Archive for October 17th, 2013

For Graci Garces

The Chron E-Board endorsed (Commentary’s client) Graci Garces today for District I.  Here it is:

// // Draw a map of where you think Houston will see some of the biggest growth over the next six years, and you might as well draw a map of District I. Extending from downtown into the East End, District I is the face of Houston’s future. With key landmarks and booming neighborhoods, it may be the most important city council race this election – and that includes the at-large seats.

While most district council members have a certain luxury of focusing on constituent-specific issues, the council member for District I needs to have a grander vision.

Houston has its diverse business clusters, but the central business district is still home to our tallest skyscrapers – not to mention the George R. Brown Convention Center, the theater district, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, BBVA Compass Stadium and Discovery Green. The list grows even longer when you add all the upcoming plans for downtown apartments, convention hotels and Super Bowl celebrations.

Whoever represents District I should have no learning curve at City Hall, and be ready to serve families in the district’s Hispanic communities and also booming downtown businesses. An inexperienced city council member risks killing the goose that laid the golden egg. We believe that Graci Garces, with her years of service within local government, is the best candidate for District I.

Once represented by Hispanic political kingpin Ben Reyes, before he was busted in a federal bribery sting, District I has been held by a clean line of succession for the past 12 years. State Rep. Carol Alvarado was elected to that seat for three terms, followed by her chief of staff, James G. Rodriguez, who is completing his third and final term on council. Garces, Rodriguez’s chief of staff, would continue the Alvarado dynasty at City Hall.

That isn’t necessarily a good thing. Lifelong staffers like Garces, 33, lack important private sector experience, and may have a greater sense of loyalty to their mentors than their constituents.

But Garces hasn’t been some behind-the-scenes insider. For the past 10 years, she’s been the eyes and ears for City Hall in District I. Her specific, localized ideas go beyond the usual infrastructure and jobs agenda, with goals of reducing animal overpopulation in neighborhoods and tearing down blight. She’s walked the streets for a decade and knows the area well. After working in D.C. and Austin for a host of Hispanic representatives, Garces will be able to serve as a bridge between government and the community.

Garces faces some impressive opponents in this race, notably city-wide Latino leader Ben Mendez. Founder and president of PMG Project Management Group, LLC, Mendez has extensive private-sector experience. He also has managed Houston’s Capital Investment Plan, the 5-year agenda for city construction and renovation. Mendez and Garces pose an interesting prospect of inverse qualifications – big-money businessman vs. community-driven staffer.

Representing District I will be a balancing act between pro-development downtown areas and neighborhoods trying to survive gentrification.

Garces knows what the district needs and how City Hall works. She should be the voters’ choice on Election Day.

Way to go Team Graci.

The World Serious MVP was first awarded in 1955.  Who was the first to win it?  (You will never guess it.)

The Chron E-board also endorsed H-Town CM Bradford this morning here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/recommendations/article/For-C-O-Brad-Bradford-for-Houston-City-Council-4901889.php.

This is the 17th Amendment to the Constitution:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

The Lite Guv and Dan Patrick want to do away with it.  Where did this come from?

Sen. Ted Cruz, junior Sen. John Cornyn, and every Texas GOP member of Congress voted against yesterday’s deal.

Keep heading far right!

Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres of course won the first ever World Serious MVP Award back in 1955 as the Dodgers took the Yankees in seven.

There is nothing to report from The Yard.



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