Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Houston Council Candidate Melissa Noriega Taking Votes For Granted And Leaving Me To Consider Other Options On May 12

Democrat Melissa Noriega seems likely to win the Houston City Council special election coming up on May 12. I’ve previously written that I would, with some hesitation, vote for Ms. Noriega.

However, the more I consider the election, the more I wonder why I should support someone who, so far, has not shown a willingness to seriously confront the many critical issues facing Houston.

I’m tired of Democrats taking my vote for granted.  And I’m very tired of Houston Democrats often ignoring the sometimes third-world quality of life standards in our city. 

Ms. Noriega’s campaign homepage lists a so-called “Melissa’s Mission.” This agenda consists of “safe neighborhoods”, a “healthy environment” and “effective government.” Nothing on the list challenges or respects voters.

There is nothing about Houston’s place in the national immigration debate. There are no specifics on air quality. There is nothing about poverty or basic questions of social fairness in Houston. And nothing about a city living wage proposal.

I got a mailing recently from Ms. Noriega. It was all about attending a fund-raiser and nothing about positions on issues.   

I’m sure Ms. Noriega is a fine person. Maybe she’ll make a good councilperson. If she finds herself in a runoff, I’ll take it from that point.

But on May 12, I’m going to vote for Harris County Green Party co-chair Alfred Molison for Houston City Council. I urge others to consider doing the same. Votes should be earned—Not taken for granted. 

April 17, 2007 - Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics


  1. Are you serious?

    Shejis the ONLY candidate with a campaign office. She is block walking, phone banking. We are putting up signs on Saturday.

    What more do you want?

    What are the other candidates doing?

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  2. you know this is a real ignorant post. What is your basis for saying this? Do you know how much she is working? Are you aware of anything about her campaign?

    Seriously, you dont know what you are blogging about.

    This is irresponsible.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  3. Well…I do think I’m serious. Last time I checked I was. I never suggested she was not working hard so I don’t know where that came from. Your first comment suggested a level of disagreement that you have restated in your second comment and I commend you on the clarity and consistency of your message.

    If you get this mad when on the side of someone likely to win, then I guess losing must really be a bear for you.

    If you’d like to reply to something I said instead of calling me ignorant you are free to do so. If I’m wrong I’d be happy to admit it. I’ve never been anything but civil in limited contact with you. I did not know that when I started blogging I was signing up for some Pravda party line deal.

    I think I could write the cure to cancer on this blog and if I did not support Melissa Noriega or go with the blogger party line on the Texas Speaker’s race that somebody would still call me ignorant.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  4. No I get mad at stupidity. And ignorance.

    I am personally working my butt off for Melissa because I believe she is a consensus builder. She works to get all parties together to find solutions to problems.

    When you ignorantly say she is taking voters for granted, it is a dig at those of us who are working hard to get votes for her.

    What has your candidate done? Until I read your post I didnt even know he was running.

    Talk about taking voters for granted. What has he done to get his message out? Has he been on the phone for hours asking for donations to print door hangers so volunteers could go door to door hanging them? Has he set up phonebanks so volunteers can call to gain support? Has he bought signs and found volunteers to put them up?

    No. No. No. No. You are truly ignorant, or wet behind the ears, or young. Or all three.

    Your comments are insulting and you are ill informed of what you are talking about.

    Come over to Melissa’s headquarters and come put out signs for her. With me.

    Or shut up.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  5. It seems that Ms. Noriega’s spirit of consensus building has not rubbed off much on you.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  6. Out of curriosity, how old are you Neil?

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  7. Neil,
    The problem is that you are saying that Melissa is taking voters for granted and that is just not so. She’s been all over town meeting voters and speaking in-depth about issues that are important to her and the future of Houston.

    Are you involved in any community organizations? Political organizations? Have you been to any of the candidate forums? If so, you have had many opportunities to visit with Melissa in person and get your questions answered to your satisfaction.

    Comment by Jim K | April 18, 2007

  8. No John….you’re acting like a bully and I’m not going to explain anything about myself to you. I’ve never been anything but civil on your blog.

    What I am going to do is make a $20 donation to both my candidate and to Ms. Noriega. On the donation to Ms. Noriega I’m going to write a very respectful note saying that I’m not voting for her and state some of the reasons I’ve given in my blog post today. That way I’ve had my say and contributed something positive.

    I’m then going to make a make a post about my donation and maybe, depending on my mood, state specifically that it was your web bullying that served as a model of how I don’t want to act in life. I’ll say how you telling me I was ignorant and telling me to shut up inspired me to reach out to Ms. Noriega in a spirit of consensus that you say you admire in her, but seemingly has no impact on how you behave.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  9. Hello Jim K. Thank you for your comment. While I do have a personal record of public involvement in many ways, I’m not the issue.

    I’ve not been to any public meeting where Ms. Noriega is a speaker and it’s always possible that I’ve missed something. I see no schedule of events on her home page. Maybe it is there and I don’t see it.

