Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Sep-28

Delay on the chopping block

The day of reckoning is upon us. Post reactions to comments.

UPDATE: X-mas and my birthday have come early. Or lighting strikes twice. Pick your metaphors. This time with a sexier name.

2005-Sep-27

Mike Brown: Loser, Liar, Blame-shifter

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:15 am

“I know what I’m doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it.”

Gotta read the whole article.

2005-Sep-22

Roberts: Latinos Love Illegal Amigos

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:33 am

Ruben Navarrette Jr. has an interesting column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. He talks about an old memo from John Roberts and quotes the President of LULAC, Hector Flores, as saying this:

“Roberts flunks the civil-rights test.”

Read (more…)

2005-Sep-21

Help Elect Tim Kaine Governer in VA

Filed under: — kevin @ 8:53 am

LFA and VIVA are working with the Tim Kaine for Governor campaign to help reach Latino voters in Virginia. We need courteous, experienced bilingual canvassers from Texas to sign up for an account through an online voter file (much like MoveOn’s Leave No Voter Behind outfit from ‘04) and make some calls to our vecinos al este in what is a pilot program for future races.

The VA race is the big race for 2005 and Latinos can tip the votes in favor of Tim Kaine, the current Lt. Governor.

If you are interested in helping us out with this importantisimo effort, send an email to info@latinosfortexas.com

Mil gracias.

2005-Sep-20

Carlos Guerra - Survivor of 9 Hurricanes

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:47 am

Mr. Guerra sent a sober, yet funny message this morning:

Things are about to get sloshy along the Texas coast. Could be that the Gulf is going to get “the big one” two or three times this year, and one or more targets may be along the Texas coast. If a Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane makes landfall 20 to 40 south of Galveston, Corpus Christi or Brownsville, water ain’t the only thing we’re going to be deep in.

I commented that as a survivor of 9 storms, he must have a story or two to share. He replied:

Let me tell you the most important story I’ve learned.

The three-worst storms I survived were Carla, Celia and Beulah.

Here’s the kicker: As memory serves, Beulah and Celia were in September. Carla was in October. Notice the letters they represent.

Fast-forward to 2005, mid-September, to be exact. With the rest of this month and all of October left in the hurricane season, we are up to Rita, the 18th named storm of a season that experts first said would produce 13 named storms and later raised their expectations to 15.

In other words, we are three over the expectations for the entire season and we still have another month and a half before the threat subsides.

All I can conclude is that this global warming stuff is real, and we’re going to lose a lot of our coast to it.

His column today reflects on the lessons of Katrina and how Texas coastline residents can prepare.

Guerra points to the words and advice of Corpus Christi warning coordination meteorologist John Metz of the National Weather Service:

“Katrina definitely changed people’s perspective on hurricanes,” Metz said. “I think the complacency may have been eroded away, and that is a good thing for Texas because, hopefully, people will now be more aware and they will heed evacuation orders.”

Since any Texas landfall by Rita is days away, Metz said, coastal residents would be wise to familiarize themselves with the alternate evacuation routes available to them so that not everyone will get on the interstate highways and choke them to a virtual standstill.

But just as important, he said, “is that people leave early instead of waiting until the last minute.”

Good luck to our brothers and sisters on the coastline. Some of us will be waiting and watching while others might be preparing for more disaster relief.

SA E-N’s Carlos Guerra: Mexicans do disaster relief better.

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 12:12 am

Before Tropical Storm Rita became a threat to the coast and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called for another evacuation, he squabbled with the Feds over the reopening of certain parts of his city. The Washington Post reported that Coast Guard Chief of Staff and Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen, appointed by Bush as leader of the federal response, argued it was “dangerous to invite tens of thousands of people into a city with little clean water, a severely compromised sewer system, a manual 911 emergency call system and few hospitals or traffic lights.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Guerra of the San Antonio Express-News, reported:

47 Mexican military vehicles — mostly heavy trucks and 18-wheelers modified for rough terrain — rolled into KellyUSA. Because both of Mexico’s long coastlines are more hurricane-prone than our own, it has developed valuable expertise in dealing with the consequences of hurricanes. And since Mexico doesn’t invade other countries, its military focuses a lot of energy on serving its populace — and its neighbors — after disastrous calamities.

