It was the kind of run-off that mostly had good candidates. I picked my favorites and went 3 – 5, and other races, I didn’t even pick. Still, come the time to click [REFRESH], there was a little excitement.
Big congrats to Ed Gonzalez who will be the Democratic nominee for Harris County Sheriff. I’ve known Ed for a while and I’ve always given him my support. I think he’d make a great sheriff; actually, I think he’d be great in any position to which he sets his mind.
In the 61st District Court, Fredericka Phillips had a great election day and squeezed out a 200+ vote victory over Julie Countiss, who had a strong mail ballot showing. This was the most exciting race of the night as we awaited the results and saw an exchange of leads.
Constable Chris Diaz of Pct. 2 had a decisive victory in his race earning over 72% of the vote. Congrats, Constable.
I’d like to give a huge tip of my sombrero to Tanya Makany-Rivera, candidate for JP Pct. 1. She was outspent by a lot and took on some heavies in the local establishment, but she never gave up until the last vote was cast. She’s good people and I hope to see her on the ballot again in the future. Congrats to Eric William Carter who won the race. I met him during the race and he’s personable and friendly, which are a couple of qualities needed on the people’s court. Good luck to him.
To my friend Rabeea Collier–You ran great race for the 11th District Court! I met Rabeea back in 2008 when the Hillary-Obama race was at its hottest–during Senate District Convention. She fought hard for her Obama delegates, while I fought hard for the Hillary delegates. It was quite fun. She’s another candidate I hope to see on the ballot in the future. Congrats to Kristen Hawkins who will carry the Donkey flag toward November. She’ll be a great candidate.
And congrats to all the Dems from the top to the bottom of the ballot.
Today is run-off day, and as is usually the case during low-turn-out elections, polling locations will be consolidated around Harris County. So, you better check with Harris County before you go to your usual election day polling location. While you’re at it, get a copy of your sample ballot.
Of course, there is the Stace Run-Off Slate to consider:
SBOE6: Jasmine Jenkins
District Judge, 11th District: Rabeea Collier
District Judge, 61st District: Fredericka Phillips
District Judge, 215 District: JoAnn Storey
Sheriff: Ed Gonzalez
The NIMBY, but I would if I could vote for them Slate:
JP1: Tanya Makany-Rivera
Constable Pct 2: Christopher Diaz
Constable Pct 3: Michel Pappillion
Ed Gonzalez, Democratic candidate for Harris County Sheriff, challenged current Sheriff Hickman to reinstate jail inspectors and diversify the staff if any criminal justice reform plan is to succeed.
Here’s the press release from Gonzalez:
Ed Gonzalez, the leading Democratic candidate for Sheriff, called on Sheriff Ron Hickman today to join the county’s push for criminal justice reform by reinstating jail inspectors and replacing his command staff with a more diverse leadership team
Gonzalez applauded yesterday’s action by county commissioners to accept a $2 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation and spend millions more on reforms that include expanding pre-trial diversion programs, implementing a new bail system and improving relationships with minority communities.
“Commissioners are moving in the right direction with their new reform plan, but it won’t be enough until real reform comes to the Sheriff’s office,” said Gonzalez.
“Sheriff Hickman must immediately reinstate the jail inspectors and the investigative unit he dismantled and replace his command staff with a leadership team that is more reflective of the communities served by the sheriff’s office,” said Gonzalez.
Hickman’s first act after being appointed sheriff was to replace the existing diverse command staff with all white men. After intense pressure, Hickman later made some additional appointments, but the command staff is nowhere near reflective of the communities that make up Harris County. Gonzalez expressed concern that, until the sheriff truly diversified his command staff, the county’s new racial and ethnic diversity coordinator would continue to face barriers in rebuilding the trust of minority communities in the criminal justice system.
“If the county’s law enforcement leader fails to recognize the need for real diversity,” said Gonzalez, “what chance will the county’s new criminal justice diversity coordinator have to succeed?”
Gonzalez also expressed serious concerns about the ability of the county’s new jail coordinator to speed up the release of inmates awaiting bail, a key element of the new reform plan, given existing management problems at the jail.
Earlier this month, a suspect awaiting bail on a charge of stealing a guitar was beaten to death by inmates in his holding cell – continuing a pattern of violence, abuse and neglect at the jail that was exposed in a 2015 Houston Chronicle investigation. Hickman’s response was to reduce oversight at the jail, including dismantling the investigative unit that had uncovered some of the worst cases of abuse and neglect.
“For the county’s new reform plan to succeed, we must incease oversight, transparency and accountability at the county jail,” said Gonzalez. “That’s why I’m calling on Sheriff Hickman to live up to the values of this new plan by diversifying his command staff and reinstating the jail inspectors he cut earlier this year.”
Ed Gonzalez is a leading candidate in the May 24 Democratic Party primary runoff election for Harris County Sheriff. He is a veteran Houston Police officer who rose to the rank of Sergeant, led murder investigations and served on the elite hostage negotiating team. He served two terms on the City Council, chairing the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and becoming mayor pro-tem. On the Houston City Council, Gonzalez led efforts at criminal justice reform – including creating the Houston Center for Sobriety, which keeps people who need help out of the criminal justice system and allows police officers to spend more time on patrol, catching criminals.
