Latinos For Texas Blog

2007-May-1

UPDATE: HB 626 passes

Despite wide-spread opposition, and a truly remarkable, even stunning, lack of evidence pointing to a need for its existence, HB 626 passed out of the house.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) released a statement which sums it up nicely

“Let’s be clear about this: there is no voter impersonation problem or voter fraud epidemic in this state,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “This is part of a partisan disenfranchisement effort to keep seniors, minorities, and the poor from voting.  I voted against House Bill 626 to protect the voting rights of every Texan.”

From the federal level on down, there really is a systematic effort by Republicans to win elections by manipulating the process, since they cannot compete on the merits. And, it doesn’t hurt that they find it morally easy to scapegoat the already tenuously involved, and their low-information, lousy-moral-compassed minions just plod along according to their marching orders.

is it too cliche to remind people of the banality of evil?

2007-Apr-23

UPDATE: HB218 passes out of the House, HB 626 postponed

from BOR:

“House Bill 218, the voter ID bill, has passed the House 76 - 68. Luckily House Bill 626, requiring proof of citizenship, has been postponed until next Monday.”

derrrghhhh… Altho, as i understand it, there is no true Senate companion bill, and Senator Ellis has proclaimed he has the support needed to stop one in his side of the dome. Lets make sure no Dems get peeled away — and make sure your electeds know you are watching and remembering.

URGENT: Call today to stop the Voter Roadblock bills (HB 218 and Hb 626)

LATINOS FOR TEXAS CALL TO ACTION

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

I am sure you read loads of alarmist-sounding posts, but please pay attention and act today because there really is a coordinated Voter Suppression effort rolling through the Lege right now, this morning.

There are two bills in the Texas House (HB 218 and HB 626) which pretend to fight Voter ID fraud although it has been proven to NOT exist. The real plan of these bills is to reduce voting participation by throwing up roadblocks to Voter Registration and Voter Registration Drives, and essentially kick just about anyone who moves frequently (read: disproportionately poor, minority, seniors, and youth voters, base-hopping soldiers’ families), or who doesn’t remember to send away for a ‘certified’ copy of their birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers weeks ahead of the 30-days-before-an-election voter registration deadline.

On a recent conference call hosted by True Courage Action Network, a non-partisan non-profit, it was revealed that the minimum cost, even for voters who have been voting for 20 years but maybe move, or get married and change names, will be roughly $20 for the certified copy of a birth certificate. And, possibly as much as $90 if you are a naturalized citizen.

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

HB 626 requires proof of citizenship at the time of registration, in the form of certified copy of either your birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers, and because no one carries these around, and if they did no one in their right mind will hand a copy of these documents to a stranger to register to vote, effectively killing voter registration drives. HB 218 requires multiple forms of identification at the poll.

Learn More:
http://www.truecourageaction.net
http://www.tx.billhop.com/bills/80(R)/HB626/

2007-Mar-27

Act Today to Save Voter Registration!

Quick, do you have your proof of citizenship on you? Do you even know what counts as proof? Would you be carrying it on you when you head to a music festival, a parade, or immunization day?

Well, certain House Republicans know this, and in an effort to combat unsubstantiated and fabricated ‘voter ID fraud,’ the House Committee on Elections is moving on Wednesday to approve a bill which make it harder for people to become involved, or stay involved. These bills will do three things

  • Require proof of citizenship PLUS an additional ID just to register, at the time of registration.
  • Require even long-term voters to re-register after moving, WITH proof of citizenship — even if they have been dutiful voters for years and years.
  • Require two forms of ID at the poll.

THIS WILL EFFECTIVELY KILL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES!
CONTACT STATE REPS AND TELL THEM TO REJECT HB 218 and HB 626

CONTACT INFO:
PHONE NUMBERS

Opposing:

Rafael Anchía
Capitol: (512) 463-0746
District: (214) 943-6081

Lon Burnam
Capitol: (512) 463-0740
District: (817) 924-1997

Joe Farías
Capitol: (512) 463-0714

Favoring:
Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0584
District: (903) 939-2400

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0727
District: (713) 460-2800

Charlie Howard
Capitol: (512) 463-0710
District: (281) 565-9500

Undecided:
Kirk England
Capitol: (512) 463-0694
District: (972) 264-4231

FAX NUMBERS

Opposing:
Rafael Anchía
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0738
District Fax (214) 920-9996

