Archive for May 22nd, 2017

This is all you need to know about yesterday’s bathroom bill amendment. This is from Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg:

I just pray that this provision, which doesn’t make anybody safer, doesn’t end up killing a kid.

Just pitiful.

I talked at length to an immigration activist on Friday and I asked the activist if H-Town was a welcoming city and I got a resounding “f__k no!” The activist also said that they didn’t like the way the H-Town Police Chief talked down to them at the forum the other night. Oh, well.

Along these lines, here is Stace’s post from Friday:

At a community forum in which Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chief Art Acevedo and others participated, it seemed the City’s priorities did not include any concrete decisions regarding SB4. At least, not until later.

Turner said that his administration would evaluate the bill after the legislative session ends May 29.

For those of us who would be targeted for racial profiling by local cops (it’s not just immigrants, but brown people in general), the lack of prioritization on challenging SB4 and defending from Republican targeting of Latinos has left a community wondering if it matters to elected leaders.

From Turner, the response to SB4 all along has been the same:

“I want you to know that Houston will be a welcoming, just and compassionate city that will work to protect all people from discrimination.”

Acevedo who had previously said that his department would not be a local INS, changed his commentary, though:

Acevedo made clear that police will be required to fill out a report and detail why they felt it necessary to ask someone’s immigration status.

“If you stop somebody for jaywalking and the only reason you’re asking because they don’t speak English,” Acevedo said, “that will be profiling, and we will not tolerate it.”

So, it is pretty obvious that, much like Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, HPD intends to follow the law. But there is no indication of whether Houston will join other smaller cities and the City of Austin in suing the State of Texas to challenge the law’s constitutionality. Certainly, I don’t expect the right-wing-heavy commissioners court at the County level to do anything, and certainly, Judge Ed Emmett has remained quiet. Frankly, the City’s lawyers should already be studying the law in anticipation of a decision to sue BEFORE it goes in effect on September 1.

In my opinion, nothing says “welcoming city” like a city suing the state government because of a racist law that targets at least 50% of the population. Certainly, it would show the city’s leaders are fighting for people, and not just using “diversity” as a means to increase tourism and business profits.

No doubt, Mayor Turner is awaiting the fate of the pension bill, which is the city leadership’s top priority. But as much as our city’s coffers should be a priority, so should its inhabitants. Immigrant or not, brown or not, we all pay taxes and shouldn’t live in fear of our own law enforcement. And if city coffers are the priority, certainly, Mayor Turner and the City Council should also consider the feasibility of SB4’s enactment and its effect on HPD’s budget, considering that being a Local INS will cost a lot more–in monetary term and in terms of crime-reporting, as the Chief has already specified.

Obviously, let’s stay tuned.

Yeah, stay tuned for sure.

Speaking of two cents, Chris Bell has an Op-Ed in today’s Chron opposing the revenue cap. Here is how it starts out:

Years ago, when I was running for Houston City Council for the first time, a very smart, older friend pulled me aside just after I had finished making a speech to a roomful of people. He told me that in every speech, I needed to let people know all the things the city does for them so they would grasp the importance of the election. As he rightfully explained, people take just about everything the city does for granted; they don’t often realize or stop to consider that their streets, parks, libraries, water, garbage collection, public safety, and much more are all managed and controlled by their city government.

It was some of the best advice I ever received because it was so true. Now, as Mayor Sylvester Turner plans to ask voters to remove the city’s revenue cap next fall, it’s more important than ever to remind folks what the city does for them. My personal belief is that when people really stop to think about how much their overall quality of life is impacted by decisions at City Hall, they are more willing to make sure city departments have what they need in order to operate. Obviously, pension problems have done much to harm the city budget. But if the pension plan passes, which it appears it will, and that part of the problem is addressed, it’s incumbent upon the city to make sure the other major part of the problem is addressed as well and that’s the revenue cap.

Voters passed the revenue cap in 2004, amending the City Charter to limit the growth of property tax revenue to the combined rates of inflation and population growth, or 4.5 percent, whichever is lower. Voters then altered the cap in 2006, allowing the city to raise an additional $90 million above the cap for public safety expenditures.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Bell-The-city-s-revenue-cap-will-strangle-11160278.php.

Commentary has been listening to The Beatles channel on Sirius XM since this past Thursday. I have most of their CDs and some of the tunes are on my phone gizmo but this is a way whole lot better. You get the regular tunes from the CDs, their tunes from their solo days. I heard an “Imagine” cut from a live concert that I had never before. I heard Paul’s “My Valentine.” Then there are the tunes from other artists including Jennifer Hudson’s “Let it Be”, Richie Havens’ “Here Comes the Sun”, Emmylou Harris’ “Here, There and Everywhere” and from a “Beat Bugs” episode of James Corden singing “I’m a Loser.” Then they also throw all sorts of Beatles facts and trivia.

I am waiting to hear George’s “Cheer Down” which is played during the closing credits of “Lethal Weapon 2.”

I am also waiting to hear some tunes from “The Concert for Bangladesh.”

I am still waiting for the release of “Let it Be” the movie on CD. Word is it is not going to happen.

Now that was brutal. I am talking about getting swept at The Yard this past weekend. Even though our lead is down to 5 ½ games, we still have the best record in MLB. Let’s win as the Tigers visit for four.

No MLB question today.


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