Tag Archives: 2020

Los Blogs de Texas – TPA Round Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance did not need to pause its collection of blog content for your roundup this week.

Off the Kuff analyzes the latest polls of Texas.

SocraticGadfly looks at Howie Hawkins clinching the Green Party nomination and the various haters who still don’t like it or him.

DosCentavos is not a fan of the latest attempt at police reform by committee.

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

G. Elliott Morris throws a little bit of cold water on the positive polls for Joe Biden in Texas.

Josh Berthume worries that the seven hours following the end of voting on the East Coast will be the biggest danger to democracy America has seen.

Noah Horwitz shares a term paper he once wrote about Greg Abbott.

Paradise in Hell has had it with Mike Pence.

Mario Bravo calls on elected officials to lead on police reform.

Transform Houston outlines their objections to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s task force on police reform.

DC’s #StaceSlate – 2020 Dem Runoff

In case you all have forgotten, Democrats have a run-off election to begin participating in come Monday. For some of us, it’s a busy ballot from the Senate down to Constable.

Early voting begins June 29 and goes on through July 10. Run-off election day is July 14. Find your sample ballot here. Here is the 2020 Democratic Run-Off #StaceSlate :

US Senate – Royce West – 27 years in the Texas Senate fighting for the issues that are important to Democrats. We need a proven fighter to bring out our base and West is that fighter. And I just don’t trust the choices of the DSCC or their incursions into these kind of races. Never have, actually.

Railroad Commissioner – Roberto “Beto” Alonzo – Over 20 years in the Texas Lege, he always scored high on environmental, civil rights, and education group score cards. I prefer someone outside of the oil/gas realm, yet, with a rich legislative history supporting the interests of the people and Democrats, generally. Plus, he’s a family friend whom I’ve known for…ever.

SBOE-6 – Michelle Palmer – I’ve seen her, basically, everywhere. She hasn’t taken any constituency for granted. She’s a progressive educator who will fight for our students.

Justice, 14th Court of Appeals-7 – Cheri Thomas – I met Cheri at a local Dem meeting. Personable, a listener, and someone who will take the job seriously.

Judge, 164th District – Alexandra Smoots-Thomas – She’s done a fine job as a judge ensuring people are not railroaded in the civil courts. There will be negativity thrown at her, but I don’t trust anything coming from Trump’s Justice Department.

Judge, 339th District – Te’iva Bell – She struck me as a reformer who believes in justice for all. A criminal district court should not be a place where one is railroaded to prison, rather, it should be a place where either side will find justice based on evidence and facts. Bell will offer that as a judge of this court.

Harris County Commissioner Pct 3 – Diana Martinez-Alexander – I want a Democratic candidate who will be responsive to voters and not special interests. We need to break down a system built for people with insider connections and Diana offers that kind of alternative, while speaking up on issues important to the people.

Constable Pct 5 – Mark Alan Harrison – He’s a veteran law enforcement leader who advocates for changes that positively impact the community. From what my friends (and his FB posts) tell me, he’s the candidate to support.

Find a PDF of Early Voting Locations by clicking here.  And, again, find your sample ballot here.

Remember to wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and get in and out of the polling location. Chances are you will be asked to remove your mask to match up to your ID. Let’s hope it’s quick. But if you want to order a face shield, Amazon has some.

 

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.

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

Silvestre Martinez – Coronavirus: A Pretty Good PSA and Tune

A new COVID-19 tune and video dropped on Sunday by Silvestre Martinez titled Coronavirus. In case you’re wondering, it’s about Coronavirus.

The catchy tune in which Martinez does all the vocals and instruments takes us through origins and CDC guidelines in its own funny way.

Martinez is asking folks to buy the single at this website, but I think it’s good enough for government campaigns targeted at Spanish-speaking folks, so, local leaders should get in touch with him, too. Check it out by clicking the pic below:

Texas Progressive Alliance Roundup

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

Off the Kuff analyzed two more polls showing a tight Presidential race in Texas.

SocraticGadfly notes how Ted Rall is becoming a self-writing parody of himself.

DosCentavos writes about where the conversation on police reform needs to begin based on the #8CantWait campaign.

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

Christoph Spieler shares two lessons for transit agencies during times of crisis.

Paradise in Hell warns his Trump-supporting friends and colleagues that the day is coming when they will have to choose between their president and their country.

Therese Odell is always on top of the news and how politics and current events relate to the TV industry.

