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TONIGHT, OCT 24. 7 pm, 505 Willow, Austin, Tx.
Election Day is almost here - help us make a difference!
We had so much fun last week that we are doing it again… LFT will host another action meetup, with free pizza and drinks, of course!
We need volunteers to phonebank for two LFT endorsees: Democrats Juan Garcia, running for State Representative HD32 against Republican Gene Seaman, and Democrat John Courage, running for US Congress in CD 21 against Republican Lamar Smith.
We will use Onlinephonebanking.com to call voters in targeted precincts. This is activity which really makes a difference, and from the comfort of a chair! Hope to see you there, and as always, bring a friend — AND A LAPTOP if you have one.
We participated in today’s march and afterwards honored Ann Richards with some good ol’ fashion blockwalking. Join us for more grassroots action - we’ll be phonebanking and walking this week, so check the calendar for upcoming events.
Today they stopped us here at the Capitol gates. In January of 2007, we go all the way inside, my friends. - Chris Bell
By the way, if you are looking for a pup.. this lovely lady is looking for a home.
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
Congratulations to Juan Garcia!
CC Caller-Times 10/18
State representative picks: Herrero, Ortiz, Garcia
If elected, all will be part of House’s Democratic minority, and two will be freshmen, but they can still serve their constituents effectively.
District 32: Juan Garcia
The Editorial Board believes a change is needed. Juan M. Garcia III, the Democratic challenger, is a former Naval aviator and a former White House Fellow, a program that provided him with the same leadership training once afforded Henry Cisneros and Colin Powell. Garcia knows the issues and district needs. A third candidate, Lenard Nelson, a Libertarian, is also in this race.
One factor weighs heavily in Garcia’s favor. He is earnest about changing the way the House records votes. While Seaman says he supports recording all votes, he gives excuses for why it would be impractical. Yet 40 other state legislatures have no trouble recording all legislative votes. The attitude that the Texas House belongs to its members, rather than its citizens, must be changed. New leaders like Juan M. Garcia will help to bring that about.
Remember - Elect Juan Garcia!
Latinos for Texas “Rocked the House” for John Courage TX-21 and Juan Garcia TX HD-32. A crew of 10 volunteers showed up to the Travis Coordinated Campaign headquarters to phonebank for John Courage and Juan Garcia. Juan and John are two LFT endorsed candidates, and we put our dialing fingers to work for them. Rather than have a regular LFT monthly meeting, we decided to host an action meeting on Tuesday night instead. We had a great time doing this too. We ordered pizza and made a party of the event. LFT members gave the TrueBlueAction tools a robust testing and then gave some user feedback to the phonebanking tool programmer, Mario. Since Mario is one of our own, we got immediate implementation of our recommendations. It pays to be an LFT member!
I would like to challenge other groups to give this a try. Host an action night where your group “adopts an action night” and does some phonebanking for our candidates. This is not your old-fashioned phonebanking - this is phonebanking with cool tools .
With the election just weeks away, LFT has been pretty busy this past month. We’ve delivered thousands of voter registration cards to apartment complexes in East Austin, we worked a voter registration table on the last day of voting and this past weekend we blockwalked. This weekend we’ll be doing more blockwalking and leafletting as part of our East Austin Initiative. If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a group that really “does something” come on out and join us. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a member to help either. Sign up for event reminders on our community calendar
As many of you know I’m doing some volunteer work for John Courage who is running in CD21. Anyway while doing some work for him I came across this web site that was being promoted on a listserve called “Las Comadres” here in Austin. The web site is called VotoLatino and the idea is to use technology to get young Latinos and Latinas to vote. They have text messaging reminders you can send to get those nephews and nieces and little brothers and sisters to register to vote. In some parts of the country they can still work on registration, but for Texas that date of course has passed. Once you register on the site you key in the cell phone nubmers of your friends, relatives or anyone you want to text message a voter reminder. You need to go check out several videos they’ve just posted promoting this - It’s a family thang! And the text messaging costs are picked up by the non-partisan web site which is sponsored by national Latino civic organizations.
Another interesting article in The Latina Voz, which is also very timely.
Latinas represent the big ‘if’ at the ballot box
When it comes to going to the polls, Latinos are among the most apathetic voters in the U.S., voting at significantly lower levels than their white and black counterparts.
Organizers hope Latinas change that as the 2006 and 2008 elections approach.
“When Latinas vote, the family votes,” says Lydia Camarillo, vice president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, a nonprofit organization based in San Antonio, Texas. “We’re the anchor.”
