Tag Archives: Sheila Jackson Lee

Texas Leftist 2016 Endorsements

For those interested, here are the Texas Leftist endorsements for 2016.

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 and economic prosperity.

Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.  For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

 

 

Federal Races

U.S. President:                                                 Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

U.S. Rep. District 2:                                       Pat Bryan (D)

U.S. Rep. District 7:                                      James Cargas (D)

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

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

U.S. Rep. District 22:                                    Mark Gibson (D)

 

State Races

Railroad Commissioner:                             Mark Miller (L)  [TLCQ 2016]

State Board of Education, 6:                     R. Dakota Carter (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 3:            Mike Westergren (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 5:            Dori Contreras Garza (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 9:            Eva Guzman (R)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2:      Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5:      Betsy Johnson (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 6:      Robert Burns (D)

 

State Senator, District 13:                            Borris Miles (D)

State Rep. District 126:                                 Joy Dawson- Thomas (D)

State Rep. District 127:                                 Joseph McElligott (G)

State Rep. District 134:                                 Ben Rose (D)

State Rep. District 135:                                 Jesse A. Ybanez (D)

State Rep. District 137:                                 Gene Wu (D)

State Rep. District 147:                                   Garnet Coleman (D)

State Rep. District 149:                                  Hubert Vo (D)

State Rep. District 150:                                  Michael Shawn Kelly (D)

 

District Races

Chief Justice, 1st Court of Appeals:          Jim Peacock (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 4:                       Barbara Gardner (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 2:                   Candance White (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 9:                   Peter M. Kelly (D)

11th Judicial District:                                         Kristen Hawkins (D)

61st Judicial District:                                          Fredericka Phillips (D)

80th Judicial District:                                         Larry Welman (D)

125th Judicial District:                                      Kyle Carter (D)

127th Judicial District:                                      R.K. Sandill (D)

129th Judicial District:                                      Michael Gomez (D)

133rd Judicial District:                                      Jaclanel McFarland (D)

151st Judicial District:                                       Mike Engelhart (D)

152nd Judicial District:                                      Robert K. Schaffer (D)

164th Judicial District:                                      Alexandra Smoots-Hogan

165th Judicial District:                                      Ursula A. Hall (D)

174th Judicial District:                                      Hazel B. Jones (D)

176th Judicial District:                                      Nikita “Niki” Harmon (D)

177th Judicial District:                                      Robert Johnson (D)

178th Judicial District:                                       Kelli Johnson (D)

179th Judicial District:                                       Randy Roll (D)

215th Judicial District:                                       Fred Shucart (R)

333rd Judicial District:                                       Daryl Moore (D)

334th Judicial District:                                       Steven Kirkland (D)

337th Judicial District:                                       Herb Ritchie (D)

 

Harris County Races

District Attorney:                                                 Kim Ogg (D)

Sheriff:                                                                         Ed Gonzalez (D)

County Attorney:                                                  Vince Ryan (D)

County Clerk:                                                          Ann Harris- Bennett (D)

County Commissioner, Pct. 3:                      Jenifer Rene Pool (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 2:                      Sherrie L. Matula (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 4:                      Marilyn Burgess (D)

Constable, Precinct 1:                                        Alan Rosen (D)

Constable, Precinct 6:                                        Silvia Trevino (D)

Justice of the Peace, Pct. 5, Place 1:          William “Bill” McLeod (D)

HISD Proposition 1:                                            AGAINST

 

The following resources were consulted for the 2016 Texas Leftist endorsements:  Project Vote SmartHouston Association of Women Attorneys, The Texas Tribune, The Houston Chronicle Endorsements, The Dallas Morning News, Houston GLBT Caucus, Off The Kuff, and Ballotpedia.

 

2016

 

 

The Immigration Fight: Protesting Children??

For those that were around an American television in the year 2000, it’s quite possible you remember the name Elian Gonzalez… a little boy from Cuba that was the center of a massive international custody fight.  He originally came to the US by boat and his mother actually died en route to get to Florida.  When the six year-old Elian arrived here, he was greeted by a group of angry protesters that told him to turn around and go back to where he came from.

