Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘James Rodriguez’

Payday lending ordinance passes

In the end, it wasn’t close. The Houston City Council overwhelmingly passed restrictions on payday and auto title lenders Wednesday, avoiding rumored parliamentary maneuvers to delay the vote and calling on the state Legislature to follow suit. The vote was 15-2, with Councilwoman Helena Brown and Councilman James Rodriguez opposed. Rodriguez did not seek to […]

It’s still Gene Green’s world

I have three things to say about this story about Rep. Gene Green. The affable, low-key former printer’s apprentice is a legend across his gritty, blue-collar domain along the 54-mile Houston Ship Channel, where he represents the most heavily Hispanic congressional district in the nation that has not elected a Hispanic to Congress. By virtue […]

Chron overview of District I

The Chron covers the District I race. The contrasts in this eastside, heavily-Latino council district are dramatic: from the gleaming George R. Brown Convention Center in the heart of downtown, to older neighborhoods lacking modern street drainage where vacant lots become clandestine dump sites. Four candidates are campaigning to represent a historic slice of central […]

July finance reports for Harris County officeholders and challengers

Odd-numbered years are primarily about city elections, but primaries are just around the corner, and some hopefuls for county and state offices are already out there lining up support and raising money. Here’s a peek at some of the Harris County incumbents that are on the ballot in 2014 and the people that have filed […]

What to do with that extra money?

Some unexpected good financial news for the city, but what to do about it is the tricky part. Just months after hiking health premiums, shifting costs to employees and plugging a projected multimillion-dollar deficit in its health benefits fund, the city of Houston has found itself with a sizable surplus in that account instead. The […]

July finance reports for non-candidates

Not everyone who files a finance report with the city is running for something this November. Term-limited incumbents, and former candidates who still have money in their campaign treasuries are required to file reports as well. Here’s a look a those who did this July: Dist Candidate Raised Spent On Hand Loan ——————————————————- AL3 Noriega […]

January finance reports for Harris County offices

For the most part, it’s way too early to start thinking about the 2014 Harris County elections – we have a legislative session and a city election cycle to get through first – but since January 15 is a reporting deadline for county officeholders, I figure I may as well have a peek at who […]

Two for I

Yeah, we’re still two weeks out from the start of early voting for 2012. But that hasn’t stopped two people from announcing their candidacies for City Council District I next year. Graciana ”Graci” Garces, chief of staff for District I Councilman James Rodriguez, is running to succeed him next year when he’s termed out. If […]

The discussion is closed

I don’t know about this. The mayor and city attorney are floating the idea of shutting the public out of some City Council discussions. Houston is unusual, perhaps even unique, among Texas cities in requiring that its council always meet in public. On Thursday, City Attorney David Feldman unveiled a proposal to authorize closed-session discussions […]

Homeless feeding ordinance, take three

Mayor Parker does a third revision of the controversial proposed ordinance about feeding the homeless. Parker has whittled an original proposal that would have set rules on preparation, storage and server training down to a plan that mandates only that groups get written permission from the owner of the property to serve meals there. If […]

Feeding the homeless

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this. Mayor Annise Parker is asking the council to adopt rules that would require organizations and people who feed the homeless to register with the city, take a food safety class, prepare the food in certified kitchens, serve only at three public parks, and leave those parks […]

Brown v Rodriguez

I’ve been wondering how new Council Member Helena Brown’s style will play at Council meetings. I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Councilwoman Helena Brown and Councilman James Rodriguez squared off publicly Wednesday in the kind of bare-knuckled politics usually deployed in a back room. The outer layer of the onion had them […]

“Houston History” Fall 2011 Launch Reception

From the inbox: Join Council Members Ed Gonzalez, Melissa Noriega, and James Rodriguez, and State Representatives Carol Alvarado and Jessica Farrar for the launch of Houston History Magazine  Fall 2011 Issue Tuesday, December 6  5:30-7:00PM Sombreros (formerly Velia’s) 2910 Navigation Blvd. (Map) Meet the Authors and Enjoy Sweet Treats The University of Houston Center for […]

Endorsement watch: Rodriguez in I

The Chron votes for experience in District I. District I is the cradle of Hispanic municipal political power in Houston, initially represented by Ben Reyes and since then by a string of Latino successors. It encompasses most of downtown as well as east and southeast neighborhoods. The district has been ably represented for the past […]

Interview with CM James Rodriguez

CM James Rodriguez is running for his third term in District I. He was Chief of Staff for his predecessor, Rep. Carol Alvarado, so he has actually been serving the district a lot longer than that. Rodriguez has been in the thick of a number of things from the last few years, from Metro to […]

Lawsuit filed against Harris County redistricting

Hot off the presses, here’s a release from CM Ed Gonzalez: Today, Council Member Ed Gonzalez joined as a plaintiff in a lawsuit versus Harris County over the proposed Commissioners Court redistricting map. “The proposed map cracks communities of interests and dilutes the voting strength of Latinos in Precinct 2. Despite the fact that Latinos […]

