Category Archives: Thoughts on Viernes

Thoughts on Viernes…09212012

The JRR on Sabado

Well, I lucked out and a good friend of the family has included me at her table for the Johnson Rayburn Richards Dinner of the Harris County Democratic Party this Saturday. I’ve always been a fan of LA Mayor Villarraigosa, so, it should be a treat. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of good friends and Dem family-members, too.

Save the Date – 9/27 – Julia Maldonado Fundraiser!

Have a great weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…09072012

Obama-Biden Chart Path Forward

I don’t know what the big woop is about, I thought President Obama’s speech was spot on and delivered the message we all needed to hear:  America is a lot better than we were in 2008, and we will keep getting better with Obama at the helm.

VP Biden did an excellent job of skewering Romney-Ryan and the path they want for America. While Biden delivered the meat, Obama’s speech took more the tone of an elected leader who had the task of calming fears and uneasiness, while promoting and defending a strong first-term. Hope and Change turned into a call to keep moving forward.

Other speakers I enjoyed:

Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, Beau Biden’s nomination of his dad, Xavier Becerra, Eva Longoria, Gov. Schweitzer of Montana, and a very powerfully delivered speech from Senator John Kerry. Dick Durbin provided a cherry on top as the go-to guy on the DREAM Act.

Fighting Childhood Cancer

As I mentioned earlier this week, next Friday 9/14 is a night YOU should be supporting. The GOLDEN Dinner and Tejano Dance  will be held in support of fighting Childhood Cancer. Go to the link to read more about it, or just buy your tickets, which are now $15.

The Return of The Super Seven

I got this poster in the Facepages this week and since I’m a fan, I thought I’d promote it. The Grammy-winning supergroup, The Super Seven get back together for one night. This should be a pretty awesome night.

TXST Goes for 2-in-a-row

Other than on FB, I didn’t make much about the HUGE Texas State win over the University of Houston last weekend. In case you didn’t know, the final score was 30-13, and the big run by Marcus Curry even made ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the game. Coach Fran’s boys get tested again this weekend as they take on Tech at the newly expanded Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium.

Good luck, ‘Cats!

And have a great weekend, folks.

Thoughts on Viernes…08312012

Glad That’s Over…

Yes, the RNC is now over, and with it, hopefully Mitt Romney’s campaign. It seemed like the entire confab was about somehow humanizing Mitt Romney. And, while a little emotion is good with the personal stories, Romney didn’t do all that great a job of making people connect with his side of the issues. In fact, as much as he attacked President Obama for not doing enough (in Mitt’s eyes), he offered no solutions.

And don’t get me started on that line about “legal” immigration. Trying to capture hearts and minds with images of immigrants arriving at the Statue of Liberty and the Miami coastline (from Cuba) did not help them with the Latino vote. Latino immigrants have mostly seen cactus and mesquite in their quest to find a better life in the United States, and Mitt wants them to self-deport.

Romney and the Republicans left little doubt as to their quest to take America back to a “better” time–like the 1950s.

What Is the Obama/Democratic Response?

I think the Democratic message should be simple:  We elected Obama, this is what we accomplished despite Republican attempts to block progress, and this is what is left to do, so, let’s keep working. And if Americans want more change for the better, then give President Obama a better Congress that will work for the people, rather than one that only worries about the next political campaign. And lots of powerful images flashing on the screen will help. And no home movies–many of us couldn’t afford a Kodak 110 film camera, much less a video camera. Democrats must connect with a majority of voters, but make it about policy and not how any individual politician is just like them. Romney tried that already.

Another Bad Day for Republicans

Abbott, Perry and the Republicans were dealt another blow to their voter suppression campaign as a DC federal court ruled against Texas’ Voter ID law. The judge finds it discriminates against the poor and minorities, and it does. That’s been our argument the whole time. The GOP has failed to prove that “fraud” exists in in-person voting, too.

