Category Archives: Houston Politics

Voter Suppression 101: Why Are Harris County Voters Subjected To Limited Hours, Locations?

It may not be top of mind for most visitors, but the city of Houston and its surrounding region is something of an educational powerhouse.  With nearly 100,000 students in the area’s public and private universities, Greater Houston is a regular destination for young adults seeking higher education advancement.
As most can tell by now, interest in the 2018 election is high across the board, including college students, which have traditionally proven to be a less than dependable voting population.  As Sammy G. Allen of DIVERSE- Issues In Higher Education reports, that interest has hit a fever pitch for Texas’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs…

The U.S Senate campaign of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has motivated students at historically Black colleges and universities in Texas, resulting in thousands registering to vote, rallying for the right to vote on campus, and encouraging others to do the same.

O’Rourke, who is an El Paso congressman, has crisscrossed the state, visiting all 254 counties in an effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Along the way, he has stopped by numerous community colleges and universities, including four of the state’s nine HBCUs.

The pollsters and political consultants would never tell you to visit Paul Quinn College, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University in the last month of the campaign. With so few days left, with limited time and resources, they would say spending that time with young people is a waste. That’s exactly why this campaign doesn’t use pollsters or consultants,” O’Rourke said. “My campaign is about showing up to every community and not taking anyone for granted.”

O’Rourke’s platform includes prison and judicial reform, supplying school districts with needed resources and increasing Pell grants for students who want to attend college.

Students at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, and Prairie View A&M (which, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show, is in fiercely discriminatory Waller County) will be able to exercise their right to vote between classes on campus, as both institutions will have an on-site Early Voting location, for at least part of the state-sanctioned early vote period.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Texas’ largest historically black university, as Texas Southern University students do not have an Early Voting location on campus.

The very same is true outside of the HBCU sphere.  The University of Houston happens to be the largest institution in the state of Texas that DOES NOT have an Early Voting location on campus.  UH, as well as other system institutions University of Houston- Downtown, University of Houston- Clear Lake and University of Houston- Victoria all lack access to Early Voting on campus.  This is in marked contrast to other similarly-sized schools, like UT-Austin , Texas A&M  and UTSA, which all have at least one Early Voting site right on their campus.

As a reminder, Harris County has a population of 4.6 million people… the third largest county in the United States.  While 46 Early Voting locations may seem copious when compared to other Texas Counties, this year’s long lines would suggest that it may be time for the county to consider further expansion of their sites.  For example, Dallas County has 47 Early Voting locations for it’s 2.6 million residents, and nine more “temporary locations” employed for the 2nd week of voting.

So if you compare much larger Harris County to our neighbors to the north, you can expect longer lines and a less convenient experience getting to and through the polls, as many Houston area voters have already seen.  Compound that by the continued practice of Harris County Voters having reduced hours for the first week of Early Voting, which can further depress turnout, even if from the inconsistency of hours.


Folks… this is Voter Suppression.  Some may find it more subtle than aggressive Voter ID laws, or downright intimidation.  But restricting hours, limiting voter access of certain populations and having fewer locations in general than the population demands can all serve as a deterrent to voters.  And just let it sink in for a second… the third largest county in the United States doesn’t even employ MOBILE Early Voting centers?!?!  Wouldn’t this election be the year to start??

All this to say, it’s time for the citizens of Harris County to speak out and call attention to these issues.  Yes we MUST vote in the 2018 election.  But while you’re waiting in line, it’s a perfect time to call or tweet Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart and ask him why Harris County is so far behind when it comes to making Early Voting accessible for all.  This is a problem that can be solved.

Election Day 2018 is Tuesday November 6th, and Early Voting runs from October 22nd through November 2nd.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery Countyand Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.


Harris County Early Voting– With Bus and Rail Info!!

With Day One of Early Voting for the General Election concluded in Harris County, (and what a day it was, with record-shattering turnout for a Mid-Term Election), Texas Leftist has compiled a list of Harris County Voting locations, and added the nearest Metro Bus and Rail routes.  This could be a big help to voters that take public transportation, and possibly the difference for some that are on the fence about voting.  Some may not be aware of an Early Voting location near to their transit route.

Check it out, and please share!!



1)    Harris County Law Library- Conference Center (Downtown)

1019 Congress Ave, Houston, 77002

Metro Red Line, Green/Purple Line


2)    Moody Park Community Center (Near Northside)

3725 Fulton Street, Houston, 77009

Metro Red Line


3)    Kashmere Multi-Service Center (Kashmere Gardens, Greater Fifth Ward)

4802 Lockwood Drive, Houston 77026

Bus 003, 080


4)    Ripley House Neighborhood Center (Second Ward)

4410 Navigation Boulevard, Houston, 77011

Bus 080


5)    Houston Community College- Southeast Campus (Gulfgate)

6960 Rustic Street, Parking Garage, Houston, 77087

Bus 076


6)    Young Neighborhood Library (Third Ward)

5107 Griggs Road, Houston, 77021

Metro Purple Line, Bus 005, 080, 087


7)    Fiesta Mart- Houston (Astrodome/NRG)