Lon Burnam
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1075
District Fax (817) 924-6788

Favoring:
Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-3217
District Fax (903) 939-2402

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0681
District Fax (713) 460-2822

Charlie Howard
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0711
District Fax (281) 565-1579

Undecided:
Kirk England
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1130
District Fax (972) 522-5918

EMAIL ADDRESSES

Opposing:
rafael.anchia@house.state.tx.us
lon.burnam@house.state.tx.us
joe.farias@house.state.tx.us

Favoring:
leo.berman@house.state.tx.us
dwayne.bohac@house.state.tx.us
charlie.howard@house.state.tx.us

Undecided
kirk.england@house.state.tx.us

2007-Jan-12

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez showing love for citizens, even the blogging sort

An excellent start to the Lege, from LFT-endorsed State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), which not only allows, but, can it be true, actually encourages people to be more involved in politics, and the process.

Representative Eddie Rodriguez to propose amendment to support Bloggers

AUSTIN– Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) will propose an amendment to the house rules today that will give established Bloggers access to the House floor.

“With the rise of citizen journalism, it no longer makes sense to limit access to House business solely to the traditional press outlets,” said Representative Rodriguez.

Political blogs are some of the limited media that focus solely on reporting the happenings at the Capital and many of these Bloggers regularly break stories that show up in the traditional media.

Bloggers, as defined by this revised rule, produce original reporting and informed comment worthy of credentials. This amendment will allow increasingly popular non-traditional media, the privileges necessary to more effectively inform citizens on governmental issues.

“This kind of measure would encourage citizen participation in government and help demystify the system for the general public,” said Rodriguez.

2006-Nov-27

“HELLO, I AM CALLING TO HELP TEXANS ELECT ANOTHER DEMOCRAT TO CONGRESS…”

TrueBlueAction.com announces http://ciro.onlinephonebanking.com is up and running!

OnlinePhoneBanking the most efficient and effective way for folks anywhere in the state (or country) to help Democrat Ciro Rodriguez defeat Republican Henry Bonilla. The netroots worked hard for Ciro last time, and with this new tool, we can turn netroots passion into grassroots action!

Learn more about TX-23: Democrat Ciro Rodriguez v Republican Henry Bonilla

Make simple calls to voters in any precinct in TX-23 to identify Democrats for GOTV, from the comfort of your home, right now, using OnlinePhoneBanking’s tools. Choose any precinct, and if you want, choose any demographic in that precinct - women, men, seniors, youth, anyone, and more. TrueBlueAction provides tools, scripts and data, you provide the volunteer effort and the data that helps Democrats!

Click here to make calls at Ciro.OnlinePhoneBanking.com

2006-Nov-16

SEIU and Non-violent Civil Disobedience in Houston

An update on the Houston Janitors/SEIU strike for fair wages from major national cleaning contractors.

Up to 50 janitors from Houston and Around the Country to Risk Arrest Today to Challenge Industry to Settle 4-week Old Strike

HOUSTON—Up to 50 janitors and supporters from around the country and in Houston prepare to risk arrest to challenge the real estate industry to settle the strike and agree on a contract that provides the 5,300 janitors in Houston with higher wages and affordable health insurance. Houston has never seen non-violent civil disobedience on this level, and the sheer size of the arrests—as many as seventy over two days—shatter any previous records. For details on actions planned in Houston today, please call SEIU’s Lynda Tran at 202-907-1172.

Yesterday, janitors and supporters in 20 cities staged a variety of demonstrations at Chevron stations and Chevron-owned buildings, including acts of non-violent civil disobedience at Chevron corporate headquarters in San Ramon and Houston, to prompt the oil-giant to intervene and ensure that the janitors who clean up after them are provided with health insurance and decent wages. Twenty-four janitors and supporters were arrested in the two actions.

In Houston, the janitors split up into delegations and visited the offices of various building owners and tenants in the city. Some fanned out to the financial advisors for J.P. Morgan asking them for help in figuring out to raise a family, own a home, and save for retirement on $20 a day.

Support Pouring in As Civil Disobedience Intensifies

Yesterday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Rev. James Lawson, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Los Angeles—and one of the civil rights leaders who organized the Memphis Sanitation strike with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—were the latest to sign on to a statement in support of the Houston janitors and the use of civil disobedience. The statement reads in part:

“The goal of these “Freedom Fliers” is to promote workers’ rights, civil liberties, and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We applaud the bravery and courage of these janitors, who will be risking arrest to fight for a better future for all American workers. Victory by the Houston janitors will build momentum for a new movement for better jobs and affordable health care in Houston and throughout the southern United States.” To read the entire statement, visit www.houstonjanitors.org.