The Republicans have redefined “frivolous lawsuits” with all of their lawsuits against the voters. All the taxpayer money wasted on this shows they are protecting their own incumbency, rather than voters. But, I’m sure the Republican waste will continue, and hopefully, the Supreme Court will choose to protect the Voter Rights Act, rather than pick the side of political expediency. The voters are watching, nonetheless. And so is the Voter Empowerment Project:

Make no mistake, even though we have been victorious in these two legal battles, we have not yet won the war. The Republican forces of voter suppression are hard at work right here in Texas and just because their legislative efforts have failed doesn’t mean they don’t have other plans up their sleeves.  That’s exactly why the Voter Empowerment Project was created. We must remain vigilant against these voting rights attackers. They will spread misinformation, use intimidation tactics, and challenge the rights of legal voters to cast ballots. They will try whatever they can to keep Democratic voters away from the polls, block them from voting when they arrive, and prevent their ballot from being counted after it is cast. It is up to us to stop them. They will do whatever it takes. Will you? Will you serve as an Election Judge or Clerk to make sure that the election is run fairly? Will you be a poll watcher to observe the conduct of the election and call out the vote suppressors when they strike? Will you be a Voter Protection Hotline operator to take calls from voters who encounter problems at the polls and help them get the issue resolved? Will you do whatever it takes to ensure that every voter can cast a ballot that counts for the candidates of their choice? I’m up for this challenge. Will you join me? 

ENJOY YOUR LABOR DAY WEEKEND! Just remember that Unions brought you the weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…08242012

Reminder:  Latinos for Obama Documentary TONIGHT

Stop on over at the Obama for America Houston HQ at 4400 Almeda for a documentary on immigration and a discussion about Latinos for Obama. I’ll be saying a few words and giving my take on things. There will be snacks!

GOP Knocks Out Rubio From Primetime

Soon after Romney announces that he will not show his birth certificate to prove he’s from Michigan, he is thinking about bumping off his LaTeano buddy, Marco Rubio so that Ann Romney can have a primetime slot. Ann doesn’t have to show “you people” her birth certificate either. Marco, on the other hand…

but the shift could also cause tensions with a rising GOP star and Latinos

Yeah, bumping off the LaTeano might actually get Romney some Latino votes.

Labor Backs Most of Bonds

Looks like local Labor is supporting all the bonds, except the Houston ISD bond.

The AFL-CIO did not take a position on Houston Independent School District’s $1.9 billion bond measure. The organization cited what it called ”the district’s lack of credibility and transparency plus the lack of apprenticeship training programs and jobs for HISD’s graduates and community on the construction job sites.”

I’m wondering where our Latino elected officials are standing on the bonds? Send me your press releases!

Have a good weekend, folks.

Thoughts on Viernes…08172012 (Sabado Edition)

Voters Will Decide Metro Proposition on November Ballot, Too

The way the Chron describes it:

The Metropolitan Transit Authority board agreed Friday to ask voters in November to continue an agency program that funds road projects for local governments, with provisions to return certain funds to Metro after 2014.

The board voted 8-1 for a measure that, if approved by voters, would continue the so-called General Mobility Program in its current form, allocating a quarter of Metro’s 1-cent sales tax to Harris County, Houston and 14 small cities in Metro’s service area. The local governments use these funds for road and bridge projects.

However, the payments would be capped at 2014 levels, and any growth in revenues from October 2014 through December 2025 would be split evenly between Metro and the other jurisdictions. Another referendum on whether to continue the payments would be required prior to Dec. 31, 2025.

If voters reject the ballot measure, the payments would stop and Metro would retain all its sales tax proceeds.

According to METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia, who visited a group of us bloggers today, the increased revenue will not be used for rail projects, but to pay down short-term debt and to increase ridership with the purchase of more buses and more shelters. Garcia added that the availability of a shelter actually increases ridership by 30 riders, so, with 1000 shelters, METRO stands to significantly improve its bus service.

Some may be concerned about the future of the University rail line; however, Garcia stated that METRO’s financial house must be in order before moving forward. I will say, though, that, as someone who resides a few blocks from the Hillcroft Transit Center, the University Line would be a welcome addition to my neighborhood.

So, folks, we have yet another measure to vote on in November. I’ll get back to you to see where I fall on this.

Weekend Activities:

Fort Bend Democratic Party HQ Grand Opening – Saturday, 8/18 at 5:30. 4103 Main Street, Stafford, TX. This one is down the road from me.

Texas Dem Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa is in Montgomery County today if you’re up in points north of here.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…08102012

El Mayor Tony V for JRR!

I was at the County Executive Committee meeting visiting with my Dem friends (and also to watch the canvassing of the run-off). After all the Dem business came the announcement from Chairman Lane Lewis that the speaker for the Johnson Rayburn Richards dinner will be Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.  The JRR will be held on September 22.