City asks Metro for Harrisburg underpass

From the Inbox: Houston Mayor and METRO Seek Common Ground on East End Line Resolution of Harrisburg/Hughes Streets Over/Under Question Becomes a Milestone The city of Houston has concluded there is “strong sentiment” within the East End community for an underpass at Harrisburg/Hughes St. and has requested METRO’s Board of Directors vote in support of a […]

East End community meeting to consider Harrisburg grade separation

From the Inbox: East End community meeting to consider Harrisburg grade separation Wednesday, June 15 Union Pacific’s East Belt rail subdivision is one of the busiest in the city, carrying more than 30 freight trains a day through Houston’s East End. For years, the crossing at Harrisburg has created delays and headaches for motorists and […]

Council approves deal to spin off Convention Center

Meet Houston First, which merges the city’s Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department and the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation, which runs the Hilton Americas. The corporation will not have to come to the council to get expenses approved. The unionized work force of the city department will become private-sector employees of the corporation. The corporation […]

Council officially approves new redistricting map

Let the filings begin! The Houston City Council approved a new political map for the city on Wednesday that expands the council by two seats and gives Houston’s burgeoning Latino population what community leaders see as its best opportunity to capture a third seat in November elections. [...] The City Council’s approval of the new […]

Mayor presents revised Council map

Here’s the release. There was a press conference today at 10 to roll it out. Mayor Annise Parker today revealed a second version of the staff redistricting map that incorporates recommendations from members of various Houston communities. The new plan includes four districts in which the total population and voting age population is majority Hispanic; […]

More on the new Council map

Here’s the Chron story about the proposed new Council map. Reactions were about what you’d expect for the most part. “There’s two Latino council members and you have, currently, nine districts,” [District I Council Member James Rodriguez] said. “We’re moving to 11, and we’re going to stay the same. I don’t think that’s progress.” [Mayor […]

Dynamo Stadium lease deal reached

We didn’t get the World Cup, but soccer fans here had something to celebrate this week. The Dynamo have agreed to pay $76 million to build a professional soccer stadium in downtown Houston and then lease it from the city and county for $65,000 a year. The board of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, a […]

No World Cup for you!

Bummer. In a mild upset, tiny but oil-rich Qatar was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup only a few minutes after Russia was awarded the 2018 bid in a process that was decided by a vote of FIFA’s 22-member executive committee today in Zurich. [...] The Go Houston Bid Committee held a private viewing breakfast […]

Dynamo Stadium deal tagged

While City Council was able to complete the Lakewood Church sale, they were not able to vote on the other major real estate deal on their agenda this week, as Council Member Jarvis Johnson put a tag on the Dynamo Stadium deal. Johnson said he delayed the vote out of concern the stadium could put […]

Interview with Council Member James Rodriguez

Next we have Council Member James Rodriguez, who is serving his first term in District I. He’s been busy on a number of fronts, including the construction of the Harrisburg light rail line and the pending Dynamo Stadium deal, as well as becoming a father for the first time in August. Rodriguez is unopposed this […]

Counting on the Census

I wasn’t really paying attention to this sort of thing ten years ago, so I don’t know how much effort was made at the time to get an accurate count of Texas’ residents for the 2000 Census. I can say that there seems to be a lot of focus this time around, and that’s a […]

Who should represent District H?

That’s the question, isn’t it? It took only a few minutes at the District H candidate forum Thursday morning for discussion to turn to the elephant in the room. “District H is supposed to be a Hispanic district,” said Edgar Colon, chairman of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Political Action Committee, reading a question on […]

More on the City Council redistricting lawsuit dismissal

Here’s the Chron story about the dismissal of the lawsuit, brought by Vidal Martinez and Carroll Robinson. The lawsuit argued the city was violating its own charter by refusing to redistrict and add two council districts when its population passed the 2.1 million threshhold in late 2006. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake rejected that contention, […]

The Census and City Council redistricting

Looks like Mayor White has an interesting ally in the city council redistricting debate. Frumencio Reyes, the dean of Houston-area redistricting litigation, said he believes the mayor made the right decision in putting off redistricting. [...] Reyes, who has taken at least one Voting Rights Act case to the U.S. Supreme Court, said that if […]

Over/under

Some East End residents are still unhappy about the way the Harrisburg light rail line is shaping up. East End residents overwhelmingly supported the rail line in a 2003 referendum, thinking it would boost the redevelopment already taking place. Back then, however, Metro’s plans did not include a mammoth, six-block-long overpass to cross existing Union […]

Here we go again with City Council redistricting

Or at least, here we go again with arguing about when we should be redrawing City Council lines. Mayor Bill White’s decision to delay redrawing the boundaries of City Council districts has angered numerous community activists, who say his stance is defying Houston’s charter. Under a 30-year-old legal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, the […]