Among the 195 men and women who came are teams specialized in disaster medicine. But the Mexicans also brought the capacity to provide two basic necessities that often vanish after disasters: hot food and drinking water.

They brought two huge field kitchens, three mess tents (with tables and chairs), water treatment plants and ingredients for serving three hot meals to 7,000 people daily for 20 days. And if more is needed, Brig. Gen. Francisco Ortiz Valadez said, he will send for it.

Guerra’s column states that the general escorting the Mexican convoy explained they are under FEMA’s control and not the U.S. military and would be stationed in San Antonio. When Guerra asked FEMA’s press secretary, Christopher White, “Why wasn’t Mexico’s specialized help sent to the hurricane-battered area, where entire towns have been flattened and where 73 drinking water systems in Alabama, 555 in Mississippi and 469 in Louisiana are compromised or nonfunctional?” He promised to call back.
(more…)

2005-Sep-19

Ferrer to face Bloomberg

Filed under: — kevin @ 5:07 pm

Fernando Ferrer officially passed the 40% mark to be the Democratic candidate for mayor of NYC. What are the chances that Latinos will govern the two largest cities in the U.S.? Recent polls show suggest that they are not good. But we’ll see what happens with our yanqui vecinos al norte.

Sojourner’s Editor Jim Wallis in Austin, 9/21

Filed under: — kevin @ 10:00 am

From an email I received:

Jim Wallis will be speaking at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest’s 2005 Blandy Lectures on Wednesday, September 21, 2005, at 6:30 p.m.

Jim’s keynote address will be held at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission in the city. Tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds go to support the ministries of El Buen Samaritano. For maps and directions, please visit here.

Jim Wallis is the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

Jim is also founder and editor of Sojourners and convener of Call to Renewal.

Jim Wallis is one of the leaders of the Religious Left and a phenomenal speaker. If you haven’t read his most recent book, do so ahorita.

Guest Blogger: Alfred Stanley

Filed under: — kevin @ 9:13 am

Alfred Stanley, a friend of LFT, introduces Judge Jim Coronado to us:

Saludos LFT! Me llamo Alfred Stanley. I am helping my old friend, Judge Jim Coronado run for Justice of the Third Court of Appeals, which serves a 24-county area centered around Travis. Justice Jan Patterson serves on the Court. Attorney Diane Henson ran for it last year, did not quite make it and is running for a different place next year. Four of the six places on the court will be up in November, 2006.

Jim is a judge with 16 years experience and would make an excellent appellate judge. (An appellate judge is also referred to as a justice.) One of the reasons we’re both excited about this race is the opportunity to reach out to potential Hispanic voters. Travis County is 45% of the district; the district outside of Travis is about one-quarter Hispanic but not nearly as well organized as Travis. Yet there are lots of positive things to build upon. Jimmy Rocha, for example, is Williamson Co. chair, and Williamson Co. is 15% of the district, fast growing and becoming more and more Hispanic. Political consultant David Butts recently told me he expects Democrats to be able to pick up a commissioners seat there soon.

While I’m an Anglo born in New York City, I’ve been in Texas for nearly 30 years and have played key roles in the campaigns of Gus Garcia and Gonzalo Barrientos (fund-raiser for Gus’s first City Council campaign and for Gonzalo’s first and most recent Senate campaigns). Gus and his wife Marina are the godparents of my youngest son.

I value diversity and do what I can to make sure that well-qualified minorities and women are not overlooked when it comes to being considered for office. Other clients of mine include Travis County’s first African-American sheriff, Greg Hamilton, and former Austin Mayor Pro Tem Jackie Goodman. Often, I’ve made it possible for candidates who do not have a lot of personal resources to be able to run well-funded, winning campaigns.

