Category Archives: Texas Politics

Citizens, Texas Business Leaders Unite to Stop SB6

If you live in Houston, this week’s news might seem a lot like awkward deja vu from 2015.  Thanks to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, and other Texas Conservatives emboldened by the 2015 defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and 2016 elections, held hearings on the blatantly discriminatory Senate Bill 6.

The Lieutenant Governor has chosen to move the bill forward in the Senate despite clear opposition from Speaker Joe Straus over in the Texas House.  But despite this fact, the hearings went forward.

Throughout the day, hundreds of citizens from all across the state came to speak at the hearing on SB6, with the overwhelming majority speaking in opposition to the bill despite the committee’s best efforts to make it appear otherwise.  The groundswell of supporters simply didn’t show up.

If you ask Texas Business leaders, many of them have already decided that SB6 is bad for the bottom line.  From Keep Texas Open, here is the list of reasons that the state’s top business leaders would rather #StopSB6…

Discriminatory legislation threatens our economy. By passing SB 6 (the so-called “bathroom bill”) and other discriminatory legislation, Texas could lose billions of dollars in GDP, a critical loss of revenue that would profoundly threaten the state’s ability to fund education, transportation and other essential services. And thousands of jobs could be lost, according to the Texas Association of Business’ economic impact study.

Discriminatory legislation threatens Texas’ travel and tourism industry. Texas receives $68.7 billion in travel spending, which generates $6.2 billion in state and local taxes. Over 1 million jobs are supported by travel, 648,000 direct and 488,000 indirect. This vibrant industry, the second largest in our state, would suffer declines similar to those experienced by other states if Texas loses its reputation as a welcoming destination for all visitors.

Discriminatory legislation also creates costly operational and legal headaches. When proposed legislation creates confusion about whom an employee must serve and whom that employee can turn away, it creates operational chaos—and legal expense—for all Texas businesses. We are in business to serve everyone, and to employ talented people from all walks of life. We need Texas to reflect that commitment to inclusion.

Additionally, discriminatory legislation negatively impacts our ability to recruit top talent, especially among Millennials, who overwhelmingly support non-discrimination protections and seek to live in states that reflect the diversity and inclusion they value. We are in a battle for globally competitive talent, and our ability to successfully recruit and retain our future workforce of Millennial talent is critical to our long-term economic prosperity.

Despite over 250 testimonies imploring the Senate to vote against discrimination, and the FACT that in 40 years of history where the transgender community has been protected to use restrooms of their choice a transgender person has NEVER assaulted someone else in a restroom, the hearing finally came to an end, and the Senate did as expected and moved the bill forward from committee.

But as John C. Moritz via the Corpus Christi Caller Times reports, the big show vote may not have produced the results Patrick and Kolkhorst wanted from their House colleagues.

AUSTIN – As Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick accelerated his mobilization of social conservatives to push the controversial “bathroom bill” to the Senate floor, his counterpart in the Texas House went out of his way Tuesday to show the measure faces high hurdles in the Legislature’s lower chamber.

“Clearly, I’m not a fan of the bill they are discussing,” Speaker Joe Straus told reporters behind the House chamber.

[…]

Straus, a moderate Republican now in his fifth term leading the House, attempted to illustrate his point by noting that the House Public Education Committee was getting ready to tackle the thorny topic of making adjustments to the school finance system while the Appropriations Committee continued work the state budget.

Given that the Texas Legislature only meets on a biennial basis, it’s good to know that at least one leader in Austin values the time and money used to get ACTUAL business done for the Lone Star State.  Let’s hope that commitment stays and Senate Bill 6 can be sent where it belongs…

 

If I had to guess, the first bathroom you ever used was probably a unisex bathroom.  It’s called the one IN YOUR HOUSE.  

Texoblogosphere: Week of February 20th

The Texas Progressive Alliance will light a scented candle outside Ikea in solidarity with the confused people of Sweden as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff thinks that many opportunities to make gains in 2018 will exist for Texas Democrats, and they should plan accordingly.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is amused by the Republicans hiding from their constituents. No wonder. The Party has been serving the interests of billionaires and oligarchs for decades, both domestic and Russian, apparently. No Republicans we are not about to move on. This is more dangerous than Watergate.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston supports Lillie Schechter for Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party.

The last few months have been perplexing, as we try to figure out life on the Trump train. UGH. But as Texas Leftist points out, some things are slowly coming into focus. After seeming to be free from consequences, we’re finally seeing that the President and his Administration can be held accountable for their actions.

