I probably won’t make many friends but legislative bodies including the H-Town City Council need folks like CM Jolanda Jones. Yesterday the H-Town City Council took up the issue of hiring a couple of law firms to check out the charges of racism and sexism over at the Fire Department. Jolanda wasn’t cool to this approach and raised some questions about processes during the council meeting. I don’t always agree with Jolanda on tactics, but I’d rather have questions asked on sensitive matters, rather than silence and only to find out later that questions should have been asked. Check out the story in the Chron.
Here some parts of the Chron piece: “Several council members said they were concerned that law firms Thompson and Horton, L.L.P. and Lemond and Lemond, L.L.C had ties that were too close to the city for the kind of independent review that was needed amid multiple allegations of racial and sexual harassment in the department in recent months.
“’It just doesn’t smell right,’ said City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones, who made numerous critiques of the contract before voting against it along with City Councilmen Mike Sullivan and James Rodriguez.
“Jones noted that the information the firms find could eventually be kept from the public through invoking attorney-client privilege and asked repeatedly whether they would be required to produce a written report after completing the probe, a possibility City Attorney Arturo Michel has said he has yet to decide on. She also said that the firms’ close ties to the city and the involvement of senior city officials and firefighters in the investigation all would preclude an independent examination of the department’s problems.
“’I don’t see where anything is truly independent,’ she said.”
One of CM James Rodriguez’ concerns was that he wanted to have OIG finish its investigation of the graffiti incident at one of the fire stations that prompted all this mess before getting into hiring law firms and experts.
Also over at H-Town City Hall, the Chron has two pieces today on the City getting into the business of enforcing immigration laws which Commentary and others think it is a very bad idea.
Check out the articles: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/special/immigration/6562285.html and http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/falkenberg/6562213.html.
Here are some bits from both pieces:
“’From the beginning, we have said that we are not advocating keeping violent criminals in the country,’ said Cesar Espinosa, an immigrant advocate who has helped organize protests of the city’s participation in 287(g). ‘If people have committed serious crimes, then they should be punished by the law. What we’re afraid of is this leading to the detention of people who have committed minor offenses.’
“But Espinosa said he was concerned about the proposal to only run certain suspects through the database, saying that ‘opens the door for a lot of violations,’ including racial profiling.
And from the other piece:
“Many of them (Latino leaders) still see programs like 287(g) as a way to criminalize immigration violations, which are civil infractions, and feed mistrust in the immigrant community toward law enforcement.
“Michael Olivas, a University of Houston law professor who specializes in higher education and immigration law, said there’s no way to dress up 287(g).
“’It needs to be tweaked in the way that Iraq needs to be tweaked,’ he said. ‘I don’t care how they refine it, it’s a bad idea.’”
Commentary thinks the City of H-Town ought to wash its hands of this mess and walk away.
One Smart Mommy has decided that she won’t run again for the HISD School Board. Check it out in the Chron.
I’ll say this – she has a very independent streak. Stay tuned on who now gets into the race!
You won’t see it on chron.com but if you are old fashioned like Commentary and still read a hard copy of the Chron you will find a great shot of CM James Rodriguez presenting saddles to the H-Town Mounties – cool.
Someone at The Yard yesterday had one of those hand painted signs that said “Cecil Puede!” Hmm, I guess most ‘Stros fans read Commentary of course yesterday it was no se puede!
My Yard Neighbors asked me about the Go ‘Stros tune they play at The Yard because she might make it her ringtone. I told her I actually still had the 45 rpm that I bought around 30 years ago but I don’t have an rpm player. I fetched it and it is called “Go Go Astros!” I looked at the B Side – guess what – “Vamos Vamos Astros!” Check it out at and scroll down to the very end of the page.
Meanwhile, the team has a much needed day off. It is starting to get to the point for the dinged up ‘Stros to get on a streak. Of course that’s a tall order considering The Big Puma is still out and Roy O and Wandy are hurting as the Brewers come in for three tomorrow.
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