Archive for the ‘Houston Affirmative Action Program’ Category

Commentary is occasionally asked about H-Town’s Mayors of the past three decades or so.   I like to point out that Mayors Bob Lanier and Lee Brown got it when it came to MWBE contract participation. I bring this up because it looks like the design and construction of the new Downtown Soccer Stadium will not have minority owned firms participation.  That’s too bad.

Mayor Lanier, Mayor Brown, and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority made sure that minority owned architectural, engineering, and construction firms were part of the design team for Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium.   It doesn’t look like that is going to be the case for the Downtown Soccer Stadium.

Commentary fully understands that the financing structure is a bit different in this instance but there is still a considerable amount of public funds involved.  

Former Dynamo President Oliver Luck led the effort on the part of the Dynamo to get the deal done.  Latino leaders and organizations were the most vocal supporters.  It looks like Luck used a few folks on this deal.

Commentary has never been impressed with Luck.  In a recent farewell article on Luck, the Chron gave him way too much credit for his role in the construction of the three sports venues when he served as Executive Director of the Sports Authority.  The fact of the matter is when he arrived at the Sports Authority, Minute Maid Park was already open for business, Reliant’s construction was well underway, and construction at Toyota had just started.  Luck wasn’t involved in any of the financing negotiations for either. 

Commentary thought that the precedent set in the construction of the first three venues that MWBE participation was a given.  I thought it was kind of like accepted public policy.  It looks like that isn’t going to be the case on this deal.  It looks like the MWBE community, particularly Latinos, is out of Luck.  That’s a shame and shouldn’t be accepted.   We can’t go back to the old days.

Jeff Bagwell is now the hitting coach or the ‘Stros.  When was the last time Baggy swung a bat in a real game for the ‘Stros?

The New York Times reports today that Dem Governors met with The President this weekend and some of them advised The President to cool it when it comes to taking on Arizona and talking about immigration reform.  Check out the piece.
Some of the Dem governors think that the immigration issue is a losing one for Dems in the November general election.  Commentary has said it before.  The President is probably one of the smartest Dems around.  He knows that he has to talk up immigration reform to get Latinos to the polls.  Commentary is hoping that he won’t take the advice of those Dem governors. 

PolticfactTexas is A-OK by me.  Apparently, the Lone Star State Lite Guv doen’t like what it does.  Check out a story.  My old pal Gardner Selby and others just check out the facts and let the rest of us know the truth.  Apparently some Dem and GOP consultants aren’t impressed with PolitifactTexas.  Well, then just check out your facts before you send them out.  PolitifactTexas is letting you know that the free ride is over.

In Game 4 of the World Serious on October 26, 2005 of course Baggy came up as a pinch hitter for Brandon Backe in the bottom of the seventh and grounded out to second base.  That was the last time Baggy batted in a real game.

Commentary likes the move to get Baggy back into the game.   Baggy says he knows baseball and he knows hitting.  I’d rather have him in the dugout than on the golf course.  The ‘Stros now take four days off for the All Star Game break before they hit the road on Friday.  


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From Marisol from my office:

Prior to the passing of SB1070 of Arizona, the focus was on Education within the Latino community. President Obama wanted Education reform and that meant talking about the alarming rate of dropouts among Latinos.  The Pew Hispanic Center has its top two “Featured Research” topics dealing with Education and Immigration:

Hispanics, High School Dropouts and the GED.  &    Hispanics and Arizona’s New Immigration Law .

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO Fund) had this press release in March:  03/19/10:  Latino Officials Urge For ‘No Child Law’ With Stronger Latino Student Focus  .

After the passing of SB 1070 the issue being discussed by NALEO was Immigration.  04/23/10:  NALEO Educational Fund Urges Veto of Arizona Legislation.     04/30/10:  Action Urgently Needed on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Univision, the leading TV network in Spanish language programming launched a campaign earlier this year titled “Es el momento” addressing Education among Latinos:  http://www.univision.com/content/channel.jhtml?chid=2&schid=150.   While that campaign is still ongoing, the passing of SB 1070 is now the focus of newscasts, special programming and heated debates on Univision’s TV and radio stations:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d7IPFWMJ58 .

The two largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organizations in the United States, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) have at the top of their webpage links addressing SB1070 titled “Boycott Intolerance”

Thanks Marisol!

Immigration reform and Arizona is the lead topic on the Willie Velasquez Institute website.

Over the past decade, immigration reform has been the only issue that has brought tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of Latinos together at rallies across the country.  Right now immigration reform stirs up passion in many Latino communities.  It is an issue that could determine Latino voter turnout in some communities.

Rahm Emanuel, the President’s Chief of Staff, has called immigration reform the “third rail of politics.”  This kind of rhetoric probably scares some non-Latino Democrats away from the immigration debate.  That is understandable.  However, understand that if some in the Latino community feel that the Democratic Party has abandoned them on this issue, they just might not be enthusiastic voters this fall.   Democrats need to consider making immigration reform the rallying cry in key Latino communities throughout the state.

Here is a related piece on a recent poll:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37344303/ns/us_news-immigration_a_nation_divided.

There have been four no-hitters thrown against the ‘Stros.  In only one was the ‘Stros the home team.  In what yard was it thrown?

In today’s Chron.com:  No apologies at HCC

Houston Community College trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores has been asked to apologize for overstepping her role in urging Deputy Chancellor Art Tyler to hire Hispanics to lead the college’s work in building a community college in Qatar.