SocraticGadfly, on hearing about the death of Norma Jean McCorvey of Roe v. Wade fame, offers an extended take on her, the plaintiff in a simultaneous suit, and the state of abortion in America today.

Shadetree psychologist PDiddie at Brains and Eggs diagnoses President Trump as in desperate need of an intervention.

Easter Lemming Liberal News showcases Pat Van Houte’s grassroots campaign (website) for Pasadena mayor which relies on small donations and prohibits donations from city contractors.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme warns that the disrespect the Republicans show are constitution is only getting worse. Now they want to actually write their hate and kleptocracy into the document, itself.

Neil at All People Have Value made note of the climate change art exhibit made by the construction crew on Memorial Drive in Houston. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Grits for Breakfast explains why indigent defense costs have risen as crime has declined.

The Texas Election Law Blog analyzes two significant election-related bills that have been filed.

Paradise in Hell notes that Dear Leader Trump is now 0.00002% closer to proving his claims about election fraud.

Raj Mankad wants to see multiple approaches taken to make our streets safer.

Julie Rovner takes a deep dive into four GOP talking points on health care.

Raise Your Hand Texas explains why voucher advocates are becoming irritable.

Eater Houston notes that several Houston restaurants will be raising money for the ACLU in support of their immigrant employees.

Texoblogosphere: Week of February 13th

The Texas Progressive Alliance declares that the number of the counting shall be three (to zero) as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at the Congressional seats the DCCC says it will target in 2018.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos exposes the craven hypocrisy of Texas Senator John Cornyn. No John Cornyn we did not overwhelm your offices because we are sore losers.

SocraticGadfly takes a look at a biennial Texas Legislature tradition — peddling seemingly unconstitutional bills. This year, silencing non-duopoly voters and other vote disenfranchisement is in the crosshairs.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme heard Stephen Miller and Jason Chaffetz. Texas Republicans, like the Trump apparatchiks and GOP operatives in other legislative bodies, are going after voting rights with a vengeance.

Three years, eleventh months, and one more week just like the past three, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value posted a picture he took of diverse and excellent citizens of Houston protesting against Trump’s travel ban. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Lone Star Ma calls on us to make contacting our elected officials part of a daily routine.

Therese Odell rounds up the anti-Trump Super Bowl highlights.

The TSTA Blog explains how the Senate budget cuts funding for schools.

Texans Together offers some practical advice for contacting your elected officials.

Bakeyah Nelson implores Ben Carson to “first do no harm” at HUD.

Cort McMurray‘s heart goes out to poor John Cornyn for having to deal with all those pesky constituents

After ‘Travel Ban’, Citizens Gather, Support Texas Muslim Capitol Day

If Americans are learning anything in the wake of January 20th, it is this:  the controversy just doesn’t stop when your President is Donald Trump.  As if the proposed Border Wall plans weren’t enough for week one, the nation was left reeling late Friday from the President’s hastily announced (and apparently hastily conceived) ‘Travel Ban’ targeting persons from seven Muslim-majority countries.  The Executive Order erupted, causing mass confusion among affected travelers and barring people from entering the country.

Here’s the full text of the  President’s Executive Order:  Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, directly from the White House.  Many Trump supporters are quick to point out that the Executive Order does not explicitly ban any person of a particular religion, so it is unfair for protesters and others to label it as a “Muslim Ban”.  But like many of the actions Trump has taken thus far, his true motives were revealed in a recent interview where he doubles down saying the Ban is “meant to prioritize Christians”.  So yeah… it’s a Muslim Ban.

 It’s in this fractured and uncertain environment that the Muslim community held its advocacy event in Austin.. Texas Muslim Capitol Day.  The biennial advocacy day was organized by the Texas area chapters of CAIR– the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  Here’s more on the event from Alexa Ura and Alex Samuels of the Texas Tribune…

Participants in Tuesday’s Texas Muslim Capitol Day traveled to Austin for a day of education about the state government. But they walked away with a significant lesson in civil demonstrations.

Two years ago, the Muslim participants who visited the Texas Capitol were met with two dozen protesters who repeatedly interrupted their event. But when participants walked up to the south steps of the Capitol on Tuesday morning, they were surrounded by a massive human circle made up of at least 1,000 supporters looking to ensure the event went off without a hitch.

