Tag Archives: sylvester turner

287(g) Rally: Sheriff, Mayor Respond

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Credit: J.M. Diaz

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez appeared at this morning’s rally against 287(g), a flawed immigrant removal program.

Gonzalez reiterated his support of immigrant rights and his promise to rid Harris County of the controversial program. He did, however, ask for patience and time to study and navigate its ending because of its ties to federal and state funding, and because he wants to ensure that such a program targets violent and serious criminals. During the press conference, he also reiterated that the program is run within the jail and not out in the field and that his deputies will not be targeting individual suspects because of immigration status.

Local immigrant rights activists are seeking policy changes and strong statements of support to undo programs that target immigrants and have run amok of their stated intents. Programs which basically federalize local law enforcement are flawed and have been a cause for racial profiling, wasted resources, family separation, and downgraded local economies.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, also sought out by immigrant rights activists recently responded with his strongest statement yet.

“I know there are a lot of families and children who are afraid and worried right now about what might happen to them. I want them to know that Houston is, and always has been, a welcoming city, where we value and appreciate diversity. HPD is not the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We don’t profile, and we are not going to start profiling people to determine whether they are here illegally. It hasn’t happened under previous mayors, and it will not happen under my administration.”

Still, at the end of the day, it is policy changes that are sought. And political promises that are expected to be met. And in the era of Trump and his rampant executive orders, leaders feel the need to navigate carefully or else funding may be lost. With the State of Texas attacking elected officials and about to begin consideration of a racial profiling legalization bill in Austin (SB4), it seems some fear taking on the Governor and his bigoted threats.

Stay strong, elected officials. People are counting on you!

Click here for video from United We Dream

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DC (Finally) Reacts To Tuesday

By the time I clicked [REFRESH] a little after 7PM on Tuesday night, I knew most of my picks were going down in flames. Here are my reactions to a few races a few days after sifting through the ashes–in no particular order.

LatinoVoteJuliet Stipeche-HISD8:  It was pretty upsetting to see her down by 10% the whole night. What was the reason? Her unique name versus a familiar “Hispanic-sounding” name? Her opponent endorsed by anti-Equality bigots? The fact that there were almost 5,000 (29%) undervotes? And what caused the undervote? Interest in smacking down HERO? Interest in voting for Adrian Garcia and pushing [CAST BALLOT]? Or are people fed up with HISD and any incumbent was a target? Or as Campos mentioned, was Juliet’s opponent not taken as seriously as she should have been? One thing is for sure, Stipeche had a good team and partnerships with other campaigns to GOTV. Perhaps all of these reasons are the reason for such a defeat in one way or another. A loss is still a loss, but I expect Stipeche to stay in the game, giving back to her community as she always has, and fighting for the people. What’s next for HISD? I don’t know, I reside in Alief ISD.

Adrian Garcia-Mayor:  Garcia started out criticized by most Dems for leaving his post as one of the top Dems in the County. Funny, these are the same people who’d get mad at me for challenging him on 287g and other immigration issues because “we need to re-elect him and then we can work on ‘your’ issues.”  So, I threw caution to the wind and decided to support Adrian–a progressive-to-moderate Latino who I thought had the most potential to be a mayoral “first” during the next decade. (I don’t see many other Latin@s with that potential locally, yet.)

Kuff has a good post on what may have happened to Adrian. One “cause” may have been a lack of (or slow) reaction to when the white Dem candidate and the right-winger who made the run-off went on the attack about the jail conditions and jail budget issues, which were mostly inherited by Garcia. I asked myself, “How can we expect a major culture change in a law enforcement agency that is over a century old led by any one Democrat (with no help from a Republican commissioner’s court) for a few years?” At least, that would have been my defense for the purpose of not losing Dem loyalists and moderates, since he needed more of those to make a run-off. Garcia was still a cop at heart, but he made some impressive gains in less than two terms. But he left, so, that left him open to attacks from Dems who weren’t happy he left, I guess. I’d like to think that if he had stayed in the post, the Dem loyalists would have been defending him for a third term. Maybe? Or would he have been primaried? I’m not afraid to say that this part showed a lot of hypocrisy by Dems all because they wanted their guy to win. Sure, you might say I’m a hypocrite for overlooking my differences with Garcia, but at least I embrace my hypocrisy and still criticize those I support (like Adrian), when needed. Ah, politics! 

Run-Off:  I’ll support Sylvester Turner, as Adrian Garcia has.

Controller:  Chris Brown must win. No-brainer.

At-Large 1:  There are a lot of upset people because their guy didn’t make the run-off. Well, you can’t run on a sweet resume and wealthy connections alone. You actually have to be personable, talk to people, and make connections with regular people. That’s why I liked Lane Lewis, because he’s been doing that for a while and it would have been a good quality to have on Council. Hell, it’s hard not to support someone who “likes” FB pics of your mom or asks about “Flo,” right? Instead of the DosCentavos nod, perhaps the #FriendsOfFlo nod would have helped more. (Of course, this is just my perspective.) Keep on truckin’, Lane!

