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Category Archives: 2019Image
If you haven’t heard, an incumbent Democratic Criminal District Judge incorrectly filed for re-election and had his candidacy rejected by the Harris County Democratic Party, as reported by Miya Shay at ABC13. Judge George Powell of the 351st District Court filed for re-election as the deadline neared on December 9 and paid the wrong filing fee. Once his paperwork was checked, and the check was short, he was rejected.
Any candidate (and especially incumbent) should know to read the rules for filing for office. You learn this in a Candidate 101 class given by any friendly consultant or blogger. Or, at least on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
The rules are simple. Those filing for Criminal District Judge should file with the County Chair. The candidate has the option of collecting 750 signatures in lieu of the filing fee, or collecting 250 signatures and paying a $2500 filing fee (in large counties, including Harris) as is stated in Sections 172.024(10), (12), of the Texas Election Code.
Powell is stating that he was told it was $1500 by someone at the Party. But this isn’t his first rodeo and the rules have not changed. Also, the Harris County Democratic Party isn’t a grocery store with a checkout counter. They collect the paperwork and the decision is made by the County Chair. And, finally, the SOS Candidate Handbook states all of this stuff quite specifically.
[There’s a reason I tell candidates to file early, and not at the last minute. Just in case.]
There’s no telling what will be decided. A temporary restraining order was granted by a judge and a hearing will be held in early January. My experience in this (having worked on a campaign which challenged sloppy signatures, yet still approved by the County Chair at the time), is that judges aren’t too keen on even deciding these cases, or deciding against a party’s decision. But we have a whole different crop of judges, now. So, ay veremos.
The bigger question is: Can a judge who interprets the law be taken seriously when he doesn’t read the laws pertaining to his own candidacy?
Anyway, thankfully, a well-qualified attorney had filed to challenge the incumbent. Natalia Cornelio did follow the rules and made it on to the ballot and is currently the only candidate running for the 351st. She champions fairness, civil rights, and criminal justice reform. We need more of that in our courts.
Mayor Sylvester Turner was re-elected by a landslide against a self-funded, access-buying, divisive, homophobic millionaire lawyer. With 57% of the vote and an over 25,000 vote margin, Mayor Turner earned another 4 years despite millions spent against him, bad news reporting on made-up controversies, and divisiveness from the local right-wing. Congrats to Mayor Turner and his team who seemed to run on the old adage, “steady wins the race.”
In my own District F, Tiffany Thomas was headed toward her own landslide win with 56% of the vote. She worked the district hard and earned this victory. I know she will hit the ground running.
In District H, incumbent Karla Cisneros was holding on for dear life to a 12-vote lead against organizer Isabel Longoria, who ran a strong, grassroots campaign. Longoria states she will wait for all votes to be counted before any other decisions are made. In District D, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz won handily, as did Abbie Kamin in District C. And in District J, Sandra Rodriguez came up short, unfortunately.
In the At-Large races, Raj Salhotra and Janaeya Carmouche ran great races; unfortunately, the right-wing incumbents won handily. I think we need to find out why right-wing zealots win in such a blue city. Is it color? Money? All of the above? Needless to say, young leaders like Raj, Janaeya, Isabel, and Sandra should stay in the game. They will be needed in the near future.
Thankfully, David Robinson was re-elected; and, Letitia Plummer and Sallie Alcorn will be joining him after their own strong victories against right-wing candidates. Mayor Turner will have a comfortable majority with which to enact policies and programs needed in our city.
In HCC District 1, Monica Flores-Richart cruised to victory against another right-wing zealot whom I think got too many votes inside a blue city. What’s up with that? Anyway, the people will be well-served by Trustee-to-be Flores-Richart.
Of course, District B is still up in the air. Some say it won’t be decided until May. Democracy delayed is not a good thing. Let the people vote, already!
The big losers in all of this were the firefighters union. But there is an now an opportunity for agreement on reasonable raises. And let’s remember that HR decisions should not be decided by voters. We elect our Mayor and Council to make those decisions and elections (and phones) are available to deliver a message to our elected officials regarding what policies to support.
One group that took a hit was Latinos. At this point, it seems Robert Gallegos in District I will represent all things “brown” as he is the only one who stands up and leads on Latino issues. I just wanted to point that out.
I agree with Kuff in saying that I’m glad most of this is over. I still worry that District B has become disenfranchised because of trivial BS rules that should no longer exist in this day and age. [The courts should not delay this decision any longer and the politicians should not pass this around.]
KHOU, et al, released the results of what is probably the final public poll of the Houston Mayoral race and Mayor Sylvester Turner leads with 56%, with 6% undecided and another 4% refusing to say for whom they would vote. The millionaire, access-buying, Trumpista has the rest (34%).
