Latinos For Texas Blog


Cindy Sheehan in Austin tonight

Filed under: — kevin @ 9:00 am

“Bring the Troops Home Now” Bus Tour Begins August 31
On August 31st, the last day of the encampment, the Bring Them Home Now Tour will launch three buses from Crawford, Texas, each carrying military and Gold Star families, veterans of the Iraq War and veterans of previous wars. These buses will travel different routes across the country, converging in Washington, DC on September 21, for the United for Peace and Justice Mobilization September 24th-26th. From George Bush’s doorstep to communities along the way, we demand that:
* Elected Representatives Decide Now to Bring the Troops Home
* We Take Care of Them When They Get Here
* We Never Again Send Our Loved Ones to War Based on Lies!

First stop: Austin, TX.
She will be here this Wed. 8/31 at 5:30 PM, South steps of City Hall.

ESL Volunteers needed

Filed under: — kevin @ 8:56 am

Manos de Cristo is looking for volunteers to help teach or assist all levels of ESL starting this week until early December.

Class times are the following:
M-W 9:30-11:30 am
T-TH 7-9 pm

Chris Hastings


Victims of Hurricane Katrina Need Our Help

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 6:28 pm

Donate here.


Camp Casey, Crawford, Texas

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:04 pm

You cannot miss the Crawford Peace House from HWY 185. Blocks of parked cars, a Pastors for Peace Bus, and volunteers directing traffic welcome you to the grounds. The house is surrounded by tents, furniture, a make-shift mess hall, and people. Young mothers, a bossy blonde from San Diego :) , families, friends, film people, “hippies” and veterans all spilled out from the house and onto the lawn.

The camaraderie was evident – we were pitching a tent within 10 minutes of our arrival and 4 others were helping us, a teenage boy later pointed us to refreshments, and dozens of handmade signs told you where to recycle and where to find a restroom. And that bossy blonde from San Diego would get you on a shuttle out to Camp Casey.

Donna from Temple, TX drove us the 6 miles to Camp Casey. She gave us a “tour of the neighborhood” recalling the events of the past few days. Six hundred white crosses lined the south side of the road beginning a few hundred feet from the campsite ending on a corner across from Ms. Sheehan’s Camper. That corner is marked by a metal cutout of the U.S. – it reads “America In Iraq” and a count of the killed and wounded is updated daily on it with chalk. Tents, cars, and people line the ditch just off the road. Glo, best friend of 20 years to the blonde lady from San Diego, drove us back to the Peace House. Along the way she shared the details of their cross-country drive and mutual determination to “stay as long as the Peace Mom does.”

Cindy Sheehan and Anas Shallal of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives spoke at a lunch time meal as veterans, families, and friends crowded under a tent to listen. We ran into Carlos Guerra of the Express News who has written several articles about his time in Crawford. He quotes her as saying:

This is not about politics, it’s about right and wrong and life and death, and we’re not going to let the White House throw up smokescreens… This war was wrong to begin with, and it’s wrong to stay there. Let’s end it now before any more families join us, more Iraqis are killed and before your babies have to go fight it.


I was in Crawford less than 2 weeks ago, but a series of unfortunate events kept this post from going up sooner. You can view pictures here.

Sgt. Joel Gomez

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:15 pm

ABC reports his truck rolled into Iraq’s Tigris River leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Army Angel Michelle Senatore, who volunteers to help injured servicemen, visited the Sergeant at his apartment and knew it wasn’t fit for his recovery and new life after war. The community rallied to build him a great home with the latest technology and the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton is providing free care – things that Senatore says the VA could never provide with its current funding. She said:

Why do we have to do this? Why does the community have to do this? Why isn’t the system prepared for this?

The Complexities of Immigration

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:45 pm

The International Herald Tribune is running a story about Herndon, Virginia (pop. 22,000). During the 90’s the small town’s Latino community increased by 264 percent and nearly 4 in 10 current residents are foreign born. A sometimes heated debate on immigration began in this small city when a 7-11 became a make-shift day labor site and its neighbors got nervous. The city council proposed spending $170,000 to build a center, but the project was met with protests.

