Archive for April 7th, 2011

Here is what H-Town James Rodriguez put out yesterday to the Latino community leadership on the proposed City of Houston 2011 Redistricting Plan:

This morning the administration unveiled the Proposed Redistricting Plan for the City of Houston and I regret to say that it is a plan that Latino leaders, activists and the overall Latino community should not support.   I want to thank the Mayor and her staff for the time and effort they put in to the redistricting process.  While I support the redrawn District I and will defer to my colleague Ed Gonzalez on his position on the redrawn District H, I cannot support other aspects of the plan because it does not provide the Latino community with the opportunity to increase Latino representation on city council.

There are currently two Latinos that are elected to City Council out of the nine council districts.  Under the proposed plan for eleven city council districts, it is likely that only two Latinos would get elected.  This is not acceptable.

The two new districts that were created, Districts J and K, will likely elect an Anglo progressive and an African American.

According to the 2010 Census, of the current nine council districts, four have a Latino majority population:  District A (52%), District F (56%), District H (63%), and District I (74%).  During the City of Houston Redistricting Town Hall Meetings that were conducted throughout the city last month, Latino leaders called for a plan that created opportunities for increased Latino representation on city council.   Districts H and I are represented by Latinos.  The proposed plan has following Latino populations in the districts mentioned:  District A (56%), District F (55%), District H (71%), and District I (77%).  The proposed plan does not present the Latino community with the opportunity to increase our representation on city council any time soon.

Here are some questions that I presented to the Mayor and the administration this morning:

“I attended a couple of the town hall meetings and heard the voices of Latino leaders calling for more Latino representation on City Council.  It is my understanding that Latinos were also present at all the other town hall meetings and spoke for more representation.  Latinos are the fastest growing community in Houston and are the largest population group at 43.8%.  The expectation among Latino leaders and activists is that at least one of the new districts should be a Latino district.  This plan at first glance, doesn’t appear to satisfy the concerns of the Latino leaders and activists.  I don’t think we will find much support for this plan among Latino leaders and activists.  Can you respond?”

“As I stated earlier, I don’t think this plan will garner much support among Latino leaders or activists.  In looking at the map, I see a big line being drawn down Studewood in the Heights, one of the city’s most vocal neighborhoods, so you have set a precedent of sorts in splitting up a neighborhood.  Can any of the districts in your plan be surgically tweaked to make it a Latino opportunity district, even at the expense of splitting neighborhoods?” 

“In looking at the map, one of the new districts is poised to elect an African American – I don’t have a problem with that.  The other is poised to elect an Anglo – an Anglo Democrat or Anglo progressive – again I don’t have a problem with that.  But can you see the frustration on the faces of Latino leaders and activists when they look at the proposed map and they see a current two out of nine districts is now two out of eleven.  Where are the Latino gains in this map?”

In addition, my colleague Jarvis Johnson asked the following question:

“How can we justify the creation of a new Anglo majority population district, when the population growth of the city has been in the Latino, African American, and Asian American communities?”

In the coming days I will be working with the administration to see if our concerns and issues can be satisfactorily resolved.  In the meantime, I urge you to go to the city’s website at Redistricting 2011 and review the proposed plan.  In addition I ask that you attend the following hearings at City Hall:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
City Hall, 901 Bagby
2nd Floor, Council Chambers
9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
City Hall, 901 Bagby
2nd Floor, Council Chambers
9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
City Hall, 901 Bagby
2nd Floor, Council Chambers
7:00 p.m.

Thank You.

Way to go James!

Here are some tidbits from yesterday’s redistricting presentation.  Under the proposed plan, Denver Harbor, Fifth Ward, and Third Ward are reunited and placed in Districts H, B, and D respectively.  The Greater Heights neighborhood that wanted to stay with the Greater Heights didn’t.  The Greater Heights got split down Studewood sort of.  Under the proposed plan, Commentary is now in J.   District E still has Kingwood and Clear Lake. 

Here is what the Chron reported on the redistricting plan.

Stay tuned!

How many MLB teams have never retired a player’s jersey and don’t listen to Edgar when he says every MLB team has retired Jackie Robinson’s number 42? 

The good news for Dems is in the latest NBC poll on GOP presidential pretenders, Donald Trump is running second.  This morning on the “Today Show”, Bill Cosby called Trump out.  Cosby said “he’s full of it”, “run or shut up”, and “he’s running his mouth.”  Ouch!

Commentary forgot to mention some of what the Chron E-Board said yesterday about GOP County Commissioner Jerry Eveersole and his trial:

Based on the evidence presented in the trial, we believe Commissioner Eversole is unfit for office and should resign, whether or not a future jury finds him guilty of criminal acts.

Take that!

Here is all of what the Chron E-Board said.

Congrats to all of us for finally getting Rebuild Houston implemented.

Here is a piece from yesterday’s Chron involving my good friend Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria:

In an effort to distance itself from the strife in Libya, the Port of Houston Authority on Tuesday terminated an agreement to advise the North African nation on modernizing its ports.

In voting during their monthly board meeting to end the pact, some Port Authority commissioners said they didn’t know about the deal until after it was done.

"It was signed in February 2010 without board approval," said Commissioner Janiece Longoria, who introduced the motion to abolish the memorandum of agreement with Libya.

Nice job Janiece!

The Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins, and Rockies of course have not retired players’ jerseys.

I left to go to a Downtown reception yesterday evening with the ‘Stros leading 4-1.  After the event, I got in my car and we were down 10-4.  We’re oh no and five just like the Rays and the Red Sox.  I don’t know what to say!


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