Tag Archives: Houston Unites

Texoblogosphere: Week of September 14th

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows that no one has a constitutional right to be a County Clerk as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at the very high stakes of the voter ID appeal.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos asks why the U.S. cannot have high speed rail that is common in Europe and Asia? Why? The do-nothing GOP, of course. Republican Are Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

Socratic Gadfly, linking to the first piece he has written for an in-depth philosophy and social sciences webzine, explores the parallels between Constitutional originalism and religious fundamentalism.

The best debate in the Houston mayoral contest happened last Thursday night, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged about it.

Texas Leftist agrees with President Obama… the economic future of the United States may soon be inextricably linked to the world’s next great power player. Here’s why it’s time for Texas to take a new look at Africa. Plus some coverage as the Houston Unites Campaign kicks into high gear.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. The Texas GOP has a problem with health care. They hate it and it shows, Common Sense Conservatism Is Bad For Your Health.

Neil at All People Have Value was glad to see outreach by the Harris County Green Party on Labor Day. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.


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

Juanita unloads on Houston Mayoral candidate Ben Hall.

Grits for Breakfast calls out Dan Patrick for misleading and incendiary rhetoric about crime and the police.

The TSTA Blog rebuts a Wall Street Journel op-ed on the recent SCOTUS charter school ruling.

Liz Goulding looks back on three years of being a one-car household.

The Bloggess celebrated World Suicide Prevention Day.


1859 OUB Nacogdoches

Today’s feature photo is of the Old University Building in Nacogdoches, Texas.  Built in 1859, the structure was the main hub  of Nacogdoches University— the first public higher education institution established by the Republic of Texas in 1845.  Photo credit:  City of Nacogdoches.  


Houston Unites Campaign Ramps Up To Support Proposition 1

It’s American tradition that Labor Day marks the unofficial “end” of summer (if such a thing can exist in Houston) and the start of high campaign season.  Though there’s not a Presidential or Gubernatorial race on the ballot this year, this holds true for residents of the Bayou City.

But municipal leaders are not the only question facing area voters this November.  Last Saturday over 150 volunteers gathered at The Montrose Center to launch the field campaign to protect the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, formally known as Houston Unites.  The group is an unprecedented partnership among the ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas, Freedom for All Americans, the Human Rights Campaign, NAACP Houston Branch, the Texas Freedom Network and a bevy of political activists, public servants and volunteers.  Here’s more from the group’s website…


Houston Unites is the coalition working to elevate the diversity of voices supporting HERO. No Houstonian should be discriminated against based on race, age, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s a core value Houstonians share, and that’s why HERO’s passage a year ago was supported by more than 80 current and former elected officials, community and non-profit organizations, major corporations, and more than 70 local faith leaders.

In the most diverse city in America, we believe that everyone should be treated fairly, no matter who they are. That’s a core value Houstonians share.

Facing a mountain of money from the opposition, it’s going to take lots of hard work and dedication to energize and turn out voters who will support Proposition 1… the ballot measure which will either uphold or defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.  But if the first field event was any indication, the Houston Unites group is up to the challenge.   In just a few hours, ‘HOUniters’ knocked over 1,200 doors and placed 6,000 phone calls all encouraging voters to show up on Election Day and vote Yes on Prop 1.  Even with the money disadvantage, commitment like theirs is going to be tough to beat.

This Election Day, be sure to Vote Yes on Proposition 1.  And if you’re like me and prefer to do your voting ahead of the longer lines, check out this year’s Harris County Early Voting information.  Early voting for the 2015 Elections runs from October 19th through October 30th.

But before you hit the voting booth, consider volunteering with the Houston Unites campaign.  Every hour that you can commit to knocking doors or making phone calls will bring Houston closer to having needed local protections from discrimination, and truly being the city that all Houstonians deserve.


HERO group 1

On September 5th, over 150 volunteers gathered to campaign for Houston Unites and encourage voters to vote yes on City of Houston Proposition 1.  


