Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
He is one of my dearest friends and one of the best persons you could ever meet. Working for him was pretty great. He is an awesome boss, and I am loyal to him come hell or high water.
I must confess that after that grueling campaign, I really did lose enthusiasm for elective politics. On the positive side, I can no longer say that I hate Republicans, because I don't. Edward's campaign taught me that we really must work together to win and to make Houston a better place to live for everyone. Two of his best friends in the world are Republicans and they put their whole hearts into getting Ed elected. In the process, one friend has begun laying the foundation for his own campaign, several years from now.
I'm still a Democrat. I still believe in the Democratic party. However, I realize that the Democratic party is severely lacking in engaging Hispanics in Texas and especially right here in Harris County. Sure, some of it is cultural. Latinos have a distrust for politics because they don't see how it directly affects their lives. It doesn't help that the national Democrats completely ignored Texas last year and showed complete disregard for Latino voters.
The Harris County Democratic Party Chair once observed out loud to me that there were no Latinos at his stupid nighttime brown bag event. It's usually the same old white liberals with no small children at home and no second jobs who are able to attend the boring shit at HCDP headquarters. "Didn't they get the email?" He wondered. For one, people are struggling to stay in their homes and feed their families. It's a bad economy and Latinos are taking a hit just like everyone else. Latinos are younger, have more kids and don't really see the value of hearing Gerry Birnberg talk for a hour about the topic of the month. If Latinos made it to HCDP, would you have someone there to address them in Spanish or talk about the issues that concern them? There is a huge disconnect that is very offensive.
I'm really sick of Democrats who blame Latinos for not voting in higher numbers in elections. How about doing some outreach, and I don't mean hiring a token employee to placate a few elected officials. How about admitting that the future of this state, the future of THIS COUNTRY is a brown face whose surname will likely end in a "z" or a vowel?
White liberals are enjoying their day in the sun right now, as they should. They should know that it will not last if they don't stop ignoring Latinos. There are simply not enough white liberals to carry the Democratic party to continuing victories. Wake up.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
There are no good reasons why the life of a strong young person like Stevie should end so suddenly. While Stevie was pouring his heart into life, his strong beautiful heart was under attack by undetected stage 4 lymphoma. It just doesn't make sense.
I will remember him for the loving, joyful and happy boy who saw the good in everyone, who refused to have enemies and always tried, tried again after setbacks in his young life. He will always live in my heart and I will honor my little baby, my angel, Steven Andrew Martinez as long as I live.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I'm grateful for my family and my baby niece, Avery. She is the blessing we've prayed for in our family and I'm so happy that I get to teach her everything I know. She already likes to test her vocal chords and loves watching football like her favorite tia.
I am thankful that Barack Obama is our President, that we have a great chance at electing a Democrat to statewide office in Texas, and that I have a job to look forward to in the new year. I am hopeful that you find a job, too, if you're looking.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Disclosure: I've spent lots of time at the Locke campaign, although I am not on staff. I want Gene to win, so I've been doing what I can despite losing money I don't have and getting myself in debt by hanging out over there instead of looking for a job.
A couple of the kids at the Locke campaign get twisted, sometimes, about the Twitter and FB chatter that continously slams Gene Locke. I really don't pay attention to the shit-talkers who support Annise Parker because it's basically one big circle-jerk, or as my dad would say, they're just smelling each others' farts. I've been personally attacked and accused of all kinds of crazy things because I have the nerve not to support Parker. And no, I do not support Annise Parker, and no, I will not vote for her, and no, I will not be bullied or pressured into backing off of my support for Gene Locke.
Some people have been floating a petition around to HCDP clubs and organizations asking that we pledge to support only Democrats in the December 12th Runoff Election. Before I sign anything like that, I'd like to get assurances from these Democrats that they will stop trashing other Democrats who don't support their candidate. Gene Locke is a good and decent man, like I've said before, and if I were on the Locke campaign, I would do things much differently in responding to these attacks by the Parker campaign. Alas, it's not my campaign, and I can only speak for myself.
It's actually a brilliant strategy by the Parker camp. Call Gene Locke a gay-baiter by painting a picture of him as Steven Hotze's BFF and then dispatch your shit-talkers to tell everyone that the Locke campaign is "desperate" and spreading "hate" while you play the victim. It's funny to me how everyone gets his panties in a bunch over the idea that Annise Parker is under attack by homophobes, but no one really said much about her showing up at a failed anti-immigrant hearing at City Hall a few weeks ago. I guess it's okay to shit all over Latinos, because that type of intolerance is okay if you are a white progressive.
Steven Hotze is irrelevant and so are his politics, which Gene denounced Saturday. Attempts to align Hotze with the Locke campaign serves Annise Parker well in painting her opponent as anything but the respectful and kind person that Gene Locke really is. Instead of getting to know Gene, his accusers generalize and speculate, hoping something will stick. I think it's worth mentioning again that Gene Locke is the only candidate for Mayor who supports benefits for same-sex partners while Annise Parker has backed off of that promise.
