Archive for October 13th, 2021

For Janette Garza Lindner

The Chron E-Board today endorsed my client, Janette Garza Lindner, this morning for HISD Trustee, District 1. In the process, the E-Board also did a takedown of sorts of the incumbent.  Here it is: 

Trustee Elizabeth Santos, 39, is asking voters to keep her on the board representing Houston ISD District I. They shouldn’t. 

Santos’ connection to the district is deep. She grew up attending its schools and taught English there. Her dedication to students shines through when she speaks. As a board member, she helped get raises for teachers and staff as a vocal champion for better pay in the district, whose teachers remain among the region’s lowest paid

That record speaks in her favor, but it does not overcome her weaknesses as a board member. 

An early strike against Santos came in late 2018, when she joined four other trustees to oust Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan in a surprise vote that came after the five had met with a former superintendent whom they then named to replace Lathan. The Texas Education Agency cited that apparent violation of the state’s open meetings law as partial grounds for replacing the whole board. 

Santos defends her actions, and claimed in our meeting with her she hadn’t known in advance that Lathan would be fired. But the episode was deeply disruptive and showed poor judgment. 

That was an early mistake, but unfortunately Santos has not provided the steady influence and smooth leadership that the school board, with all its recent acrimony, so badly needs. In interviews with us and other outlets recently, she has also struggled to share a cogent vision for how she’ll use a second term to steer the district to further success. 

On the other hand, Janette Garza Lindner, 45, is a strong candidate. The mother of two HISD students, she grew up in Brownsville, bilingual in Spanish and English, as an adopted daughter of a widow who left school in the second grade and never learned to read. She graduated from the University of Texas and is an energy industry consultant and project manager. In 2019, she received training as a board fellow of Latinos for Education and serves on the leadership committee of Arts Connect Houston. 

Her story lends itself well to representing District I, which stretches from the Near Northside to the northwest across much of the Heights. 

Matias Kopinsky, 25, is also running in this race and shows promise as a committed Houstonian. We hope he finds other ways to serve our community. 

“I know firsthand how much schools matter,” Garza Lindner told the editorial board. 

We believe she can channel her fierce inner drive into good governance that makes a difference for the next generation of children whose parents may not be able to read to them at night but who still dream that their futures are filled with open doors. 

On my Commentary tweet today, I will have a photo of Janette’s Loteria sneakers that she sometimes wears when she block walks. 

Now to MLB.  

The Astros have proven themselves to be the elite team of MLB. You don’t go to five straight LCSs on luck.  We are a damn good baseball team.  The best over the past five years.   

Commentary is in a text group called Baseball Buddies. It consists of a couple of elected officials, an MLB baseball sportswriter, a former elected official turned lobbyist, another former elected official turned corporate executive, the owner of an H-Town engineering firm and Commentary.  We started group texting during the pandemic baseball season last year. It is the nucleus of the group that gets together before games during the playoffs. 

After the Red Sox clinched a spot in the ALCS a couple of nights ago, I texted that if we handled business, we would have home field advantage in the ALCS.  The Astros handled business yesterday.  

Commentary said this a little over a week ago: 

Honestly, I really don’t care who wins the other playoff games. Dodgers, Giants, San Luis, The ATL, Brewers, Yankees, Red Sox or Rays. I am of the H-Town versus everyone mindset.  If we play our game, another World Series title can happen.   

That is exactly what happened in the ALDS. We are the most dangerous team in the playoffs right now. 

A relief pitcher for the White Sox insinuated that the Astros were still doing “sketchy” stuff. He said it after we lost Game 3 on Sunday evening.  Several Astros were asked about it prior to yesterday’s game and the Astros just kind of shrugged it off.  The Astros responded by putting 10 runs on the scoreboard yesterday. We scored 31 runs in 4 games.

We host the Red Sox Friday night in Game 1 of the ALCS. We are back in familiar territory.  We are home. We are where we belong.

For the H. 

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