Houston Unites

Wait… How Many Cities Have Equal Rights Protections Just Like H.E.R.O.?

The short answer… a whole bunch.

This Fall, the city of Houston will be bombarded with campaign ads claiming false information about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.  You know ads like this one that just hit the airwaves recently.

As Dan Solomon of Texas Monthly reports, the move shows that HERO opponents are not above lies and deceit to lure voters towards their message…

The fight surrounding Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance has been ugly since the anti-discrimination policy was proposed—and after a petition drive to put its recall to a public vote, it’s only gotten uglier. It’s involved city attorneys issuing subpoenas for pastors’ sermons. It’s involved accusations of forged signatures on the petition. And, with the vote on the ordinance approaching, it’s involved some fearmongering. As the Houston Chronicle reports:

Opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance released a one-minute radio spot Monday that targets women voters, hitting the airwaves first in what’s expected to be a heated and expensive campaign over the law that will appear on the November ballot.

The ad features a young woman talking about the perceived threat to public safety the ordinance presents. Critics have long seized on the idea that the ordinance, a broad non-discrimination law that includes protections for gay and transgender residents, would allow male sexual predators dressed in drag to enter women’s restrooms.

The idea that scheming, predatory men would disguise themselves as women in order to prey on women and girls in bathrooms has always been one of the rallying cries against HERO. When Fox News commentator and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee used his platform to rally opponents to whip up opposition to the ordinance, he focused much of his argument on the idea that bathrooms would “be unsafe for women and children“:

“If the child…a boy…walks in and says ‘you know what, I really am feeling my girl’s side, he gets to go shower with the girls when he’s 14. I mean, I’m just thinking of all the 14-year-old boys I went to school with, and how many of them would have awakened with that revelation.”

Huckabee’s claims notwithstanding, the ordinance doesn’t put women and girls at additional risk of being harmed by sexual predators, according to experts who’ve studied “bathroom panic” as it relates to transgender people. There are no reported cases of transgender women assaulting anyone in public bathrooms after anti-discrimination ordinances have passed anywhere in the country. And, as stories like the headline-grabbing incident in New York last April make clear, a predator who plans to sexually assault women in public bathrooms doesn’t need to wear a disguise to do it.

To be clear, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance is a local protection for all Houstonians.  While it’s true that pregnant women (for example) are protected by federal and state laws against discrimination, what opponents don’t tell you is that it is far more expensive to lodge a discrimination claim through state and federal channels than it is to have the city investigate claims at the local level.  HERO is not simply a duplication of law.  It is putting access to local protection within reach of many in our community that don’t have the money or time to file a federal case.  It is for all of these reasons that cities and counties across the United States have taken similar actions.

Stating that fact over and over again is important, but sometimes it helps to have a visual.  If Houstonians knew that every time they travel to New York, Dallas, Shreveport or even Disney World in Orlando, they were going to another city that offers these same protections, such information could help to break the stigma HERO opponents want so desperately to create.

Texas Leftist has compiled a graphic showing all of the cities and counties that have passed comprehensive non-discrimination ordinances (also known as Human Rights Ordinances or Equal Rights Ordinances) with protections on par with the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (Data source:  the Human Rights Campaign).  Before Houstonians vote this November, they should get a clear picture of just how important, yet commonplace the protections in H.E.R.O. are.

Have you ever visited (and by proper assumption, used restroom facilities) in any of these American Cities? If so, share this post and help combat the many lies being spread about HERO.  

Also, don’t forget to join the cause to protect HERO with Houston Unites.  It’s now more important than ever.

This October and November, Houstonians will decide the fate of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance by a vote on Proposition 1. Election Day 2015 is Tuesday November 3rd, and Early Voting runs from October 19th through October 30th.  Check out this year’s Harris County Early Voting information for locations and times.

City NDO map


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



By the way, some cities like Las Vegas, Nevada or Santa Fe, New Mexico are not listed for having local Equal Rights protections, but that may be because they are in one of 17 states that have enacted non-discrimination laws, thus protecting residents. In other cases like Los Angeles, the city has still chosen to pass local protections even though they are in a state which offers them.