I received an e-mail today from Robert Jones at Annie's List in Austin. Here it is:
This is a personal message to you (who I first met in 2004 at the March for Women’s Lives) as an acquaintance that is also committed to progressive values. Sandra do you really want to be associated with this? He wants to win so bad that he is willing to associate with people and tactics that must be the polar opposite of your core beliefs. It won’t be an easy thing to do but you should consider publicly disconnecting yourself now. The writing is on the wall…he wont be the next Mayor…but we (Democrats) will all be the losers if this path of enabling and encouraging hate is pursued.I have never been associated with Steven Hotze or Dan Patrick. To tell it like it is, Robert lives in Austin, and personally, I think he should mind his own damn business. As the Annie's List guy, I know why he is involved, but if Annise Parker wins or loses, it is of little consequence to Robert. Like the other outsiders who have involved themselves in the Houston Mayor's race, he doesn't live here. A win gives him room to brag, but a loss means that he sank a bunch of money that could have been used on Legislative candidates in a few months.
I'm not sure how difficult he could make my life if I told Robert to go fly a kite. Truth be told, he hasn't always been pleasant with me since I've known him. It's not like I've had much involvement with Annie's List, anyway, because it's my observation that they do not promote women of color as much as they do their white candidates. Besides that, I'm too fucking old to be an intern, and my people are already in office.
The hardball politics has already been introduced in to the fray but it was not from the Locke campaign. Annise Parker threatened Houston Police and Fire Fighters for not supporting her, but we were supposed to dismiss those threats as "jokes."
It is my belief that Latinos and our concerns will take a back seat at the Mayor's office if Parker wins and that is something that cannot happen. I say this because of the hostility some of us in the Hispanic community have experienced from the Parker camp when things didn't go their way over the course of the campaign. The feeling is that ties were cut, and it's sad and unfortunate, but it also gives me no choice but to double down with our candidate. We've worked too hard for our seats at the table and I'll be damned if we give up any ground in the name of "progress" that works for some but not all.
It's not progress if your focus on equality is for just your friends and for those who identify with you. It's not progress if all are not lifted with you. It is not progress if some constituencies are left behind for refusing to fall in line at their own expense.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sunday mornings are for church. In my case, it's George Stephanopoulos and reading the Sunday paper online. In today's Chron, Brad Olsen writes about Gene Locke's "uphill battle" with Annise Parker. Check out the numbers provided by Charles Kuffner.
While numbers don't lie, there is plenty of room for interpretation (or misinterpretation). My brother, ConFrijoles, likes to say that context is everything... so I'm going to give you the election results from last Tuesday with some context.
Attorney Gene Locke made the runoff with 26% of the 19% voter turnout against Annise Parker, whose name has been on the ballot for 15 years; Peter Brown, who spent 3 years and millions of dollars to win 51% of the vote in 2005 for At-Large 1; and perennial candidate Roy Morales.
Gene had never put his name on the ballot before, yet raised enough funds to compete with a popular establishment candidate. Yes, I said it. Anyone who has been in office for 12 years can't run as an outsider. It just doesn't make sense.
The chatter in the www's has been knocking Gene for his multiple endorsements from elected officials and leaders in the Hispanic community, as if we made a mistake in supporting Gene Locke for Mayor. The reality is that Latinos didn't turn out in higher numbers to vote. Of those who did, they did so because they always vote or have a niece/sister/cousin/granddaughter who bugs them or takes them to vote.
Let's face it -- none of the major campaigns made a significant push for the Latino vote because it was not a big part of the winning formula on November 3rd. Latinos were not a base constituency for anyone other than the former IT guy, Roy Morales, and he picked up his share of the Latino vote despite telling Mexicans he'd deport as much of us as possible, if elected.
As a first time candidate, Gene Locke came in second and certainly has his work cut out for him. I'm still puzzled why "some people" knock Gene for his multiple endorsements from community leaders. Or are they knocking Gene? The criticisms of endorsement sometimes seem to be aimed at Locke supporters for not backing the more well-known candidate.
The hostility has been palpable. The accusations of pandering and of "deals" being made for endorsements along with the inanity of "what else have they been promised?!?" only promise to intensify in the run-off. I saw a CNN report featuring Kuffner who told CNN that this election is essentially a battle of personalities, about who is better liked. Candidates aside, I can name about 5 people I am never talking to, ever again, thanks to this election cycle.
Latino voters outperformed the crucial black voting bloc one time -- in 2007's HISD bond election. Look -- I am no statistician. I saw the numbers from Tuesday, and without pulling up the calculator app on my phone, I can see that Locke underperformed in Latino neighborhoods against his opponents. The support for Locke from Latino elected officials is not any more significant than it is for Parker. I've remarked to friends how strange it feels to not have "my people" around me these days -- (Ms. is a Parker supporter, others are staying out of it). At the same time, I am enjoying and taking full advantage of the opportunity to work with Latino community leaders and elected officials on the other side of town. Kumbaya, and all that shit.
My analysis is this:
- Annise did well on Tuesday because she's been on the ballot for about 15 years and the motivated city voter recognized it. She also had a significant turnout in her base.
- Gene Locke did well because he appealed to his base and was able to hold his own across all parts of the city. He's a newcomer to elected politics but has worked hard in reaching out to all communities.