8130 Kriby Drive, Houston, 77054

Bus 084, 014


8)    Metropolitan Multi-Services Center (Montrose/ Neartown/River Oaks)

1475 W. Gray Street, Houston, 77019

Bus 032


9)    Harris County Public Health Bldg (Galleria)

2223 West Loop South Fwy, 1st Floor, Houston 77027

Bus 032, 082


10)  SPJST Lodge #88 (The Heights)

1435 Beall Street, Houston, 77008

Bus 027


11)  Northeast Multi-Service Center (Trinity Gardens)

 9720 Spaulding Street, Bldg #4, Houston, 77016

 Bus 003, 045, 077


12)  Sunnyside Multi-Service Center

 9314 Cullen Boulevard, Houston, 77051

 Bus 029, 087


13)  Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center (South Houston)

 3810 W. Fuqua Street, Houston, 77045

 Bus 014


14)  Bayland Park Community Center (Southwest Houston)

 6400 Bissonnet Street (near Hillcroft), Houston, 77074

 Bus 047, 065


15)  Tracey Gee Community Center (Near West Side, Beltway 8 & Richmond)

 3599 Westcenter Drive, Houston, 77042

 Bus 025, 153


16)  Trini Mendenhall Community Center (Spring Branch)

 1414 Wird Road, Houston, 77055

 Bus 072


17)  Lone Star College- Victory Center

 4141 Victory Drive, Houston, 77088

 Bus 079


18)  Acres Homes Multi-Service Center

6719 W. Montgomery Road, Houston, 77091

Bus 044, 064

19)  Harris County Scarsdale Annex

 10851 Scarsdale Boulevard, Houston, 77089

 Bus 088


20)  Alief ISD Administration Bldg

 4250 Cook Road, Houston, 77072

 Bus 002, 151


21)  Nottingham Park

 926 Country Place Drive, Houston, 77079

 Bus 162



Texoblogosphere: Week of April 9th

The Texas Progressive Alliance is neither the subject nor the target of an investigation, but it is bringing you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff noted that Texas lost another federal lawsuit about voting rights.

Socratic Gadfly, seeing the latest anti-Palestinian violence by Israelis, looks at myth vs reality in a major piece of Jewish history.

Stace writes about Tex-Mex music Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs’ new album, Cruzando Borders, which will touch on border and Mexican American themes. It’s quite timely during this era of Trumpismo.

After more than a generation of one-party dominance, it’s tough for any Texas Democrat to predict what a winning statewide campaign would actually look like. But if Texas Leftist had to take guess, it would come pretty close to the Beto O’ Rourke campaign thus far. After a massive fundraising haul, Beto is showing that he means business in this race. And speaking of winning, more great news for Texas’ Classical Music community as the Houston Chamber Choir receives a very prestigious National honor.

Neil at All People Have Value attended, as he does each week, the John Cornyn Houston Office Protest.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Stan Spinner, Lindy McGee, and Julie Boom urge Texans to not politicize vaccinations.

Better Texas Blog explains why a property-tax-for-sales-tax swap is a bad idea.

Elise Hu remembers her first mentor and his warning about Sinclair Broadcasting.

Deborah Beck urges elected leaders to have in-person meetings with constituents.

Therese Odell grapples with the politics of Roseanne.

Texoblogosphere: Week of March 26th

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with the marchers as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzed the Harris County precinct data for the Democratic Senate primary.

SocraticGadfly offers his thoughts on the lawsuit by Seth Rich’s parents.

Stace offers his thoughts on law enforcement and media portrayal of the Austin bomber.

As if last weekend’s March For Our Lives events weren’t epic enough, Texas Leftist was glad to see some Houston Area high school students start yet another impressive movement. By bringing prominent Democratic and Republican leaders together in ways that political forces have fallen short, the Inaugural Day of Unity Texas is off to a great start.

Neil at All People Had Value made the point that we are facing an authoritarian/Constitutional crisis.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Stephen Young lists ten Texas celebrities who ought to get into politics, a list that might have been a bit more useful before the primaries.

Space City Weather explains why a hurricane forecast for 2018 will be a challenge.

Jeff Balke puts the blame on negligent drivers for the spate of car crashes with light rail trains in Houston.

Dwight Silverman shows how to manage your Facebook privacy settings.

Mean Green Cougar Red takes a long look at the Uber self-driving car that caused the death of a bicyclist.

March For Our Lives Houston

The sound was at once unforgettable.  So loud, so HIGH!! If you’ve ever heard the sound of a gaggle of young girls shrieking for their favorite boy band, you’ll get pretty close to what was heard. But take those same screams, and add the weight of purpose, the energy of determination and the urgency of concerns.

Crowd size estimates are in the neighborhood of 15,000 for Downtown Houston alone, which didn’t include numbers from marches in the Heights, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and other areas of Southeast Texas.  But wherever they where, those distinguished sounds were one and the same.  The shrieking sound of a crowd full of teenagers is not something one can easily forget.  And make no mistake about it… the March For  Our Lives in Houston was composed of and led by young people.  In fact, high school students were probably the median age for the crowd, as many younger children were out in full force marching to support their families, elder siblings, and of course, their own rights to go to a safe school.

