Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Is Jarvis Johnson For Real As He Discusses Poverty In Race Against Sheila Jackson Lee?

Houston City Councilmember Jarvis Johnson sent out the numbers you see below about the 18th Congressional District of  Texas. Mr. Johnson is running in a Democratic primary in this district to unseat incumbent Sheila Jackson Lee.

(Above–The 18th was once represented by Barbara Jordan.)

(Here is a profile of this race from the Houston Chronicle.)

From Mr. Johnson about the 18th

151,855 (23%) residents are in poverty,

66,238 (35.4%) children are in poverty

25% of women are in poverty

28 % of African Americans are in poverty

25% of Latinos are in poverty.

From the 2006-2008 American Community Survey Census

67% are high school graduates or higher compared to the 85% national average.

17% have a Bachelor’s degree or better compared to the 27% national average.

50% of housing units are owner occupied compared to the 67% national average.

50% of housing units are renter occupied compared to the 33% national average.

$37,133 is the median household income compared to the $52,175 national average.

Here is a map of the 18th District.

Okay– I’m glad Mr. Johnson is discussing poverty. Poverty is an issue that should have mattered in the race for Mayor of Houston last year. Houston is full of poverty and misery.

The question is—What is Mr. Johnson going to do about any of this?

Here is something of an issues platform on Mr. Johnson’s campaign web home. I think it has a measure of substance.

However, nowhere on Mr. Johnson’s web home can you find a detailed explanation of what he would propose to help fight poverty in the 18th district.

I think many people are tired of Congresswoman Jackson Lee’s endless publicity seeking and are open to change.

Earning the trust of voters is difficult when minority voters and urban Democrats of all kinds vote for Democrats year-after-year and our cities only seem to get worse.

Imagine if state legislators and Congressional representatives in electorally safe urban districts devoted some of their campaign war chests to voter registration? Imagine if they began to really speak the truth about the problems facing the poor and the problems facing urban America?

Here’s an article recently published in New Scientist magazine about the impact of stress, poverty, and crime on breast cancer rates of women in American urban neighborhoods.

From the article—

“But according to a novel collaboration between sociologists and biologists, the strain of living in some of the toughest neighbourhoods in the US may cause biological changes that lead directly to earlier deaths. Results from the collaboration indicate that social isolation and a fear of crime cause an overload of stress hormones that can change cell biology, sending tumours into overdrive. “We’re showing that your social environment can affect your health directly,” says Suzanne Conzen of the University of Chicago. “It goes into gene expression. That concept is really new.”

Science is finding new ways to report a story that anyone could guess—Poverty kills.

Republicans seem lost to any measure of decency on this issue. What is so frustrating is the silence of so many Democrats on the question.

I’m going to listen to what Mr. Johnson says on these issues of poverty as the campaign moves on to the March 2nd primary Election Day.

Hopefully he is for real.

Despite many disappointments with politicians,  I like to “Keep Hope Alive” as Jesse Jackson often urged folks to do.

(This is the Texas Liberal “*Texas Primary Post of the Day.* Posts do not appear each day.)

January 29, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. It must be tough to try to live up to the legacy of the legendary Barbara Jordan.

    Comment by Ted McLaughlin | January 29, 2010

  2. Yes—I’m not sure either person here is up to that. Though just getting half-way there would be something.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 29, 2010

  3. Quote from this page:

    “Earning the trust of voters is difficult when minority voters and urban Democrats of all kinds vote for Democrats year-after-year and our cities only seem to get worse.”

    We see this in Detroit, New York, Chicago, and in all the deep blue states. This isn’t just bad luck. It is bad governance by the Democratic Party. It is time to quit voting en-masse for the Democratic Party and FORCE them to earn our vote by being competent at governing instead of allowing them to continue to say they are for us and yet their results are hurting us.

    One place to start is with Sheila Jackson Lee. Replace her with a Republican to wake the Democratic Party up to the fact that we expect results, not lip service.

    The best Republican is John Faulk. Visit John Faulk at:

    Faulk for Congress on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/faulkforcongress)
    Faulk for Congress on Twitter (http://twitter.com/FaulkCD18)

    Comment by John Faulk All the Way !!! | January 31, 2010

  4. Complain all you want about Jackson-Lee, she gets the job done. I was involved in a movement to get 59 dug under Montrose instead of the two-deck proposal that was favored by the feds back in the 90s. We were getting riled up and preparing for long struggle when Sheila showed and assured us she had control of things. Within a month funds were approved for the better 59 we have today.

    Comment by Bacopa | February 1, 2010

  5. Mr. Faulk—Republicans have moved so far to the right that I feel no need to discuss them as a credible option in this district. You guys are just off the charts with crazy stuff like leaving the union and Obama as a Muslim.

    Bacopa–Great. Folks reading this post will see your comment. Thanks so much for your ongoing comments here.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 1, 2010

  6. According to Johnson, 95% of his city district is in CD18. So what has Johnson done to curb poverty in his district? Anyone? anyone?

    Quite frankly, over the last 2 years I have never heard of Johnson on City Council. I couldnt tell you what he has fought for, what he has championed. Nothing. Zero.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | February 1, 2010

  7. Mr. Faulk,

    If you hadnt noticed, your party of fiscal responsibility nearly bankrupt this country. Your party cut taxes for those who needed it the least. Your party invaded the wrong country with a $1 Trillion bill. Your party added $5 Trillion to our debt in just 8 short years. Your party turned our $250 billion surplus into a $450 deficit. Your party wanted less government and no oversight to the banking industry.

    In short your party, the republican party, has a record of failure. So shut up.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | February 1, 2010

  8. Oh…. Mr. Faulk, your party is responsible for Faulking up this country.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | February 1, 2010

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