- Peter Brown did not do well because he has no base. I agree with Dr. Murray that he needed a big turnout to do well. His performance on Tuesday just proves that some voters watch too much TV.
So, here I am, plugging in numbers, creating spreadsheets and grids to spread the Gene Locke love all over Districts H & I. It's a big job to do on a Sunday, but football makes it better.
Hasta next time.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
It happened to the Gene Locke campaign last Friday -- someone on the campaign sent a text to Locke text subscribers, in error, announcing, "Today is the last day of early voting!" Of course, it was not true - early voting continues until 7:00pm Friday night, October 30th.
Honest mistake, right? The staffer corrected himself immediately in another text message, and then that was probably the end of it.
Well, not so much.
I really don't get the tendency to play 6 Degrees of Separation with endorsements or supporters in a municipal election when the real players in the city have business that transcends party lines. Throwing around the "Republican" label doesn't have the impact it once did. It is a dying brand and, frankly, not the best weapon to yield when Republicans are barely a party anymore.
It is also really damn silly to suggest some sort of evil plot between Gene Locke, Beverly Kaufman, the Tax-Assessor collector's office and the cucuy to rig the election. Why are these over-zealous bloggeteers trying so hard to manufacture controversy when none exists? It's absolute lunacy.
What really gets me about this is that one particular blogger who talks more than her share of bullcorn is not even a Houstonian. She lives and votes in Fort Bend County -- so, please, tell me why anyone gives a damn about what she has to say.
Gene Locke needs a strong turnout in his base, which is a pretty solid foundation to work from, in order to pull off a victory. That's no secret, y'all. People who understand elections know that these claims of voter suppression are as ridiculous and nonsensical as they sound.
Til next time.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I wholeheartedly support Alma Lara for HISD Trustee District 1. I believe North Side will hand the Heights' asses to them one more time this year.
I also support Proposition 4! GO COOGS!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I don't know whether or not I should get either of the flu shots. I joked to a friend that I want to get sick because it's great for the waist line. But after Friday, I changed my mind. I have had the flu before - at least twice that I can remember. The H1N1 is no joke -- it has already hit hard and close to home. So I will resist the pig jokes but will reconsider all things pork-related because I'm just a little grossed out right now.
I've been taking my vitamins, my allergy medicine, washing my hands and using the sanitizer like a crazy person. Everything gets sprayed down with Lysol. I can't afford to get sick!
This week, I'm taking on a new challenge. It's not going to be easy but I am ready to work and get this done. I think the sickness has now gone away so I'm ready to hit the field and turn-out some votes. I'll keep my exact whereabouts undercover, for now. We'll see how long that lasts!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Last Friday, Harris County Tejano Democrats held our 13th Annual Roast & Toast. This year, we honored State Representative Jessica Farrar. Currently in her 8th term, Rep. Farrar is Democratic House Caucus Chair.
We had a great time at Roast & Toast. Jessica is a good sport and we love her for it. I was honored to "roast" her and raise a toast in her honor. Below is the text of my remarks:
Jessica is scheduled to be honored by Annie's List in Houston tomorrow. Check their site for details. Everyone can keep the adulations coming, because Jessica deserves it all and more.The Jessica I KnowIt was 2003 when I first became friends with Jessica. After redistricting, I was a new constituent of hers in the North Side. In response, she fled to Oklahoma. The soft-spoken rabble-rouser probably mapped the path to Ardmore.
I was soon a regular at her campaign events, at pro-choice events and I even worked for her at the Capitol. As one of her employees, I got the wardrobe lecture. You know the one -– No visible boobs, no toes, and no arms. “Show people you are serious about your job,” she said. “Besides, you wouldn’t want to see any Republican toes.”
And to clarify, there is nothing wrong with her feet. She wears those “nun” shoes because she’s working. I actually prefer them to her fuzzy, burnt-orange Longhorn slippers.
She expects her staff to work as hard as she does. At least we know there will be food!! Jessica’s office is like a FEMA center, and by that, I mean she will Feed Every (redacted) Around. (credit table 9 for that joke).
It is awesome to watch her on the house floor, especially when she’s fighting for women’s health care and she stands up to the men who think they know it all. I’d like to play this clip for you from 2007, during a floor debate on HB1098, when Jessica asks a know-it-all colleague a very important question about HIS opinion of women’s health care (redacted)
Jessica is hardcore, and that’s why we love her. Representative – It’s been an absolute honor to work for you and under your leadership for the people of District 148 and all of Texas. You are a wonderful teacher and mentor and I thank you for your guidance and friendship.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In any case, I am an FB'er and a Twitterer so I have been reading many messages from and about the Tribune and the new staff. They are doing a lot of hiring these days and their happy employees keep living their fabulous Austin lives (and being all chismosa, too) while the rest of us anticipate the news from the Texas Tribune.
But I can't find the news. Where is it? If the publication has launched, shouldn't they be working, filing reports and whatnot? And if they are doing that stuff, how do we know it? I guess we can make the whole world "friend" or "follow" Stiles, Ramshaw & Elise Hu, then we'll know that they made open records requests and that they are, indeed, working.
