Los Blogs of Texas Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance does not speak in riddles when it brings you its weekly roundup.

Off the Kuff enjoys a bit of schadenfreude at the expense of the terrible people at Empower Texans.

SocraticGadfly says that (complete with quote-Photoshopping) Gov. Strangeabbott has coronavirus blood on his hands.

DosCentavos puts the SCOTUS DACA decision into perspective.

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

Robert Rivard salutes Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff for successfully calling Greg Abbott’s bluff on face masks.

Juanita basks in Trump’s latest egotistical tirade.

The Texas Signal enjoys the spectacle of Ted Cruz whining about Sesame Street.

Grits for Breakfast imagines a “George Floyd Act” for Texas.

The Dallas Observer reports on the celebrations by immigration activists over the SCOTUS ruling on DACA.

Jeff Balke fears a sports pandemic within the current pandemic.

Teneshia Hudspeth Announces for HC County Clerk

Teneshia Hudspeth, the current Harris County Deputy County Clerk, declared her candidacy for County Clerk this week. As Kuff reminds us, Harris County Democratic precinct chairs will choose the nominee later this summer after the resignation of Diane Trautman. Precinct chairs will also choose the nominee for HCDE Position 7, and I’ve already written about Jose Rivera who is running for that position.

Teneshia Hudspeth is a Houston-based Administrator to the third largest county in the nation, where she currently serves as Chief Deputy of the Harris County Clerk’s Office.  She is the first African American women to serve in this role. Teneshia supervises the Administrators of all departments and locations of Commissioners Court, Elections, County Civil Courts, Probate Courts, Personal Records, Real Property, Information/Records Archives, and Annex Offices in operational planning, human resources, financial, advocacy, community relations and risk management.

As a 15 year member of the Harris County Clerk’s Office, serving under three Administrations, she has held a variety of positions that have provided the breadth of knowledge necessary to serve the public well, including Administrative Aide of Public Affairs, Special Projects Coordinator, Voter Outreach Coordinator, Public Information Officer, and Administrator of Communications & Voter Outreach.  Most of her work while in the Clerk’s Office focused on providing registered voters the information, materials and assistance needed to access the voting process. In the community, she provides leadership and information on voter registration and voter turnout in Harris County, the City of Houston, and the State of Texas, and manages the African American Elections Advisory Committee for the County.

Hudspeth, who began her career in public service as a congressional intern, is active in the community through various organizations. She has also taken a lead role in helping create the next leaders in the African American community through the creation of a leadership institute.

Hudspeth was immediately endorsed by her former boss, Diane Trautman, as well as other elected officials. Among my politically active friends, she also seems to be the favorite. Personally, whenever I’ve e-mailed her office for data, she has been very responsive and helpful. I agree with Dr. Trautman that we need someone who can hit the ground running. I expect support for Hudspeth to gather quickly.

Since this particular race will be decided by the precinct chairs, it is up to us voters to contact them and tell them our preference. Don’t know your precinct chair? Head on over to this website, input your information, and find out who your precinct chair is. Some posts may be empty, so, we may need to find a different way to inform precinct chairs of our preference.

Soon:  The #StaceSlate for the 2020 Democratic Party Runoff!

Why So Surprised at Abbott’s Destruction of Texas?

The Chron, an avid endorser of Greg Abbott, wrote a critical op-ed about Abbott.

The Chron still supported Abbott after the multi-billion dollar shit show that has been the “border surge,” the billions cut from public education, and not allowing an expansion of Medicaid. So, who is “foolish?”

Well, now, Greg Abbott and republicans are failing Texas on mitigating the Coronavirus–big time! But we have enough beds for all the fools who go to bars and parties unmasked as Abbott re-opens the economy, y’hear? Maybe not.

Why are we so surprised? And why is he considered “failing,” now? We’ve known Republicans were out to get the poor, the infirm, immigrants, women, persons of color, the disabled, the LGBT, and many more for a long time.

Why the faux outrage toward him, now? Is it about YOU, now?

 

 

 

Jose Rivera Announces for HCDE At-Large Position 7

Local non-profit executive Jose Rivera has announced his candidacy for Harris County Dept of Education Trustee, At-Large 7.  The Democratic nominee must be chosen by the Democratic Party’s precinct chairs later this summer after the current nominee was appointed to another position on the board during the primary season.

Jose offers up years of experience in Democratic campaigns, as well as community advocacy experience through his work in local government and in the office of Congressman Gene Green. Also:

Throughout his career, Jose has found a passion working and for under represented communities. For 8 years, he worked for the nationally recognized non-profit BakerRipley. It was during his time at BakerRipley that Jose learned the importance of engaging communities and collaborating to create programs and initiatives that are reflective of the communities they aim to serve. Jose also helped create and develop intergenerational programs that engaged youth and seniors through mentoring and resiliency connections.