Latino women vote at higher rates than Latino men–49% vs. 45%–and tend to be more politically involved than them, from grassroots community organizations to school boards, researchers and activists say.
“Latinas are mothers. They get it. They know that it’s important for the future of their families,” says Camarillo.
So lets make sure we vote and that we get every young member of our extended families to vote because it does matter.
“I want you to know that this amendment is blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry.”
— Representative Senfronia Thompson, speaking against the discriminatory marriage amendment to the Texas Constitution
KVUE.com is reporting that Sen. Royce West plans to run radio ads urging predominately black audiences to support Chris Bell for Governor. The ads will use “recordings of Mr. Friedman using various racial and ethnic slurs.” Bell denied any collaboration and Kinky’s camp called all of ‘em “slime balls.”
Sen. West says he just wants some r-e-s-p-e-c-t.
“It’s designed to fire up the base, but just as important, it’s an issue of respect.”
Rep. Garnet Coleman said Houston Dems just might do the same thing and noted that Kinky’s camp might be the pot calling the kettle black.
“They have wanted it both ways the whole time.. They can say whatever they want to say about somebody. But how dare you point out his shortcomings?”
Former S.A. Mayor (and supposed Dem) Ed Garza is running radio ads touting something about Perry. Perhaps the Toyota Plant or maybe just his really awesome moves as a former Aggie cheerleader. Not sure, haven’t heard ‘em, have you?
From Ms. Sonia Santana (who loves freedom and secure ballots):
Latinos for Texas would like to congratulate John Courage, candidate for Congress in CD21.
John won the endorsement of Latinos for America-PAC this week.
Steven Ybarra, a voting member of the LFA-PAC said this on the endorsement. “With nearly a quarter of the 21st Congressional District being Hispanic or of Hispanic descent, his commitment to maintaining cultural diversity including support for bilingual education is a hopeful sign that he will continue to appreciate the changing face of the Latino voter.”
John is also one of our Latinos for Texas endorsed candidates. We’ve been impressed with John’s hard work in this district, CD21. Despite the fact that his campaign was essentially handed a substantially different campaign just a month ago in a court ordered redistricting, John and his staff have committed to running a smarter and more
focused race. John is picking up more endorsements and support as he takes his message of change to this new district. John has recently accepted an invitation to a candidate forum that will take place here in Austin on October 25th sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Lamar Smith and other candidates running in CD21 have also been invited to address voters. We hope that you will take the opportunity to attend the forum and see first hand why we think John Courage is the best candidate to represent you in this race.
This endorsement with LFA-PAC is bringing national resources into a race right in our back yard, and that’s welcome news. One of the things this means for example, is that LFA-PAC is helping with is Spanish language ads that will run on radio in the district. Some of LFA’s members, as individuals, contributed voice talent and production assistance to create Spanish-language radio ads that will soon be airing in the San Antonio Area.
I’m just home from the Albertson’s on Riverside. We posted up there in 2004 and brought in about 1,200 cards. It was the first time we didn’t have to pimp our clipboards (in a good way) or beg people to register. Today was a little different.
Some of the guys kicked things off and moved further east when the first locale didn’t provide enough shelter from the morning downpour. We closed shop with 130-something cards, a cool breeze, some skateboarders, and a Krispy Kreme.
Tomorrow we GOTV. Check the calendar for this weekend’s events (up soon).
Thumbs up to Albertson’s (and MV) for sharing space on the spot. Thumbs down to the local news outlets for failing to report actual names of VR sites. Horns up for #40 Robert Killebrew who paid us a visit and filled out a card.
Good work everybody.
From the SAEN.
Web Posted: 10/10/2006 10:33 PM CDT
Express-News Austin Bureau
AUSTIN — Democrat Chris Bell called on independent Kinky Friedman Tuesday to drop his independent bid for governor and endorse him instead, but Friedman gave a defiant no.
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists, so we’re not going to meet with Chris Bell,” Friedman said. “I think they’re hurting very badly. I think they know they can’t win with us in the race.”
Bell issued his public plea for Friedman to “please join me in defeating (GOP Gov.) Rick Perry” in the wake of favorable comments over Bell’s debate performance Friday and a new infusion of campaign cash.
“Kinky Friedman has done a lot in this campaign to energize voters. I am proud to count among my supporters many of his friends. Kinky and I both want what’s best for the state, and Rick Perry and Carole Strayhorn are not what’s best for Texas,” Bell said. “They are the problem.”
Brad McClellan, independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s son and campaign manager, continued to maintain that his mother is Perry’s strongest competitor.