There are links on the Texas Tribune to news stories from other media sources about the Texas Tribune, but there are no actual Texas Tribune news stories to read or view on the website.
And by the way, some people (like Tacho) think that having a 98% white staff is less than representative of the population of Texas. There are lots of people of color in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley and the Gulf Coast. I have to wonder if the Texas Tribune plans on covering issues that affect these regions because it is necessary for to have bilingual, multicultural staff to effectively cover the diverse communities of Texas. I know several journalists who would be great additions to any media company. But it seems to me that there isn't much of anything to join just yet.
If there is no news reporting, maybe they are not fully functional. I'm intrigued, I must say, but as a certified news junkie they sound kinda ... not ready. They may need more time, which is completely fine, but why the build-up? Why only news releases about themselves, and why are they asking people for money?
They have this interesting offer on the front page of the website in which they compare themselves to NPR and PBS. So what's the offer? You get the opportunity to become a "Founding Member" of the Texas Tribune for the low, low price of $50. Mkay!
Is Matt Stiles going to put on a bird costume and teach my niece Avery her A-B-C's? Is Emily Ramshaw going to attach herself to the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team as they head to Iraq later this year? PBS gives us a pretty good bang for their donors' & taxpayers' buck. NPR goes into war zones. We know they do good work. And the reporters at the new Tribune have stellar reputations for their excellent reporting. That's not the issue.
The issue is that there are no issues, yet, so what's in it for us?
That's a fair question, I think.
Update: As Helen Slater said in the Legend of Billy Jean: "Fair is fair!" Below are comments sent to me by Matt Stiles in response to my post:
1. we need time to get the operation up and running, so that's why we're not publishing until november. it takes time to build a web site and buy computers and get the phones working, etc.
2. our staff isn't 98-percent white. our technology director, higinio, is mexican. elise is chinese. others speak spanish. we're not as diverse as i'd like, of course, but consider the reporters in the austin bureau staffs of the major papers in texas. they are ALL white. that's a general journalism problem, not a tribune problem. who are these journalist we should be considering, btw? we'll consider them.
3. we're raising money because we're a non-profit newsroom. that's the point. we want to do public-interest journalism and not worry about advertising revenues declining the way they are at newspapers.
It's hard work being everything to everyone while staying true to your ideals and the fundamentals of the campaign. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, take one (more) for the team, and RSVP to the next damn candidate forum.
I had to prepare for 9 different multi-candidate forums. It wasn't fun. It was predictable, repetitive and obvious that nothing any of the candidates did or said at these forums would sway the election, one way or the other. The main reason we accepted these invitations to appear with opponents at the forums was because the people in each community, neighborhood or organization had legitimate questions that needed answers. Plus, you already said you were going.
The Gene Locke campaign announced early Tuesday that they were canceling on the Houston Press and UH-Downtown sponsored forum after confirming last week that they were still attending. The Annise Parker campaign also announced Tuesday that they were passing on the event. I know that after 40 forums, your time seems better spent elsewhere than at another *blasted* forum. What I don't understand is how you accept the invitation from a university with 12,000 students and a local media outlet weeks in advance and then freaking cancel the DAY BEFORE THE EVENT. The Press had been promoting this event for weeks in their Hair Balls blog and UH-D did the same via Facebook and all around campus.
Richard Connelly handed their asses to them and deservedly so. Anyone who knows this guy understands that was going to happen. Unless you're an out-of-towner.
The planned candidate forum between Gene Locke and Annise Parker at UH-Downtown and their sudden cancellations have Peter Brown smelling like a rose. He doesn't look out-of-touch with young people or the tech-savvy crowd because no one has been tweeting or blogging all day about how Peter Brown sucks for backing out of the candidate forum at the last minute. Meanwhile, Brown's commercials have him riding the airwaves alone. It kind of works in his favor that thousands of college students and Press followers are pissed at his opponents and not Peter Brown.
To Annise Parker's credit, she released a video explanation about her decision not to participate.
Maybe the Locke campaign will do the same.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The accused is your typical, undereducated macho male of limited power -- a guy by the name of Raymond Clark. Details surrounding motive are being scrutinized because of comments made by New Haven Police Chief James Lewis:
“I think it’s important to note this is not about urban crime, not about university crime, not about domestic crime — but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country.”Well, there you go, Yale community. No need to worry about a mad man on the loose, a scary bogeyman, lurking in dark corners or stairwells -- this was simply an *isolated* incidence of "workplace violence." Chief Lewis felt it necessary to announce to the media that he had thoroughly ruled out all other possible motives to keep his investigation from getting too messy and/or political. Why is that?? So he won't have to find out if that Clark guy's obsession over mice cages was a badly disguised character flaw that led to (allegedly) murdering someone who refused to give him the time of day?
The chief shouldn't dismiss evidence before collecting it. I have friends in law enforcement and understand that they really don't like it when the public draws conclusions about a case before they have a chance to investigate it. So what's the difference here? Raymond Clark is a psychopath that looked for opportunities to denigrate women. It's why he made the mice cages his "personal fiefdom" and laid a trap for Annie Le.
