Latinos For Texas Blog


Manos de Cristo offering Day of Prayer for Immigrants

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:47 pm

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Here in Austin, the immigrant community is being terrorized by recent round-ups, deportations, and general harrassment. In response to this unfortunate situation, Manos de Cristo is opening our doors to all for special activities that will dovetail nicely with the May 1 demonstration and strike.

The schedule is as follows:
11:00 am - Presentation by Jacqueline Watson, Immigration Lawyer.
12:00 pm - Prayer for the Immigrant Community
12:30 pm - Time of fellowship. (Please bring your lunch. We will provide drinks and cookies.)
1:00 pm - Service project with representatives from the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.
2:30 pm - Departure for the march for those that wish to participate.

Manos de Cristo is a Presbyterian ministry that provides basic services and education classes for a primarily Spanish-speaking, immigrant community. We are located at 4911 Harmon Ave and our phone is 512-477-7454.


Austin Chron endorses Mike Martinez

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:35 am

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Mike Martinez, Latinos For Texas Endorsed candidate for Austin City Council, Place 2, has received the Austin Chronicle endorsement - Congratulations!

Early Voting begins next week. Blockwalking continues this weekend, so get out and make a positive impact on this little city.

BREAKING NEWS: Austin Chronicle endorses Mike’s vision for Austin!

“…On balance we’ve decided that Martinez represents more of what the council needs right now. He’s been dramatically successful as president of the Austin Association of Professional Firefighters, winning collective bargaining and using that right to improve the lot of his members, while yet engaging the broader departmental issues – like staffing and resources – with the council in a manner that wins allies rather than alienates opponents.

He’s also lent his voice and energies on broad progressive issues, and in particular he’s worked effectively to move the fire department forward on questions of diversity and equity. Moreover, his specific experience in negotiations is likely to pay dividends on the dais, where council members all too often find themselves effectively negotiating for authority with city staff – Martinez is unlikely to be easily rolled.”

– Austin Chronicle, April 27th, 2006

Read it all at: Austin Chronicle Endorsement!


Austin’s Prop1 and Prop 2 Studies from Liveable City

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:13 pm

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Liveable City, a non-partisan non-profit tries to shed some light on the contentious Props 1&2 (well, as contentious a ballot initative can be among the 5% paying attention) which are up for a vote in Austin’s May elections.

On Prop 1, I find myself, in many cases for the first time, in non-agreement with some folks i like and respect. I love the idea of Prop 1, i hate that there are what seem to be secretive arrangements and developer giveaways ‘presented’ to the citizenry as essentially done deals, but i dont love that Prop1 has so many undefined terms, and isnt amendable. I cant help but think it is filled with opportunities for good people and broadly supported projects to be hamstrung by bad litigation brought by people who think city hall is their enemy and by hook or by crook will find ways to roadblock them.

read the actual Charter Amendents and answer me this, batmans and batwomans:

“all other instances where it is reasonably anticipated that there is significant public interest in the matter.” am i significant, is crazy cat lady significant? is that enough? does it have to be two, three, 30 people to meet the “significant public interest” metric?

Talking about what must be logged, the proposed amendment reads:
“Meetings” includes all informal and formal meetings including
but not limited to telephone conferences, videoconferences, happy
hours, and luncheons.”
As debated on BOR is ‘informal’ a measure of scheduled-ness or decor? That is, someone bumps into a top aide at a happyhour, they talk for 7 minutes, should this be reported? YES, but why say ‘real-time’ rather than ‘within 12 hours’ or? is someone going to jail over this lack of ‘real-time’ reporting? NO, of course not. so why are those words in there?? and many more instances abound.

Mostly i trust that the good people wont abuse it, but do i trust other well-known and sometimes well-meaning, sometimes just-being-obstructionist groups? no i dont.

So, will i support Prop1? i really dont know yet. Will you?

Full Text of their release:

Liveable City, an Austin based non-profit, today
released two studies examining the hotly contested Open Government
(Proposition 1) and Clean Water (Proposition 2) Charter Amendments in
the upcoming May 13 City of Austin Election. The ballot studies are
intended to help Austin voters sort out the critical issues,
including arguments by supporters and opponents, and possible impacts
of passage of the proposals.

Two separate teams of Board members worked on the ballot studies over
the last two months. The studies uncovered the fact that 122
developments had been grandfathered over the aquifer since 1999, and
that a more focused open government online plan could cost less than
1/10 of the City’s current estimate.