The Mayor is one of President Obama’s campaign surrogates, is the Chair of the DNC Convention, and has been a great Mayor for LA. Here’s a sample:

The Bonds…The Bonds!!!

Well, Houston ISD approved their bond package for the November ballot–$1.9 billion. Yes, with a “b” but also a much needed “b.” I had a conversation with a Milby HS teacher last night who truly believes that our high schools need to get a lot of the bond money. Bottom line:  That’s their last stop before college, that’s where we have been losing them, and they should be in facilities that are not falling apart; our high schools need a lot of work–or replacing. But with anything come controversy and there are those questioning the prioritization process. And one expert thinks all this drawn out questioning of the bond will hurt its chances of passing.

The drawn-out questioning could make it more difficult to win the approval of voters on Nov. 6, said Rice University political science professor Bob Stein, who has polled voters about the bond proposal on behalf of HISD.

“I think it has undermined voters’ confidence in adoption of the bond,” Stein said.

A poll conducted before Grier rolled out his plan in late June found that 48 percent supported a $1.8 billion bond and 28 percent opposed it.

Still, that’s no reason to rush it through to get it in on time for the November election. The process could have been better and more transparent. So, frankly, I’m glad the Trustees gave 60+ people a chance to ask all the questions they wanted.

Houston Community College System also approved a $425 million bond package for the November ballot. And maybe they read my post, but they also did this:

However, at Thursday’s vote, the trustees pledged to use the bond money first to complete construction of the Hayes Road building, a new campus in Alief.

Well, great! The thing is, those complaining seem to be complaining more about meeting the needs of a high school in the building, which would seem to me to fall under the auspices of the Alief ISD. Then again, I’m still trying to catch up on deals made, etc.

And More Bonds!!!

I also attended the HCDP Brown Bag Lunch at the HQ yesterday which featured CM Melissa Noriega who spoke on the City Bond. My ex-councilman Mike Sullivan tagged the bonds, so, we’ll have to wait until next week to finally approve them for the ballot. On the ballot, voters will get to decide which priority they want, if not all.

One bond is for $160 million for Parks. What was interesting to me is that $100 million of that will go to the Bayou Greenways Project, which will basically create park and green spaces along the bayous. All council districts are included in this improvement, so, I guess we benefit from the investment–that was my biggest worry. Still, out in my area, I think we need more soccer fields. (That’s a hint for my Council Member, maybe?)

The city bonds will not affect our property tax rates, so, that’s a good thing. The Houston ISD will have a phased-in tax rate increase, but if property valuations increase, it could be that the hit is lessened. And HCC’s bond also comes with some added costs. I really don’t mind if we’re getting top-notch facilities in our neighborhoods.

Kudos to US Senate Candidates Who Push for DREAM on Platform

The big news about the DNC platform was that marriage equality would become one of the planks. The little heard news was the push from some US Senate candidates for the DREAM Act being included in the platform.

Rep. Martin Heinrich, the Democratic nominee for a Senate seat from New Mexico, is leading the effort and said that formally supporting the immigration proposal would provide voters with a clear choice on an issue that many care deeply about.

“I think the time has come for the DREAM Act to be part of our identity as a party,” Heinrich said in a telephone interview.

Democratic candidate Shelley Berkley in Nevada said she supports the campaign, and a spokesman for Richard Carmona in Arizona said he does as well.

Good to see this from some folks in battleground states, too. But…

It’s unclear whether the Democratic Party’s platform committee will add support of the bill to the platform.

“The platform process is ongoing, but the president and Democrats support the DREAM Act and are committed to taking steps toward passing it.” said Melanie Roussell, spokeswoman for the DNC.

True, but it still wouldn’t hurt to add it to the platform.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Thoughts on Viernes 08052012 (Domingo Edition)

Post #4500

Yes, this is my 4500th post on this thing that has been around for 7 years and 4 months. I’d like to reach 5,000 by the end of the year, so, we’ll see what happens. Thanks to all for sticking around all this time.

The City Wants To What?

Campos alerted to me to something I had heard through the ‘nets, and until I saw some quotes, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A ballot proposal to allow City Council to have closed sessions?

I’ll have to agree with CM James Rodriguez on this one.

I believe that we need to hash out our issues in the public and work with the public and to have their confidence and trust that we’re going to be open and upfront with issues.

Right, on, CM Rodriguez!