Violence against women happens in the home, in public, on TV, in the movies and anywhere the recalcitrant male ego exists, which means it is more than likely it will happen at work, too.
She probably just ignored the weirdo as much as she possibly could, and it finally set him off. It's not like she emasculated him by taunting him and calling him Beaker or Willard, like I would have. Annie Le just wanted to do her work, get married, and not think about the loser in the lab.
She deserves justice and the first step is acknowledging this case as one of violence against women.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I've met some sexists in my time as a political person in Texas, and there are PLENTY of them in the Democratic Party. Gene Locke is not a sexist although it may be politically expedient to call him one.
I am beyond furious at Annie's List because it is just not true. Gene Locke is a stand up guy and I am proud to support him. I'd like to make a suggestion to them - don't piss off your supporters with this kind of hit piece. If Gene Locke had a disdain for women and if your endorsed candidate was doing well in the first place, you wouldn't have to connect the dots for us in your orange and red crayons.
It may be hard to gauge Houston politics from all the way in Austin, but shit doesn't run here the way in does in Austin. In Houston, we generally do not fall in line with the white liberals but instead consider candidates on their merits. There's no such thing as "it's my time" or "it's my turn" in Houston. We work for what we want in this city and the BS stops at the Harris County line.
Annie's List attacks a pro-choice male candidate because they think I don't know better. Spare me.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Roger and his crazy Dead Horse music scared the hell out of me. Back in 1988, I listened to Power 104 and 93Q. So when Roger transferred out, he took his Dead Horse music with him and I thought I'd never hear those tunes again.
But here we are in the 2009 Houston political cycle, and some participants in local politics feel the need, for whatever reason, to beat a dead horse when the horse just wants to gallop away to horsie heaven.
Harris County Tejano Democrats love horses and we would like to bury the hatchet (and the poor dead horse) while we all live to campaign another day for our favorite Mayoral candidates.
As chair of the organization, I am honored that our endorsement means so much to candidates. Kinda makes all the long hours and personal resources I spend worth the effort. I respectfully ask that The Annise Parker campaign discontinue from touting the endorsement of Harris County Tejano Democrats. She lost. End of story.
Pobre horse. Let it die.
That's why I started this dumb blog, and for about 2 years, I managed to gather about 5 readers.
But for all those who have discovered this, I only blog when I've got something to say. In the meantime, I keep busy with my job, my family, my friends, the Houston Texans and reading all the stuff YOU have to say.
So don't come looking here for a back & forth shit talking extravaganza. I've said what I've had to say. And as a point of clarification, I don't "feud" with anyone. I just kick ass on Election Day and let the returns speak for themselves.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
But in all seriousness, Houston is the only city in Texas that operates under the strong mayor system. City managers are for sissy cities. Since our elections are held in November, we get the benefit of long, drawn out City Council and Mayoral campaigns that wear us out emotionally and physically just in time for the March Primaries.
Lucky for me, my friend and super cool former boss, District H Council Member Edward Gonzalez, has no opponent in November. I have a new job now and am quite fortunate to leave the city election campaigning and heavy lifting to the candidates and their own operations.
My group, the Harris County Tejano Democrats, has endorsed Gene Locke for Mayor. It was the right thing to do for our community after talking to all 3 major candidates. Tejano Dems received a strong commitment from Gene to renew the black/brown coalition from the 1980's that was formed by Congressman Mickey Leland, Attorney Frumencio Reyes, Jr., candidate Locke and many others who saw the need for the disenfranchised and overlooked to stand together and improve the political conditions of people of color in Houston. With only 2 Latinos on Houston City Council, a coalition of this type is needed now as much as it was 25 years ago.
What we didn't receive, and no, we were never promised, was a plan for a "Hispanic Museum." The Annise Parker campaign and her supporters claim that such a promise is pandering and detrimental to City services:
"Locke's promises of new city departments, new museums and increased government spending to his insider friends would lead to tax increases or cuts in vital services, such as public safety."HCTD only became Locke's "insider friends" when he got the endorsement and she didn't. Several of our past and current members are Houston Police officers, Houston Fire Fighters, Harris County deputies and even the Sheriff himself. We take public safety very seriously because our neighborhoods are historically under served and would welcome the resources and the attention other areas receive. Yes, Houston Heights, in Central Patrol, I'm talking about you.
Harris County Tejano Democrats promote and support candidates who are best for the Latino community. Dragging some random Telemundo sports anchor to talk to our group doesn't cut it. Telling us you're the best for the Latino community while your staffers, allies and friends work to defeat a Latino candidate in a Latino district is not forgotten, either. By the way -- how many Latinos do you have on staff (either on your campaign or at the City) and how many speak Spanish?
Let's get one thing straight. The idea of a museum, exhibit or acknowledgment of the contributions of Latinos to Houston is not silly, but what is silly is the constant mention of this idea (that's ALL it was - an idea) as a means to ridicule the Locke campaign. Team Parker has attempted to do this for the last month or so and it is getting old. The person most enthralled with "Hispanic Museum" talk is Houston blogger John Cobarruvias.