Janitors in Houston work for many of the same national cleaning firms in buildings owned by the same national commercial landlords as janitors in other cities but earn significantly less and are not provided with health insurance. Janitors in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities make more than $10 an hour, have health insurance and full-time work. In contrast, Houston workers are paid an average of $20 a day, with no health insurance for part-time work.

Last fall, 5,300 Houston janitors made the historic choice to form a union with SEIU (Service Employees International Union). Their decision capped one of the largest successful organizing drives by private sector workers ever in the Southern half of the United States. Since forming a union with SEIU, Houston janitors have been seeking a raise to $8.50/hour, more hours, and health insurance in a citywide union contract.

Nationwide, more than 225,000 janitors in 29 cities are members of SEIU.

2006-Nov-2

Houston janitors and supporters intensify their efforts for good jobs and health care

The hard-working folks who help keep Houston clean, and their newly formed SEIU union, send in an update on the on-going struggle for decent and comparable pay for Houston’s Janitors. For the latest on the strike and its national implications and supporters, check http://houstonjanitors.org/

Janitors, Community Supporters Intensify Calls on Hines, Chevron, Transwestern, Crescent, and Brookfield Properties to Ensure Good Jobs with Health Care for Houston Families
Janitors’ supporters block intersection of Post Oak and Westheimer in protest of real estate industry’s stance

HOUSTON—Janitors and community supporters intensified their calls on the five economic powerhouses who drive the commercial real estate industry in Houston to ensure good jobs with health insurance for Houston families. The five landlords have the power to settle the 2-week old strike by directing the cleaning contractors they hire to provide the wages, benefits, and work hours janitors need to support their families. Today community supporters protested the real estate industry’s failure to ensure good jobs with health care in Houston by engaging in an act of non-violent civil disobedience by closing the intersection of Post Oak and Westheimer in the Galleria area.

José Rios spends five nights a week cleaning six floors of Chevron’s downtown Houston office building. For just $20 a night and no benefits he has to clean and vacuum six floors in just four hours. “Chevron can afford to provide more for workers. It’s very hard for someone my age to do this kind of work but what other choice do I have?” said Rios, 70. As a building owner and office tenant, Chevron controls more real estate in Houston than any other company.

At the Westin Hotel today, while Houston’s commercial real estate elite gathered to discuss ways for the multi-billion dollar industry to increase revenues, janitors and community supporters at the hotel invited representatives of the five companies to take a break from the meeting and resolve the strike.

Building owners and managers negotiate and set rates with the janitorial contractors who keep their buildings clean and employ the janitors. Current janitorial service contracts do not allow for higher wages or health insurance for janitors. The janitors are calling on individual building owners and mangers to direct their contractors to meet the janitors’ proposal of $8.50 per hour, more work hours, and health insurance, and to tell their contractors to bargain in good faith with the union as the law requires.

National, International Support for Houston Janitors

Houston’s janitors are receiving national and international support from other SEIU members, sister unions, and community organizations. SEIU janitors in Los Angeles and Chicago have honored Houston picket lines already this week with janitors in other cities expected to follow suit in the coming days. Next week, Houston picket lines could be set up simultaneously in at least half a dozen cities around the country.

Internationally, there have been delegations by union activists in Mexico City, Moscow, Berlin and London calling on Hines—Houston’s largest landlord—to stop standing in the way of Houston janitors’ efforts to move out of poverty. Similar actions have been held at Chevron-owned gas stations in London and Utrecht, Netherlands. This week and next supportive members of labor unions in nine other countries—England, France, Italy, Argentina, Panama, Brazil, Poland, Germany, and Australia—are planning delegations to properties owned by Hines and Chevron in support of Houston janitors.

For the latest on the strike and its national implications and supporters, check http://houstonjanitors.org/

MAQUILAPOLIS (Nov 5, 2-4pm Museum of Fine Arts Theater, Houston)

Promoted from the comments for better visibility:

The Station Museum of Contemporary Art and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston are pleased to announce:

MAQUILAPOLIS
[city of factories]
http://www.maquilapolis.com
A film by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre
90min

Free film screening November 5th from 2-4pm at the Museum of Fine Arts Theater (1001 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005). Question and answer session with special guests, Dir. Sergio De La Torre and Lourdes Luján, at 4pm.