Over the last ten years I’ve also recruited, trained and helped young Hispanics get a foothold in politics including Adrian Saenz with Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, Jim Navarro, formerly with Congressman Nick Lampson and State Rep. Joe Deshotel, Tanya Vazquez, chief of staff to Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher, Rebecca Leal with the Texas Freedom Network and numerous others.

I’d primarily like to blog on Judge Coronado’s campaign as it unfolds and reflect upon the challenges and successes of reaching out to Latinos, some of whom may need to be encouraged to pursue citizenship, some of whom may need to register, some of whom are registered but need to be inspired by the possibility of a Justice Jim Coronado and all that that represents, some of whom vote but who may never have worked on a campaign, and some of whom may be involved but who are anxious to help achieve the still significant milestone of electing a Mexican-American to a Texas appellate bench.

Judge Jim Coronado

Mil gracias, Alfred.

2005-Sep-16

La Politiquera, September, 2005

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:59 am

Alfred Santos lets us know that the September issue of La Politiquera is now available, and adds “We are always looking for contributing writers.”

Download a copy from http://www.latinosfortexas.com/resources/La_Politiquera_Sept2005.pdf

and let him what you think.

Thanks Santos,
m

Bush’s Choreographed Address - Too Little, Too Late

Filed under: — sabas @ 8:25 am

In an attempt to slow his plummeting poll numbers, President Bush addressed the nation last night in his first prime-time speech since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. However, as a President that bills himself as “swift”, “decisive”, and “compassionate” leader, waiting three weeks to address the nation in a highly scripted and choreographed speech is neither “swift”, “decisive”, or “compassionate.”

As Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

While the President was comfortably vacationing in Crawford, hundreds of people were struggling to survive. So, forgive me if I don’t take the President’s promises to rebuild at face value.

As the President has difficulty saying…trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, shame on me.

Acts of Contrition

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 6:07 am

George W. Bush must have met up with God this week. What else could have made him say this?

Our third commitment is this: when communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created. Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive … not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons – because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love.

Of course, the American people have heard this Administration outright lie many times before. Does he deserve the benefit of the doubt? No. One speech cannot smooth over the misery on the Gulf Coast or the anguish born with every decision that favored cronies and greed over people. These kinds of failures cannot be reframed. Actions will always speak louder than words.

2005-Sep-15

John Roberts and Latinos

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:55 am

Editorial writer Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star discusses the implications of a Roberts’ confirmation on Latino issues. From the article:

Latinos themselves hold many of the keys to their own destiny. But there will be some instances where courts may be asked to rule.

Fair housing, voting rights, access to jobs and a quality education are a few likely examples.

Will a Roberts-led court be open to those cases?

Read it all… (more…)

2005-Sep-14

Buy Gallo Wine

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:31 pm

Not that I needed an excuse to buy alcohol, but the UFW boycott is now over. The good guys won. From an email I received:

Thanks to the help of countless supporters such as yourself, we are pleased to make an exciting announcement. The United Farm Workers and Gallo Vineyards Inc. have reached agreement on a new contract providing Gallo of Sonoma workers with many important gains. The workers voted nearly unanimously to ratify the agreement. The Gallo wine boycott has ended. Your participation and support of our campaign made a huge difference. 

Below is the news release we put out this morning announcing the good news.  If you live in the Bay Area, please join UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, workers from Gallo of Sonoma and hundreds of supporters at 12 noon (Wednesday, Sept. 14) on the steps of San Francisco City Hall facing Civic Center Plaza as we toast the new Gallo contract.  If not, please buy a bottle of Gallo of Sonoma and make your own toast to the Gallo of Sonoma vineyard workers whose commitment and determination made all this possible.

Again, thank you for all your help and buy the union label!

Viva La Causa! 

Victory is so delicious.

Want Courage in Congress?

