Category Archives: Houston

Texoblogosphere: Week of November 19th

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at the results of the Congressional races to find some themes about what happened and what we can learn from them.

SocraticGadfly remembers the centenary of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Along with indulging in counterfactual history, he says people should stop romancing war in general.

As the results of the 2018 election are still being finalized, Texas Leftist is pretty sure that the Georgia Governor’s race will be remembered as one of the most important of this cycle. Though Democrat Stacey Abrams has ended her historic campaign, the work she does to combat Voter Suppression will have a lasting national impact.

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

Better Texas Blog explains the spending cap that the Legislature adheres to.

Houston Justice League reports from the NAACP Houston chapter elections.

Houston Legal has the details of the public reprimand issued by the State Bar of Texas against former Harris County GOP Chair and notorious homophobe Jared Woodfill.

Nonsequiteuse urges Beto O’Rourke to take another run for the Senate in 2020.

Paradise in Hell tells you more than you needed to know about Trumpy Bear.

Dan Solomon is satisfied with how the Amazon HQ2 thing turned out.

Alpha Big H: GaWC Ranks Houston As Texas’ First ‘Alpha World City’

In Texas, we talk alot about the “Big D”.  But it might just be time to up the conversation about the “Big H”.

According to the UK based Globalization and World Cities Research Network, the leading academic think tank on cities in globalization, the city of Houston has been doing some B-I-G things of late.  So big that we’ve managed to garner the world’s attention.  For the first time ever, Houston has been ranked as an Alpha World City by the GaWC, and also marks the first city in Texas to claim the distinction.

The new report sees the Big H out rank  other American cities like Denver, Atlanta, Boston and even our in-state neighbor Dallas.

In previous rankings, the Texas urban titans of Dallas and Houston were both classified as Beta World Cities.  Dallas retains its ranking from the previous report.

Per the group’s own metrics, the rankings are a measurement of how well a major city and its regional economy are integrated into the world economy.  Given Houston’s continued standing as one of the world’s leading energy captials, the ascent to Alpha status in comparison to other Texas metros may come as less of a surprise.  But even outside of the immediate energy realm, Houston’s recent advances in areas like healthcare, education and transportation have also proven to have a global impact.

Photo Credit:  L. Wayne Ashley for Ingressive Media 

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.

DON’T LET THEM SUPPRESS YOUR VOTE!!!  

Texas Leftist 2018 Endorsements

After much consideration, and several requests from loyal readers, Texas Leftist has decided to issue endorsements for the 2018 Election.  And yes, this endorsement list is being compiled without having completed a general election questionnaire series, known as the TLCQ.  But knowing how important this list is to some readers, for one final time, I am happy to provide it.

Below is the full list of Texas Leftist endorsements for 2018.  I may follow up with more in depth posts for a few of the races.

Lastly… for so many reasons, the 2018 General Election is the most important vote that Texans will take in more than a generation… it could, indeed, be the most important vote of our lives.  Thank you for taking it seriously, and an incredible thank you for consulting Texas Leftist as you head to the polls.  Please encourage everyone that you know to do their research, and be sure to vote.  With an historic number of Texans registered, the final step is to make sure that we ALL show up.

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.

Federal Races

U.S. Senator:                                                    Beto O’Rourke (D)

U.S. Rep. District 2:                                      Todd Litton (D)

U.S. Rep. District 7:                                      Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D)

U.S. Rep. District 8:                                      Steven David (D)

U.S. Rep. District 9:                                      Al Green (D)

U.S. Rep. District 10:                                    Mike Siegel (D)

U.S. Rep. District 14:                                    Adrienne Bell (D)

U.S. Rep. District 18:                                    Sheila Jackson-Lee (D)

U.S. Rep. District 22:                                    Sri Preston Kulkarni (D)

U.S. Rep. District 29:                                    Sylvia R. Garcia (D)

U.S. Rep. District 14:                                    Dayna Steele (D)

 

Statewide Races

Governor:                                                                Lupe Valdez (D)

Lieutenant Governor:                                       Mike Collier (D)

Attorney General:                                               Justin Nelson (D)

Comptroller of Public Accounts:                Joi Chevalier (D)

Commissioner- General Land Office:      Miguel Suazo (D)

Commissioner of Agriculture:                     Kim Olson (D)

Railroad Commissioner:                                  Roman McAllen (D)

 

Justice, Supreme Court Place 2:                  Steven Kirkland (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 4:                  R. K. Sandill (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 6:                 Kathy Cheng (D)

Presiding Judge, Ct Criminal Appeals:    Maria T. Jackson (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7:          Ramona Franklin (D)

 

State Legislative Races

State Senator, District 7:                                David Romero (D)

State Senator, District 15:                             John Whitmire (D)

State Senator, District 17:                             Rita Lucido (D)

 

State Rep. District 15:                                         Lorena Perez McGill (D)

State Rep. District 27:                                         NO ENDORSEMENT

State Rep. District 129:                                      Alexander Karjeker (D)

