Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Jul-28

Bible on Immigration, again

Filed under: — kevin @ 9:56 pm

Exodus 23: 9

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Ohio, Iraq War Veteran, ” Honorary Texan Paul Hackett”

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:10 am

Paul Hackett volunteered to serve in Iraq, and now volunteers for as tough a task as any facing an American: running for Congress… with Progressive ideas… in Ohio.

So, you might reasonably ask: How does this relate to Texas, or Latinos?

Does this help?

I understand what’s at stake for my neighbors and people all across America. I won’t sit on the sidelines and watch politics as usual take us in the wrong direction

I’m ready to take your fight to Washington. I’m ready to take a stand on the issues that matter most to us, like keeping American jobs at home, protecting our Social Security benefits, making good healthcare accessible to everyone, and, of course, bringing the war in Iraq to a swift and secure resolution

Every community needs bright, committed Progressives to run for office, not just Latinos in Texas. And even when people dont accomplish all they set out to do, they can inspire their neighbors to try harder (or to give $25), even if they are 5 or 6 states away ; )

hackett.jpg

So join us today, in a special edition, Texas Thursday, for Honorary Texan Paul Hackett.

ps. thanks to BOR and DFA-List (which also endorsed Castro in San Antonio) for getting the word out.

2005-Jul-27

Biblical Musings

Just finished my nightly Bible reading (I read two chapters a night) and I found some interesting stuff, especially in light of the Texas Lege fireworks over the GOP “plan” for education and taxes and the recent talk about immigration. Behold, the truth:

“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be become widows and your children orphans.

If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them….And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.” (Exodus 22: 21-25, 27b.)

(For context, these codes of conduct come after the 10 Commandments, as Moses is laying down the law for the Israelites after they have escaped from captivity in Egypt.) So it looks like God hates racist immigration policies, those who would cut CPS and APS funding, as well as predatory lendors. The part about the widows and orphans sounds a lot like the Golden Rule. And that’s why they call God “the widow-maker.”

I think I’ll make this a regular column because there is so much good stuff in here. Buenas noches.

2005-Jul-26

E-N’s Davidson: Texas Kids need SPIT

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:09 am

Bruce Davidson: Texas kids need state income tax
Web Posted: 07/24/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

If Texas lawmakers were serious about reducing property taxes and adequately funding public schools, they would ask voters to approve a state income tax.

The income tax would be fair to everyone. All able Texans would pay the same percentage of their income.

Smokers and boozers wouldn’t be targeted. Bottled water would remain untaxed. Lawmakers wouldn’t be forced into unnatural contortions to patch together just enough revenue to get by.

A state income tax makes so much sense that it is almost hard to believe lawmakers haven’t opted for that path.

Hard to believe, until you remember this is Texas. Supporting a state income tax is an unpardonable sin in conservative political circles in the Lone Star State.

A politician might as well have the words “liberal scum” tattooed on his forehead if he openly supports an income tax in Texas.
(more…)

2005-Jul-25

My Vote is My Voice: En Español

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:30 pm

(This is a little late, but you can read the discussion here.)

This Monday My Vote My Voice will be holding its first ever interactive Guest Blog in Spanish and you are invited! I will be blogging in Spanish from 8pm, EST to 9pm, EST and would like to invite you to join me.

We are a bilingual, bicultural community and this is a golden opportunity for us to raise our political voices in Spanish. I look forward to seeing you and chatting with you this Monday at 8pm EST on the web.

“¡Juntos Si Podemos!”

Kety Esquivel
Communications Director and LFA National Board Member

SA E-N’s Landa: Politicos must offer a little more respeto

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:24 pm

Victor Landa, journalist and Central Regional Director for Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project (SVREP), has a great article in today’s Express-News:

Web Posted: 07/25/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

Howard Dean and Ken Mehlman sparred last week, which isn’t news in and of itself. They went at each other after Dean made a prediction about Republican politics in the coming years. Mehlman was incensed, he retorted. Dean stuck to his words and re-attacked. So? Business as usual, no?

I would have agreed, were it not for the date on the calendar.

Dean and Mehlman, the respective chairs of the Democratic and Republican national parties, jousted at an event of the National Council of La Raza. It’s mid-2005, what are they thinking? Latinos aren’t supposed to get political party attention until at least another two years. I know there are mid-term elections coming up next year, but that’s never lit a Latino fire under the political party chiefs. It kind of makes you suspicious, doesn’t it?

¿Qué quieren? Dean was his usual adrenaline soaked self. Mehlman came back at him as expected. Dean said that Republicans are going to turn immigrants into a wedge issue in the near future. Mehlman said Dean was nuts.