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:25 am

John Courage is running for Congress, and he could use support. Learn more about John Courage and CD 21

Congressional District 21

So I pass this msg along:

Friends,

A lot of us are doing grassroots work for John Courage, who is running
against Lamar Smith for Congressional District 21. Right now
and through Saturday 9/17, we have an important vote that
we can all take part in, at Democracy for America. This vote
is open to everyone. You do not have to be an official Democracy
for America member, or even reside in Congressional District 21.
CD21 now includes a good portion of Travis county, and we have
a great opportunity to win that seat back for our party.

Please go and vote for John Courage in CD21 before Saturday
http://www.democracyforamerica.com/housevote
John is the only Texas candidate in this round of endorsements.
Let’s make sure he gets lots of Texas votes.

This vote can be a critical launching point for John’s campaign. It
could mean contributions in the thousands from Democrats
around the nation. We hope the exposure will draw the attention
of the DNC and DCCC and lead to other endorsements from
progressive organizations.

John’s official web site address is http://www.courageforcongress.org
John also launches his campaign officially, this weekend at 10:00 a.m.
on Saturday the 17th in Austin, at the east gate of the Texas Capitol
grounds. Please join us if you can.

I am also asking you to spread the word throughout Texas and the
entire US. Send the following information with your own note
to all of your email contacts telling them that they can help
John Courage get the DFA-List endorsement.

More Info on the Online Vote from DFA:
Democracy for America will host an online vote to determine
which congressional candidate will receive their first DFA-List
endorsement of 2006. The vote will be open to all challengers
and open seat candidates. The candidate with the most votes
at the end of balloting will receive a DFA-List endorsement
and a national e-mail from DFA’s Chair Jim Dean.

The voting will take place in two stages. First, they will hold
an online vote to narrow the field of 30+ candidates that have
applied for DFA’s endorsement down to ten. They will then hold
an instant run-off vote amongst those 10 candidates to determine
the first endorsement of 2006.

The voting for each round will last for five days and will be open
to all visitors to: www.democracyforamerica.com.
Safeguards will be in place to assure a one person-one vote
policy. Jim Dean’s e-mail appeal will be sent to supporters on
behalf of the top vote-getter during the week of September 27th.
To vote, visit:
http://www.democracyforamerica.com/housevote

Thanks
Sonia

David Letterman’s Top Ten Questions For The FEMA Director Application

Filed under: — sabas @ 8:02 am

In case you missed David Letterman’s “Top Ten Questions For The FEMA Director Application” last night, here it is. My favorite is #3.

10. “Are you able to convey a false sense of security?”

9. “What percentage of your resume is fabricated?”

8. “In a crisis, which state or local officials would you blame?”

7. “What are your plans after you resign?”

6. “Do you mind if the last guy left the office smelling like Arabian horses?”

5. “Which is most serious: A disaster, a catastrophe, or a dis-astrophe?”

4. “Does Robert Blake dating again count as an emergency?”

3. “Can the president easily add ‘-ie’ to your last name to form a nickname?”

2. “Can you screw up bad enough to take the heat off the president’s mistakes?”

1. “Michael Brown…Idiot or moron?”

2005-Sep-12

We don’t need no commie help

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:05 pm

Republican idiots in Washington turn down Cuban medical team with years of experience. ¿Puedes decir “terco“?

Become a Legal Observer

Filed under: — kevin @ 10:41 am

From an email I received:

BECOME A LEGAL OBSERVER DURING THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT!

The Minutemen have announced their intent to patrol the Texas border and some central Texas cities starting the month of October.  They are already “patrolling” for undocumented immigrants in Houston and Brownsville, Texas.

In Austin, we want to be prepared should the Minutemen set up shop here. By becoming a Legal Observer you can aid in achieving the goal of preventing abuses of migrants.

What is a Legal Observer?

Traditionally, a legal observer is a volunteer who attends demonstrations, protests and similar events to ensure that everyone’s rights are upheld.  In this instance we follow the Minutemen to ensure there is no violence.

Why should I become a Legal Observer?