State Rep. District 130:                                      Fred Infortunio (D)

State Rep. District 131:                                      Alma Allen (D)

State Rep. District 132:                                      Gina Calanni (D)

State Rep. District 133:                                      Marty Schexnayder (D)

State Rep. District 138:                                       Adam Milasincic (D)

State Rep. District 144:                                       Mary Ann Perez (D)

State Rep. District 147:                                       Garnet Coleman (D)

State Rep. District 148:                                       Jessica Christina Farrar (D)

 

District Judicial Races

1st Court of Appeals, Place 6:                           Sarah Beth Landau (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 7:                           Julie Countiss (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 8:                            Richard Hightower (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 9:                           Peter Kelly (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 3:                         Jerry Zimmerer (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 4:                          Charles Spain (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 5:                          Frances Bourliot (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 6:                          Meagan Hassan (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 8:                          Margaret Poissant (D)

55th Judicial District:                                                Latosha Lewis Payne (D)

113th Judicial District:                                             Rabeea Collier (D)

157th Judicial District:                                             Tanya Garrison (D)

180th Judicial District:                                             DaSean Jones (D)

182nd Judicial District:                                            Danillo Lacayo (D)

184th Judicial District:                                             Abigail Anastasio (D)

190th Judicial District:                                             Beau Miller (D)

208th Judicial District:                                             Greg Glass (D)

209th Judicial District:                                 Brian Warren (D)

230th Judicial District:                                 Chris Morton (D)

232nd Judicial District:                                Josh Hill (D)

234th Judicial District:                                 Lauren Reeder (D)

246th Judicial District:                                 Angela Graves-Harrington (D)

263rd Judicial District:                                  Amy Martin

269th Judicial District:                                  Cory Sepolio (D)

295th Judicial District:                                   Donna Roth (D)

245th Family Judicial District:                    Tristan H. Longino (D)

247th Family Judicial District:                    Janice Berg (D)

248th Family Judicial District:                    Hilary Unger (D)

257th Family Judicial District:                    Sandra Peake (D)

280th Family Judicial District:                    Barbara J. Stadler (D)

308th Family Judicial District:                    Gloria Lopez  (D)

309th Family Judicial District:                    Linda Marie Dunson (D)

310th Family Judicial District:                    Sonya Heath (D)

311th Family Judicial District:                    Germaine Tanner (D)

312th Family Judicial District:                    Clinton “Chip” Wells (D)

314th Family Judicial District:                    Michelle Moore (D)

315th Family Judicial District:                    Leah Shapiro (D)

District Clerk:                                                         Marilyn Burgess (D)

 

Harris County Races

County Judge:                                                              Ed Emmett (R)

County Commissioner: Pct. 2:                           Adrian Garcia (D)

County Commissioner Pct. 4:                            Penny Shaw (D)

County Clerk                                                                Diane Trautman (D)

County Treasurer                                                     Dylan Osborne (D)

County Probate Court No. 1                             Jerry Simoneaux (D)

County Probate Court No. 4                             James S. Horwitz (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 3-AL:                  Richard Cantu (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 4-P.3:                  Andrea Duhon (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 6-P.1:                  Danyahel Norris (D)

 

Propositions

City of Houston Prop A                             FOR

City of Houston Prop B                             AGAINST (yes, a tough choice)

 

 

 

Texas Leftist has chosen to endorse candidates because they have demonstrated a commitment to advancing public policies that will improve the lives of Texans.  Though each person’s individual positions vary, they are generally candidates that stand for equality, social justice, healthcare expansion, living wage, economic prosperity and common-sense governance.

The following resources were also consulted for the 2018 Texas Leftist endorsements: Off The Kuff’s 2018 interview seriesDos CentavosHouston GLBT CaucusProject Vote SmartThe Texas TribuneThe Houston Chronicle Endorsements, The Dallas Morning News Endorsements,  The League of Women Voters Guide, The Longview News Journal and Ballotpedia.

 

Texoblogosphere: Week of June 18th

The Texas Progressive Alliance strongly condemns the inhumane practice of separating families from their children as it brings you its weekly roundup.

Off the Kuff looked back at the polls from 2010 and 2014 to get a sense of where we are today.

SocraticGadfly talks about the need for third parties of the left, in the plural as necessary.

Neil at All People Have Value posted a picture of people protesting at the proposed Houston location of the baby jail for kids taken from families at the border.

After being targeted by hackers last week, Texas Leftist is dusting off, and standing by our values.  This blog is a site which will always promote diversity, inclusion and understanding.  As such, TL was happy to observe and celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Fitr with our fellow Texans.

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

Texas Vox examines the issues of storing renewable energy in Texas.

The TSTA Blog would like to know who is going to pay for more school counselors.

Gaby Diaz wants real action on school shootings.

G. Paris Johnson explores mental health issues in the African-American community.

Therese Odell reviews the Trump/Kim bro-fest so you don’t have to.