In other thoughts, a few more elections and Griff may make it to Council!

Run-Off:  [Blank] Anti-Hero BS bothers the hell out of me.

At-Large 2:  David Robinson had too many opponents and is left challenged by a right-wing, anti-Equality, anti-Civil Rights preacher. Obviously, we need to keep Robinson.

At-Large 3:  Nice try, Doug Peterson. Thanks for stepping up and giving us a choice.

At-Large 4:  Amanda Edwards made the run-off against anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Latino Ol’ Roy. Amanda must win the run-off!

At-Large 5:  Philippe Nassif ran a good campaign. He’s got more potential in his pinky finger than most office holders have in their entire bodies, so, keep an eye open for this guy. This is another run-off that I’m leaving BLANK. The whole anti-HERO BS just bothers the hell out of me.

HERO: I’ve had conversations with a few people. There’s talk that Mayor Parker will bring it up before she leaves office–and during the run-off campaign. That has a lot of people upset who want to make sure pro-Equality candidates aren’t caught in the undertow of hatred and ignorance in a run-off that will surely bring out the bigots if HERO is still an issue. There’s talk of adding other protections to HERO to make it more palatable to the haters. Well, in that case, add protections for gun nuts and “persecuted” christians. I don’t know what the answer is. I do know I’m not a fan of voting on civil rights protections. They should just exist–even after a fight in the courts. One thing is for sure, there is a hate-slate for the haters that must be defeated on December 12.

District F:  I hope my CM Richard Nguyen isn’t in trouble. The results between two anti-Equality candidates and Nguyen scare the heck out of me. Nguyen needs to be re-elected.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz must win this one. More than the issue of Latino representation, this is also about ensuring constituents are well-served from day 1, and Jason has that edge.

District I:  Congrats to Robert Gallegos. He ran a great race, and stayed classy against an unclassy opposition.

Ramiro Fonseca-HISD3:  Ramiro has so much potential and is sincere in what he does. Perhaps getting out of a district and trying citywide is better for him? Maybe I just want the chance to cast a ballot for him.

Final thought:  When we look at the numbers, a couple of things will be true:  Latinos still aren’t taking their responsibility to vote seriously, and, those that are voting aren’t friendly to Equality issues, even though our community’s history is steeped in the Civil Rights era. All of this has got to change. What’s the answer? I found a recent Noam Chomsky quote that put things in perspective:

“The only thing that’s gonna ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements which don’t pay attention to the election cycle.”

Chavez Day-Houston [Photos]

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Parade Grand Marshal Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

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State Rep. Sylvester Turner visiting Chavez Day prior to his campaign kick-off for Mayor.

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¡Que Viva!

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Leader and Activist Maria Jimenez honored for her years in La Causa.

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CM Robert Gallegos mentioned that the Cesar Chavez Parade was among the first events he attended when he launched his campaign for District I.

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Part of the crowd.

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Constable Heliodoro Martinez of Pct. 6 working the crowd.

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The Congresswoman had kind words for Tejano Association for Historical Preservation and Cesar Chavez Street activist Benny Martinez.

It was a well-attended event that must continue to grow. It was great to see Chavez High School students enriched by this celebration, as well as Pct. 6 Constable Martinez challenging the students to get involved as the struggle for civil rights is far from over.

Some kudos must also go to Sylvester Turner for showing up, which is more than I can say about the other announced candidates. As CM Robert Gallegos stated, a couple of years ago, this was the first event he attended and look at him now. One cannot expect votes if they don’t show up. And here’s a secret:  People who show up to these events celebrating activists actually vote–or are willing to listen.

Congrats to the TAHP and all involved for a great event.

 

And Now We Have Six

Houstonians cannot say that they don’t have candidates to choose from come November–whether they like them or not. CM Stephen Costello, as expected, has tossed his hat in the ring for Houston Mayor. Some expect a few to half-a-dozen more before the deadline.

And, as expected, Costello is running against the recent City-Firefighters Pension deal, which is probably a good position on which to begin, given that another candidate, Sylvester Turner, helped broker the agreement. That’s if you believe this is THE issue. (Kuff has more on the pension deal back and forth.)

As Costello seems to see it, it’s a battle for “local control,” which is something the Republicans at the Texas Lege have turned away from recently. While Costello wants local control for Houstonians to decide on the pension, Republicans have been dead-set on seizing local control from cities who have passed nondiscrimination ordinances.

Local control is local control, so, how Costello navigates between the pension and the NDO (which will be an issue in 2015 one way or another) will be interesting. Whatever the debate on pensions, though, there probably won’t be much of a battle for the firefighters union endorsement this time around.

Of course, there are others in the running, including Chris Bell, Ben Hall, Marty McVey, and Bill King. And from these folks, we’ve seen everything from Pre-K (Bell) to international investment (McVey), to potholes on Kirkwood and elsewhere (King). So, if you’re looking for an issue, someone is bound to offer it up for discussion at a candidate forum.

Who’s next?