Ed Gonzalez, Democratic candidate for County Sheriff, came out swinging against current Sheriff Ron Hickman’s proposed cuts to dismantle an investigative unit and slashing the number of jail inspectors. Put another way, Hickman is making jail operations less transparent when much reform is needed.
“This is a very poor decision that shows a disappointing lack of judgment and leadership on the part of our current sheriff,” said Gonzalez. “At a time when more incidents of abuse and neglect continue to surface, we should be increasing transparency and oversight at the jail, not taking a step backward.”
Gonzalez pointed to a recent investigation by the Houston Chronicle that “exposed avoidable in-custody deaths, civil rights abuses, beatings, unjust prosecutions of prisoners and allegations of medical neglect” at the jail.
“Pulling back on reforms to increase transparency and accountability not only compromises public safety, but also erodes the public’s trust in law enforcement and the hard-working deputies and staff who are working to keep our county safe,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is running for the Democratic nomination for Harris County Sheriff. Offering over 18 years with Houston PD, he was also a murder investigator. While on the Houston City Council, he chaired the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee and served as Mayor Pro-Tem.
Early voting begins on February 16 and runs through February 26. Democratic Primary day is March 1.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez announced through Facebook that he had filed to seek the Dem nomination for Harris County Sheriff.
This afternoon I officially filed for a place on the ballot to serve as your next Harris County Sheriff!
I’m a proud life-long Houstonian and have spent the last 24 years as a public servant. As our city’s Mayor Pro-Tem and as an 18-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, I’ve dedicated my career to: crafting innovative and effective solutions to modern-day crime issues, transforming government through the use of innovation and technology, improving mobility and infrastructure, and ensuring that our city’s future leaders have access to world-class educational opportunities.
As your next Sheriff, I’ll keep our families safe, the budget balanced, and criminals off our streets. I’ll ensure that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is transparent, efficient, and responsive to the needs of every neighborhood. Thank you for your support as we embark on this campaign!
With Gonzalez’s entry into the 2016 political scene, we have an exciting candidate with a record of effective service to the community. As Mayor Pro-Tem, his reach has gone beyond the District H he serves. And, as he finishes his third term, he’s kept on working hard for Houston as was noticed this past weekend with the opening of CafeCollege Houston–a service for all Houstonians who want to go to college or find information on how to change careers and earn workforce certifications in which Gonzalez played a major role in developing. Obviously, his service as a local police officer gives him an edge in regards to political viability and the ability to manage HCSO.
I couldn’t think of anyone better to lead our countywide slate in 2016.
This is definitely an interesting bit of news that just got into my inbox. I know Council Member Ed Gonzalez is excited about co-chairing the event, which, in my opinion, is all about innovation and a step toward a more accessible city government.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston will host a 24-hour “Open Innovation Hackathon” on May 17-18 at the Houston Technology Center and at Start Houston. A hackathon is a day-long event in which software developers, designers, and data analysts collaborate intensively on data and software projects. Over 24 hours, Houston’s “civic hackers” will pitch ideas, form teams and develop innovative new websites, mobile apps, and insightful data visualizations to address community and city problems.
“Houston leads the nation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job growth, and we want to leverage local talent to produce outcomes,” Mayor Parker said. “Everyone involved has worked very hard to define high-impact projects that solve our problems and that can be completed in 24 hours. We want to use the applications and insights that are created at the Hackathon as soon as possible.”
Mayor Parker also announced the launch of the City’s Open Data Initiative, a program that puts public city data in the hands of citizens. The open data originating from dozens of city systems will be critical for the civic hackers in using technology to build tech solutions that solve city problems.
“We’re really excited that Houston is taking this historic step toward liberating data,” said City Council Member and Hackathon Co-Chair Ed Gonzalez. “Hackathons are a great way to engage citizens and start a dialogue between City officials and our talented analytical and software developer communities.”
Preparation for this initiative and the Hackathon involves publishing data on a publicly accessible website. Over the last three months, the City has identified more than 25 “weekend projects” that a team of software developers, designers, analysts and others could reasonably complete, ranging from a Houston bike app that displays all bike lanes, trails, B-Cycle kiosks, and bike shops to dashboards that show citizens how the city is performing and where it can do better.
While Houston’s Open Data Initiative is modeled after programs in New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Palo Alto, Houstonwill also include a STEM outreach component designed to teach children across the city about career options. “Sometimes, just talking to a successful software developer can inspire a child to pursue a career in technology,” Council Member Gonzalez said.
The city is expecting strong turnout from citizens, corporate participants, and members of Houston’s startup communities.
Further details about the City of Houston Open Innovation Hackathon, as well as registration information, is available at: http://www.houstonhackathon.com/.
One of my favorite Houston Council Members that doesn’t even represent me but that I highly respect is set to kick-off his campaign for another term next week. CM Ed Gonzalez from District H is among the most accessible and responsive members of the Council and there’s no doubt I think he is destined for much bigger and brighter things.
Here’s some info on the kick-off/birthday celebration:
…we’re throwing a party to celebrate my birthday a little early this year. I’d love to see you there! The ‘Happy (Early) Birthday Party’ will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, from 5:30P – 7:30P, at Casa Grande, 3401 North Main (MAP).
Please make a donation today, then join us on Wednesday! »
And here’s a kick-off video, too.
Thanks to the Office of Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez for the heads-up. Click the image to enlarge. This info is quite encouraging.