Jose Rivera currently serves as the Executive Director of the Aldine-Greenspoint YMCA and Outreach Initiatives where he oversees programming and resources for the Aldine- Greenspoint Service area along with Outreach programming which includes apartment outreach programs, and services throughout the Greater Houston service area.

Jose holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Texas Southern University and has participated as a fellow in the New Leaders Council. He and his wife Tanya Makany-Rivera are members of Unity Church of Christianity and live in Houston with their two boys Anthony and Dominic who attend area public schools.

There are two vacancies on the Democratic side of the November ballot that must be filled by a vote of the Democratic Party’s executive committee, AKA the precinct chairs. One we already know about it that of County Clerk, due to the resignation of Diane Trautman and a called special election to fill the vacancy in November. Each Party must pick their candidate through the precinct chairs.

But, there’s also the position of Trustee of the Harris County Department of Education Board, Position 7–an at-large position. In this case, the Democratic candidate who won the primary was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board, which has left Dems without a candidate for November. So, the precinct chairs will fill this vacancy with a Democrat to take on the Republican in November.

That said, contact your precinct chair and tell them to read up on and support Jose Rivera for HCDE-7. He will serve Harris County well. He has already earned the nod of State Reps. Christina Morales, Armando Walle, and Ana Hernandez, as well as current HCDE Trustee Richard Cantu, and former Congressman Gene Green.

We will be hearing about at least one person running for County Clerk later this week. Stay connected!

Apply For The Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund, June 23-24

Thanks to State Rep. Christina Morales for the reminder regarding the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund application process:

The Harris County COVID-19 relief fund opens for eligible, low-income Harris County Residents, including those excluded by the CARES Act or immigrant households, and people who may receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance but cannot afford to wait for months.

Apply Online at www.harriscountyrelief.org from Tuesday, June 23 at 6AM through Wednesday, June 24 at 10PM.

Apply by Phone: Friendly operators will help applicants during the process by recording their answers and submitting the application.

June 23: Open 6AM – 2PM CT
June 24: Open 2PM – 10PM CT

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES BELOW

Judge Hidalgo Signs New Face Mask Order

DC Says “¡Ponte la pinche máscara!”

From Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo;

BREAKING: In light of the governor’s guidance I’ve signed an order requiring businesses to require #facecoverings for workers & customers. We’ve recently seen disturbing #COVID19 trends and we must act swiftly to keep folks safe. We’ll use every tool available in this fight.

I wouldn’t call it guidance from the governor as much as winning a guessing game as to what the governor would allow. “Thanks to Bexar County Judge Wolff for calling Abbott’s bluff” would be a better way to describe it. Unlike the Judge, I don’t have to be nice about it.

Anyway, mask up and physically distance yourself from people (and stay away from crowds). And, remember, “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Mask, No Service!”

More from ABC13:

The new order goes into effect on Monday, June 22 and the Disaster Declaration expires on June 30, Hidalgo said. Businesses will be fined $1,000, but individuals will not be fined.

“This will only work if everyone does their part,” Hidalgo said. “The intent is not to have police on every street corner.”

Masks do not need to be worn while eating, exercising outside, driving, pumping gas or inside buildings that require screening like banks.

Mayor Sylvester Turner also said it’s important for customers to feel safe so they’ll venture out of their homes and visit businesses, helping many stay open and afloat.

“It’s a health care crisis, y’all,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “For people who want to start moving around, including the fall, how we handle the summer will be critical.”

DACA – It’s A Small Win

No doubt, there was a sigh of relief after the 5-4 SCOTUS decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was announced. Many of my friends are less worried.

For the meantime, Trump and his minions have been told that they will have to find another way to make a declaration on DACA’s legality that would lead to its end.

As SCOTUS stated:

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. “The wisdom” of those decisions “is none of our concern.” Chenery II, 332 U. S., at 207. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner. The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may consider the problem anew.”

This may only further delay its demise, although, any new Trump effort to end DACA will once again be met by a challenge in the courts. This decision certainly adds to the political pressure against Trump and Republicans to do something about the entire issue (immigration and deportation reform and not just DACA), but also places pressure on Democrats who tend to get squeamish on any of these issues within the realm of immigration reform during election time.

For now, it’s still election season. As local group FIEL’s ED Cesar Espinosa stated:  “We are ecstatic that the supreme court sided on the right side of history and allowed for the DACA program to be in place for the meantime. We hope that in this interim time we are able to petition congress to come up with a permanent solution not only for DACA recipients but the immigrant community at large.”