As in Herndon, illegal immigrants are a growing presence nationwide - perhaps 11 million of them, roughly equaling those legally present. The costs of their presence tend to draw more attention than the economic boost their cheap labor provides (they help moderate inflation, says Alan Greenspan). People complain of paying for immigrants’ social benefits - although these have been sharply pared - and, increasingly, of crime and insecurity.

Crime is a problem in all communities, but I would venture to say that the vast majority of immigrants are here to make a living.

A recent NBC News poll found that nearly half of those surveyed in this nation of immigrants thought that immigration made the country weaker. Yet, studies show immigration is a net economic plus, worth perhaps $10 billion yearly.

“These guys work twice as hard,” Joe Schilling, a Virginian who hires Latino laborers for yard work, told a local newspaper. “I get a lot more work done for my money.”

Despite opposition the project passed, but the criticism hasn’t stopped.

At a recent council meeting, someone read a letter from Rep. Tancredo which “noted that two state governors this week have had to declare a State of Emergency in eight border counties to deal with the impact of illegal aliens in Arizona and New Mexico.”

What did the Mayor say?

“Tell Congressman Tancredo that Virginia is not on the Border.”

LFT’s Spanish for Políticos part 2

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:30 pm

Yo soy voluntaria para condado de Travis.
¿Está registrada para votar?

Last night LFT hosted a voter reg en español workshop. The debut class had a great turnout that included guests from Williamson County, West Austin, Vote Rescue, the TDP, Sen. Rodney Ellis’ office, and the John Courage for Congress and Andy Brown Campaigns (including the candidate himself who shared some of his Spanish con nosotros). The Honorable John Coronado candidate for the 3rd Court of Appeals and his campaign manager also joined us.

The class began with a bunch of icebreakers and introductions. Everyone received a workbook, additional materials with other helpful info, and a clip board cheat sheet. The lesson plan:

“¿Y tú, quien eres?”
“Registración de Voto”
“¡A sacar el voto!”
“Tengo una pregunta.”
Y Más

Stay tuned for education and issue focused workshops.

Thank you to everyone who attended and please send your feedback to


LFT’s Spanish for Politicos

Filed under: — kevin @ 8:43 pm

Just finished and it was quite a blast. I’ll leave the details to LaGirl. ¡Yo me voy a dormir!


Immigrants and Health Care - Who benefits?

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:39 am

Margie sent this excellent discussion about immigrants, the taxes they pay, and the care the do (or do not) receive in return, with additional comparison to overall insured’s VS uninsured’s costs to the system and taxpayers.

This article seems to indicate a Health care system fiscal surplus from the immigrant sector, which, if reports of social security pay-in vs pay-out to immigrants are true (and i havent seen strong evidence to the contrary) combine to make immigration an economically good thing. And thats not even considering the “Day without a Mexican” scenarios of labor, construction, textiles, and the like.

The comments are well worth reading, as well.

thanks margie!


Texas races

Filed under: — kevin @ 12:55 pm

As always, the Burnt Orange Report has some great updates Texas state and local races.


Time’s list of the 25 most influential Hispanics

Filed under: — kevin @ 4:51 pm


Check back with huzzahs or grievances.


Dean and Diversity

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:08 am

The Tejano Insider is noting that Tejano Democrats, Mexican American Democrats, and a few folks from the DNC are “explore[ing] the possibility of moving the Presidential caucus for Texas Democrats.”

The article the Insider points to states:

…that Iowa and New Hampshire lack the diversity to represent the country’s interests and that no two states should have such influence on the presidential nomination.


Introducing a Friend

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:41 am

I met Anthony at SVREP’s Latino Academy last summer. Check out his new blog DC9 - Politics, campaigns and more… when you get a chance.

Anthony loves numbers, and as a native of El Paso who spent a lot of time organizing in Texas and Colorado, has a unique take on politics.

A post covering the DNC Hispanic summit is here.