I understand that Annise Parker has the strong backing of many Democrats, progressives and liberal-minded people, as well she should. Her Democratic creds have never been in doubt and it's natural that Democrats would flock to her campaign.
But there are those of us who believe that we must work with people from across the political spectrum to get the job done. Gene Locke has hired the best staff in the business to do outreach to the community and to develop a strong ground campaign. HCTD will do its part to turn out support in the Latino neighborhoods that were disregarded earlier this year.
I am issuing a notice and fair warning to candidates who have thoughts of dismissing or disregarding Latino voters in November and have one thing to say:
Monday, August 31, 2009
I have a new job as the Statewide Field Director for a non-profit agency. Electoral politics has been replaced by issues-based politics and policy crafting, which I LUrVE!!!
So do me a solid & join 999 other Houstonians at a rally for Health Care Reform. Support HR3200 and tell your Congressperson to do the same!!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
City Hall Reflecting Pool
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Text message. Mr. Bean needed a ride to work. Okay, I really do have to go out and talk to people every once in a while, I can't just isolate myself in here again.
I'll take him to work. Go to Target, buy dish soap and whatever will get me out of there in $25 or less... no added zeroes today!
I picked up a movie, a pint of ice cream, fresh milk aaaand that dish washing soap, the reason for the trip. Not bad, $30 or so, then it hits me.
My card is in my pants pocket from the night before. Way. To. Go. I sheepishly apologize and try to run out of the store, contemplating whether or not I should return to the store. Rebecca is on her way in.
I accompany her on her purchases and even get a 2 for 1 hairspray out of it, because she had a coupon. Thanks, Rebecca!
Walking out of the store to my car, that's when I see it. Flat. Tire.
I underestimated the turn and hit the curb, which gets me stuck at Target, with my UH-D ID and $1 and some change in my purse, along with a passion party business card and my brand new bottle of hairspray.
I almost walked back into the store holding the hairspray, so I put it in the car and went inside to call my mom.
Mom? Me again. Flat tire. Again. Need help? Thanks.
My brother Johnny was on his way. He was 10 minutes from the store which meant he'd be there in 30.
So.... I really didn't do a whole lot of anything today, which was the plan. This was a very Sandra kind of day.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I know you've been checking for updated posts from moi, so here it is, Your Daily Republican Crazy, courtesy of Ariana and the gang at Huffington Post:
Gail Lowe: Perry Picks Creationist To Run State Education Board
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Your Daily Republican Crazy!
Today's headline comes from the Dallas Morning News:
Texas Conservatives consult ignorants on your kid's school curriculum.
Find it here and on the Twitter.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The city lost Officer Henry Canales, a 16-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, when he was killed in the line of duty this week. I will venture to say that the racists are jumping in and out of their skin right now, with their "shut the borders" outcry and other idiocies that may fly out of their open traps. We're not biting, people. Please STFU and let Officer Canales rest in peace. He did his job honorably and knew the risks involved. He dealt with criminals every day. Crime knows no legal status, because the bad guys come in all shapes, colors & sizes. The reason Officer Canales was so good at his job is because he was Latino, spoke Spanish, and went after the criminals in their own language. We need more officers like Henry Canales.
God bless the Canales family at this incredibly difficult time.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Department of Arts & Humanities
March 23, 2009
To: UHD Faculty and Staff
From: Thomas J. Lyttle, Director of Theatre
RE: Spring 2009 production of Tartuffe
The University of Houston-Downtown University Theatre cordially invites you to its spring production of French playwright Moliere’s seventeenth century comic masterpiece of social and religious criticism, Tartuffe.
Written in 1664 (and then, before it could be presented, re-written in 1667 and 1669 because of church censorship issues) this satiric comedy, exposing pretence and hypocrisy, centers around a gullible bourgeois gentleman named Orgon who is completely hoodwinked and nearly cuckolded by his seemingly devoted and dedicated friend, the crafty charlatan and religious zealot, Tartuffe.
Taking its origin from the French work “truffe”, meaning deception, the title of the play and its namesake antagonist, was a common epithet for schemers, connivers and con men. As you watch our production, we hope it will quickly become evident how true to its name the play is.
Please join us at one of the performances listed below as our students and guest alumni actors bring you the Richard Wilbur verse translation of this world classic, done in a modified staged reading style with a delightful twist or two.
Tartuffe opens in O'Kane Theatre on Friday, April 3 at 8 p.m. and will repeat as follows: April 4, 9, 10 (Good Friday) and 11 at 8 p.m.; April 5 at 3 p.m.; and April 8 and 10 (Good Friday) at 1:30 p.m. which are special student matinees. Tickets will go on sale at the University Cashier's Office in the 3rd floor main corridor beginning Monday, March 30 during their regular hours of operation. Any tickets not sold will be available at the theatre door beginning one-half hour before each performance. Admission is $3.00.