While Mayor Turner has over 90% support from Democrats, he has made some significant inroads with other groups, such as Bill King voters (37%), and even Republicans (20%). Independent voters are split in the 40s, which isn’t surprising. Turner is also polling strong with young and seasoned voters alike.
The poll is of likely voters who voted in the first round (234 out of 516 responded). The live interviews were conducted with cell phone and landline voters.
So, we can feel good while we down our coffee this morning, but we must still vote on Saturday, 12/14 to ensure Mayor Sylvester Turner keeps his seat. Polls are just a snapshot of any given day and the only poll that matters is on Saturday.
Voters may vote at any polling location (find one here www.HarrisVotes.org), 7am to 7pm. According to Diane Trautman – County Clerk, over 115,000 Houstonians voted early already, which is more than in the first round. So, let’s close the deal on Saturday. Get out and vote the #StaceSlate:
Mayor Sylvester Turner
Raj Salhotra – At Large 1
David Robinson – At Large 2
Janaeya Carmouche – At Large 3
Letitia Plummer – At Large 4
Sallie Alcorn – At Large 5
Tiffany Thomas – District F
Isabel Longoria – District H
Sandra Rodriguez – District J
Carolyn Evans-Shabazz – District D
Abbie Kamin – District C
Monica Flores-Richart – HCC District 1
US Senate. There are a lot of Dems in the running, but I will say that I am currently interested in Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez and State Senator Royce West. West has been going around the state, while Ramirez has earned the support of Beto O’Rourke’s staffers. The big question of voters will be: Who can beat Cornyn?
Texas Railroad Commish. I’m glad to see my friend and former State Rep. Roberto Alonzo (of Dallas by way of Crystal City) in the running.
State Rep. Gene Wu (137th) seems to have been virtually re-elected. No challengers in May or November as of my last look at the SOS site.
State Senate District 13. My State Senator Borris Miles has a couple of challengers. I’m sure we’ll get to keep him at the end of the Primary.
Commish Pct 3. The biggest (non-)surprise was that Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen did not sign up to run for this race and decided to run for another term. I was hoping he would jump in since I thought he’d have the fundraising and campaigning abilities to win in November. We’re left with a list of relatively unknown (or who haven’t been around for a while) persons to duke it out in the primary. Stay tuned. I know I’ll be since I really don’t know for whom to vote. The Republicans will have their own battle which will hopefully be fun to watch (who outrepublicans the other).
Tax Assessor-Collector. Our friendly and awesome incumbent Ann Bennett ended up with a couple of challengers. Ann Bennett has done a great job with voter registration, increasing the number of trainings in multiple languages and the overall promotion of the task, while vastly improving customer service levels around the county. No doubt, we need this incumbent on the ballot to beat the well-known GOP candidate in November.
As expected, County Court at Law #4 appointee, Judge Lesley Briones, who managed to not accidentally resign during her more than three months in office, got a challenge from the guy who accidentally resigned after less than 3 months in office.
The JP Pct 5-1 race will be interesting, since I live in it. Both Roel Garcia and Israel Garcia worked the signature-collection hard and I ran in to them several times. The other two candidates, I’ve never seen.
Constable Pct 5. I’m glad to see Dem interest in running for this post. There are three candidates running in this one–none that I’ve met. So, I look forward to learning more about them.
One thing I have always mentioned is that when the Democrats took over the County, contested primaries would become a thing, and it is happening in this one. The hardest working District Judge in District 80, Larry Weiman, is now challenged. Alexandra Smoots-Thomas (164th) is challenged by Cheryl Elliot-Thornton, who has run a couple of times for other courts. My friend Ursula Hall (165th) has a couple of challengers. Nikita Harmon (176th) and Robert Johnson (177th), Randy Roll (179th), Daryl Moore (333rd), Steven Kirkland (334th), and Julia Maldonado (507th) have opponents, most who I’ve never even heard of. I look forward to seeing the reasons they are challenging some of these incumbents and hopefully, it’s more than just ego (or some objection they lost in their courtroom).
Of note, should be the Democratic judges that were left unchallenged by Republicans. If the GOP didn’t fill their ballot, well, it shows their self-confidence has been weakened. Let’s hit them hard in November!
Texas House District 85. This district represents a big chunk of Fort Bend and all of Wharton and Jackson counties. A Democrat from Fort Bend came within 7 points of the incumbent in 2018. This time around, Louise (Wharton County) native Joey Cardenas, III, a teacher for over 25 years in Wharton and Jackson counties, will take on the challenge. Beyond his years of creating the next generations’ leaders, Cardenas has been a statewide leader on issues like public education and redistricting, walking the halls of the Texas Capitol advocating for students, teachers, and voters. Plus, I’ve known him for 27+ years since our days at SWT (TXST).