Phoenix, City of
Tempe, City of
Tucson, City of


Los Angeles, City of
Oakland, City of
Palm Springs, City of
Sacramento, City of California
San Diego, City of
San Francisco, City of
Santa Cruz County
West Hollywood, City of

Boulder, City of
Denver, City of

District of Columbia
Washington, City of

Atlantic Beach, City of
Alachua County
Broward County
Gainesville, City of
Gulfport, City of
Key West, City of
Lake Worth, City of
Leon County
Miami Beach, City of
Monroe County
Palm Beach County
Pinellas County
Orlando, City of
Tampa, City of
Volusia County
West Palm Beach, City of

Atlanta, City of

Boise, City of
Coeur d’Alene, City of
Idaho Falls, City of
Ketchum, City of
Moscow, City of
Sandpoint, City of
Victor, City of

Aurora, City of
Carbondale, City of
Chicago, City of
Cook County
Decatur, City of
DeKalb, City of
Evanston, City of
Peoria, City of
Springfield, City of

Bloomington, City of
Evansville, City of
Indianapolis, City of
Marion County
Monroe County
South Bend, City of

Cedar Rapids, City of
Council Bluffs, City of
Davenport, City of
Des Moines, City of
Iowa City
Johnson County
Waterloo, City of

Lawrence, City of
Roeland Park, City of

Covington, City of
Danville, City of
Frankfort, City of
Jefferson County
Lexington, City of
Lexington-Fayette County
Louisville, City of
Morehead, City of
Vicco, City of

New Orleans, City of
Shreveport, City of

Baltimore, City of
Baltimore County
Howard County
Hyattsville, City of
Montgomery County

Boston, City of
Cambridge, City of
Northampton, City of
Salem, City of
Worcester, City of

Ann Arbor, City of
Detroit, City of
East Lansing, City of
Ferndale, City of
Grand Rapids, City of
Huntington Woods, City of
Kalamazoo, City of
Lansing, City of
Pleasant Ridge, City of
Saugatuck, City of
Sterling Heights, City of
Traverse, City of
Ypsilanti, City of

Minneapolis, City of
St. Paul, City of

Columbia, City of
Clayton, City of
Kansas City
Kirkwood, City of
Olivette, City of
St. Louis County
St. Louis, City of
University City

Bozeman, City of
Butte, City of
Helena, City of
Missoula, City of

Omaha, City of

New York
Albany, City of
Binghamton, City of
Buffalo, City of
Ithaca, City of
New York City
Rochester, City of
Suffolk County
Syracuse, City of
Tompkins County
Westchester County

North Carolina
Chapel Hill, City of

Athens, City of
Bowling Green, City of
Cincinnati, City of
Cleveland, City of
Columbus, City of
Coshocton, City of
Dayton, City of
East Cleveland, City of
Newark, City of
Oxford, City of
Summit County
Toledo, City of
Yellow Springs, Village of

Beaverton, City of
Bend, City of
Benton County
Corvallis, City of
Eugene, City of
Hillsboro, City of
Lake Oswego, City of
Lincoln City
Multnomah County
Portland, City of
Salem, City of

Abington Township
Allegheny County
Allentown, City of
Bethlehem, City of
Cheltenham Township
Doylestown, City of
East Norriton, City of
Easton, City of
Erie County
Harrisburg, City of
Hatboro, City of
Haverford Township
Jenkinstown Borough
Lansdowne Borough
Lower Marion Township
New Hope Borough
Newton Borough
Philadelphia, City of
Pittsburgh, City of
Pittston, City of
Scranton, City of
Springfield Township
State College Borough
Susquehanna Township
Swarthmore, City of
Upper Merion Township
West Chester Borough
Whitemarsh Township
York, City of

South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, City of

Austin, City of
Dallas County
Dallas, City of
Fort Worth, City of
Houston, City of (suspended pending litigation)