THE FILM
Carmen works the graveyard shift in one of Tijuana’s maquiladoras, the multinationally-owned factories that came to Mexico for its cheap labor. After making television components all night, Carmen comes home to a shack she built out of recycled garage doors, in a neighborhood with no sewage lines or electricity. She suffers from kidney damage and lead poisoning from her years of exposure to toxic chemicals. She earns six dollars a day. But Carmen is not a victim. She is a dynamic young woman, busy making a life for herself and her children.

As Carmen and a million other maquiladora workers produce televisions, electrical cables, toys, clothes, batteries and IV tubes, they weave the very fabric of life for consumer nations. They also confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos — life on the frontier of the global economy. In MAQUILAPOLIS, Carmen and her colleague Lourdes reach beyond the daily struggle for survival to organize for change: Carmen takes a major television manufacturer to task for violating her labor rights. Lourdes pressures the government to clean up a toxic waste dump left behind by a departing factory. As they work for change, the world changes too: a global economic crisis and the availability of cheaper labor in China begin to pull the factories away from Tijuana, leaving Carmen, Lourdes and their colleagues with an uncertain future.

THE OUTREACH CAMPAIGN
We are currently seeking funding to implement a binational Community Outreach Campaign, designed and implemented collaboratively with stakeholder organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. The campaign utilizes a high-profile public television broadcast, top tier film festivals and community screenings of the film to create meaningful social change around the issues of globalization, social and environmental justice and fair trade. Our outreach team includes dedicated activists on both sides of the border, mediamakers committed to social change, and most importantly a group of women factory workers struggling to bring about positive change in their world.

SPECIAL THANKS
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Department of Education at the Museum of Fine Arts and George Ramirez. Rosalinda Gonzalez, Curator of Frontiera 450+, Ann Harithas, and James Harithas, Director of The Station Museum.

This film was supported by a grant from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. It is a co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and a project of Creative Capital.

CONTACT
Department of Education MFA: George Ramirez, gramirez@mfah.org or 713.639.7727
The Station Museum: Rosalinda Gonzalez, rosalindagonzalez@gmail.com or 823.213.7428

2006-Oct-20

National Labor Relations Board to investigate five Houston cleaning firms treatment of Janitors

From our friends at the SEIU:

At downtown rally in Houston today…
Janitors to Announce Civil Rights Abuses by Cleaning Firms

National Labor Relations Board to investigate charges that companies illegally fired and intimidated janitors who were active in their union

Houston – Houston’s five largest cleaning firms will face an investigation by the federal labor board over charges the companies illegally fired and intimidated janitors who have been involved in their union. Twenty-two “Unfair Labor Practice” charges, being filed today against the five cleaning companies, will be announced at a rally downtown at 4:30PM today, October 20 outside 1100 Louisiana. After the announcement, janitors will lead a march through Houston’s downtown business district.

“I work hard but I was fired when I spoke out for the basic things all families need,” says Margarita Sintillo, a member of the janitors’ bargaining committee and former Pritchard janitor at the Bechtel building. An unfair labor practice charge filed on Sintillo’s behalf by her union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) charges Pritchard with firing her for participation in union activities protected by federal labor laws. “My co-workers and I have the right to work together to win a better life.”

Contract talks for more than 5,300 janitors ended Tuesday with the five largest cleaning companies in Houston refusing after months of negotiations to propose even modest pay and benefit improvements to janitors making $20 a day. Janitors are now ready to strike in protest of their treatment on the job and the companies’ failure to bargain in good faith.

More than 5,300 janitors who clean the majority of Houston’s office space have the lowest wages and benefits of any major city in the United States—earning an average of $5.30/hour with no health or other benefits for almost exclusively part-time work. Since forming a union with SEIU last year, they have been seeking a raise to $8.50/hour, more hours, and health insurance in contract talks with the city’s five largest cleaning companies, ABM, OneSource, GCA, Sanitors, and Pritchard. On September 23, the janitors overwhelmingly voted to authorize their bargaining committee to call at a strike at any time.