If you remember the story, you’ll also remember that the above is incorrect.  Because Elian was from Cuba (and yes, in part because his story made national news), he was not treated the way that so many undocumented people entering the United States have been treated.  Instead, the United States treated him as a refugee from the malicious Cuban government, and he was taken to family members in Florida.  Elian resided in the country all the way through a vicious court battle which eventually had him sent back to his native land (In case you’re curious, Elian Gonzalez is now all grown up and a faithful devotee of Fidel Castro).

This illustrates one sad truth of the United States immigration system… it’s completely unfair.  Elian, like many undocumented Cubans that have ventured to this country before him, was deemed a refugee thanks to the shaky relations between the two governments.  He was not locked away in a holding cell, and he was not met by screams from protesters.    But for the undocumented children on U.S. soil today, that’s exactly what they have faced.  As Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said this weekend, we should not be berating people simply trying to flee from danger.  Here’s more from the Houston Chronicle

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on Sunday called upon charitable and faith organizations to help the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children who are pouring across the Texas border.

The Houston Democrat said a federal emergency should be declared to handle what she called a humanitarian crisis.

“These unaccompanied children are not America’s enemy,” said Jackson Lee, who spent three days touring detention centers turned into makeshift shelters that are overflowing with children in the Rio Grande Valley.

[…]

“It would not be humane to put these children on planes and buses to ship them back. They could be killed by the cartels and gangs at home. They are not a security threat to us,” Jackson Lee said. “What mother would not send their children here if they were told they had to join the gang or be shot to death?”

The congresswoman told of seeing “frightened children who just want to be comforted” at the shelters, stressing America has always received those who fled persecution.

Her comments come against a backdrop of rising tension this week in places like Murrieta, Calif., where protesters turned away three busloads of immigrants that rolled into their town. Efforts to set up a detention center there were thwarted, and the undocumented immigrants were relocated to San Diego.

As Jackson Lee states, this is a humanitarian crisis, not a national security threat.  Many of these children and families are fleeing unspeakable crimes in their homeland, including massive gang violence, murder and rape.

In a recent article, Diane Washington Valdez of the El Paso Times reported just how pervasive child sex trafficking is in the neighboring city of Juarez, Mexico…

Juárez is one of the Mexican cities where child-sex tourism persists, according to a U.S. State Department report on international human trafficking released Friday in Washington, D.C.

“Child sex tourism persists in Mexico, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun, and in northern border cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez,” the report said. “Many child sex tourists are from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, though some are Mexican citizens.”

John Martin, director of Paso Del Norte Center of Hope, which assists human and sex-trafficking victims, said he’s learned from researchers that Anapra is one of four areas in the Juárez region where sex with children is available.

“Reportedly, people can get sex with a child for $5,” Martin said.

For all of those angry protesters demanding children go back to where they came from, are they also ok with them being sold into slavery or used as pawns for a gangland war? Do they want them sent back, even if it means a death sentence??

To those that complain about how the United States cannot afford to care for people fleeing imminent danger, they should also be asking how we can afford tax give-aways to massive corporations, or how we can afford to spend trillions of dollars nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Protecting the lives of people within our borders, documented or not, should be a priority over trying to “force Americanization” of places not even in the same hemisphere.

And therein lies another inherent problem with the immigration fight… some that are against comprehensive immigration reform don’t feel that certain lives warrant the same need for protection as others.   Here’s what Bud Kennedy of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram had to say regarding a right-wing Facebook page…

 if you read the “Protect” delegates’ convention Facebook page, they reprinted this Thursday from a California restrictionist group protesting at Murrieta, Calif.:

“Americans are not breeding while ‘the bronze master race is.’ … We will die out and they will win.”

There you have it. A major Texas Republican faction that just successfully rewrote the platform is publishing warnings about Central American child detainees arriving as part of an “agenda” for a “bronze master race.”

It’s not about legal or illegal.  It’s about bronze.

The Protect page has 932 followers, including several Tarrant County Republican precinct chairs and party officers. It does not identify an author, editor or administrator.

According to the Protect Texas page, at least some of those protesting the children in Murrieta are concerned about much more than just what papers they possess.  Sounds familiar to a previous post discussing the unspoken fears that many on the right have about America’s future. At least they used to be unspoken.