Jessica Elizarraras notes Whataburger’s reaction to the IHOP/IHOB name change.

Eid Mubarak! Texans Mark The Close of Ramadan

(Originally posted on June 15th, hackers apparently  deleted this post over the weekend. So it is being reposted, with a very slight title change)

The state of Texas is home to a sizeable Muslim population, last officially noted at 422,000 persons during the 2010 Census.  As we approach the next Census, all estimates indicate that the Texas population has grown in significant number, with the majority of Muslim Texans living in the Greater Houston area.

Like Christianity, Judaism or any other of the world’s major religions, Islam is composed of many diverse groups and variations within the religion.  But one major observation that is common for all is the holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer and religious traditions.  At the conclusion of Ramadan comes one of Islam’s biggest holidays, Eid Al-Fitr.  It is a joyous time where the worldwide community celebrates with family, worship and fellowship.

For Muslim Texans up and down the Gulf Coast, this also marks the first observance of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr since Hurricane Harvey.  Many communities were affected, and some even devastated by the storm.  But just as common was the response of Texans answering the call to help those in need.  As the President of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston and former Houston City Council Member M.J. Khan said at the time, helping Houstonians in the wake of Harvey was a “total no-brainer”.   So for a host of reasons, this year’s holiday is special indeed.

U. S. Senate Candidate Beto O’Rourke, still garnering press for the completion of his trip to all 254 of the state’s counties, was also in Houston to mark Eid Festivities  with his fellow Texans.   As expected, Beto and his team live streamed on their way to the event.

To all those who celebrate, Texas Leftist wishes you a most joyous, most blessed Eid Al-Fitr.

Eid Mubarak!

A prominent Mosque in Southwest Houston, one of few in the region flanked by the two small towers, or minarets.  

 

(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense ideals in the Lone Star State!!)

 

TRIED It: How Chicago’s Bean War Will Backfire in Houston’s Favor

So apparently, Chicago has some beef with Houston.

Wait, not beef, but another protein which is essential to a regular diet.  This proxy war is not erupting over beef, but beans.

UGH– Here’s the scoop, from Drew Schwartz of Vice News

Earlier this week, Houston unveiled a 21,000-pound, stainless-steel Goliath of a sculpture outside its Museum of Fine Arts called the “Cloud Column,” made by Anish Kapoor—the same artist who brought Chicago “Cloud Gate,” better known as the Bean.

But seeing as there’s been some tension simmering between the two cities for a while—Houston’s on track to outstrip Chicago as America’s third-largest metropolis, which is a sore spot—things are really heating up now that they both have big-ass metal beans.

On Tuesday, Chicago Tribune columnist Kim Janssen fired the first shot in the battle of the beans with a scalding hit piece: “Unoriginal 4th place Houston gets its own bean sculpture… whatever.” After a kind of lackluster diss about Houston’s bean being “uptight” (because it’s upright) and Chicago’s being “chill” (it’s horizontal), Janssen took out the claws.

“If being surrounded by a cultureless abyss insufficiently communicates to confused tourists that they are in Houston, the bean’s verticality will therefore act as an additional reminder of their poor life choices,” he wrote.

Yep, he definitely TRIED it.

Of course Houstonians could not let such ridiculous shots go unanswered.  You can read the back and forth between Janssen and the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray for further bean drama.

But instead of fanning the flames, Texas Leftist would instead like to thank Mr. Janssen for the robust opportunity.  Instead of bringing us down, the attacks on Houston have yielded the opposite effect, by pouring worldwide attention on to our new sculpture, and the cultural oasis which surrounds it.

Thanks for giving Houstonians the opportunity to highlight our world-class arts institutions, like the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Menil Collection and Children’s Museum of Houston, all mere blocks away from our illustrious new bean.

Of course you may run into a crowd while doing so, as Houston’s Museums are some of the most well-attended in the United States.  In fact, with nearly 2.3 million visitors in 2015, the Houston Museum of Natural Science even outranked Chicago’s famous institutions for that year, and has been growing in numbers since.

It’s no secret that the city of Houston is a king of sprawl, with a land mass nearly 3 times the size of Chicago.  But even with this being the case, some parts of Houston can offer a lot of excitement even for visitors used to more urban, dense environments.  And thankfully, the new bean is at the heart of some of Houston’s most exciting attractions.  Far from the “cultureless abyss” suggested by Janssen, Houston’s offers a ton of world-class attractions, be it music, sports or urban exploration.

So there you have it.  If Chicagoans really want to start a war over the beans, they are welcome.  But in the end, they may end up helping Houston’s ultimate goal.  Houstonians, get your selfie sticks ready.

 

UPDATE:  Point of Order for Houston… Does this sculpture really look like a bean?? Why should we let Chicago name our new thing. Instead of the ‘Houston Bean’ we should call it the Houston Space Pod.  Thoughts??? Put ‘em in the comments.