While I do believe that Sen. Mario Gallegos has a valid point, I'm not joining in on the protesting of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. There are ways of maintaining inclusion and diversity within HLS&R and one very important way is through the scholarship process. I am passing along an invitation I received to participate in the reading and evaluation of thousands of applications from graduating seniors in the 8 county area served by the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. I'm kinda swamped with the Ed Gonzalez campaign, but Ed is on the Go Tejano Committee and I know he'd want you to know about this:
HOUSTON LIVESTOCK SHOW AND RODEO™If you'd like to contribute your time, contact Roseann Blanco by email at email@example.com.
Metropolitan and Opportunity Scholarship Selection
Please plan to participate in evaluating applications for 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Area Metropolitan and Opportunity scholarships. Your participation is vital to the Show’s awarding these four-year, $15,000 college scholarships to applicants from participating counties in the program.
Working in teams of three, evaluators will score applicants in the categories including community involvement, leadership activities and financial need. Applicants are drawn from graduating seniors from participating public high schools within the Metropolitan Houston area of Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
In Houston, of course, lifelong District H resident and HPD Sargeant Ed Gonzalez is first on the ballot for the May 9, 2009 Special Election to fill the vacancy left by the election of Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
In San Antonio, former Council Member Julian Castro is well on his way to a big victory as Mayor of San Antonio on Saturday May 9th. His campaign is highly professional, organized and serious about making a difference for San Antonio.
And in Austin, Capitol veteran Perla Cavazos is vying for a place at the Austin City Council table. It's way past time for more Latino representation at Austin City Hall. Council Member Mike Martinez is doing an awesome job, but on Saturday May 9th, Austin has the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and diversity by sending someone to council who represents a growing Austin constituency.
Ed, Julian and Perla are the future of Texas politics. Support their candidacies and vote the slate!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I've been busy working on the Ed Gonzalez campaign for Houston City Council, District H. The election of Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia left a vacancy on Council. There are a bunch of no names on the ballot and only one candidate who knows the issues & who will be effective from Day One - Ed Gonzalez! The election is Saturday, May 9th.
Join me in supporting Ed Gonzalez for City Council, District H!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Happy Sunday, y'all!
My weekend blogging begins with a report on the developments of last Friday's meeting of the University of Houston Board of Regents. The Agenda had one item on it - to pass the motion renaming the University of Houston- Downtown to "University of South Texas."
I attended the meeting with my brother Jaime, a senior English major and an officer with the UH-D Student Government Association (SGA) and his good friend, a young lady (I'll call her Nat) who is also active with SGA. Jaime was on the list of speakers to address the Board and Chancellor Renu Khator. I am very proud of my brother and his stand against the poor treatment of the UH-D community in the name changing process. Security was on the heavy side. I don't know exactly what they were expecting. UH-D faculty, other students and alumni were on hand for the meeting. Everyone seemed to contain themselves for the most part. You know how rowdy PhD's can be.
While Jaime made a sprint to the meeting room, Nat and I parked the car and were met in the lobby by a uniformed UH police officer, who was as nice as he could be, and a contigent of UH security officials who attempted to keep us out of the meeting room. They ushered us away from the meeting room to an "overflow" room, waaaay down the corridor and around the corner. Like a good public citizen, I did what was suggested and sat in a classroom to view the proceedings on a screen. Nat wasn't having it. She turned around and walked back to the meeting room, which may have accomodated more people if UH security had been elsewhere on campus, preventing ACTUAL crime. I got up and walked back to the meeting room, and despite the fact that Nat and I were heavily armed with cameras, UH security didn't stop us from being in the room.
Sue Davis, VP of Public Relations, carted out the UH-D Dean of the College of Business, a marketing professor and Dr. Spears, a distinguished member of the UH-D faculty who proceeded to slam SGA as illegitimate because only a small number of students participate. He was cut off by the regents and sat down. Included in the mix were a UH Bauer College of Business graduate, young Mr. Nguyen, who delivered an anecdotal testimony of his experiences of being "confused" with being a graduate of UH-D and told regents that UH-D should be renamed because he didn't want the "value" of his Bauer degree "diluted" by UH-D business graduates posing as Bauer graduates. Yup, he sure did say that.
Mr. Nguyen was followed by Jaime who read prepared remarks that he'd been working on for a week. Jaime talked about the haste in the name change process, the outstanding faculty and he asked that the regents delay the name change in favor of more vetting from the UH-D community. He did great. I'm proud that that little dude, as my mom called him growing up. I'll upload the video of his remarks so you can all watch.
It didn't take long to realize that both regents and UH-D students and faculty were being pushed around by the big fat elephant in the room - the Bauer College and its MBA program. About three years ago, the Board of Regents gave UH-D President Max Castillo the go-ahead on an MBA program that was quickly aborted at the behest of Bauer alumni and power brokers who didn't want to give themselves any competition. Castillo was reminded of this fact at the meeting by one regent who was clearly infuriated by the proceedings.
There are more BBA degrees from UH-Downtown in circulation in the business sector these days than ever before. Furthermore, as presitgious a Bauer degree is for potential students, UH-D is just as competitive and maybe more accessible to a growing market. This is the problem, folks.
