Category Archives: Wise Latinas

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.

Rally for Reproductive Rights – The Bus Schedule

Thanks to Richard Shaw for getting this bit of information out about Saturday the 28th.

Rally with the Women of Texas on the Steps of the Capitol

Unite against the War on Women!

Date:    Saturday, April 28, 2012

Time:    4-6 P.M.

Where:  Texas State Capitol, Austin, Texas (South Steps)

Buses from Houston

North:  Deerbrook Mall parking lot by Macy’s, 20131 Highway 59 North, Humble, Texas 77338

Central:  Lowe’s parking lot, behind the IBEW Hall, 1475 North Loop West, Houston, Texas 77008

Cost:  $20 early registration (by April 25th)

 $25 after April 25th

Meet at 11 a.m.  Buses depart promptly at 11:30 a.m.

Bring your favorite snacks or soft drinks.  Water provided.

Reservation and payment required:

For Inquires, email: or leave phone message at 713-868-4805.

Librotraficantes Launches Trip at Casa Ramirez

An energetic crowd turned out to support Tony Diaz and his Librotraficante crew this morning at Casa Ramirez Folk Art Gallery, a popular Heights storefront for culture and literature. The caravan takes with them a payload of contraband books to Arizona while creating various Underground Libraries throughout the Southwest.

The historic weeklong journey includes stops in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas; Mesilla and Albuquerque, N.M., and culminates in Tucson, Ariz., touting a celebration of Quantum Demographics, or multifaceted cultural unity, by highlighting Mexican American, African American and Native American literary works along the route. On St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, we’ll host a huge literary celebration of El Batallion San Patricio at 6 p.m., celebrating Irish and Mexican collaboration of the past.

The entire schedule is available online at

Librotraficante is part of a response to recent laws in Arizona created to abolish Mexican American Studies programs. In some schools, books have literally been taken out of classrooms and stored away, thus banning them. Librotraficante has collected books and will traffic them into Arizona to ensure books are available to students.

“Arizona made me a Librotraficante,” said organizer and author, Tony Diaz, who has also brought together various banned authors who have donated to this cause.

Participating in Banned Book Bashes and Cultural Caucuses along the route are Sandra Cisneros, who kicked off our fundraising efforts by making a generous donation; Guggenheim Fellow Dagoberto Gilb, whose work recently appeared in the New Yorker and Harperssimultaneously; and best selling author Luis Alberto Urrea, with multiple titles found on the banned book list, was the first to enthusiastically support the project through Twitter.  Other literary giants participating in the Librotraficante Caravan include Rudolfo Anaya, whose seminal novel BLESS ME ULTIMA is banned; Denise Chavez, FACE OF AN ANGEL, who is hosting the caravan in Mesilla, N.M., and who organizes the Annual Border Book Festival; Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the syndicated comic LA CUCARACHA and who coined the phrase “Self Deport”; and Rene Alegria, founder of Boxing Badger Media and, who attended one of the impacted high schools in Tucson.

“Politicians in Arizona have become experts in making humans illegal. We did not do enough to stop that, thus that anti-immigrant legislation spread to other states such as Alabama and Georgia. Now, these same legislators want to make thoughts illegal. If we allow this to happen, these laws, too, will spread. Other branches of ethnic studies will be prohibited, and other states will follow suit,” said Tony Diaz, author and director of Nuestra Palabra, organizer of the Librotraficante Caravan.

For more information and donate to the cause, please visit


Don’t Mess With Texas Women Tour in Houston-Monday

As the group tells us:

Texas Governor Rick Perry and his conservative allies have once again chosen politics over Texas women. To Governor Perry, women’s health is just a political game.

Governor Perry would rather throw health care for an additional 130,000 women overboard than allow Planned Parenthood to provide health care like breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and STD prevention through public health programs.

Save the date for a special event in Houston to show your support for TEXAS WOMEN!

Take a quick lunch break and join us!

*Lunch Boxes will be provided

And this guy will be there representing my mom and sisters (they’ll be busy)! Hope to see you there!

And while you prep for Monday’s events, make sure you put the Unite Against the War on Women Rally at the State Capitol to be held 4/28/12 on your calendars.

The Good and Bad



The Shift: Hispanics in America

This vid I came upon today was produced by the Center for Hispanic Leadership, which has a commitment to creating Hispanic Talent. Warning to Tea Partiers – Your head may fall off after watching this.

Judith Cruz Against Child Nutrition Program


Juliet Stipeche Defends First Class Breakfast Program

Houston ISD has been touting a successful program called the First Class Breakfast.

The First Class Breakfast program is an initiative that allows HISD to do even more to make sure students have a nutritious breakfast so they can learn to their full potential. HISD began serving free breakfast to all students several years ago. It is a well documented fact that when students start their school day with a good breakfast they tend to perform and behave better. But when breakfast is served in the school cafeteria before school, two-thirds of students skip it. To make sure children get a nutritious breakfast every day, the district has implemented the First Class Breakfast program to serve breakfast right in the classroom during the first few minutes of the first class. The program is in place at all elementary and middle schools totaling 215 campuses that are conveniently serving students breakfast right at their desks.