WHAT: Announcement of Civil Rights Abuses / Downtown Rally
WHEN: 4:30 PM, Friday, October 20 - TODAY
WHERE: 1100 Louisiana, Downtown Houston
WHO: Janitors

2006-Sep-22

Houston’s Justice for Janitors and the Contract Convention for the American Dream

Amber Goodwin of the Justice for Janitors campaign of the SEIU sends in an update on their great work fighting for SEIU union janitors’ living wage and health benefits:

The Houston area’s five-largest cleaning companies and the Service Employees International Union are entering into the final stages of negotiations over a contract that will cover 5,300 commercial office janitors. Currently, janitors in Houston make $5.30 per hour, have no health insurance, and on average work four hour shifts, leaving them deep in poverty and forcing them to make nearly impossible choices between food, rent, medicine, and other basic necessities.

Attached you will find a one page document called “Why Not Houston?” [download pdf] detailing clearly what the janitors are fighting for in their efforts to achieve the American Dream. This details the wages and benefits proposal that they shared with their employers in hopes that they can come to an agreement. Janitors believe that after so many years of going backwards, this is what it is will take to win a fair contract for the janitors .

As many of you know, this weekend’s Contract Convention for the American Dream is a critical event for the Justice for Janitors Campaign, and along with hundreds of community, elected and faith supporters we will be gathering to talk about what it will take to win for the janitors.

Please come out and join us this Saturday!

Janitors Contract Convention Details
What: Contract Convention for the American Dream
When: 2PM Saturday, September 23, 2006
Where: Hilton Hotel, 1600 Lamar

All Houstonians need access to quality health care and wages and benefits that support a family—that’s why it’s critical that we take a stand with janitors in their historic campaign for justice.

Amber Goodwin
Houston Justice for Janitors
www.houstonjanitors.org

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
4299 San Felipe Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 907-0008

2006-Aug-24

TrueBlueAction.com and Onlinephonebanking.com

As a bit toward explaining the recent slowdown in LFT blog posts, let me offer two clues:
TrueBlueAction.com and Onlinephonebanking.com which yours truly has been working many long hours developing, designing, programming along with the inimitable Glen Maxey and Hunter Ellinger.

With these tools, ‘every volunteer can phone, walk, register or GOTV their friends and neighbors in their precinct, local area or across the state’ and in just the last two weeks of soft-launch testing, hundreds of people from all over the state have contacted thousands of voters. We can ramp that up and contact 10, 25, 100,000 voters before election time?

so spread the word and thanks for helping!
mario

For those that didnt get or didnt read a recent Maxey blast:

I want to introduce you to a dynamic new online set of tools at www.TrueBlueAction.com

It is my hope that you’ll make use of the many tools you find at this innovative new site.

It has been created by a new political action committee, True Blue Action PAC, whose sole reason to exist is to make tools available to identify and turn out Democratic voters for candidates at all levels.

Chris Bell, Democratic nominee for Governor, has been instrumental in helping us get off the ground. His campaign understands the need for ALL Democrats running at all levels to assist in turning out voters for each other.

There is NO COST to use these tools. They are open, accessible and free. TrueBlueAction simply asks that you use them to work for Democratic issues and candidates.

Ever want a walk list, phone list, or other data for your street, precinct or area? Here it is!

On this site, you’ll find some easy to use tools. Among them are:

a) Build a walk list to canvass your street or are

b) Print out pre-filled accurate Mail Ballot Applications for seniors, disabled, or those who’ll be out of town

c) Use the Online Phone Bank to call to ID voters, and GOTV during early voting and on election day to turn out the vote in your precinct or anywhere in Texas!

d) Email your friends across Texas voting reminders with their early voting locations

e) Build a list of voters you know (friends, co-workers, etc.) to “turn out to vote”. Get daily reminders whether they’ve voted early if you’re in a county that has electronic access to early voters.

f) Register new voters and make a retrievable list by entering them in this system so that they’ll get voting reminders.

g) And much, much more as we proceed and great volunteers add tools!

As we improve this site, we’ll send you updates of new tools that have been added. Thanks to the creative energy of lots of volunteers, we’re literally changing the way grassroots politics happens across Texas.

Give as feed back at admin@trueblueaction.com

There is now no excuse for someone not being able to help our Democratic candidates.

Every volunteer can phone, walk, register or GOTV their friends and neighbors in their local area or even across the state!