We will have more on the Primary as the days go by. March is just a few of months away. For now, vote in the City of Houston election! Today (12/10) is the last day of early voting. Saturday is run-off election day. Vote anywhere in Harris County! And Vote the StaceSlate of Turner-Raj-Robinson-Carmouche-Plummer-Alcorn!
The City of Houston is developing a long-term plan for the city-owned facility in the East End Cultural District (formerly operated by Talento Bilingue de Houston, or TBH). The vision is to build on the history of the facility as a home for Latino arts and realize a dynamic and welcoming cultural center serving residents, visitors, and local artists.
It’s that time of year again! ORALE is once against hosting Holiday Hopes for Las Americas Newcomer School.
The school educates children between the ages of 9 and 15, all who have arrived to Houston within the last year and who come from all over the world. Their need is great, and you can help make their first holiday in this country an unforgettable one!
For the past few of years, amazing community members have stepped up to sponsor or “adopt” students from the school, and this year we hope history will not only repeat itself, but that more will join us!
If you “adopt” a child, we will send you a student’s “wish list”. We ask that you give a student 2 “needs” gifts and 1 “interest” gifts from the wish list. Gifts are to be wrapped and labeled with the student’s name.
If you sponsor a child, we ask for a $50 donation per child (but we are willing to take donations of any amount!). We will purchase gifts with your donation.
If you are interested in sponsoring or adopting a child, please fill out our Sponsor Form: https://forms.gle/hggviNcLUnoiGduT6.
Donations can be sent to our Venmo (Orale-Collective) or PayPal (https://www.paypal.me/oraledonate).
We will be giving the students their gifts on December 19 at 2PM. This is an amazing experience for both the gift givers and for the children that receive the gifts.
Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 2 PM – 4 PM
Las Americas Middle School – 6501 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, Texas 77074
The 2019 City of Houston Run-Off Election, scheduled for December 14, has shaped up into easy choices for truly progressive-minded voters. There is one of each (Dem and ‘Nut), for the most part, in the running on my ballot. I would have felt more warm and fuzzy with two Dems in each race, but progressive-minded folks have yet to realize that there are a lot more of us here in Houston to make that happen. That said, the easy choices on my ballot are:
Mayor Sylvester Turner
District F: Tiffany Thomas
At-Large 1: Raj Salhotra
At-Large 2: David Robinson (inc.)
At-Large 3: Janaeya Carmouche
At-Large 4: Dr. Letitia Plummer
At-Large 5: Sallie Alcorn
In those districts in which I don’t reside, I’m rooting for:
District H: Isabel Longoria
District J: Sandra Rodriguez
HCC1: Monica Flores-Richart
District B: Tarsha Jackson (ELECTION DELAYED)
The Special Election for Texas House District 148 will be held on January 28, so, I’m rooting for Democrat Anna Eastman to win the run-off in HD148. As people keep telling me, they are doing it all over again in March in the Dem Primary, but I agree with some of my friends who say HD148 voters can’t give away the seat to a right-wing, anti-Latino Latino just because their person didn’t make it to the run-off. Campos reports on Anna’s endorsements and they all look pretty good and diverse to me.
Early Voting for the City Elections begins next week, October 21, 2019. I put out the Stace Slate (aka #TeamTacho), but I also said I’d provide some explanations. So, here goes.
MAYOR – SYLVESTER TURNER: It’s been a tough first term for Mayor Turner. Not because he did anything bad, but he was dealt various circumstances that have made his term a busy one: Harvey; the Harvey response from a slow-moving, low-caring federal and Texas government and leadership; budget constraints; the inability-by-law to raise more revenue to pay for services and employee raises; among other challenges. Houston has been suffering through one or more of these things for a while, now, and no mayor will have an easy time until things change at more than just the city level. That said, Mayor Turner has been exceptional at guiding the city through its trials and tribulations. Pension reform, creating opportunities for youth, and simply keeping the city moving forward through reality-based stewardship. Mayor Turner tried to meet the firefighters more than half-way, but it was obvious that one side wanted more than the City coffers could handle. Mayor Turner still dealt with this better than any of his opponents ever could. Thankfully, a supportive City Council has backed him up. No doubt, there is a lot more to be done and Mayor Turner must be at the helm to not only get things done, but to also provide the leadership to get through whatever challenges may come the way of our City.
CITY CONTROLLER – CHRIS BROWN: Chris Brown has been effective at advocating for the residents of Houston, and has done an excellent job of providing Houston a good blueprint on which to base a sound budget, cost savings, better protection for employees, and, most importantly, the ability to build infrastructure with the future in mind. He’s forward-thinking and that means being in tune to the city’s reality as a diverse, international city. Brown proves his abilities on a daily basis and he has assembled a staff that backs him up. Unlike his opponent, Brown works for the people and not just another government paycheck.
