reading: TPA Round-Up

–And DC attempts to get back to regular blogging after feeling all dead inside (politically, of course) these last few weeks. Stay connected!


The Texas Progressive Alliance liked it better when politicians wanted to kiss babies and not deport them as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff took a closer look at who votes in City of Houston elections.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos notes that when the GOP opened its house to dog whistles it ushered in the wolves. The GOP Deserves Its Monster.

Fresh off his vacation, and as it approaches its centennial, SocraticGadfly casts a critical eye at what he describes as the decline and fall of the National Park Service.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Donald Trump is exposing the world to the racism consuming the GOP along with its authoritarian, 2nd amendment mindset.

It was all Houston mayoral elections all last week for PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, who attended a forum in his back yard, smelled some oligarchy in the HGLBT Caucus endorsement, covered the two adverse developments for the HERO, and witnessed Chris Bell’s smackdown of Adrian Garcia.

With Bernie Sanders running strongly for 2016, Neil at All People Have Value wrote that polling data reports more and more Americans are open to Socialism. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Paradise in Hell previews the fried delicacies that await us at this year’s State Fair of Texas.

The Lunch Tray confirms that Americans do indeed want kids to eat healthier food at school.

Texas Watch tells you what’s really driving the cost of your car insurance bill.

Alexa Garcia-Ditta takes you on a tour of San Antonio’s new HB2-compliant abortion facility.

Tamara Tabo explains why you haven’t heard more about all those bikers who were arrested in Waco in May.

The Makeshift Academic reports that Arkansas has fully embraced Medicaid expansion.

Pamela Coloff awards the title of Worst Lawyer in Texas to disgraced and now disbarred former prosecutor Charles Sebesta.