Houston voter registration project

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:40 am

Alfred Stanley shares a tip:

Check this out. This project is being funded by Rick Noriega’s political committee. Right now they’ve got data for Houston about citizens who aren’t registered.

http://www.alllatinosvote.com/

and i must say, this site has a great idea:

“Based on your home address, you are given a list of 10 unregistered but voter-eligible Hispanics that live closest to you. Since it is in your neighborhood, you are very likely to know the person or area. Best of all, you can register people at your convenience.”

with a compelling connection to everyday life (which you know we love at LFT)

WHY WE NEED TO VOTE
• Will proposal requiring Houston police to check citizenship status come back?
• College tuition increases put squeeze on Latinos
• Bill would deny citizenship to Latinos born in U.S.
• Study: Latino’s net worth 1/11th of Anglo household
• Another Texas Latino killed in Iraq
• Latinos are the highest uninsured in country
• Immigrants attacks hurts all Hispanics
• Microchip in skin would track Hispanic workers
• Officials: No hate crime in rape of local Hispanic teen

It is just getting started, so if you live in Houston, hit them up to get started uniting your communities!

2006-Jul-6

Tom Delay update from LoneStar Project

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:03 am

Now this is news you can use!

fromthe good peoples at the LoneStar Project

Federal Judge Agrees with Texas Democrats
on DeLay Ballot Challenge

Federal District Court Judge Sam Sparks just ruled in favor of Texas Democrats who sought an injunction to prevent Republicans in Texas Congressional District 22 from replacing Tom DeLay on the congressional ballot.

Texas Democrats argued that the U.S. Constitution, not State law, defines eligibility to serve in the U.S. Congress. Judge Sparks agreed.

2006-Jun-6

Texas Dem Party State Chair and the Executive Director should be a strong team

ok, i like you Alfred Stanley, so dont take this personal. BUT i have some disagreements with how your email to TDP Convention Delegates is presenting information, some of it small, but still telling, some of it larger, and questionable.

perhaps its just a misunderstanding, in which case, someone, Alfred or Boyd or Ruben if you are reading, please fill me in.

In an email the TDP delegates just received, Alfred calls Boyd, ‘our current chair’ but really, by law and more importantly by concept, he is the ‘interim chair’ and BECAUSE its already been debated, and i would be surprised if Alfred didnt see this debate on BOR, to keep calling him just Chair hardly seems a meaningless slip. I think someone wants folks to think Boyd, a good and hard-working fellow and all, IS the Chair, and that in just a few weeks he can properly claim credit to things outside his control, and that support for any other candidate is preventing Dem unity or is time-wasting or rock-the-boat-for-rocking’s sake — and its exactly that sort of game-playing with the rules that make people think Boyd is the establishment-machine back-room deal-making being foisted upon the Party.

Whomever wins Saturday’s vote will be Chair, and have the full support of folks like me and other delegates i am sure, but until then, its frankly a disservice to use that title now.

Also, Alfred’s email claims that we dont need Glen to be TDP chair because we have Ruben Hernandez as Executive Director. I have met Ruben, and i like him and am impressed and i hope he stays on as ED, but thats a red herring as to whether Glen or Boyd are better for the role of TDP Chair.

On to the specifics of why Ruben negates a need for Glen and how the ED prescribes a CHAIR role better suited to Boyd, Alfred writes “Ruben has hired the most diverse staff the Texas Democratic Party has ever had including two Hispanic field organizers, an African-American field organizer and an experienced, bilingual Deputy Communications Director whose top priority is Hispanic media and outreach. ”

Meanwhile Boyd has been claiming credit for these decision/actions both in person at the LFT meetup, and in his emails and direct-mail.

“As TDP Chair, I’ve already hired staff to concentrate on Hispanic media and grassroots outreach and have also initiated meetings with activists to begin our campaign efforts for the November election.” - June 03 email from Boyd Richie

You cant have it both ways. If Ruben alone made those decisions, why is Boyd claiming credit and merit for them, and if it is in fact a joint decision, then of course it matters who makes up the team that leads to those decisions. If its a joint decision, or perhaps one that came from the Chair, the assertion that Ruben negates a need for a personality like Glen is spurious, and non-causal.

BUT more importantly, let me remind folks who forgot, or perhaps never knew, that the bilingual, hispanic, black, and anglo field staff are ordered, and paid for by Dean’s DNC. And those of us who went to the DNC Hispanic Summit in San Antonio last year will recall Dean’s direct statement that money will not come into to Texas until TDP staff reflects Texas, and that specifically until TDP hired some black and hispanic field staff.