AT-LARGE 1 – RAJ SALHOTRA: I’ve supported Raj from Day 1 of meeting him. He’s just that impressive. And the campaign he has created is full of young people who have a stake in the future of Houston. Raj has centered his campaign on economic opportunity, quality of life, and flood mitigation. Whether it is giving an educational leg-up to Houston kids through community-led services, improving public transit options, or promoting sustainable development to avoid flooding, he is offering ideas that speak to the entire Houston area. On top of that, he’s a likable person–always willing to listen. I have no doubt his office will be responsive to all who need an ear, or need to be pointed in the right direction for city services.
AT-LARGE 2 – DAVID ROBINSON: CM Robinson has been an effective member of City Council, providing a base of knowledge that only an architect can provide. Whether it’s on drainage and infrastructure, pushing for increased access to greenspaces, or budgeting and cost-savings, Robinson has led on these efforts. He deserves a final term.
AT-LARGE 3 – JANAEYA CARMOUCHE: I’ve known Janaeya for almost a decade, both as a campaign worker and as a public servant. She has always been committed to her tasks, and is more than ready to serve on Council. Carmouche is running on a platform that empowers communities, opportunities for small businesses, and systems-level change in government services. She states that a community that is knowledgeable of its services will be better served. That small businesses should have expanded opportunities for city contracts. And that the community will work together to solve its most pressing issues. An organizer at heart, Janaeya has the maturity and the commitment to lead through change.
AT-LARGE 4 – NICK HELLYAR: I’ve known Nick for over a decade, whether it’s working on campaigns or serving constituents in City Council or state offices. Nick’s experience in government and in the private sector has given him the knowledge needed to navigate government services, work on public-private efforts, and to effectively serve constituents. Council needs a voice of reason as well as a voice for the people, and Nick has the abilities and skills to be both.
AT-LARGE 5 – ASHTON P. WOODS: Woods is the activist we need on City Council. Woods is focused on human and civil rights issues that local elected officials easily avoid, but he’s also a Houstonian who has experienced how whole communities go easily ignored by local government. He is not afraid to speak up, no matter who is in office or the political implications that come with speaking truth to power.
DISTRICT F – TIFFANY D. THOMAS: I’ve lived in Southwest and West Houston for almost 8 years and one elected official who was noticeable was Tiffany Thomas when she served on the Alief ISD School Board. She has always advocated for all of the area’s residents, pushing for policies that address economic empowerment, the high poverty level, and decrease crime, especially from businesses dealing with human trafficking. She has always served her community, which is good for those of us who haven’t lived in it for too long.
ALIEF ISD: Lily Truong, Rick Moreno, and Ann Williams. I’m sticking with the incumbents because Alief ISD remains one of the best districts in the area with a good leader at the helm. Let’s not mess that up.
METRONEXT – FOR: We need more investment in mass transit and mobility. It’s that simple.
STATE AMENDMENTS (click image to enlarge):
EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS HERE. (PDF)
EARLY VOTING :
October 21st – October 26th 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m
October 27th 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
October 28th – November 1st 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
2019 STACE SLATE – https://doscentavos.net/2019/09/14/the-2019-staceslate/
¡Feliz Fiestas Patrias y Viva La Raza!
The 2019 City of Houston elections are upon us and some of you may be thinking about whose name to click when you show up to your polling location in November. Well, I’ve made my choices and urge you to vote for these individuals. I’ll write out explanations about why soon, but I think I’ve proven I can be trusted with my electoral choices.
Note: The first list are those who will appear on my own ballot. The others are candidates I wish I could vote for, but I do not reside in their districts. I’ll pick among the state constitutional measures and Alief ISD trustee candidates soon.
MAYOR – SYLVESTER TURNER
CITY CONTROLLER – CHRIS BROWN
AT-LARGE 1 – RAJ SALHOTRA
AT-LARGE 2 -DAVID ROBINSON
AT-LARGE 3 – JANAEYA CARMOUCHE
AT-LARGE 4 – NICK HELLYAR
AT-LARGE 5 – ASHTON P. WOODS
DISTRICT F – TIFFANY THOMAS
METRONEXT BOND – YES/FOR/SI (whatever the positive answer is)
DISTRICT B – TARSHA JACKSON
DISTRICT H – ISABEL LONGORIA
DISTRICT I – ROBERT GALLEGOS
DISTRICT J – SANDRA RODRIGUEZ
HCC DISTRICT I – MONICA FLORES RICHART
HISD DISTRICT III – SERGIO LIRA
TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 148 (Special): PENNY MORALES SHAW
and for good measure
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – JULIAN CASTRO (ongoing)
* No contributions were offered or accepted for these endorsements. No memberships were required to be purchased.