Changing the name from UH-D to something else will not make the Bauer School shine any brighter. Bauer is an excellent program but it shouldn't demand its place in the market. It should be a top draw because of its reputation. Bauer is not McCombs, it is not Harvard and it is not Wharton. Maybe with Tier I status it will be. But I guarantee you that a UH-D grad with a BBA in Accounting, Marketing, Finance or International Business would absolutely get into any of those schools and potentially bypass Bauer altogether.
I thank the UH Board of Regents and, specifically, Chancellor Khator, for reassuring UH-D faculty, students and alumni that we are not the unwanted redheaded stepchildren of the UH System. We like being part of the University of Houston family and we deserve some respect for our accomplishments. UH-D needs a new president who can offer strong vision and leadership.
In the end, the Board of Regents realized that the moniker "University of South Texas" was problematic because we already have a school named South Texas in Downtown Houston as well as another UST about 2 miles west of Downtown. Let's not forget that Houston, the 4th largest city in the United States, is not technically in South Texas. The regents also admitted that there was no way that Houston lawmakers were going to take a name change to battle after already taking up the charge of Tier I status for the University of Houston. Priorities, people!!
Tier I status is a cause we can all support! Onward and upward.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
After his inauguration, President Barack Obama wasted no time in reversing the ills of the Bush Administration. For more information on the President's executive orders, here is a link to the The Briefing Room with details about the orders closing Guantanamo Bay prison camp and lifting the Mexico City gag order.
This week, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Newsweek has the details of Ms. Ledbetter's fight to be recognized as an equal to her male coworkers and entitled to equal pay for equal work. President Obama made it clear that this is a union White House and appointed Vice President Joe Biden to chair a task force on the middle class.
The president has his "BIG GAME" plate full with the stimulus package and getting those pissy Republicans in line. I don't get it. They were in power for 12 years in Congress. They pretty much had their way with Bill Clinton and a Republican president, their beloved W. Republicans have presided over two failed wars, record unemployment and a financial market on the brink of collapse.
Why the hell do we care what they say? Republicans have run this country into the ground. There is no good reason why anyone should take them seriously. Suck it, R's. Just admit that you are the reason this country is in bad shape and get out of the way.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today was a beautiful day.
Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States. President Obama. President Barack Obama. Can't just call him Barack anymore. It's Mr. President!
The nice picture above was taken by State Representative Solomon Ortiz, Jr., from his vantage point at the Capitol. Lots of friends are in Washington, D.C. for the festivities and are reporting back on the Chron Inauguration blog, Witnessing Obama. Thanks to Isaac, Gloria, Annelise & Kara for sharing your experiences on such a special day.
On a sad note, Senator Edward Kennedy took ill today, and was hopitalized after suffering a seizure. Hope you're feeling better, Senator. It was awesome to see you smiling at the Inaugural ceremony.
Well, I'm going to watch some more coverage. Good night, y'all.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Since we've last "spoken," there have been a few developments in the political world.
The biggest story, by far, has been that of the election of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus III of Bexar County. A moderate Republican, Speaker Straus was elected unanimously on Tuesday, January 13, 2009. (Check out the Tweets for more)
You can find the link to the video of the first day of Session at the House website.
The second biggest story is the big 2010 Republican Gubernatorial primary, already underway with Senator Kay Bee H. and the Guv, Rick Perry. KBH just moved $8 million from her federal campaign account to her state account where the senator won't be bothered by pesky ethics laws limiting contributions.
The third story dominating news is that of the Texas Senate's rules debate to allow voter suppression. The vote was almost directly down party lines, Democrats voting no and Republicans voting yes to exempt voter I.D. legislation from the 2/3's rule. Senator John Carona of Dallas was the only Republican to oppose the rule. I thank the Senator for doing the right thing even though it's unpopular in his party.
The fourth story involves that of guy whose acquaintenance I've never made, Vidal Martinez, and his disrupture of my life. He went to city hall and started the Crazy Talk, and then the special election was tagged. For Two. More. Weeks.
Oh. My. God.
Like Lee Harvey Oswald, I think this guy acted alone. It's too bad that he listened to the voices in his head and spoke out at council yesterday.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Harvey K. has a statement from Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio on his list of supporters of his bid for Speaker:
“Since entering the House I have been guided by the very straightforward principle of representing my District first, while continually evaluating what is best for Texas – the way in which a democratic body should function.Here's the list (thanks to Elise Hu for posting on Google Docs):
“The needs of special interests and partisanship will take a back seat to doing what is right for our State at this critical time.
“It is time for a new tone and an atmosphere of trust in the Texas House of Representatives.
“Having received the commitment of a strong majority of my colleagues, it is my goal to restore civility, fairness and transparency to the House of Representatives and its public-policy making process.
“Speaker Tom Craddick has served with distinction in the Texas House for four decades. I have great respect for him personally, and honor his service to the State."
“In the coming days, I look forward to meeting with each Representative and discussing their district's priorities."
Gonzalez -Toureilles, Yvonne
Mallory Caraway, Barbara
Martinez Fischer, Trey
Jones McClendon, Ruth
Rios Ybarra, Tara
Me, again. The prospects of having a PRO-CHOICE Speaker from a major Texas city is a big, big thing for Texas.
If this development holds, which I believe it will, it is absolutely a new day in the Lone Star State.