In releasing the studies, Mark Yznaga, Liveable City Board Chair
said, “In these polarized debates, it’s hard to find information
independent of the campaigns. We hope Austinites use these studies to
help make up there own minds about possible changes to our charter -
Austin’s Constitution.” Liveable City hopes to expand on these first
ballot studies and make them an ongoing service to the community. The
studies are available for download at

Liveable City is nonpartisan, nonprofit research, communications,
capacity building and advocacy organization working to advance public
policies that balance Austin’s growth with our community’s well
being. Liveable City’s mission is to support solutions that address
Austin’s long-term social, environmental, and economic needs by
focusing on the interconnections among issues while educating,
informing and empowering citizen advocacy to improve quality of life.


Austin Volunteers Needed!

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:40 am

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Austin City Elections are coming up quickly, and lots of important items are on the ballot, including of course three city council spots and the mayor. Many folks dont quite realize that a councilperson/mayor in Austin represents about 750,000 people — far more than a congressperson!

If you live in this city, or in its ‘sphere of influence‘ Council and the Mayor have a real and direct impact on your life. Take some time THIS weekend or NEXT to have a positive impact on Austin.

There were 42 people at the meetup in which LFT endorsed local candidates, and some of us have gone blockwalking already for our candidates. After you talk the talk, you got to get out and walk the block!

Mike Martinez(Officially Endorsed by LFT)
Blockwalk this weekend at 11am on Saturday. Meet at HQ - E. 7th and
Pleasant Valley.
For Info:
Amy Everhart, Campaign Manager
(512) 699-2693

Eliza May
(512) 440-7870

Sheryl Cole(Officially Endorsed by LFT)
Blockwalking with Sheryl this weekend in Northeast Austin!
For Info:
Kenny Thompson, 415-5746

DeWayne Lofton
Phone: (512) 929-0776

Darrel Pierce
Volunteers Needed - Blockwalk 29 April 2006 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
The Pierce Campaign is taking the message “to the streets”.
One Team, One Dream, One City!

Come join us as we journey to the doorways of our Austin neighbors.

For Info:, or

(ps. i know there are also several important initiatives on the ballot, including domestic partner health benefits (Prop 6), elected officials and staff record keeping regs, and clean water clarifications(Props 1&2) and more so look for information about these efforts to follow.)


79th Texas Legislature Special Session : : HB3

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:34 pm

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House Floor Amendments

There’s lots of action on the House floor with all of the amendments to HB3. Some notables:

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez offered two amendments. One would require landlords to reduce rent after they’ve realized savings from the reduction in property taxes paid. The other would “stop the windfall for oil companies” by (if I have this right) requiring companies to pay the severance tax when oil prices top a certain threshold (like where they’re at now). Both amendments were tabled.

Rep. Pete Gallego sought to “decentivise the building of water pipelines” in order to secure future affordability of the resource. That got tabled, too.

Rep. Anchia brought the issue of immigration to the House floor. He opened discussion on his amendment to hold “illegal businesses accountable” with a strong offensive on those individuals that dehumanize migrant workers. I’m paraphrasing…

They call them illegal aliens like they came from a UFO. Or they say illegals like they are not human beings. Day after day, week after week, they subsidize our economy. On the federal level, HR 4437 wants to make them felons, make their families felons, make Catholic churches and charities felons, and ignore thousands and thousands of illegal businesses operating everyday. No one wants to talk about the demand side.

The amendment (which passed) would allow the Comptroller to adopt rules and provisions to review, audit, secure affidavits, etc. of certain companies suspected of taking tax deductions for undocumented labor by reducing it from their cost of goods sold. Revenue would be generated from fines on accounting improprieties.

Anchia called the federal government a disaster and Congress do-nothings. He reiterated that taxpayers subsidize these “illegal businesses” with public schools and county hospitals. “The undocumented workers are exploited by Texas companies while contributing to the community so mightily,” he said. “Businesses are breaking the law everyday… Proposals at the federal level to build a wall are laughable. With strong demand [for labor] no wall or physical measure will keep workers out of this state. The sucking sound is not coming from Mexico. The sucking sound is coming from the United States.”


Heard on the Street: 2006 Texas Governor’s Race

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 5:58 pm

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Word is the Texas State Employees Union (TSEU) is going to endorse Carole Keeton Strayhorn for Governor. I don’t know if the endorsement includes the CWA and AFL-CIO. TSEU is associated with both of those organizations. Rumor has it part of the reasoning includes leverage in being one of the first orgs to jump on board, Strayhorn’s “viability,” and her promise to launch an investigation into the whole HHSC/Accenture mess upon receipt of a request from a Legislator (or something like that).