What is it that they say about being careful what you ask for? Nine years ago I wouldn’t have been writing about party leaders sparring at a Latino convention in July of an off-election year. Nine years ago I would have lamented the lack of attention, I would have railed against the way the national parties ignored us (actually, nine years ago the complaint would have been against one party, not two, because Republicans had not “discovered” us yet).

It used to be that parties and candidates came to the barrio once every four years, glad handed, stumped, made some promises and moved on. Now they’re coming in July of an off year, calling attention to themselves, making a scene, an escándalo. Da pena ajena, but what do you do? This seems to be the price of political clout. And I’ll tell you what’s worse, I’ll tell you what’ll be the end-all insult: Soon political commentators will be referring to the Latino community as the “soccer moms of 2008.” Can you stand it?

(more…)

Immigrants Subsidize Our Health Care

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:36 pm

The current issue of American Journal of Public Health includes the results from a recent Harvard/Columbia study that turns the conventional wisdom on it’s head: Latino immigrants receive less health care than Anglos and actually end up subsidizing health care for all Americans through payroll taxes, etc.

For the study results go to the Physicians for a National Health-Care Policy website and type in password “Carrasquilo” (case sensitive).

Imagine two different families: a rich, middle-aged couple who go to see specialists several times a year, gets expensive prescriptions covered by their insurance, and pays very little out of pocket vs. a large Latino family who gets free vaccinations for their kids, sporadic dental and doctor visits at community health centers, and who, through lack of regular check-ups are forced to visit the emergency room when an illness gets out of hand.

Now you can see how the study is correct.

Mehlman, the GOP, and Minorities

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 1:36 pm

Last week, I started to write this:

In the final analysis, the rich must not ignore the poor because both rich and poor are tied in a single garment of history. All life is interrelated, and all men are interdependent. The agony of the poor diminishes the rich, and the salvation of the poor enlarges the rich.

We are inevitably our brother’s keeper because of the interrelated structure of reality.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., December 10, 1964

In preparation for DemFest, some of us at LFT attended meetings and contacted leaders in the African-American community in an effort to increase minority participation. It was a tough sell on Juneteenth weekend, but we gave it our best effort. We spoke with a few people about the importance of building a true collaborative effort amongst our communities because we share many similar characteristics – high drop out rates, low post-secondary education rates, high poverty rates, frequent interactions with the police, frequent meetings with death row, and some diseases that seem to favor people of color more than anyone else. While all this sounds not-so-good, we also share amongst us strong family, church, and community ties; after all, we are our brothers’ keepers.

Something else we have in common? GOP lust - they want us and they have it bad.

I never got to finish that really smart-sounding post I was gonna write, but the gist of it is that Ken Mehlman appeared before the NAACP about 10 days ago. The big news about Mehlman’s speech was his apology for the party’s past use of “racial polarization” to win elections.

The Week Magazine has a great write-up that touches on some of the reactions to Mehlman, here’s one:
(more…)

Dean to NCLR: It’s going to be immigrants, you wait and see.

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 12:54 pm

From HispanicBusiness.com:

In a speech to an influential Hispanic organization, Dean said that Republican-sponsored immigration legislation and escalating rhetoric on the issue are part of the latest GOP effort to use fear as a political tactic.

Full story here.

Carlos Guerra Launches Blog

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:00 am

Famous SA E-N columnist tells it like it is.. read his blog about the Texas-Mexico border here.

2005-Jul-24

Bush and Immigration, part deux (coming to theaters near you just in time for 2006)

Filed under: — kevin @ 4:58 pm

Check out the following article from the Los Angeles Times via Yahoo News.

Here’s lo mejor:

Worried that the tone of the immigration debate is pushing Latinos away from the Republican Party, the White House is working with political strategists to create a broad coalition of business groups and immigrant advocates to back a plan President Bush could promote in Congress and to minority voters in the 2006 elections.

The strategists say Bush is planning to make immigration a top priority as soon as this fall, once the focus on a Supreme Court vacancy has passed. The push is being planned to coincide with next year’s campaigns for the House and Senate, in which Latino voters could be crucial in several states. It is part of a broader White House strategy to forge a long-lasting majority by drawing more minority voters.

But guess who won’t let Bush get away with it? The racist right-wing radio crowd represented by our favorite, Rep. Tom Tancredeo (R-CO). (How ’bout that alliteration?!) While Bush may have used coalitions successfully to ram through Medicare reform, I have a strong feeling that his base would rather join the Minutemen than a pro-immigration coalition, despite whatever super-duper name former RNC chief Ed Gillespie comes up with for it.