“It’s pretty clear we’re where the action is. It’s four more years of Rick Perry or four years of Carole Strayhorn,” he said, adding that “We didn’t get any phone calls” to drop out.
Friedman said Bell and his campaign staff “know we’re doing really well…..That’s the only reason they want to meet with us. If we were tanking and not doing well, he wouldn’t be calling.”
Bell said that the best chance of defeating Perry is for Friedman to back him.
“Kinky and I agree on some very important issues, and our supporters all have a lot in common. They want change. And now is the time for us all to unite and elect a new governor, so I am asking for Kinky to join me and be a Good Shepherd for the state of Texas,” said Bell, echoing a line that Friedman uses in his bid for governor.
Friedman said there is no way he is dropping out.
“It wouldn’t make a better Texas if Chris Bell was governor,” he said. “The two-party system is what’s been strangling Texas, and everybody knows it.”
He rebutted those who say a vote for him is a wasted vote because they don’t think he can win.
“If you vote your conscience and vote your heart, you never waste your vote,” he said. “You can’t.”
UTSA ruled out as an early-voting site
Web Posted: 10/05/2006 11:08 PM CDT
Students at the University of Texas at San Antonio got a pep talk on the importance of voting Thursday, but found out that doing so will be slightly harder than it has been in the past.
Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams made a stop at the university as part of his statewide voter education tour, VOTEXAS, telling the students they represent “the future of Texas.” But student leaders learned the night before that Bexar County nixed the university as an early voting location, a blow to their efforts to get more students to the polls.
“(Students) took the first steps in getting the voting location here two years ago, and it was expected we would be able to vote here,” said Adam Cowdin, UTSA’s student body president.
Cowdin got the bad news Wednesday night, and approached County Judge Nelson Wolff at Thursday’s event to ask why UTSA would no longer host voters.
Wolff said there were problems with the location.
“You’ve got to have your sites available to the general public, not just a select group of people,” Wolff said.
In other words, non-student voters complained that parking was a nightmare and they couldn’t find the right building, said Jacquelyn Callanen, Bexar County’s elections administrator.
Moreover, other colleges such as Trinity University and St. Mary’s University wanted locations too, she said.
“We can’t look like we are playing favorites,” Callanen said.
That explanation did little to ease Cowdin’s disappointment.
Students worked hard to get a voting location in 2004, he said. They deputized 60 students to register voters and worked with Valero Energy Corp. to shuttle employees to the polls. That same year, the university hosted the city’s largest election night watch gathering, which drew hundreds of people and was televised on local news stations, Cowdin said.
With 28,000 students and about 4,000 faculty and staff, UTSA represents a sizable voting bloc, even if young people don’t vote in droves, Cowdin said. And the university could surely make changes to better accommodate voters.
“It seems like it would be in the city’s best interests,” said Albert Carrisalez, the university’s director of external affairs.
Callanen said it’s too late this year to include UTSA, but she is willing to discuss how the university can get its polling site back for future elections. In the meantime, students can organize bus trips to nearby voting locations, she said.
Or be content with pep talks from state officials.
“As I look out at the audience, I’m reminded that you are the future of Texas,” Williams said, speaking to fewer than 25 students scattered in a large auditorium. “We need to know what your vision for Texas is.”
After his talk, Williams beckoned students to an electronic voting machine to demonstrate how it makes voting “easier, faster and more secure,” in the words of the VOTEXAS slogan.
“C’mon guys,” Williams said with a wink. “This is your big chance. I can tell you, I have had many a young person say to me, ‘Mr. Secretary, this is neat, this is cool.’”
–COME JOIN US!–
Voter Registration deadline is fast approaching. People who register to vote after Tuesday October 10th will not be allowed to vote in this November’s election. So let’s get them registered before the deadline! Here are two LFT events that you can be a part of.
Saturday October 7th - 9am to 12pm
LFT will be hanging voter registration cards in apartment complexes, on as many doors as we can find. THIS IS VERY EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. You do not have to talk to people, and the 2004 election showed us that we can ‘change the equation’ with exactly this kind of effective action. We’ll be targeting a couple of precincts in the Montopolis and Riverside areas. So let’s meet up at Alonzo Tacos at 9am. LFT will provide breakfast tacos to give you that blockwalking energy!
Tuesday October 10th (Voter Reg Deadline) - All Day
LFT will be hosting a Voter Registration table at Riverside Grocery. We’ll be there all day. So sign up for one of the four available shifts below:
Remember every vote counts. And as always, don’t forget to bring a friend!
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