No matter what one’s political views, we should all feel ashamed that innocent children would be treated with such disdain.  Whether they have 50 press cameras on them like Elian or zero, these children are in need right now, and the least we can do is help them.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/07/05/5950561/on-child-bashing-republican-facebook.html?storylink=addthis#.U7hy2dxjdW4.twitter&rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

 

(photo credit:  KTLA)

Houston’s Rail-Less Future?

As we continue to disseminate the long arms of the 2012 election, one particular result has altered the immediate future for Houstonian… The METRO referendum passed by an impressive margin. What’s good about the result is that it shows Houstonians support their public transit.

But the “devil” of this decision was in the details. The 2012 referendum was specifically designed to improve Houston streets, busses and bus transit infrastructure (bus shelters, signage, etc). None of the money can be used to build rail, and it essentially “frees” METRO from the bounds of the 2003 referendum. Thankfully the North, Southeast and East End lines should be completed as scheduled, but the future of the Uptown and University Lines are more uncertain than ever.

And let’s cut to the chase here… The referendum really wasn’t about METRO. This referendum was a deal that the board basically had to cut with the multi-cities… The small municipalities with Metro’s tax base such as the Villages, West University, Bellaire and others. Under the current tax structure, which was set to expire had this referendum failed, the multi-cities get tons of extra tax revenue to use to build their sidewalks and maintain their roads. They get more money than they pay in… in some cases, WAY more… while Houston residents LOSE money paying for their street upgrades. So make no mistake… The most important thing that was passed on November 6th was the ability of the multi-city governments to keep ciphoning from Houston’s tax base. Less rail and less money? Sounds like a ‘win-win’ to me.

But here’s what some Houstonians don’t recognize… Transit is not, and never will be an “either or” proposition. It’s not even today. Our city is the fourth largest in the United States… well over 2.2 million people, and still growing everyday. Our economy, thankfully is one of the strongest in the nation, and it shows no signs of slowing down. After a 2012 that saw Houston lead the United States in job growth, all signs indicate that 2013 will be an even stronger year.

And you know what else all of those signs indicate? TRAFFIC.

If you live in or have been recently to Houston, no one has to tell you that this city’s infrastructure is under immense stress. Even though we’re currently third in the nation for number of freeway miles per capita, we still don’t have enough room for all of the cars and people yet to come. Though we already spend more money per capita for road maintenance than any of the other top 10 US cities, our streets are still on the verge of crumbling.

We wear out our roads more than any other major city for one simple reason… Because we are so tragically far behind on alternative modes of transportation (i.e. RAIL). Houston is nearing a crisis point of how to manage its infrastructure. We can no longer afford to be a one-trick pony and rely solely on freeways to get around. The roads can’t take it, and the drivers don’t have enough time to wait.

The improvements to Houston’s bus system are sorely needed and will be welcome. It’s past time that critical bus investment is achieved. But as a city, Houston can’t drop the ball on comprehensive solutions to our transit needs. On November 6th, the citizens of Houston made vast commitments to the future of our city, passing record improvements for the Houston Independent School District, Houston Community College and yes, Metro busses along with the General Mobility Program. But these are just some pieces of the puzzle, and we continue to drag our feet on a very crtical part. If the local funding for rail is no longer a possibility, the next step for transit supporters is to go to Washington. For those concerned, now is the time to contact Congress members like Sheila Jackon Lee, Al Green, Gene Green and John Culberson to put Houston transit back on the agenda. Once the Fiscal Cliff situation is solved, infrastructure improvements are sure to be a top-level priority of the new (and decidedly more Democratic) Congress. Hopefully our Congressional Representatives will continue to fight for the sustainable growth of Houston.

Our future depends on it.

The Verdict on Healthcare…

Finally the long wait is over. Per SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court has ruled the Affordable Care Act CONSTITUTIONAL by a 5-4 vote. The Healthcare law remains mostly intact.

on the individual mandate:

“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

However the court did not agree with the right of Congress to control Medicaid expansion. It allows states to “opt out” if they do not wish to participate in the expansion, while still retaining their current levels of funding without penalty. That’s the only major provision of the law that wasn’t upheld. Here is the link to the full opinion.

Here’s a few reactions via Twitter…