So watch for a major new coalition to push through Bush’s guest worker plan. And you can bet that it will have about as much success as, say, the GOP plan to gut social security.

2005-Jul-22

Eddie Rodriguez Fundraiser

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 12:15 am

Eddie Rodriguez, State Representative for District 51 will be having a fundraiser this Wednesday, July 27 beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the home of Alan Pogue and D’Ann Johnson, 1604 East 11th Street. Contact number: 443-2004. Light hors d’ouevres, music and more with suggested contribution being just $15 so come on out and support Eddie!

2005-Jul-21

Howard Dean and La Raza

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:00 pm

Thanks to Jackie Strange for a heads up on a excellent article from the Houston Chronicle about Dean and La Raza.

(from http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3273561)

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted Tuesday that the Republican Party will make immigrants scapegoats in the 2006 election.

In a speech to an influential Hispanic organization, Dean said that Republican-sponsored immigration legislation and escalating rhetoric on the issue are part of the latest GOP effort to use fear as a political tactic.

Republicans tried to scare people by talking about “race quotas” instead of affirmative action in 2002 and putting ballot initiatives to ban gay marriage in several states in 2004, he said.

“In 2006, it’s going to be immigrants, you wait and see,” he told the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, at its annual convention.

After the speech, Dean said he doesn’t think that President Bush is a bigot but that he “doesn’t have the guts” to speak up against “the bigots in his own party.”

Read the rest…

Houston janitors need your help.

Passed along from Amber Goodwin (713-907-0008) and goodwina@seiu1.org:

Houston Janitors Fighting for Better Jobs

Janitors at the First City Tower in downtown Houston went on strike this week to protest illegal threats by the nation’s largest cleaning company, ABM, against workers trying to secure better jobs and affordable health care. Houston janitors, who are paid an average of $5.25 an hour and receive no benefits, are uniting in an historic effort to win better jobs and affordable health care by forming a union with SEIU.

In a show of unity not seen in years, janitors in the Chicago area, New York, DC, Connecticut, and California who work for ABM, also are refusing to cross the picket lines and not go to work this week to support striking janitors in Houston as well as Indianapolis. Now Houston janitors need your help.

Please ask your blog’s readers to tell ABM to stop threatening janitors and instead provide good jobs with health care:
http://www.facts-online.org/campaign/abmunfair

For more info about janitors’ fight to create good jobs and affordable health care:
* Press release on Houston janitors: http://www.seiu.org/media/press.cfm?ID=1234

* Information about the campaign:
http://www.facts-online.org/campaign/abmunfair/explanation
http://www.houstonjusticeforjanitors.org/

* The low wages Houston Janitors live on and what it means in the life of one janitor, Ericilia Sandoval:
Link

* Community groups, religious leaders, politicians and others who support the Houston campaign:
Link

* The actions by Houston janitors are part of a broader campaign by SEIU to raise standards for janitors nationally. For more information about Justice for Janitors:
SEIU LOGO http://www.seiu.org/building/janitors/

If you’re interested in learning more about the campaign or want to learn about more ways to help out, please contact Amber Goodwin at 713-907-0008.
—————————————————————

2005-Jul-20

Más números

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 1:46 pm

Kevin posted about the report “Hispanics and the 2004 Election: Population, Electorate and Voters” by the Pew Hispanic Center. Today a paper in Philly is running a breakdown of the numbers from the “2004 National Survey of Latinos: Politics and Civic Participation”:

Hispanic voters by the numbers

40% - U.S. Hispanics who are eligible to vote, or 15.7 million people as of March 2003.

8% - The U.S. electorate who is Hispanic. However, within the 18 to 24 age group, Hispanics make up 12 percent of the electorate.

425,000 - The average of U.S.-born Latinos turning 18 and becoming eligible to vote every year since the 2000 election.

20% - The rate at which the number of Latino voters increased from the 2000 to the 2004 election. This rate is six times faster than for the non-Hispanic population.

68% - Latinos will account for 68 percent of increase in the segment of the electorate aged 18 to 24 between the 2000 and the 2004 election.

78% - New eligible Latino voters since 2000 who are U.S.-born citizens, as opposed to naturalized Hispanic immigrants.

24% - Eligible Latino voters nationwide who are naturalized citizens.

60% - Eligible Latino voters aged 19 to 29 years who are registered to vote.

79% - Eligible Latino voters aged 55 years or older who are registered to vote.

