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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Organizing Project’

Statewide review: 2016 was like 2008, but not in a good way

There’s no point in beating around the bush, so I’ll just come out and say it: Despite the excitement about increases in voter registration and heavy early voting turnout. statewide Democratic candidates outside of Hillary Clinton generally did not do any better than their counterparts in 2008. Republican statewide candidates, on the other hand, were […]

How turnout happens

If there are a lot of new voters turning out in Harris County this year, the Texas Organizing Project will be the reason why for a lot of them. The untapped power of the Latino electorate is one of the enduring motifs of modern Texas politics. If only Hispanic voters could be persuaded to show […]

Another Voting Rights Act violation alleged

From Friday: Today, a coalition of 10 groups sent a letter to Carlos Casco, Secretary of State of Texas, requesting that his office take immediate steps to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1985 (VRA) and the Texas Elections Code. Evidence currently shows that the State is failing to provide critical materials for […]

More focus on bail practices

Something needs to be done, whether via the ongoing lawsuit or other means. Sandra Thompson, a University of Houston law professor, has spent hundreds of dollars bailing her cousin out of jail for minor offenses. “I get steamed under the collar when I think about this issue,” Thompson said. “I’m really mad and I’m ready […]

Doing more to get tax breaks

We’ll see about this. Companies seeking city tax breaks soon could get a boost if they commit to providing additional community benefits – such as workforce housing, paid internships for low-income students or jobs for those who previously were incarcerated – as part of a retooling of Houston’s tax abatement program before City Council on […]

TOP releases report on inefficiency of development tax subsidies

From the inbox: [Thursday], the Texas Organizing Project and the Workers Defense Project released a report on the ineffectiveness of tax subsidies in cities across Texas, and proposed ways to increase requirements for such deals in Houston to offer benefits in the form of good paying jobs with community investment for Houstonians. The report, compiled […]

SCOTUS denies 30-Day Extension in Immigration Case

Good. The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted twenty-six states an extra eight days to file their response to the Obama administration’s appeal in defense of its broad new immigration policy. That extension — considerably less than the added thirty days the states had sought — makes it more likely that the case, United States v. […]

Feds respond to request for delay of immigration appeal

Counterpoint: It was the federal government’s move Tuesday, and the U.S. Department of Justice asked the court to reject Texas’ request for a 30-day extension to file its brief in the case, but says it is open to an eight-day delay if the response is “physically on file” at that time. A full delay could […]

Obama appeals immigration order ruling to SCOTUS

As expected. The Obama administration on Friday asked the United States Supreme Court to review a federal appellate court’s ruling that struck down the president’s controversial immigration program. The request comes exactly one year after the program, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was announced by the president. […]

More focus on inequality

Good to see. As Houston’s mayoral candidates spar over the city’s largely agreed upon top issues – finances, infrastructure and public safety – a fourth policy concern is percolating: economic inequality. Concerns about disparity underpin discussions about the city’s revenue cap, development incentives, education, even which roads to repair and when. Yet, when it comes […]

Highlighting wages in the Mayor’s race

From the inbox: Coalition Calls on Next Mayor to Raise Minimum Wage for Publicly Funded Projects Today, a coalition of community and labor organizations staged a tour of of sites that received tax dollars to tell the story of how the city subsidizes the creation of poverty jobs. “Of the City of Houston’s 35 economic […]

Harris Health wants more people to enroll in Obamacare

Who can blame them? Harris County’s public health care agency, responding to a budget crisis, will eliminate more than 19,000 people next year from eligibility for free or nearly free services, hoping most of these patients will obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The board of the agency, Harris Health, voted Thursday to reduce […]

TOP/SEIU Mayoral forum report

From David Ortez: After the dust settled, the forum commenced with the hosts explaining the four pillars of their platform. It boiled down to: 1) Good Jobs; 2) Neighborhoods of Opportunity; 3) Infrastructure; and 4) Immigrant Rights. At the end of the forum, all the candidates would be asked to endorse this platform by signing […]

TOP calls for changes in construction incentives

From Prime Property: Members of the Texas Organizing Project stood with signs across from a 40-story building under construction at Preston and Milam just off the park on downtown’s north side. The group was hoping to draw attention to the Downtown Living Initiative, a program that offers $15,000 per unit in tax rebates to developers […]

Van de Putte and Taylor in SA Mayor runoff

Here we go. Former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is set to face San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in a runoff for the city’s top job. With 95 percent of all precincts reporting late Saturday, Van de Putte led Taylor 31 percent to 28 percent, according to unofficial returns. Former state Rep. Mike Villarreal […]