Alta, City of
Grand County
Harrisville, City of
Logan, City of
Midvale, City of
Moab, City of
Murray City
Ogden, City of
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Springdale, City of
Summit County
Taylorsville, City of
West Valley, City

Burien, City of
King County
Seattle, City of
Spokane, City of
Tacoma, City of

West Virginia
Morgantown, City of
Charleston, City of

Dane County
Madison, City of
Milwaukee, City of
Dane County
Madison, City of
Milwaukee, City of

Laramie, Wyoming




Final Ballot Language Approved for Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

After months of uncertainty, the ballot language for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.  In a move ordered by the Texas Supreme Court, Houston City Council retooled the measure by a vote of 17 to 0.

Here’s more from Houston Unites

The ballot language is final: On the November ballot, Houstonians will vote “Yes” on Proposition 1 to uphold Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. 

It’s hard to believe, but in just 68 days, Houston voters will go to the polls to determine the fate of our city’s equal rights ordinance that ensures no one faces discrimination, regardless of race, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Whether or not we win will come down to how many Houstonians turn out to vote—which is why starting now, we have to send the message far and wide that a “Yes” vote on Proposition 1 is a vote to treat everyone fairly under the law.

As discussed previously, the new language is exactly what HERO opponents wanted.  The coalition has already gotten started spreading hate and lies.  But even despite that fact, Houston Unites and supporters of Equality are ready for the fight.

So remember in November…

Vote YES



And before then, be sure to check out Houston Chronicle journalist Lisa Falkenberg’s epic take down of the Anti-HERO campaign.



Texas Supreme Court Sides with HERO Opponents on Ballot Language

As election day fast approaches, the situation surrounding the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance continues to be complex.  Showing no concern for perception, the State Supreme Court has jumped at the chance to heighten the drama.  As Mike Morris of the Houston Chronicle reports, the fact that City Council placed HERO on the ballot is not sufficient…

The Texas Supreme Court has again overruled Mayor Annise Parker’s administration in connection with the legal fight over her signature nondiscrimination ordinance, ruling Wednesday that the mayor and City Council erred in choosing the language that will appear on the November ballot when the ordinance faces possible repeal.

The justices, writing in “yet another mandamus proceeding concerning the City of Houston’s equal rights ordinance,” said the city charter is clear in requiring that voters be asked to vote for or against the ordinance. Parker had instead argued it was proper to vote for or against repealing the measure, and the council approved language with that approach Aug. 5.

“Though the ordinance is controversial, the law governing the City Council’s duties is clear. Our decision rests not on our views on the ordinance — a political issue the citizens of Houston must decide — but on the clear dictates of the City Charter,” the justices wrote. “The City Council must comply with its own laws regarding the handling of a referendum petition and any resulting election.”

Plaintiff and conservative activist Jared Woodfill said the original ballot language was “all about deception and trickery.” Woodfill noted that opponents have now sought and won two opinions on the ordinance at the state Supreme Court — the first essentially forcing a repeal or vote on the ordinance and now one on the actual ballot language.

“Deception and trickery” are an interesting choice of words from Mr. Woodfill.  Given the ridiculous amount of time that he, the Houston Area Pastor Council and HERO opponents spend promoting  the myth of predatory males lurking in a women’s restrooms, he’d seem to be an expert at both.  They have lied about the non-discrimination ordinance every step of the way, and two Supreme Court rulings in their favor cannot change that as fact.

But unfortunately, what this latest ruling can do is force City Council to call a special meeting and review the ballot language before the August 24th deadline.  As discussed previously, the ballot language is hugely important to HERO opponents because it allows them to deploy campaign tactics which have been successful in previous situations.  It also means that all of the propaganda and information they’ve already produced against HERO does not have to be changed.

If there is any positive to be had, it’s that Houston Unites— the campaign launched to protect the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, has now launched and is off to a great head start.  Check back later this week for more information on the Houston Unites group.

Texas Leftist will have more as it develops.


(Photo credit:  RMI Limited)