58% - Latino voters who live in Texas, California and New York. Latinos also represent at least 10 percent of the eligible voters in the battleground states of Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.

Source: The Pew Hispanic Center

LFT Meetup Recap

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:56 pm

That was why i love this organization!

“That” being last night’s austin LFT meetup. 25 folks discussing real plans for action, committing to leadership roles, and being energized by knowing there are progressive hispanics everywhere.

We brainstormed our next LFT projects, and recapped DemFest and Austin Moving Forward, heard from Victor Landa of SVREP and Brian Pendleton of the TX Dem Party and most importantly, from all the attendees. A true grassroots evening. and, while the next projects are too nascent to publicly detail just yet, let me just say progressive hispanics want “no nonsense in november”*superhint.

One of us LFT bloggers will post a detailed recap asap, but in the meantime check out new austin blog AustinInfo.net for their version — and *shameless plug*– and compliments.

if you attended last night, please postyour impressions and constructive criticism in the comments, or visit our brand-new forum to continue the discussion.

The Great White Hype

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:51 am

The most telling line from this Houston Chronicle article?

Despite the hype, Lee Epstein, a law professor at Washington University, said she was not surprised that Bush did not pick a woman. “This is an administration that is opposed to affirmative action,” she said. “We can’t be shocked that this is a white male.”

Full article after the break… (more…)

2005-Jul-19

Raymond for Congress Website

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:59 pm

Richard Raymond is running against Henry Cuellar for U.S. Congress in District 28 (including San Antonio and on down to Laredo). Here is his official website.

No Gonzalez-Update

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:21 pm

Now that AG Alberto Gonzalez is officially not a candidate for Supreme Court, is anyone else breathing a sigh of relief? I kind of liked his judicial record (within reason), but I loathe his policies of torture.

–Okay, I rescind the “officialness” of this post. We’ll see in about 2 1/2 hours.

No Lessons from Villaraigosa?

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:16 pm

Michael Alvarez and Jonathan Nagler of Emerging Democratic Majority have crunched the numbers on the LA mayoral race in May wherein Antonio Villaraigosa beat James Hahn.

They report:

The question for Democratic strategists remains — what can be learned of Villaraigosa’s victory?

In our opinion, the primary lesson for Democrats is that they need to continue efforts to develop and support issue-oriented Hispanic candidates for office at all levels. Villaraigosa’s victory also does point out that progressive Democratic Latino candidates can win votes from all racial/ethnic groups — and that drawing support from non-Latino voters is critical for these candidacies.

But we also need to point out that because of the unique characteristics of this election, there really are not many lessons for Democrats to learn in terms of national strategy for winning Hispanic votes.

First, it is really hard to see how anyone can claim that voters in LA were excited or energized by the 2005 campaign — including Latino voters. Overall turnout in the mayoral runoff was extremely low, with only 34% of the city’s almost 1.5 million registered casting ballots for either candidate. In the 2001 runoff election, almost 38% of the city electorate voted. So the 2005 runoff election had a turnout rate that was 4% lower than in 2001!

It is remarkable to note that Villaraigosa only received about 289,000 votes in this election — about 25,000 more votes than he received in 2001. In another perspective on this same point, Villaraigosa picked up votes from only about 20% of the city’s registered voters in 2005. Again, these hardly seem like the sort of numbers we would expect to see from an energized or excited electorate. Quite the opposite, as to us these numbers indicate a relatively apathetic or uninterested electorate.

Second, not only is it hard to see how someone can argue that Villaraigosa energized or excited the overall electorate, it is also difficult to see how pundits and the media have concluded that he energized the Latino electorate in Los Angeles. In the 2001 mayoral runoff election (which Villaraigosa lost to Jim Hahn), the Los Angeles Times Exit Poll estimated that 22% of the electorate was Latino and that Villaraigosa picked up 82% of the Latino vote. In the 2005 runoff, the Los Angeles Times Exit Poll estimated that 25% of the electorate was Latino and that Villaraigosa got 84% of that vote. We fail to see the logic that would lead anyone to think that as the Latino electorate increased by 3%, and that Villaraigosa’s Latino vote increased by 2%, there was a stunning transformation of Latino politics in Los Angeles.

Third, many pundits seem to either be unaware or dismissive of the unique context of Los Angeles mayoral elections…

Para más, follow the link.

I love how journalists create an angle and then cherrypick some stats, or even invent some, to support their story. The most heinous example in the last year: the myth that “values” voters helped Bush win in 2004. In truth, it was all about being Commander-in-Chief. Wanna argue? I wrote my MA thesis on the performance of war leadership in the 2004 election.

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