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Archive for March 7th, 2018

History

H-Town Council Member Larry Green left us way too early. I was stunned when I heard the news. Way too early. Way too early.

No MLB question today.

27 years ago, then State Rep. Roman Martinez led the effort in the Texas Legislature to draw the 29th Congressional District in hopes that a Latina or Latino could get elected to Congress. Commentary chaired the H-Town Latino Redistricting Committee that year and I traveled to Austin on many occasions to testify and meet with legislators.

Last night a Latino finally got elected. I guess all those folks who said this might be runoff material were dead wrong. Congrats to State Sen. Sylvia Garcia and her team for running a great campaign.

The H-Town area will now have a Latina Dem in Congress. History was made.

If you run into Roman, give him a thank you.

Commentary doesn’t need a thank you.

It was a good day for a few female Dems. Look at what happened in CD 7, of course CD 29, and CD 16. Look who is leading in CD 23.

My old pal State Rep. Roberto Alonzo was knocked off by Jessica Gonzalez. Longtime East Harris County JP Don Coffey was defeated by Lucia Bates.

Lupe Valdez is leading for the Dem nomination for Governor.

I am thinking Laura Moser got a boost from the DCCC.

Over on the GOP side, Rep. Sarah Davis stuck it to Gov. Greg Abbott. Kathaleen Wall who spent a kazillion of her own dough and was endorsed by Gov. Abbott didn’t even make the runoff.

I don’t understand why some folks think Cong. Beto O’Rourke should have done better than 62%. What is wrong with 62%?

I can’t disagree with this from Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg today:

The Houston superintendent who sought to connect with the district’s Latino majority through his love of mariachi music is taking his song to a new city before he even finishes his first verse here.

It’s unclear whether Houstonians should wail at his abrupt departure, or let out a joyful grito.

Without question, Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza had charisma on the job, and energy, and a disarming approach that seemed to bolster morale in the district and endear him with parents and students.

But in the end, his song lacked substance. In his brief 18 months in Houston, he took his time fashioning a vision for the district, and when he did propose plans, they resembled a dramatic, cacophonous jumble of notes rather than a well-orchestrated composition.

Here is her entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/HISD-Superintendent-Richard-Carranza-hit-the-12733270.php.

I am sure some sensitive Latino types will take offense to Falkenberg’s use of the term “grito.” Not Commentary. I kind of laughed.

The Chron E-Board also had a take on Carranza and here is how it starts today:

Last week we described the Houston Independent School District as barreling down a hill with no sense of direction. Rather than steer us onto a clear course, it looks like our dutiful driver has decided to bail out.

Commitment is the hallmark of great leadership, yet Superintendent Richard Carranza has accepted the position as New York City’s next chancellor of schools, leaving Texas’ largest school district after a mere 18 months on the job.

All too often it feels like our city is used as a stepping stone for ambitious tuft-hunters, but if Mayor Bill de Blasio and others think they’ve scored the next great wunderkind, they should think again. We’d like to say that Carranza’s legacy will be marred by his abrupt departure but that presumes he has a legacy to tarnish.

Carranza leaves behind the chaos of unfinished work. He inherited a tumultuous situation and fed the flames.

While our city welcomed him so recently with joyful mariachi bands, his send-off will be more subdued.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Carranza-bails-on-Houston-Good-luck-New-York-12733217.php.

Good riddance!

My pal Monica Richart has a different take of sorts and here is how it starts:

At the HISD Hispanic Advisory Committee Meeting in mid-February, Superintendent Richard Carranza spoke in a way I had never heard him speak before. There was a fire in his voice, and with a look that was full of emotion, he told the assembled members that he was kept up at night worried about how one third grader’s experience was completely different from that of another third grader across town.

He talked about equity and our failures, excellence and responsibility, and the drive to make decisions that may be difficult politically, but that were necessary so that all students in the Houston Independent School District excelled. In that moment I had hope about the direction our district was going, and the potential to confront, honestly and effectively, problems that have been vexing our system for years.

Earlier this week the leader who pleaded so passionately for equity announced he was leaving the district, and we are reeling.

Here is all of Monica’s Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Richart-The-HISD-community-not-Richard-12732952.php.

That is all I have for today and thanks for voting yesterday.

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