My immediate reaction was that the Union traded it’s endorsement for a favor; however it was described as “moving the Union’s agenda forward.” You know, the end justifies the means. This doesn’t sit well with me. Strayhorn is the Comptroller – the CFO of Texas. The controversy surrounding Accenture’s call centers has been mounting for months and the chilling effect of HB 2292 is evident. Strayhorn’s strategy, so far, has included little more than undermining Perry, the call centers should’ve already been on her radar. And if she is elected, can she push through changes to the current law?

The Texas State Teachers Association has also endorsed Strayhorn. Does this worry Bell? Are union members one-issue voters? I hope not.


A new La Politiquera is available

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:19 am

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Alfredo Santos writes in to announce another fact-filled issue of La Politiquera is available for download at

This issue offers coverage and photos of the Immigration Justice marches on April10th, and asks if the students’ involvement will be committed across the long-term, developing into “21st Century Chicanos.” Lots of interesting quotes, news articles, and information.

Also, a transcript of David Horowitz and Jose Angel Gutierrez ‘duking it out’ on the Sean Hannity show, and more.

Check it out, and let Santos know what you think in the comments below!


Rep. Eddie Rodriguez has a proposal to fund Texas Schools

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:49 am

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I am in favor of a state income tax, and i am in favor of leaders who lead, so, yep, i am glad rep. eddie rodriguez is my state rep.

frankly, i am a little surprised that more folks havent made the easy steps from “we’ve got a huge problem, and clearly the current system doesnt seem to be working, so lets discuss new ways.” all states have taxes and income tax is just one way among many for the people to ‘provide for the common _______’.

many states have income taxes and their world didnt end, and by many measures, they are doing better than Texas. why would we keep crippling our state? so we can say: “lots of things are crumbling, hope and opportunity among them, but at least we dont have a state income tax!”

as Gammage used to say ‘all the sacred cows should be on the table’ and then we decide whats best, as best we can, and not based on what we ve been doing, but what we COULD do.

and just in case Philip Martin of BOR is reading, i dont want to get called out for not ‘constructively criticizing’ even a favorite Rep., so: Rep. Rodriguez, please dont use ‘tax relief’ because, even tho the importance of framing and diction get overplayed, it is true that words matter, and progressives shouldnt fall into the trap of reinforcing hard conservative’s viewpoints that all taxes are a burden.

at least a ‘relief from bad taxes’ would be better, for me ; )

here is a little missive from a great state rep:

Rodriguez Calls for Long-Term School Finance Solution

Austin - In the opening hours of the latest special session of the Texas Legislature, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) wasted no time in filing a bill (House Bill 20) to create a state Education Income Tax.

“This is the only proposal that resolves the State’s legal issues, provides new funding for education and promises a long standing resolution of our school finance crisis,” said Rodriguez.

Most of the opening day was devoted to a dialogue regarding the Governor’s Commission proposal. “Once the rubber hits the road, it becomes ever more obvious that this is a short term fix,” Rodriguez said. “Using the surplus might work for this year, but we have to make up that money in the very next year … and that usually means an increase in sales taxes.”

According to Rep. Rodriguez, “Appraisals increase, enrollments increase and the Governor’s plan actually allows future increases in the property tax rate. That’s not real property tax relief and it’s not a solution beyond this year.”

“House Bill 20, the Education Income Tax, sets up a simple and equalized source of revenue that will grow with the educational needs of our state. It will provide approximately $5 Billion in new funding for classrooms and teacher’s salaries, and at the same time it permanently cut the school property tax from $1.50 to zero,” said Rodriguez.

“That’s a real solution and real property tax relief.”

Eddie Rodriguez
State Representative, District 51


Look kids, there’s $8,000,000,000 under the couch!

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:51 pm

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Fíjense, we have some spare change. What would you do if you were the special session?

I have little faith that Republicans are going to do right by Texas kids, but with these extra funds at least they will have no excuse come election time.


Why is voter participation so low?

Filed under: — Steve V @ 7:34 am

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Three years ago, Howard Dean began to reach the conscience of many
disenchanted people who were demoralized with the state of affairs.
Characterized as liberals and progressives who were marginalized by the
Democratic Party, and completely nonexistent to republicans, we
answered the call to action by the governor that mobilized at first
thousands, then eventually millions who wanted to take back our country.