‘05 DNC Hispanic Summit

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 11:33 pm

I woke up late Saturday morning, so leave it to me to leave my camera battery plugged into a kitchen outlet and then find I-10 down to one lane. I arrived just in time to grab a chair near Ralph, Nathan, and Mario and catch Charles Soechting who was cordial and tried to be funny – he missed a Friday night function to corral some goats at his new home.

Congressman and DNC Vice Chair Mike Honda of California introduced Congresswoman Grace Napolitano who also serves as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Napolitano is originally from Brownsville, TX and was elected to the House in 1998 after serving on the Norwolk City Council, sitting in the Mayor’s seat, and then in the California Assembly. She spoke with sincerity and passion. The AP quoted her as saying, “The party has been ignoring the Latinos for decades, and it’s time we say ‘No more.”

Saying no more turned out to be a recurring team.

After a short welcome by Howard Dean who promised “fire and brimstone” during his lunch time speech and a poll presentation by Cornell Belcher of Brilliant Corners the panel discussions began.

Rep. Pete Gallego shared his views on education in a very quiet and sincere manner. He closed by saying something like.. amongst all of us, there’s nothing we can’t do. Congressman Henry Cuellar followed him. His speech went something like this.. quote by famous person, quote drop-out statistics, talk about TEXAS Grant, close with quote by famous person.

Congresswoman Hilda Solis of California began the health care portion of the discussion with the reminder that there are 45 million uninsured and the number is growing. One-third of children under the age of six in her district have no insurance. She stated that we are the wealthiest country in the world and we should be ashamed and outraged that health care is rationed to those who cannot afford it.

We had to miss Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer and Congressman Charlie Gonzalez for a meeting with LFA, but we made it back in time for Dean’s lunch-time speech. From


DNC Training

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 11:33 pm

Here’s an article from the Express-News covering Sunday’s DNC training led by Texas native Parag Mehta.


Dean and the “Democrats are seeking to woo back Hispanics”

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:56 am

I had breakfast with Howard Dean and a group of DFTers back in November or December, prior to his winning the chairmanship.. I am not a Deanic, but I do like the guy. He stayed with us for over an hour and talked about a 50-state strategy to “take our country back.” It wasn’t this discussion that gave me the most hope, but actually one of the first questions he asked - what is the relationship amongst minority communities here (yeah, I was the only minority in the room at the time). I knew immediately that the Doctor was on to something that had been overlooked - for a long time.

This weekend, Dean will come to Texas again. He will address the DNC Hispanic Leadership Summit and without a doubt (in my mind) inspire a lot of Dems to fight harder and longer no matter how lonely it may feel here in the Lone Star State.

The Express-News’ Rebeca Rodriguez published an intro story about the Summit this weekend. You can check it out here (or after the jump, as PD likes to say).

Here’s a quote (emphasis mine):

Frank Guerra, a local Republican consultant who has worked on several state and national campaigns including Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, said the appeal of the Republican Party lies not just in the issues it supports, but in its overall philosophy. (Which here in Texas is to not fund our schools, hand out corporate welfare, use smoke and mirrors in lieu of real solutions, and rip foster kids from their gay parents… )

“Democrats are the champions of the people and in the past, the Democratic Party did a fantastic job of fighting those battles,” Guerra said. “But the Republican Party is the guardian of the American dream. It speaks about opportunity (Unless you’re gay… or worse a gay minority!).



Bush’s Approval Rating Drops to 38%

Filed under: — avila @ 10:30 pm

Following the recent deaths of 14 Marines, Americans are losing confidence with President Bush’s ability to handle the Iraq War. An AP-Ipsos Poll finds that President Bush’s approval rating has dropped to 38%.

14 Marines Die; Bush Sets Vacation Record

Filed under: — avila @ 12:15 pm

Yesterday, 14 Marines died in one of the deadliest single attacks in Iraq against American forces while President Bush is setting a new vacation record in Crawford.

When is the President going to realize that his lackadaisical approach to his job as commander-in-chief is disrespectful to our sons and daughters who are dying in Iraq?

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