Don’t expect an apology, said political consultant Marc Campos, who on Tuesday released a 13-page report filed by attorney Alvin Zimmerman on the incident.

Flores’ fellow board members requested the investigation after Tyler reported the incident, which allegedly took place following a trustees meeting in March in which the board approved HCC’s participation in a $45 million deal to create the Persian Gulf nation’s first community college.

"If the board acts on this and reprimands her, what message does it send to other future Latino board members that want to advocate for their community?" Campos asked. "It seems like some folks over there at the community college need to have some thicker skin."

The report outlines interviews with eight people — identified only as Person 1, Person 2 and so on — about their interactions with Flores.

Two people said they overheard the conversation between Flores and Tyler. The others did not.

Tyler is quoted as saying that Flores "demanded that Dr. Tyler insure (sic) that Hispanics be hired to be the leaders" of the contract. He felt the comments "were inappropriate and threatening," according to the report.

Zimmerman concludes that Flores broke board policies against harassment, among other things, and recommends she be required to apologize to Tyler and barred from retaliation.
Campos said Flores decided to release the report in advance of Thursday’s board meeting.

"The board may act on it in executive session," he said. "She wanted to put it out there so folks could see it beforehand."

He’s not denying that Flores pushes the college, and its vendors, to hire Hispanics.

"I think Yolanda has been aggressive, which is what a lot of us want her to be, in terms of promoting Latino professionals," he said. "I think sometimes folks misinterpret her aggressiveness."

Here is one of the things that Trustee Flores is accused of saying:  “I expect some Hispanics in leadership on the International Initiative – Community College of Qatar.”

I think there are a whole lot of us that would expect the same.

Miller Park in Milwaukee of course on Sunday, September 14, 2008, Carlos Zambrano of the Cubbies threw a no-no against the ‘Stros who were the “home team” in the Ike Games thanks to Bud Selig.  There has never been a no-no thrown against the ‘Stros in H-Town.

The Big Puma reads Commentary.  Here is what he had to say after last night’s game:  "We’re just not very good.  We’re not a good offensive team.  Nobody’s hitting. And until we do, what can you say but that?  You can say we’re in a slump, you can sugarcoat it all you want, but we’re just not good.”

Roy O will go tonight – yikes!


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I signed on to help Gene Locke close to a couple of weeks ago to help out wherever I could.  I asked for and received the latest payroll info regarding the Controller’s office.  I crunched the numbers and found out the following:

Average salary for Anglos:  $80,596.

Average salary for Asian Americans: $59,088.

Average salary for African Americans:  $54,086.

Average salary for Latinos:  $53,980.

Of the top ten paid employees in that department:  8 Anglos, 1 Latino, 1 Asian American.  African Americans didn’t crack the top ten.

Don’t even try to defend this.  This isn’t right.  There is no excuse.  This has been going on for the last six years. 

The Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) and Houston Black American Democrats (H-BAD) called out the Controller on her hiring practices.  This is a valid issue to some folks like me.  HCTD and H-BAD were attacked for putting it out in a press release.

The city is over 70% Latino and African American.  Look, in the private sector and the public sector, the folks that draw the bigger salaries are usually the ones that are the most important and make the decisions.  These are just the facts.

I’m sure someone will see fit to crack on me and try to make me look contradictory by pulling out some stuff that I said in the past.  Just don’t try to spin these bad numbers in some other direction.

Yesterday the Controller’s Office got very political and put out a report calling for the County to get off of it’s arse and sign on to the soccer stadium deal.  I kind of found it a bit disingenuous in light of the fact that she cracked on the soccer stadium in her earlier TV ads.

According to the KJEVDR, 10% of the voters are non Nov. 3.  They are Latino at 9%, African American at 34%, Asian American at 6%, and Anglos at 51%.  They are DEM 59%, REP 21%, No Primary 20%.  I wonder who this helps.

From MLB’s Brian McTaggart:  “Free-agent infielder Placido Polanco, who won his second Gold Glove this year for the Detroit Tigers, has drawn serious interest from the Astros, according to baseball sources.

Polanco, 34, is a 12-year veteran who batted .285 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs last season with the Tigers and finished 25th in the American League voting for Most Valuable Player. A two-time Gold Glove winner, Polanco was the MVP of the 2006 AL Championship Series.   He’s a .303 career hitter.”

Former ‘Stro Billy Wagner is now with the Braves.


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Commentary doesn’t like to rely on profanity to get my point across so I really can’t express my true feelings about Dave Wilson and his evil ways.  I was watching him being interviewed on Channel 11 yesterday and he seemed to be relishing the attention and totally oblivious to the hate he’s spewing.  He kind of had this “Joker” like smile.

This isn’t the first time Wilson has injected his divisiveness into local politics. In 1997 he got enough signatures to force an election to do away with H-Town’s Affirmative Action Program because he didn’t want African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Women to get city contracts.  We beat him at the polls.  In 1996 he successfully led the effort against an HISD school bond campaign because he didn’t think our kids needed new or renovated schools.  Now he’s taken his act to another level.  I kind of wish we could extend 287(g) to morons like him.

The Dean has his one and only reception this evening at the Four Seasons.  This is kind of a mandatory event that Commentary will attend.

Tomorrow is first day that MLB teams can start signing free agents and we will find out soon who will be wearing the brick red on April 5 at The Yard against the Giants.


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