The Texas Signal reports on the Travis County DA primary runoff and how it relates to the wider criminal justice reform debate.

Via Out in SA, Equality Texas vows to do better at every level of their organization to help dismantle systems of oppression against Black Americans.

Christopher Hooks covered the Black Lives Matter rally in Vidor.

Harris County To Consider Reforms to Law Enforcement

Harris County Commissioner Pct 1 Rodney Ellis and his Democratic colleagues (Judge Hidalgo and Commissioner Garcia) will propose some needed reforms to law enforcement in Harris County. Stated Commissioner Ellis on his Facebook page:

Harris County devotes more than $776 million to the Sheriff and Constables. That’s 45% of our total spending of our general fund departmental budget. By reallocating funds towards community resources we can begin to build a better quality of life for communities of color and stop using the criminal justice system to address problems associated with poverty and health.

The Chron’s Zach Despart posted the proposals:

As Kuff states, it’s harder for the Commisssioners to impose police reforms on law enforcement departments run by their own elected officials, such as Sheriff and Constables. But each of these proposals has much to do with how tax dollars for law enforcement are allocated and how these offices will become more accountable to the people, i.e., the creation of an independent civilian review board with subpoena power.

Kuff also reminds us that the Houston Mayor and City Council do have more power to effect police reforms and I must agree that City Council Member Letitia Plummer’s budget amendment proposals should be a starting point for implementation. Considering that the Mayor is proposing almost a billion dollars for law enforcement with no particular proposal for change or reform, it is definitely time for a public discussion led by elected officials, rather than political appointees.

 

 

 

Where Is Houston on Police Reform?

There is a campaign for police reform called 8CantWait. They list eight reforms to police policy that could reduce police violence if fully put into place.

  • Bans Chokeholds and Strangleholds
  • Requires De-escalation
  • Requires Warning Before Shooting
  • Requires Exhausting Other Means Before Shooting
  • Duty to Intervene
  • Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
  • Has Use of Force Continuum
  • Requires Comprehensive Reporting

Those in bold are in place in Houston. Meaning, a police officer may intercede to prevent unnecessary use of force by a co-worker and be free to report it to a supervisor; a department has guidelines as to how much force can be used on a resisting subject; and reporting of gun use, whether it is pointing a gun at a person, intentional discharge not resulting in bodily injury, and accidental discharge resulting in injury of a person.

A report written on the subject of police use of force is quite compelling. First of all, African Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than white counterparts. It’s a fact. Ultimately, police violence would not only be reduced with these policies in place, but the threat of violence to police officers would also be decreased.  But, what is most disturbing is the lack of advancement on this by police departments as on average, they only accept three of the eight proposed reforms.

If these reforms are not being pushed at the federal and state levels, it is up to cities and their politicians to step up. Here in Houston, At Large 4 Council Member Letitia Plummer offered up amendments to the City of Houston Budget that is currently being debated. (click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, this is leadership. And she’s on her first term. We have a term-limited mayor and council members who have yet to step up with solutions. But the people must let their own city council members know that they must support this amendment by calling them or e-mailing them. And telling them that these reforms are needed for the purpose of saving lives and improving community – police (and council) relations.

These are changes that have been promised for a long time in one form or another. When things are at their calmest is when they should be put in place. Our government should be proactive, but it is not. It is only after a murder-by-cop and direct action by the people that these changes are proposed. Hopefully, that will change.

If this is truly a lesson learned, then the changes that need to be made will be made. And soon.

Texas Progressive Alliance Roundup

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

Off the Kuff unpacks the convoluted Supreme Court ruling in the state vote by mail lawsuit.

DosCentavos implores local leaders to change law enforcement culture after the murder of George Floyd and others killed in recent weeks.

SocraticGadfly explains how issues of the duopoly and lesser eviilism extend to the Supreme Court, when one looks outside the lens of reproductive choice and sexual choice rights, and especially when one looks through the lens of criminal justice issues and minorities.

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

The Texas Signal declares that Ken Paxton is bluffing about vote by mail.

Dan Solomon illustrates how the Electoral College diminishes Texas’ political power.

Milton “Big Pokey” Powell, a friend of George Floyd’s, calls for police to be held truly accountable when they commit violence against civilians.

Therese Odell tries to take it all in.

Michael Li analyzes that State Supreme Court decision regarding vote by mail.

Grits for Breakfast despairs at the lack of progress in police reform.