“Civic engagement … it is not just a privilege. It is God-given privilege, and it’s also a blessing and our duty to participate,” Sarwat Hussain, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the crowd gathered for the biennial advocacy day. “Lately, we have seen some demonstrations against us. That is not going to stop us at all.”

 

[…]

Outside the Capitol, more than 20 Democratic lawmakers attending the event made their support known. “We are with you … this is your country, this is your state,” state Rep. Celia Israel of Austin told the crowd. “Texas needs you, and you belong here.”

It was a sentiment made clear by supporters who had joined arms in front of the Capitol. And it was echoed earlier that morning when the first few students who arrived for the advocacy event were met with cheers and applause from the circle of supporters.

As positive as today’s events may have been outside the capitol, the usual business of exclusion and division was alive and well among leaders of the Texas Legislature.  In Governor Greg Abbott’s State of the State Address, chief among his agenda for lawmakers was to pass a ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’.  What this means for immigrant communities remains to be seen.

But come what may, Texas Muslim communities and those that support them and our collective freedom of religion are here to stay, here to live, here to work and here to be visible.

Texoblogosphere: Week of January 23rd

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

Off the Kuff stays on the bathroom beat.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos attended the women’s march in Houston yesterday. Meanwhile, in that spirit, she recalls the old Republican healthcare plan. Remember the GOP healthcare plan? “Don’t get sick”.

Socratic Gadfly looks at the most recent Back the Blue support tool, and decries its flag desecration hypocrisy.

Neil at All People Have Value visited the segment of the Berlin Wall at Rice University that was defaced by graffiti supporting Donald Trump. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power laid odds on Trump’s shade of orange at the inauguration, but PDiddie at Brains and Eggs took some of their easier money.

Easter Lemming Liberal News, now on Facebook and Twitter reports Pat Van Houte is running for mayor of Pasadena, Texas. She opposed the redistricting just ruled illegal.

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

Robin Paoli and Aimee Mobley Turney explain why they marched on Saturday.

G. W. Schulz shares the lessons he has learned from hustling in the new gig economy.

Luis Hestres wonders what Trump’s election will mean for digital freedom of speech.

Equality Texas is tracking the pro- and anti-LGBT bills in the Legislature.

The Texas Election Law Blog analyzes the Pasadena redistricting decision.

The Lunch Tray says goodbye to Michelle Obama.

The Bloggess did what she could to help you get through last week.

Colin Strother advises us all to hold on tight.

And yes I know FORMER President Obama is not from Texas, but he sure fought for us for 8 years!!  We miss you already!!  🙁

Women’s March On Washington, Across Texas

January 20th– the time has come.

As the United States readies to conduct our peaceful transition of power from President Barack Hussein Obama to President Donald John Trump, citizens across this country are preparing to welcome the new guy to office.

But peaceful doesn’t have to mean quiet.

This weekend, Trump is going to receive an unprecedented welcome for his first full day in office, as thousands participate in the Women’s March on Washington.  Here’s more from Karen Hua via Forbes.com

On Saturday, January 21—the day after Donald Trump is inagurated as the 45th President of the United States—the Women’s March on Washington will take place.

What began as a grassroots Facebook event quickly blossomed into a national movement, following discontent after the 2016 presidential election. However, the official Women’s March organization, emphasizes a pro-women initiative rather than an anti-Trump one. With Planned Parenthood as an official partner, the march aims to raise awareness of women’s rights to reproductive healthcare, funds, and protection.

Several celebrities—from ages 15 (Rowan Blanchard) to 70 (Cher)—have not only voiced their support on social media, but they have galvanized fans to join them. The Artists Table has also amassed dozens of A-listers standing in solidarity with 200,000 expected to march over the weekend.

That’s a preview of what is slated for the nation’s capitol, but even if you can’t travel to Washington, there are plenty of opportunities to march across the Lone Star state.  Over a dozen Sister Marchesevents directly affiliated with the Women’s March on Washington, are happening in Texas.  All together, these groups are part of a worldwide network expected to include millions of marchers.  The Houston March, for example, has already collected 17,000 RSVPs.  All signs indicate that this could be a very significant group of events.

So yes it is true… none of us can change the past, or the results of last year’s election.  But we can stand together, and amplify our voices for the good of the nation.

For more information on a Texas March near you, click one of the links below… 

Austin     Houston    Dallas     Fort Worth      San Antonio     
El Paso     Brownsville     Amarillo     Beaumont/ Golden Triangle

 

Alright Texas.  It’s time to march.