And as various DREAMers stated at a press conference held today at FIEL, “It’s a small win,” and it is time to vote. It is time to study the candidates, find who is really on the side of DREAMers and immigrants, and vote them into office. It’s time to get beyond executive orders and actually do something.

This is not to say it’s all about politics. Much like the drive toward police reform, it’s about saving people’s lives. If politicians aren’t in it to work for the betterment of the people. then it’s just another popularity contest. Here’s a chance to do something.

There will be more on this, for sure. For now, it’s a good day.

Democratic State Reps Call Out Acevedo on HPD Audit

Eight Houston-area Democratic State Representatives have called out Houston PD Chief Art Acevedo and HPD on the lack of transparency and accountability regarding a taxpayer-funded audit of the department after its botched raid on Harding Street.   (CLICK  TO  ENLARGE)

Thanks to these leaders for speaking up for accountability on this particular instance of cops-gone-wrong.

Of course, this isn’t the only instance for which the community needs information. The name Nicolas Chavez immediately comes to mind as months have passed without any results of investigation. The online video isn’t enough, Chief! Perhaps this audit on procedures and practices would give a little light as to what could lead officers to kill others in all other instances in which has occurred.

 

 

 

Texas Progressive Alliance Roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with those demanding justice for George Floyd and Javier Ambler as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff details the state of police reform in Houston and Harris County, with a coda about HISD.

DosCentavos had a series on the possible re-hiring of Chauna Thompson. The effort failed.

SocraticGadfly offers up a twofer on third party national politics. First, in the wake of a previous post about Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, he snarks on the party wanting to be “more dramatic and noteworthy.” Second, he has some Minneapolis-related questions about Cam Gordon, one of the speakers set for Greens’ national convention.

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

Craig Mills says he should not know the names of George Floyd and so many other black men who are known to him because they were killed by police.

Space City Weather revisits the question of COVID-19 and the Texas weather.

Abby Springs and Wesley Storey explain how Texas laws fail to hold police accountable.

G. Elliott Morris walks you through the Economist’s election model.

Dan Solomon confirms that the official policy of the state of Texas is that avoiding coronavirus is your own responsibility.

Abbott: Follow The Rules I Didn’t Impose!

UPDATE 4PM:  Well that had to be the most useless press conference ever. Abbott and his minions basically assured Texans that there are enough hospital beds for all the COVID19 patients and that the re-opening will continue.

When asked regarding a letter by Dallas County Judge Jenkins who requested more power to enforce mask use and other rules, an offended Greg Abbott blamed Jenkins for wanting to “jail” non-mask wearers and that he should go after bars and restaurants who violate Abbott’s re-opening capacity rules. Abbott has mentioned that TABC is supposed to be doing this, too, so, who’s in charge?

Anyway, Texas government lacks leadership, but has an abundance of power-hungry zealots, and that is nothing new.


So, Greg Abbott is supposed to speak sometime today (6/16/2020) on the increase in COVID19 positives and hospitalizations.

Harris County continues to lead the state with the most confirmed cases with 17,282 cases, 10,029 active, 6,969 recovered and 284 deaths as of Tuesday morning.

and

Harris County has surpassed the hospitalization peak initially seen on April 11 at 610 patients.

As of Sunday, Harris County now has 696 patients severely suffering from coronavirus.

A doctor with Memorial Hermann says they’ve seen a 30% jump in hospitalizations since the end of May.

Telemundo also reported that one testing center at the Mexican Consulate had a 20% infection rate of the 600 tested. And United Memorial Medical Center reported that 90% of new patients are Hispanic.

But, yesterday, after forcing Texas to Phase 3 re-opening last week, Abbott blamed any increase on young people who aren’t taking Coronavirus seriously.

“They are not wearing face masks, they’re not sanitizing their hands, they’re not maintaining social distancing,” he added. “And as a result, they are contracting COVID-19 at a record pace in the state of Texas.”

I fixed his quote, though:

“How dare you young’ns get sick after going to all the businesses that I re-opened and by refusing to wear masks that I didn’t require you to wear!”

Abbott is concerned, but not alarmed, at the increase in positives and hospitalizations. So, he’ll keep the re-openings going and he won’t enforce any rules regarding masks, looking away while pretending that adults will adult.  All this from the comfort of his own taxpayer-paid cocoon. Now, that’s leadership!

Is it true that mask-wearing is lacking? That distance is not being practiced? Of course. We’ve been saying this the whole damn time. But people take their cues from the leaders that satisfy their wants and needs. Whether it’s racist policies or some semblance of faux rugged individualism, you can count on Republicans to shovel it and blame others for the consequences.

Let’s see what he says today.