Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Does Houston Mayor Annise Parker Live Up To The Words In Her Campaign Advertising?

Above and below are icons created by the campaign to reelect Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

You can find these icons on the Annise Parker Facebook page.

Does the Mayor’s record warrant the use of the words you see in these icons?

Of course—This is advertising. The Mayor wants people to donate and volunteer for her campaign.  She has every reason to make a pitch for people to come and help her out for the 2011 election.

I’m glad that the Mayor supports fun and good karma.

I’m very sure that she supports victory. Her own victory at least.

Let’s please consider some of the other words used here—

* Grassroots— Mayor Parker gained election in 2009 by winning 53% of the vote in a runoff where 16% of Houstonians voted. Since 2009, I’m not aware of voter registration efforts the Mayor has supported.  Nor am I aware of her calls and efforts for more people to become involved in the political process. I don’t see how an election won with the votes of so few people in Houston is grassroots.

* Justice– Mayor Parker has now many times demanded that our police and fire departments act in a correct way towards citizens and towards employees of these departments. She has done this despite the political risks that can be involved with taking on public safety unions. These actions should give people confidence that Mayor Parker believes in fair treatment for all.

*Community Spirit— If leading by example matters, the Mayor has been involved in public affairs as a citizen activist and an officeholder for much of her adult life. If more citizens were to follow her example in this regard, we would have a better city.

* Changing The World— The Mayor was silent on Healthcare Reform that will help so many people in Texas and in Houston who do not now have health insurance.  Her  voice has not yet been heard of the forced sonogram bill moving towards the Texas Legislature.

Many people in Houston need the strong bully-pulpit advocacy of someone in power. There is very little progressive infrastructure  in Houston to help people use politics as a pathway towards a better life.

If the Mayor is going to talk about changing the world, than she should be ready to address issues that go beyond Houston. She should work to empower people.

* ProgressiveWell.…. I’m still giving that matter thought when it comes to Mayor Parker. In her last campaign she ran as a “fiscal conservative.” Social justice and economic justice are connected. Mayor Parker should not be allowed to have it both ways in this regard.

Mayor Parker does merit credit for working to exclude city employees making the lowest salaries from the impact of mandatory furloughs.

It would be good to know what Mayor Parker is doing to address the severe budget cuts in health and education coming from the Texas legislature in 2011. If she is not able to make behind the scenes efforts to fight these cuts, than she should be working to rally citizens to fight these cuts. Some type of response from the Mayor should be offered.

I hope the Mayor will not try to “out-Republican” her 2011 opponents.  In 2009, it sometimes felt that this is what she was seeking to accomplish.

Election Day 2011 is now a little more than eight months away. Mayor Parker merits strong consideration for a second term.  Her 2011 opponents are not yet known. Frankly, I’m not aware of any liberal or progressive who may be considering the race.

Taking a page from the Mayor’s own record of self-starting public service, let’s work to insist that Mayor Parker both campaign and govern as a progressive for the good of our great city of Houston.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Forced Sonogram Bill Is About The Power To Force A Woman To Do Something Against Her Will

The Texas State Senate has the votes to pass bill that forces women seeking an abortion to get a sonogram.

With Republicans in firm ontrol of the Texas House and with Governor Perry ready to sign the legislation, it seems that this bill will soon become law.

Here are facts on the bill from The Texas Tribune

“…..a doctor would have to describe to a woman the details of a sonogram hours before performing the abortion. The doctor would show the woman the sonogram and play the heartbeat audibly, unless the patient opts out. Even if the patient opts out, the doctor would have to describe the development of the fetus, including its dimensions. Women with fetal abnormalities, or who have been a victim of rape or incest, are given an exception.”

What if a woman refuses this procedure?  Will police officers be called to force her against her will to get this sonogram?

Texas libertarians appear to be silent on this issue of forced medical procedures on free citizens.

What medical procedures will the state force next on free people?

Many who oppose Healthcare Reform say it is wrong to force people to buy health insurance. Now these same conservatives in Texas want to force specific medical procedures on women.

Planned budget cuts in the Texas legislature are targeting education and healthcare.

People who are already here don’t matter so much.

This forced sonogram bill has as much to with abortion as rape has to do with sex.

This bill is about the power of government to make women do something against their will.

It is all about power over women and nothing to do with protecting life.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Wisconsin Workers Fight Back—We All Have The Option To Fight Back

Citizens are flooding the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to protest efforts by Republicans to almost completely restrict the right of public employees in Wisconsin to unionize and to collectively bargain.

(Above–Protests at the Wisconsin state capitol.)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says these changes are needed because Wisconsin has a budget crisis.

Yet it would be easy to ask unionized workers to pay more for their benefits, without also passing legislation that makes simply maintaining a public employee union from year-to-year very difficult.

The point of Republicans in Wisconsin is union busting.

Is this what working people in Wisconsin who voted Republican wanted last November? Don’t we have any respect for each other as working people in this country anymore?

It is one thing to ask public employees to pay more for benefits. That does not have to be the same thing as union busting.

It is good to see working people fighting back in Wisconsin. People all across the nation have the option to fight back against Republican assaults on hard-working Americans.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments