Tag Archives: Galveston

TLCQ 2014: Susan Criss

In the Eighth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Susan Criss, former Galveston County District Judge and candidate for the Texas House of Representatives, District 23.  She is a Democrat.

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? 

SC:  Susan Criss


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

SC:  I was a district judge here in Galveston County for 15 years.


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

SC:  Government is essential to protecting people’s rights, property, and quality of life. After Hurricane Ike I saw the impact that laws and government had on the recovery process. I want to be a voice for the people of District 23 in Austin


TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session.  Describe how you plan to accomplish them. 


1.) Protecting citizens of HD 23 from the economic consequences of the storms we endure. I plan to hold insurance companies to their commitments, and stand up for the people of Galveston and Chambers counties, not the insurance industry.

2.) I plan to find solutions to the water crisis. Despite being surrounded by water, our area is constantly under water restrictions. Conservation efforts as essential to ensuring our citizens and our industries have a sufficient water supply.

3.) Adequately and sufficiently funding public education. Providing our children with a quality education is not a choice. Not only do we disservice our children by not funding our schools, we drive up the rates of poverty, shrink our economy, and eliminate jobs. I will work to restore the devastating cuts that my opponent’s backers pushed through the legislature in 2011.


TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association.  Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.   

SC:  I have always prided myself on my ability to work across the isle to find solutions for our citizens. As State Representative, I will work with whoever is willing to tackle the looming issue of our health insurance crisis. We must work to bring our tax dollars into our own economy, insure more people, reduce the cost on our hospitals, and stop wasting precious capital on partisan lawsuits that have such a detrimental effect on Texan’s health.


TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions.  But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure.  Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.  

SC:  Our crumbling infrastructure is an ongoing cause for concern in our state. Modern, well maintained highway and bridge systems are an essential part to a booming economy. We must invest in projects that enable new companies moving to Texas to thrive, instead of choking their productivity with insufficient infrastructure. Investing in our roadways and bridges in good for the economy, and good for jobs.


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

SC:  My experience as a Judge has prepared me for this position. Seeing the countless faces that have passed through my courtroom has given me the distinct experience of seeing problems through the eyes of my would-be constituents. I’m a candidate that will fight for everyone, not just special interest groups. I have seen first hand how laws and legislation affect people, and I will take that experience with me to the capitol to create laws that protect the citizens of District 23, not take advantage of them.



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

 SC:  I like spending time with my two dachshunds, Brutus and Brooke. I also enjoy photography, gardening and Pintrest.


Thanks to Judge Criss for her participation.

Why We Celebrate Juneteenth

As people living in the age of instant information, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine the significance of Juneteenth today. Any news out of Washington DC is known across the country instantaneously. But for Americans in the 19th Century, news only traveled as fast as human hands could carry it, especially to areas of the country that were far removed from the East Coast. The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect at the height of the Civil War… January 1st, 1863. But that news took some two and a half years to reach the entire country.  From the Texas State Historical Association, here’s a brief history of Juneteenth

 On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read in part, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” The tidings of freedom reached the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas gradually as individual plantation owners informed their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African American about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.
Today, Juneteenth is much more than political rallies. Communities across the country commemorate the day through concerts, parades, readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and lectures. And in Galveston, Juneteenth has grown into a week-long festival, with events at the original site of Ashton Villa. This year marks the 148th anniversary of the event.
As Americans in the 21st century continue struggle to find their way towards greater equality and freedom, the event of Juneteenth serves as a shining beacon from our nation’s past.  In a world of great suffering and sacrifice, the Emancipation Proclamation was a huge advance in progress.  And indeed, it was a reason to celebrate that which all Americans hold most dear today… Freedom.
Happy Juneteenth to all.

Summer just got cooler in Texas… Galveston’s Pleasure Pier

Now this is something we can all agree on… fun for kids of all ages!

According to Sid Kearney of the Houston Chronicle, Galveston’s Historic Pleasure Pier is open just in time for Memorial Day weekend. It’s a “soft opening” today with 13 of the 16 rides in operation. The remaining 3 will be open within a few weeks.

The historic Pleasure Pier occupies the same space as the former Flagship Hotel, which was destroyed during Hurricane Ike. Leave it to Billionaire Landry’s owner Tillman Fertitta to see a need for the Houston area, and bring us all a very cool summer surprise. Along with the Kemah Boardwalk, Landry’s corp. now operates a majority of the Houston metro’s largest amusement park attractions (Six Flags Astroworld closed its doors in 2005). Fertitta had to pony up $60 million to build this super-awesome attraction, and I suspect he’ll make his money back soon enough.

Visit pleasurepier.com for all of the info

In any accord, thank you Mr. Fertitta for your perennial investment in Galveston, the Houston area, and most importantly, FUN!!