    It seems to me that her webpage is perfect place to explain how she stands. Another way to communicate might be through left-bloggers, but what I’ve mostly seen are posts about how much money she has raised and posts with pictures of well-placed campaign signs. I’ve also gotten a mailer she sent out that said nothing.

    I addressed specific issues and concerns in my post today. I’m happy to be proven wrong as my larger concern, within the limited view of one person, is our city.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  10. Well Neil, that told me alot.

    You obviously are not old enough to know what the hell you are talking about.

    p.s. I am 51 and still am in the dark about alot of things.

    Except for how hard Melissa is working.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  11. John– I’m happy to respond to anything that is polite and I’m able to admit if I’m wrong and I’ve got no doubt that Melissa is working hard. And because of you I’m going to send her $20. So you got that done for her.

    You know at this hour we might be the only people reading this. Like two teenagers instant messaging each other. Don’t you have anything else to do? I’m going to bed. So here is your chance at a last word.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  12. what ever.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 18, 2007

  13. Stepping aside from Coby’s “unique” approach to questioning, I might suggest that part of the problem I see with your take is the assumption that “because someone doesn’t address issues I care about or send me mail informing me of same … they are therefore taking votes for granted.” They simply aren’t one in the same.

    It could be suggested that since the issue set you seem most interested in is one that City Councilpersons have a marginal effect on, then perhaps a phone call to the Campaign HQ would be more in order than waiting for a mass mailing on the issues.

    Granted, not one candidate has sent me a mailing on how they plan to improve public safety with regard to the new Realtime Crime Center in the works. Not one communique on how the candidates view Muni WiFi as a tool to improve public safety, either.

    Based on that, would it be fair for me to assume that all 11 candidates are taking my vote for granted? … would it be fair to assume that every candidate up for election in November is doing likewise?

    Comment by Greg Wythe | April 18, 2007

  14. Neil, I just went to Alfred Molison’s website and I am a little confused. His website is very hard to navigate. How does his grand total of two endorsements convince me he is reaching out to voters? I don’t see a calendar of events so that I can go and hear him speak.

    He doesn’t exactly go in depth on his healthy people, health jobs, health politics trio of issues.

    So, maybe if you would post why you are supporting him, rather than slamming a good candidate, you might get a little more positive discussion going.

    Comment by Jim K | April 18, 2007

  15. Greg–Council members or candidates can champion any cause they wish. Where I seem not to have been clear is that in taking votes for granted, I was getting at taking elements of the Democratic base for granted.

    Johns bullying questioning was not so “unique.” It was the same stuff that you got in essence from some other bloggers when you where not on board with that sill ’08 senate race stuff.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  16. Well, we’ll just disagree that “taking votes for granted” even works in that analysis when translated as “taking elements of the Democratic base for granted.” You simply can’t say that since any candidate doesn’t touch on what I or you think amounts to such elements in their mass communications, that they are in fact doing so.

    The element of truth in John’s argument is that Melissa is, in fact, the only candidate doing any campaigning in a fashion that puts her in front of likely voters. Where his point is lost (one of several places, no doubt) is that he doesn’t touch on matters of policy and issue … things that Melissa is indeed very serious about.

    As I mentioned, I’ve had a chance to meet her. She’s intelligent, thoughtful, and cares about the details of policy in ways that genuinely affect neighborhoods (and don’t forget that the State Rep. district she and her husband serve represents some of the poorest in this area). Seriously, one phone call to HQ could have likely gotten you a much more polite answer than even I offer.

    As for my labelling of John’s method of argumentation, I’m guessing that my sarcasm was missed. I get my dose of John’s ways whenever I make a post calling for NASA to be privatized (which it should). He’s a great guy in real life. Not sure what happens to him when you put a keyboard in front of him.

    I don’t doubt there’s a comparison to other activist Dem bloggers and their behavior over honest disagreement. But again … the sarcasm was lost in translation.

    Comment by Greg Wythe | April 18, 2007

  17. Greg—Well, okay. I’ll make that call. I’ll say I’ve made this blog post and that I’ve been told I’m wrong. We’ll see what I get.

    I got the sarcasm over John. I just wanted to make the point again that he is a bully and that, as you know, this stuff happens sometimes with Texas bloggers.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  18. “… this stuff happens sometimes with Texas bloggers.”

    Not a lost point on me. I just prefer to dish it out better than it’s given 😉

    Comment by Greg Wythe | April 18, 2007

  19. I made the call and talked to Ms. Noriega for about 20 minutes. I’ll blog about it in the next few days.

    Comment by neilaquino | April 18, 2007

  20. It was the beer. Beer makes me a dufus.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | April 19, 2007

  21. neil save the 20.00 you were going to give to Ms. Noriega and give it to a homeless person in the streets it will be better spent.

    Comment by bill b | April 20, 2007

  22. […] Good Phone Conversation With Melissa Noriega With the constructive input of a fellow blogger, a post I made critical of Houston City Council candidate Melissa Noriega’s campaign has been turned into a […]

    Pingback by My Very Good Phone Conversation With Melissa Noriega « TexasLiberal | April 20, 2007

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