His rallying cry was antiwar, but as his campaign progressed, we saw a
candidate who maintained his integrity. When the entire negative aspect
of politics beared down on him, Dean refused to lower himself to his
opponent’s level and maintained his positive message. In so doing, he
was revered as a man of honor.

Even in defeat, we saw by his example that maybe, just maybe,
progressive politicians could run on the issues, and on their merits and
vision to persuade a caustic electorate to jettison politics as usual.
He created a template that we hoped would inspire our candidates to
maintain the high ground.

Sadly, his example is threatened not by republicans, but democrats
running against each other in primaries. As we knew that negative
campaigning would suppress voter participation, turn off even more
people to the political process, and take the wind out of grassroots
activists, we decided that divisiveness and demoralization still rules.

What negative and positive campaigns did you experience, and
what are some ideas to address these campaigning techniques?



Happy Easter, Feliz Pascua

Filed under: — kevin @ 4:25 pm

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Semana Santa and is enjoying this weekend with familiares y amigos. I’m still stunned by the beautiful images from Monday’s march. Please join us for a recap of the events at our meetup on Tuesday, April 19 at Little Mexico in Austin at 7 pm.


Latinos For Texas Austin Meetup

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:38 am

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Austin Chapter:
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 starting at 7PM
Little Mexico Restaurant
2304 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704


You’ve seen all the marches and hopefully you’ve even participated. Join us this Tuesday, and meet one of the organizers of the April 10 demonstrations. Emily Timm will update us on other upcoming activities you can take part in and the progress of the immigration legislation being considered.

Help formulate an official LFT position on immigration reform. We want to hear your thoughts!

At the end of Meetup we will be sending our individual thoughts on this topic via postcards to Senators Cornyn and Hutchinson. So bring your soap boxes!

Also check out these pics from our very own Crystal Viagran taken at Monday’s demonstration here in Austin.

As always, be sure to check our Calendar to see what else is going on around town and add your own events.

Signup for free email or txtmsg reminder.

Hope to see you there, and bring your friends!

Mario, Kevin, Crystal, Lila, Michael, & Sabas
Latinos for Texas Steering Committee


Maria Luisa Alvarado lifted by the Valley to a Victory

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:40 pm

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Congrats to Maria Luisa Alvarado!

Dos-Centavos has the details (also available at of how theValleyreally came out strong for Maria Luisa Alvarado.

She certainly has her work cut out for her, as do Bell and Radnofsky, so lets hear the plan for the peoples, and lets get to work!

Barbara Ann Radnofsky prevails!

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:36 pm

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Congrats to Barbara Ann Radnofsky!!

altho the dead dancer still got waaay too close. what is wrong with some people? Does anyone actually know anyone who voted for gene kelly?!?

Valinda Bolton wins HD-47 primary!!

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:29 pm

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yeeay and congrats to Valinda Bolton and Elizabeth, her hard-working volunteer coordinator and super-staffer! and all the rest at team Bolton!

excellent news!

¡Don’t forget to vote si le toca!

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:56 pm

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Austin’s March for Immigrant Justice - a Flickr Set

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:43 pm

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here are 11,000 words for ya, from Austin:

One View of Austin’s March for Immigrant Justice

a sample:
Marchers on Congress Ave in Austin

The many faces of America, indeed

do you have links to your images? leave them in the comments!

La Marcha

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:08 pm

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Open thread for all demonstration-related comments. Reports from across the state welcomed.

Dallas Morning News - Peaceful Immigration March draws 300,000- 500,000

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“[Participants] marched along Ross Avenue In Dallas on Sunday afternoon. Organizers had asked participants to wear white shirts to symbolize peace, wave American flags and carry positive messages.”

from Dallas Morning News

wow - what a great turnout!

March on Monday, Vote onTuesday!

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National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice /

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:

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: (Ana) or

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:

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:

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:

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

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: or

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: (Elisa) or (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:

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:



BEXAR COUNTY: ps/html/elstrinq01.asp





Volunteer on Tuesday for:

* Valinda Bolton Campaign
phone: Elizabeth Hartman 512-773-0804

* Barbara Ann Radnofsky Campaign
1770 St. James Place, Suite 606A
Houston, Texas
email: Shellee OBrien,
phone: 713-858-6256

Thanks for being involved!

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