While observing the Minutemen, Legal Observers are also deterring abuses with their presence by documenting illegal activity. Legal Observers will position themselves alongside Minutemen volunteers, but will remain separate from them.  They will at all times remain non-violent and non-confrontational with both Minutemen and law enforcement.

Is it safe to become a Legal Observer?

Legal Observers will be sent in groups with nothing more than a two-way radio, cell phone and video camera to observe armed individuals.  Legal observers are to adhere to strict non-violence and will be unarmed.  It is our greatest hope that there will be no violence.

Who’s conducting this training?

Ray Ibarra of the ACLU trained hundreds of Legal Observers last April in Arizona.  He is a native of Douglas, Arizona and has conducted extensive research on the Minutemen.

Enroll for this training now!  Austin must remain a safe place for all its residents!

English Training:                                                 
(Friday) Sept. 16, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.                      

To enroll:
Candice Lewis   
(512) 740-1768       
maxine_seagreen@yahoo.com          

Spanish Training
(Tuesday) Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

To enroll:
Yvonne Montejano                      
(512) 474-2399
ymontejano@afsc.org

Geology Building, Room 2.218                                           
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
1711 East Oltorf Street
Map
      

For More Information Please visit www.vigilantewatch.org

Now this is a great idea. Nothing puts people on the defensive like unarmed, nonviolent observers. A great response to racist rednecks with rifles. En serio.

(Please note: I have nothing against rednecks. I love the bumpersticker that says “Redneck Democrat.” Maybe I’ve got a little red on my neck too.)

Gonzales not likely pick for Supreme Court

Filed under: — kevin @ 8:52 am

Despite a coordinated defense of Gonzalez’s conservative credentials by White House folks and the opportunity to increase Hispanic support for Republicans, I agree with William Kristol:

But the anti-Gonzales drumbeat on the right has not quieted. Haunted by Republican presidential court picks who have proved more moderate than they would like once on the bench, conservatives argue that Gonzales has not shown himself devoted to their cause on such hot-button issues as abortion and affirmative action. In the face of such concern, William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said that for Bush to pick Gonzales would be the equivalent of Bush’s father’s decision to break his “no new taxes” pledge.

Read the whole enchilada from the WaPo today here and decide for yourself.

2005-Sep-10

Dolores Huerta in Austin

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:09 pm

Wow, Austin is really hopping in the next week+. Check out the info from a press release I received:

DOLORES HUERTA IN AUSTIN CELEBRATING
75 YEARS OF LIFE AND 50 YEARS OF ORGANIZING

(Austin, TX) — The Austin Dolores Huerta Organizing Committee today announced that Dolores Huerta will speak at an Austin fundraising event for the Dolores C. Huerta Foundation at Ruta Maya Headquarters on Monday, September 19, 2005 from 7:30pm-midnight.  Admission is $12.00 ($10.00 with student ID).

Austin will join the nation in celebrating the 75th birthday of civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta and her 50 years of organizing. Dolores is the co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and the Founder and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Huerta established the Dolores Huerta Foundation with funds awarded to her for personal use. The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to train a new generation of organizers to build active communities working for fair and equal access to healthcare, housing, education, jobs, civic participation and economic resources for disadvantaged communities with an emphasis on women and youth.

Dolores has worked tirelessly as the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union and is among the few remaining living icons of the Chicana/o Movement.  Join local musicians, poets, artists and social justice advocates in celebrating Dolores’ 75 years of life, her 50 years of organizing, and help support the work of her foundation.

All proceeds and contributions for Dolores’ 75th birthday celebration will help fund trained organizers, expand the number of Communities for Social Action, and continue the work of the Foundation.

I heard Dolores Huerta speak at Howard Dean’s Iowa headquarters in Des Moines a week or so out from the caucus in Jan. ‘04. She led about 70 union painters from IUPAT–gringos all–in chants of “Sí, se puede.” It was a trip. (Full disclosure: I’m a gringo too.) For a full biography of one the top Latina figures in the U.S. continue on. (more…)

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