It is a good decision, but it wasnt really Ruben’s, or Soechting, or Boyd, or Glen or me or you. I think probably Ruben would have made a similar decision because it is a good decision, as building the strongest team is the goal so that the strong decisions become the ordinary fare of the day.

So speaking of a team and each member’s role, the explicit conclusion of Alfred’s email that the presence of Ruben as ED means that the TDP Chair exists solely for “fund-raising and financial ability, communications and coalition-building skills, knowledge of the entire state and the administrative skills to support the fine work our new executive director is doing” is, to me and i think people like me, a partial picture, and a little bit of exactly what people say when they say “establishment.” Its more of the same, tweaked up and all, but its not likely to be enough, in my humble opinion. I mean, if it were, whats been going on the last dozen years? Does anyone claim the previous Chairs and staff were so out of touch that they couldnt see they just needed some tweaks. Of course they werent. They were and are hardworking and committed and caring, but (enjoy this metaphor) they seem to be deciding among the best driving routes from here to there — as there are many many routes in this big State– and in the meantime have forgotten you can also get there both by flying, and telephone.

i think reasonable people can disagree, but it certainly doesnt seem like a tweak is gonna break us through to the winning side. Glen’s responses that i have seen and read easily sail past Boyd’s toward my desire for big structural fundamental RE-definition of TDP Chair’s roles.

Having a politician/political consultant who has won CONTESTED races for himself and others, as the head of a political party is a really obvious (and sensible) decision! Choosing an atty who theoretically can tap other attys for funds is a short-sighted decision, in my estimation — especially now that ‘tort reform’ laws have dried up much of the trial lawyer’s long-vaunted funding.

comments, ideas??
mario

2006-Jun-1

So, what is the role of the TDP Chair?

Perhaps it too late, but it seems the first order should be to determine on what basis people are actually casting their votes for TDP Chair?

There seems to be some fundamentally different views of the Chair’s role:

  • Chairman of the board? (if so what board? SDEC?)
  • Executive Director?
  • CEO? COO? HR? MARKETING? or??
  • fundraiser-in-chief?
  • strategist-in-chief?(global or local or all?)
  • spokesperson-in-chief?
  • lead-field-organizer?
  • lead-inspirer?
  • lead-blockwalker?

all, none, just a few…?

Lets separate opinion from legal fact, if any.

So, perhaps there is some legal description of this (unpaid) job?

or legal proscription of what the Chair can and cannot do (regardless of what traditionally the chair does and doesnt do)?

what body, if any, governs the chair? does the legal language,if any, say they have to approve, allow, guide??

Once those facts are known, then let the discussion debates arguments roll on about what roles COULD be filled, and which are most important (and give some basis for why its important), and who is most likely to fill that bill.

so, who has some knowledge on the legal questions?

thanks
mario

(cross-posted at BOR)

2006-Apr-10

March on Monday, Vote onTuesday!

MARCH MONDAY APR 10!

National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice
http://www.april10.org /

City: Amarillo
Date: 4/10
Time: 9:00AM
Location: Amarillo Civic Center
Event Details: Walk to City Hall, please try to wear a white shirt
Contact Name: Yazmin Flores
Contact Email: Yazminflrs@yahoo.com

City: Austin
Date: 4/10
Time: 11:00-2:00 and 4:00 at the Capitol
Location: University of Texas Campus from 11:00-2:00 and starting at the Capitol to the Governors Mansion onto Cornyn’s Office 4:00
Event Details: National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice - student walkout and march
Contact Name: Emily Timm, Ana Yanez-Correa, Cristina Tzintzun
Contact Phone: 512-300-8011 (Emily) or 512-441-9512 x 109 (Ana) or 512- 474-0007 x 106
Contact Email: acorrea@criminaljusticecoalition.org (Ana) or cristina@equaljusticecenter.org

City: Corpus Christi
Date: 4/10
Time: 6:00PM
Location: Memorial Coliseum
Event Details: The Corpus Christi March for Immigration with Dignity
Contact Name: Totsy Armadillo - LULAC
Contact Phone: 361-888-5154
Contact Email: lulaccouncil1@yahoo.com

City: El Paso
Date: 4/10
Time: 10:00AM (Sunland Park City Hall), 12:30PM (Chamizal), 4:00PM (Plaza de los Lagartos)
Location:Central El Paso location at 12:30PM, Chamizal National Memorial Park. For Southern New Mexico gather at 10:00AM at Sunland Park, NM City Hall
Event Details: March, demonstration and rally
Contact Name: Fernando Garcia
Contact Phone: 915-577-0724
Contact Email: bordernet2001@yahoo.com