Unfortunately, only one of the candidates running for HISD Trustee District 8 supports the successful program, and that’s Juliet Kathy Stipeche. In an interview with Charles Kuffner of, Judith Cruz was asked about the quality of nutrition programs at Houston ISD, but instead, chose to rail against the First Class Breakfast program.

“I think the first thing that comes to mind…breakfast in the classroom…I think it’s completely unnecessary,” said Judith Cruz, adding, “I don’t see starving children everyday in HISD; you know, kids might be a little bit hungry, but they’re not starving.”

Even after Kuffner explained to Cruz the “Devil’s advocate” side, Cruz was not in support of the nutrition program.

KUFFNER:  The Devils advocate argument for that is that children do less well in the classroom and that some children don’t go for the free breakfast because they feel like, you know, they stand out and that by bringing it into the classroom it kind of equalizes things, you don’t see it that way?

JUDITH CRUZ:  I don’t.

Juliet Kathy Stipeche is a strong supporter of the First Class Breakfast program and believes in serving quality, nutritious, and tasty breakfasts to HISD’s students.

“I cannot see how a former teacher, who has seen hungry children with her own eyes, can be against this program,” said Stipeche. “It is a known fact that children in urban areas like Houston face increased levels of poverty, hunger, and diets that are not beneficial to children.  Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, and programs like this one are known to improve student achievement and discipline.”

Regarding Cruz’s comments that she has not seen “starving” children in the schools, it would seem she is out of touch with Houston’s reality. The Houston Food Bank recently reported serving 400,000 Houston-area children in 2009, which was an 85 percent increase, compared with 2005.  80% of HISD children are economically disadvantaged, which means they meet the federal criteria for free or reduced lunches. According to HISD, student participation in the breakfast program has increased substantially; ensuring children are prepared for that long day of learning.

So, you can do a couple of things:  VOTE JULIET FOR HISD (and if you do not live in HISD-8, tell your friends and family that do live there to VOTE JULIET) and in these days of even greater need, make a contribution to the Houston Food Bank.

KUFFNER INTERVIEW (Cruz comments on program at 12-minute mark)

Translated below.

Continue reading

OutSmart Covers HISD-8 Candidate Juliet Stipeche

Brandon Wolf at OutSmart provides us a very good article and interview on candidate for Houston ISD JULIET STIPECHE. Give it a read!

Join the Juliet Stipeche Campaign

Phone Banking – Seven Days a Week
Juliet Stipeche’s campaign office is at 7049 Lawndale in between Wayside and 75th Street.
Phone banking goes on every day between 2 and 8 p.m.
Monday–Friday, 10–6 on Saturday and 1–6 on Sunday.

Houston GLBT Political Caucus – Montrose Block Walking
Sunday, November 14, 2010 • 3 p.m.–5 p.m.
Caucus Headquarters: 1124 West Gray, Houston, Texas 77006

Important Dates:

Early Voting Dates:   November 18–24 (7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., including Saturday and Sunday)

Early Voting Locations:

Austin High School – 1700 Dumble, Houston, TX 77023
Furr High School – 520 Mercury, Houston 77013
Gregory-Lincoln Educational Center — 1101 Taft, Houston, TX 77019
West Gray Adaptive Recreation Center — 1475 West Gray, Houston, TX 77019

Election Day:   Tuesday, November 30

A complete list of polling locations is here (.pdf).

Anyone with an application for ballot by mail can send it to:

Houston ISD Run-Off Election
P.O. Box 924287
Houston, TX 77292

To request an application for ballot by mail, please call 713-556-6121.

Dia de los Muertos Poetry Reading in the Heights

Juliet Earns Hispanic Chamber Endorsement

Juliet Kathy Stipeche is on a roll with another important endorsement from an organization that serves the community.

And here’s a link to a blog post on the candidate in the race who wants to close down schools–the very hubs that serve our neighborhoods. Juliet believes in common sense solutions to the challenges our schools face. And that’s why Juliet has been able to put together a coalition of supporters which make up the various sectors of the community.

For Immediate Release

Contact:            Juliet Stipeche  713-520-6667


Juliet Kathy Stipeche, candidate for Houston ISD Trustee-District 8, is pleased to announce that she has earned the endorsement of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce PAC.  Stipeche issued this statement:

“I set out to earn the support of individuals and organizations that are connected to District 8, and the Houston Hispanic Chamber is one of those groups who have proven themselves as a hub for strengthening the economic viability of our community, while wholeheartedly supporting our schools.

I strongly believe that public schools and the business community must work together to create a cooperative environment in which students, teachers, and all stakeholders can thrive, while developing opportunities to prepare students for the real world.”

The daughter of immigrant parents, Juliet Kathy Stipeche is an accomplished attorney and community leader. A graduate of the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice where she graduated at the top of her class, Juliet received her undergraduate degree, with honors, from Rice University and her law degree from the University of Texas. A product of the East End, Juliet resides in the Idylwood community with her husband and law partner Wesley Nagorny, III.