Well, I had a blog slowdown this week for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t paying attention to the latest attacks on democracy, public education, and humanity, in general. But also some good stuff.
The Possibly Inevitable HISD Takeover
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced at a council meeting that Greg Abbott and his minions were about to take over Houston ISD, as has been promised by them for a few years. Greg Abbott has never been a friend to democracy, nor to communities of color, so that this is about to happen (maybe) isn’t a surprise. If taken over by Abbott, the local school board would be replaced by unelected Abbott supporters whom the people have not vetted, and the reins given to some other executive not chosen by those we elected. Whether it does or doesn’t happen, the stress it has put into the families and taxpayers of the district is palpable.
Abbott and his minons blame poor performance at one school, which has since improved. The school district continues to improve, too. Also blamed is past relationship problems on the school board. Since then, voters have replaced school members through election. The political and administrative face of HISD has changed since Abbott and his minions began to whine about Houston ISD. We even lost a couple of good school board members in the process and gained some right-wingers who do the bidding for Abbott’s agenda. Will Abbott sacrifice their political careers to make his point?
The question is: Will it happen? Do Abbott and his minions want the blame for what is to come when they turn HISD into the crown jewel of the Texas prison system? Or at least run it in the same fashion? Since my rent pays for HISD taxes, I’m really concerned, now.
I Support Food Not Bombs
I’ve really had it with HPD and City Hall’s BS against people who are simply doing the right thing–feeding those who are hungry. This last Wednesday, HPD cited a volunteer of a group, Food Not Bombs, for holding what they consider an unauthorized feeding of people in need outside of the downtown library. The Mayor wants to make the library “family friendly,” by banning human beings who are houseless. A local law prohibits these kinds of activities in downtown, but they hadn’t cited anyone. After over a decade, the Mayor has decided to crack down on these good people.
The City offered an alternative location at HPDs parking lot, which is just outside of downtown. Seriously? We already have Greg Abbott wanting to turn HISD into a state-run prison, now the city wants to treat the homeless and hungry in a similar manner.
Thankfully, local civil rights lawyer Randy Kallinen is on the job defending against what is an unconstitutional and inhumane ordinance. But the City needs to stop this nonsense.
Dem Chair Candidates Making the Rounds
It’s good to see that Dem Chair candidates are going around campaigning, and not just to precinct chairs. On March 19, the County Executive Committee, made up of precinct chairs, will meet by Zoom to vote in a new leader for the Harris County Democratic Party. According to the Dem Party website, there are three announced candidates, including my friend, Silvia Mintz.
The link also provides the process by which a person will be elected: Nominees must be nominated from the floor by a precinct chair during the meeting. And 50% of the precinct chairs must be present for an election to happen. While the meeting will be conducted on Zoom, those precinct chairs without technology will be able to attend at HCDP’s HQ. And those interested in running can fill out an application on the HCDP website so that they may inform precinct chairs of their choices.
Of course, one wonders if floor nominations of those not providing information beforehand will be allowed. One never knows if surprises will be allowed.
For those who are not precinct chairs, this is a democracy and we should be able to contact our precinct chairs to suggest a nominee and why. That said, the vast majority of Democrats may not know who their precinct chair is. So, I filled out this form on the HCDP site requesting that information so that I can tell my precinct chair my preference. But this should be easier.
The Mavericks “In Time” Celebrates a Decade
If you’re a fan of The Mavericks, you will remember this amazing comeback album from this Americana band. If you’re a superfan, then this album is on your Mavericks Spotify playlist and on heavy rotation, still, after ten years. Well, they have released a 10th anniversary album of “In Time,” which includes a three added tunes, including a different version of Ven Hacia Mi (Come Unto Me). It’s got more Cubano and Conjunto flavorings, and it’s little bit more swingier than the originals. Give it a listen and enjoy!