Houston Democracy Project Summer Break
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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20h ago
​ ​Time for a Houston Democracy Project summer break. It's just the first day of summer. I'm beating the rush.  I'll be back soon and ready to stay the course no matter what comes along. It's going to be great summer in Houston & Harris County. That is my story and I'm sticking to it ..read more
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Molly Cook's Extensive Use Of Volunteer Labor Establishes Debt To Community
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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2d ago
​Molly Cook is the new Senator for Texas Senate District 15. I live in 15. Senator Cook is currently serving out the remainder of the term of now-Mayor John Whitmire.  Senator Cook won the Democratic Primary runoff election to be the nominee for the upcoming full term in a May 28th primary. Senator Cook had 9506 votes and State Rep. Jarvis Johnson had 9444 votes. Texas Senate District 15 has nearly one million people. As residents of Houston and Harris County Facing an authoritarian threat, we should place great confidence in systems that generate such poor turnout for such a ..read more
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Hold Elected Officials Accountable For Poor Turnout-Stop Reflexive Bashing Of Left
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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2d ago
Why are elected Democrats in safe seats who year after year do nothing to increase turnout, never or rarely   held accountable by the folks who go on & on about a small number of voters on the left who won’t vote for the Democratic Presidential nominee? This isn't about ideological fights within the Democratic Party. That's not the point of the Houston Democracy Project. Those fights go on and on and we spiral closer to authoritarianism. But Twitter influencers and Democratic establishment folks never stop blaming the left. There is a ..read more
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Don't Let The Right Gaslight You From The Clear As Day Truth
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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2d ago
Here is a (Slightly paraphrased.) conversation I had with a Trump supporter at a recent political action I was part of-- Trump Guy: Trump!  Me: He'd take my freedom. Trump Guy: How would he take your freedom? You'll be able to walk into the voting booth like anybody else this year. Me: That might be the last free election. We go around like that a few times. Me: Your support of Trump is a threat to my family. Trump Guy: That sounds like a threat to me.  Me: It's not. But if it was, Texas is a Stand Your Ground state and you'd be able to kill me and get away with it. Tru ..read more
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Be Sure To Know How To Contact Allies In Political Crisis-Social Media Unreliable
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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4d ago
Every so often I make the point here that we should be collecting e-mail addresses, phone numbers and whatever contact information we need of the activists and colleagues we would count on in an authoritarian situation.  The social media landscape is hostile to the Democratic Party, the center-left and the left. I mention all three (overlapping) categories here because there is little distinction between how they are treated on big social media platforms.  (Or how they will be treated under Donald Trump.) Twitter is run by the far right-winger Elon Musk.  He's moved Twitt ..read more
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Houston License Plate Monitors-Of Course They'll Be Used For Repressive Purposes
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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1w ago
The Houston Chronicle reports Houston has more than 3800 license plate cameras. That is more than any other city in the country.  From the Chronicle:  "As Houston public safety leaders continue to decry what they say are staffing shortages, the police department has come to rely on a license plate scanning technology more than any other city in the country, the acting chief said at a recent hearing....Houston now leads the nation with more than 3,800 license plate reading cameras......The cameras track license plates on vehicles and notify law enforcement of any past ..read more
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Whitmire Told Us Who He Was When He Won Election
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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1w ago
​ ​ Above is a picture I screen-shotted off John Whitmire's Twitter page on municipal runoff Election Day last December. It struck me as classless at the time. Whitmire is looking at a TV showing how much he was winning by over Shelia Jackson Lee. You won. Did you have to rub it in?  I wanted to use the picture at the time. But I figured I'd wait to see how Whitmire governed. He's governed in a way consistent with the picture. He's more comfortable with Republicans than Democrats, makes unilateral decisions, demeans people he does not agree with and talks over people. I'll use t ..read more
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Global Elections Matter In Houston/Harris County-Keep Fighting
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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1w ago
The Houston Democracy Project tries to keep it local, but two international elections merit attention. In India, Prime Minister Narenda Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP lost it's majority in the Indian parliament.  Modi will remain Prime Minister for a third term with a coalition government. But Indian voters at least offered push back to Modi's Muslim-bashing, attacks on the press, the courts and democracy. He is not seen as inviolable anymore.       I don't know a lot about India beyond what I read. But I know there must be activists and good ..read more
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If Houston City Council Dems Want Help Opposing Whitmire, They Must Step Up
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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1w ago
Houston City Councilmembers officials upset with Mayor Whitmire, need to start organizing rank & file responses & opposition in their constituencies. They must work to expand who is involved & doing the work. This would also help with organizing ahead as we confront authoritarian threat. I don't know what else to add. We need our Houston City Council Democrats to step up and stop being content with low voter turnout and low civic involvement. If they want Houstonians to help them oppose Mayor Whitmire, then they need to offer effort and energy in retu ..read more
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Sign Up For Harris County Voter Protection Effort-Republicans Planning Trouble
Houston Democracy Project Blog
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1w ago
National Republicans are planning to recruit lawyers and poll watchers to help make sure they are able to intimidate voters and create a climate of fear in 2024.  From NBC News- "A Republican National Committee official told NBC News that the organization has already recruited “tens of thousands” of people to serve in these roles and has hired paid election integrity directors in 13 states, including in key battlegrounds, to oversee volunteers. Weekly trainings are underway, the official said, as the party doubles down on one of former President Donald Trump’s pet issues, election integ ..read more
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