City: Houston
Date: 4/10
Time: 1:00
Location: Guadalupe Plaza, corner of Jensen and Navigation
Event Details: April 10th Coalition - march and rally at 3:30
Contact Name: Angela Mejia - LCLAA
Contact Phone: 832-524-6158
Contact Email: mexxia5@sbcglobal.net

City: Houston
Date: 4/10
Time: 4:00PM
Location: Lee High School
Event Details:Protest Against HR 4437
Contact Name: Anita Wadhwa
Contact Email: aquamarinated@yahoo.com

City: Houston
Date: 4/10
Time: 7:00PM-8:30PM
Location: University of St. Thomas, Student Life Mall - 3800 Montrose, Blvd.
Event Details:Please join the UST community as we gather in payer and contemplation to pray for the dignity of the human person and justice for all.
Contact Name: Emiliano Herrera III
Contact Phone: 832-647-2001
Contact Email: herrerem@stthom.edu or ortizd@stthom.edu

City: San Antonio
Date: 4/10
Time: 5:00PM
Location: Milam Park
Event Details: TBD
Contact Name: Elisa Gonzalez and Claudia Sanchez
Contact Phone: 210-602-1533 (Elisa) or 210-355-4050 (Claudia)
Contact Email: egonzalez@seiutx.org (Elisa) or orzeta_divinity@yahoo.com (Claudia)

City: San Antonio
Date: 4/10
Time: 12:00PM walkout, 2:00PM student rally
Location: Campus of the University of Texas-San Antonio - walkout, Milam Park - student rally
Event Details: Student walkout and rally
Contact Name: Bonita, Cristina, Beth, Veronica - Siempre United
Contact Phone:210-269-5595 (Bonita), 210-391-0962 (Cristina), 210-391-0962 (Beth), 210-625-0994 (Veronica)
Contact Email: siempreunited@yahoo.com

City: Tyler
Date: 4/10
Time: 8:00AM-11:00AM
Location: Super 1 on 271
Event Details: March
Contact Name: Jose Sanchez - Day Without An Immigrant
Contact Phone: 903-758-8700
Contact Email: jose@attorneysanchez.com

VOTE TUESDAY APRIL 11

STATEWIDE INFO:
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/county.shtml

BEXAR COUNTY:
http://www.co.bexar.tx.us/webap ps/html/elstrinq01.asp

DALLAS COUNTY:
http://www.dalcoelections.org/

HARRIS COUNTY:
http://www.harrisvotes.org/

TRAVIS COUNTY:
http://www.traviscountytax.org/displayEDSearch.do?vtype=d

WEBB COUNTY:
http://webbcounty.com/

Volunteer on Tuesday for:

* Valinda Bolton Campaign
website: http://www.ValindaBolton.com
email: info@ValindaBolton.com
phone: Elizabeth Hartman 512-773-0804

* Barbara Ann Radnofsky Campaign
1770 St. James Place, Suite 606A
Houston, Texas
website: http://www.radnofsky.com/
email: Shellee OBrien, volunteers@radnofsky.com
phone: 713-858-6256

Thanks for being involved!

2006-Apr-3

Tom Delay *not* running in TX-22?!?

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:38 pm

Reported on dKos, confirmed by atrios and CNN

Rep. Tom DeLay will drop out of his re-election race, two Republican congressional sources tell CNN.

A little late for April Fool’s, but i guess not too early for Christmas!

what does it all mean — for elections, for Rs, for Lampson, for you??

2006-Mar-29

Immigration and action in Houston

Please pardon the wholesale link action, but Stace at Dos Centavos has an excellent round-up of press and personal observations that are well-worth a read,

Houston Chronicle Reports…
How Students are involved
Guest Workers, a Permanent Second Class, and AFL-CIO

I grew up in Houston, but i dont stay as connected as i should, so its does me good to read about the on the ground action. Thanks for the info, Stace!

2006-Mar-22

“Paper ballots - not vapor ballots!”

Sonia coins a great phrase!

I think it sums up pretty well the trust we can have in proving our representative democracy is just that: representative.

and Sonia rounds up the press stories dealing with debated and contested TX 2006 primaries, which, and i am sure you appreciate the irony, cannot really be debated or contested while we have no meaningful way to recount.

check her diary at BOR.

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