And if thousands of young people can lead this movement in Houston, Texas, there shouldn’t be any doubt who led these marches across the country.

Sorry NRA TV, but you got this one totally wrong.  If y’all had been there… if you could have heard the yells, the shrieking of that crowd, this wouldn’t even been a question.

In Houston, local politicians like Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo not only attended the March, but at one point the took the front line to show full solidarity with the movement. Mayor Turner also announced the creation of a new Commission to End Gun Violence, which will focus on local research and solutions. So even in Houston, the March For Our Lives movement has already yielded substantive results.

As for what lies ahead for this new movement?  We’ll know soon enough. But as for March 24th, the history for that day has been made loud, clear, and HIGH.


The March For Our Lives rally in Downtown Houston, near the office of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  The Senator did not attend any March For Our Lives Events.  

Texoblogosphere: Week of March12th

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the winners of last week’s primaries and thanks those who did not win for their dedication as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff gave his post-primary impressions.

Socratic Gadfly has his set of post-primary and pre-runoff thoughts, primarily on the Senate and Governor’s races.

Neil at All People Have Value offered his thoughts on the recent Texas primary with a focus on Harris County.

Stace responds to Dems and media alike regarding Beto’s South Texas performance.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

G. Elliott Morris looked for predictive data in the early voting numbers.

Grits for Breakfast assessed the criminal justice-related primary races of interest.

Paradise in Hell is glad to see the end of Kathaleen Wall’s campaign.

Juanita finds her next job.

Alex Macon bemoans our state’s bad transportation policy.

TLCQ 2018: James Horwitz

In the Fifteenth installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from James Horwitz, candidate for Harris County Probate Court- Number 4.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.


TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

JH: James Horwitz

TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?

JH:  No. I was the Democratic nominee for this Bench in 2014, and ran for the Houston City Council in 2013.

TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

 JH:  Beneath the rotunda of City Hall is a seal. Its caption reads “Government Protects the People.” The adage is twice as true for the judiciary. The probate courts, the judgeship for which I am a candidate, doubles as both a court of law and a court of equity. What this means is that adjudication of the black-letter law is only one component of the job. Doing what is right is another.

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming judicial term. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

JH:  (1) The most important priority for my Court would be to expand community outreach. It is time for the people to say enough, and demand that the judiciary that works for them actually do so. I would want my Court to be an active member of the community in educating and informing the public about wills, estates, trusts and guardianships, among other functions of the probate courts.

For example, you can handwrite your own will, and in doing so skip most all of the formalities that often cause typewritten wills to be voided in court. Another example is that, if you don’t write a will, the state legislature essentially writes one for you through a process called “intestacy.” The general public basically knows the rudiments of criminal or family law, but often does not for probate law. I want that to end, with my Court being on the vanguard of the change.

(2) I will insist upon more mediations to occur in my Court before trial.

Probate court is often the setting of visceral family disputes, where longstanding feuds rearise. Litigants sometimes lose track of their best interests, and disputes over even modest estates can be tied up for years in court, with the attorneys often taking a sizable chunk of everyone’s inheritances. I want to insist upon more mediations, the way the family courts have operated for years, before trials, so more cases can have happier endings.

(3) I will interpret the law.

This is a phrase that may sound a little trite, and it’s because it is a favorite of Republican judges. I recall being interviewed by the Houston Chronicle editorial board in 2014, and discussing how the law always changes, and a good judge needs the alacrity to respond to changes or developments in the law. In 2014, I discussed how a federal court may one day soon legalize same-sex marriage in Texas. (In fact, the Supreme Court did just that less than a year later.) I discussed the need to react to updates in the law by openly and fairly interpreting it.

I suggested that a good judge would examine the prospect, then, of common-law marriages being found for same-sex couples. Whether the decedent in probate court left a surviving spouse is often a major question. Many Republican judges, the ones who talk about interpreting the law, now make political statements by ending their longstanding occupational commitment to officiating marriages. I don’t see that as following the law. I see my suggestion, reacting to the developments and updates that may arise, as following the law more faithfully.

TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

JH:  I have practiced law for more than 40 years. I have also practiced any and every different type of law under the sun, with the regrettable exception of arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

I have practiced law longer than my primary opponent has been alive. He solely does probate law, and claims that he has more active cases currently before the probate court.

But as I explained, much of the probate courts is administrative. Probating most wills is very straightforward. I have no doubt that both my opponent and I would be able to capably do such tasks. The probate courts, though, are also courts of equity, or doing the right thing. And in such cases, there simply is no substitute for the experience, wisdom and compassion that accompanies practicing the law for more than 40 years.

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

JH:  I am very lucky to have a remarkable family with whom I can spend as much time as I can. My wife Deborah, sons Geoffrey and Noah, daughter-in-law Adele, nephews Jamie and Daniel, and standard poodles Tilly and Sadie brighten my days.

Thanks to Mr. Horwitz for the responses.


Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  For the Primary, you must register to vote no later than February 5th (if you’re unsure of your voting status, here’s where you can check your registration).  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, and Galveston County

For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

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