The next generation of leaders

The future looks good. A new generation of black activist leadership in Houston has emerged from the protests over the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. At one point during a town hall last month, the clergyman-moderator acknowledged a fresh face in the audience wearing a T-shirt […]

Don’t forget about Pasadena

There’s still a lawsuit in the works regarding their 2013 redistricting referendum that switched their Council from an eight-member all-district makeup to six districts and two At large seats, all at the behest of Mayor Johnny Isbell. Pasadena is preparing to change the makeup of its city council in a way that city fathers hope […]

Expand Medicaid or else

Turns out the federal government has more leverage over Texas than you might think. If Texas wants to keep receiving billions of federal dollars to help hospitals care for uninsured patients, state lawmakers may have to look again at expanding Medicaid coverage for impoverished adults, some political observers say. That’s because in 2016, Texas will […]

On Gene Green and representing Latino districts

I’ve been meaning to blog about this story about Rep. Gene Green and CD29 and how the Houston area has never sent a Latino to Congress, but I kept getting stuck and I finally decided I was overthinking it. Two decades after local political leaders thought they had solved the demographic puzzle with a new […]

Davis proposes minimum wage increase

The Chronicle buries the lede. Down in the polls and facing an opponent with a cash advantage, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis on Thursday took her campaign to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she told supporters the battle for the governor’s mansion has just begun. “No matter who you are, no matter […]

Last minute health insurance enrollment help

From the inbox: The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will open four of its multi-service centers on Sunday and extend their business hours next Monday to help people sign up for a health insurance plan by the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline. HDHHS will open Acres Homes, Denver Harbor, Northeast and Southwest […]

More Obamacare enrollments, still lots more needed

That’s pretty much the story. Texas enrollment in the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act rose steadily in February but did not meet expectations set forth by the Obama administration, according to figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday. “As more Americans learn just how affordable marketplace […]

The Texas Future Project

Very interesting. High-powered Democrats from Texas and California have joined with national labor unions in an effort to mobilize out-of-state donors and raise millions of dollars to build a progressive majority in the Lone Star State that could change state policy and national elections. The Texas Future Project – that also will seek to convince […]

Somewhat less onerous navigator rules published

They could have been worse, but they could still be better. The Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued state regulations for health care “navigators,” the workers who assist people seeking health insurance in the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The rules take into account some of the criticism aired recently by […]

What next in Pasadena?

Just waiting on the lawsuit at this point. There have been other elections in Pasadena with closer results, but not many. After all of the votes were counted in Tuesday’s (November 5) Charter Amendment election, Proposition One: “Shall the City Charter be amended to replace the current Council election system, which consists of a Mayor […]

Enroll SA

San Antonio leads the way. San Antonio city officials and the area’s largest nonprofit health plan have launched separate websites to help residents understand the federally run health insurance marketplace opening Tuesday. The Affordable Care Act requires most people to have health insurance coverage in 2014. The city’s web page can be found at sanantonio.gov/metro-health/AffordableCareAct.aspx. […]

Just a reminder that women’s health isn’t the only thing they don’t care about

In case you needed one. Texas officials have declined to establish a state-based health insurance marketplace, a major provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. So private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1. Of the more than 6.3 million uninsured Texans […]

Council to consider wage theft ordinance

Good. The Houston City Council may step up its efforts to combat wage theft, sanctioning companies that deny workers pay to which they are entitled and monitoring firms accused of doing so, regardless of whether they do business with the city. City Attorney David Feldman laid out a proposed ordinance to a City Council committee […]

Yes, Rick Perry still hates Medicaid

We’re not surprised by this, right? The Texas rhetoric around a key facet of federal health reform — whether the state will expand subsidized insurance to its poorest adults — reached the high water mark on Monday, with back-to-back press conferences at the Capitol featuring political leaders on both sides of the aisle. Republicans including […]

Working the county Medicaid expansion angle

As statewide Medicaid expansion is being pushed in Austin, some activists are going to various County Commissioners Courts to push for the county option to expand Medicaid as well. “A broad spectrum of people across business, faith and health care communities are coming together to ask that we find a way to draw down these […]

“Reasonable accommodation”

According to a legal opinion provided by the City Attorney’s office, Houston must provide “reasonable accommodation” to Southwest Airlines for its proposal to offer international flights at Hobby Airport. In a memo accompanying the legal opinion, City Attorney David Feldman wrote that “consideration of such economic issues for the community cannot be controlling; the City’s […]