Recently, the City of Austin Council has been trying to bamboozle people by making decisions to add a competing bond proposal on Council districts. The people submitted a 10-district, 1-mayor proposal, along with 30,000+ signatures to get their proposal on the ballot. City Council, which the majority is bossed around by monied interests, wants a hybrid system. In closed session, without input by the people, the Council is now close to adding a competing proposal–sure to confuse voters. No transparency whatsoever.

No, I don’t like the idea, or the results of what could happen with such an idea. And even if it is carefully worded to ensure transparency, should it be on the 2012 ballot? How about on the Mayor and Council’s re-election ballot?

Kuff has more.

What Planet is Abbott On?

My friend Ken from Katy pointed me to a piece by Burka about a tweet AG Abbott put out there. Apparently, Abbott calling the recent GOP nomination of a Spanish-surnamed teabagger a “Latino shift.”

The AG seems to forget that Latinos sure as heck didn’t vote for the teabagger. If anything, the majority of Latinos don’t care much for his anti-Latino positions. Beyond the teabagger, an Anglo teabagger also ousted a sitting Spanish-surnamed Supreme Court Justice because he could beat a “Mexican name.” Remember, Abbott? And beyond the electoral politics, Republican policies are out of whack with Latino beliefs about public education, job creation, health care, comprehensive immigration–the list of issues goes on.

Abbott and the Republicans are in a fantasy world. (I hope this answers Ken from Katy’s question.)

Go Marlen!

The Olympics have been pretty fun this year, but the Houston area gets to watch one of its own compete on Monday. Marlen Esparza, a local boxer from Pasadena, makes history as the U.S. fields its first female boxing team. And Marlen gets in the ring early on Monday. Here’s the update from Marlen’s Facebook:

It is almost the big day! Tomorrow, Marlen will make U.S. Olympic history when she gets underway at the 2012 Summer Olympics London in the Flyweight division. Up first, Marlen will face Karhla Magliocco of Venezuala who defeated Erica Matos  in a 15-14 decision earlier today. Their Quarterfinal bout will take place between 1:30-2:00 p.m. London time (8:30 a.m. EST, 7:30 a.m. CST) and will be shown on one of NBC’s networks or live on

In the meantime, check out another article with the Houstpn Chronicle on Marlen!

Have a great week!


Thoughts on Viernes…07272012


Well, today is the last day of Early Voting in the Democratic Primary. You may vote 7am to 7pm today at any of the early voting locations in the County.

I finally received some mail this week (I hadn’t checked my mail…oops!) and all of it was from Jamaal Smith for HD-137. I’m disappointed I that I wasn’t targeted by his opponent. I mean, sure, Jamaal is my friend, but what if we had gotten into a fight or something and I had thought about changing my mind?

Anyway, if you live in my side of town, VOTE JAMAAL!  And thank you, Jamaal! Not just for running and giving me someone for whom to vote, but for being appreciative of the local bloggers.


I want to send a shout-out to my camaradas working with Latinos. Engaged. United. Voting. They’ve been hard at work getting out the vote in some heavily, yet low propensity, precincts in the Northside. And if you have some friends and family, send them out to the Hardy Senior Center to vote!

Visit them on Facebook for some weekend volunteer opportunities. They’ve always got food and work for you!

In Honor of the Olympics…

And Since I Do Not Reside There…

Remember to support my good friends, Cindy Vara-Leija for Constable-Pct.1 and Erica Lee for County School Trustee-Pos. 6. They’re good people.

In Case You Missed It…

My friend Amaury at Somos Tejanos had a great write-up in response to all of these campaigns that decide to go to negative-town. It is a great read on the politics of personal destruction. Great reading as Early Voting comes to a close.

Thoughts on Viernes…07202012


Not a good feeling to wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, turn on CNN, and find out that another mass shooting has occurred. I won’t bother turning this into a call for bans on guns or even one calling for more gun safety regulations. I’ll just take today to reflect on those persons and things that matter most to me.

Thoughts on Viernes…07132012

Lots of LEUV

I’ll have a lengthier write-up about the inaugural community forum hosted Wednesday night by Latinos. Engaged. United. Voting., but I must say it was a pretty good night at Bam Bou. And from what I hear, it will not be the last forum or event. Great kick-off for the new political action committee, which included a lot of VIPs and even more newly engaged people from the community. If you have the Face Page, you can check out the photos here.

Support the Janitors!