Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Good Jobs=Great Houston Organizing Training Session On 2/11 & 2/12

There will be organizing training sessions held by Good Jobs=Great Houston this weekend. These meetings will be at 2955 Gulf Freeway in Houston.

Here is the website of Good Jobs=Great Houston.

Here are details of the two sessions—

A weekend of learning, sharing and training. Presented by veteran organizers Lisa Fithian and Juniper, and hosted by Good Jobs=Great Houston. RSVP now for your free space! Please specify Sat, Sun, or both.

9:30 Gather, Food (breakfast and lunch provided by GJGH)
10:00 Organizing For Power
From corporate offices to banks, auto plants to universities to cities and streets, strategic nonviolent direct action can creatively liberate spaces, shift the balance of power, offer alternatives and win. This workshop will look at some success stories, explore different action models, and examine some good practices in the art of actions and campaigns.
2:00 Nonviolent Direct Action
We will do some hands-on exercises including scouting, blockade techniques, flying squads, the five finger and more. We will draw together lessons for our movements about how we can work in alignment with one another despite differences in race, gender, class, culture, strategy, tactics and goals. 

9:30 Gather, Food
10:00 Facilitation and Consensus
This session will help us deepen our understanding of the role of the facilitator and the consensus/decision-making process in building strong groups.
2:00 Organizing Now and for the Long Haul
Our power is relational, so we need to build relationships that support each other and that last. This session will look at some of the basics of 1-on-1 organizing and structures that can support the 99% in being more engaged in this movement for social change

please RSVP to amy@occupyhouston.org. Note whether you’ll be there Sat, Sun, or both!

There is a Facebook page for this event called Organizing the Power of the 99%.

Here are pictures of a Good Jobs=Great Houston protest at the office of anti-worker U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady.  Rep. Brady has repeatedly voted against the extension of unemployment benefits for good people who are hard pressed in the Bush recession.

Day-by-day and step-by-step a more organized and energetic progressive and liberal movement in taking shape in Houston. Attend one or both of these sessions and be part of the progress.

February 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

What Does Congressman Gene Green Need With All That PAC Money?

What exactly does Houston-area Congressman Gene Green (above), a Democrat, need with$842,656 in PAC money? This is the amount of PAC money Congressman Green raised in 2007-08.  This PAC money was 78% of all the money Mr. Green raised in this election cycle. Overall, Mr. Green was fifth in the entire U.S. House  in 2008 for money given by PACS as a percentage of all campaign funds raised.   

Mr. Green serves the 29th U.S. House District of Texas. The district includes, among other places, much of the Houston Ship Channel and other parts of Houston, portions of Pasadena, Baytown and Humble, as a well as South Houston and Jacinto City. Here is a profile of the district from Mr. Green’s office. 

These PAC statistics are from a recent USA Today story. 

Two Texas Republicans, Joe Barton and Kevin Brady were the PAC champions. Mr. Barton, of Ennis, got 88% of his money from PACS while Mr. Brady, of The Woodlands, came in next at 86%.  Overall PACS spent $416 million on federal elections in 2008.

You can click here and get a picture of where the money Mr. Green raised in 2008 came from. Below is a list of various industry groups that donated to Mr. Green for the most recent election. 

Health Professionals $168,396
Oil & Gas $84,500
Lawyers/Law Firms $77,472
Electric Utilities $57,949
Industrial Unions $52,750
Building Trade Unions $52,000
Chemical & Related Manufacturing $50,538
Transportation Unions $40,500
TV/Movies/Music $40,500
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $34,600
Automotive $19,000
Beer, Wine & Liquor $17,500
Lobbyists $17,250
Telephone Utilities $17,000
Sea Transport $16,500
Misc Energy $15,000
Public Sector Unions $15,000
Telecom Services & Equipment $14,000
Misc Unions $13,500
Retail Sales $13,000

Just what does Rep. Green need with all this money from all these groups? His 2008 Republican opponent raised just over $14,000. Mr. Green has won reelection with almost 75% of the vote in the last two elections. In 2004 he won with 94%.

Maybe what Mr. Green wishes to do is scare off any potential Hispanic primary challenger in a district that is two-thirds Hispanic. Now I know it would be shocking if Mr. Green was taking advantage of money from the alcohol industry and the pharmaceutical industry to scare off potential Hispanic opposition in a two-thirds Hispanic district, but these things do happen.

(Local gasbag Marc Campos has been trying to stir-up a primary fight   for Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee. That’s his right and I don’t care one way or another, but if his goal is to increase Hispanic representation in the Houston-area, a subject he often discusses with varying degrees of bluster, the 29th might seem his better chance. C’mon Marc– Find a candidate for this one! )  

Mr. Green has, according to the 2008 Almanac of American Politics, voted  for a bill to roll back subsidies for the oil industry. It’s not that Mr. Green is at the total beck-and-call of the groups that give him money. It’s rarely that simple with these guys. (At least in any way you can pin down.)  Though I wager campaign contributions may well gain access to speak to Mr. Green and senior members of his staff.

Here is some information on Mr. Green’s voting record.

The issue is that Mr. Green uses his incumbency to scare off challengers and that he is such a willing participant  in a system that, while legal, is rotten. This should not be the program. It would be of value for a primary opponent of any ethnicity to take on Mr. Green in 2010 and to bring these issues to greater public attention.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sadly, Republican Congressman Pays Parking Meter

Yesterday I parked my car in Downtown Houston. I took a nice walk to Discovery Green Park.

When I got back to my car, I saw that a big S.U.V, a gas guzzler that helps our enemies abroad, was parked in front of me. The license plate was a U.S. Congress license plate that strongly suggested that the Congressperson for Texas House District 8 owned the car.

This is Republican Kevin Brady. 

Sitting in my car, I turned around and saw Congressman Brady trying to pay the solar power powered parking meter.

The meters can be a bit difficult if you do not use them often. Mr. Brady seemed to be having a bit of difficulty.

I was watching him and hoping he would become enraged with the meter. I was hoping he would give up and not pay. Maybe even spit on the thing. Then I could could leap out of my car and ask Mr. Brady if he loved America enough to pay the parking meter. How can Houston pay for police to protect decent citizens of our community if Congressman Brady does not pay the parking meter?

Alas, Mr. Brady did pay the meter. He messed around with it for about two minutes and then paid up.

Who would want to run for public office when your every move is watched by crazed bloggers?

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment