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On the Issues

26 Consecutive Victories For Marriage Equality. It's Time For Texas To Drop The Appeal.

by: Chuck Smith

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM CDT

( - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Sign the petition26 consecutive victories. It's time to drop the appeal.

Subsequent to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Windsor,  26 consecutive court rulings have affirmed the freedom to marry,  including last week's ruling in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in an  Oklahoma case.

These rulings continue to affirm that state-level prohibitions on the  freedom to marry violate the equal protection clause of the United  States Constitution.

Here in Texas, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in our favor this past February in the DeLeon v Perry  case. However, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry  continue to appeal this decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in  New Orleans.

Abbott  and Perry are standing in the way of freedom for all Texans, and every  day that the appeal continues is a day in which Texas couples and their  families are harmed.  We must show Abbott & Perry that thousands of  people across Texas want them to drop their harmful appeal.

Find out what you can do below the jump.

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"Cold Beer and Titties": Sexism at Texas Boys State Conference

by: jess_stoner

Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 09:49 AM CDT

(This is an embarrassment to our state. A program that trains future leaders should do more to eradicate this sexist behavior. - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

At this year's Texas Boys State conference, 920 high school students, or statesmen as they're referred to, gathered at the University of Texas at Austin to form municipalities, run for office, and pass legislation.

During their hectic week learning the "rights, privileges, and responsibilities of franchised citizens," they debated the legalization of marijuana and drafted strategies for water conservation and education and immigration reform.

They also gave speeches touting "Cold Beer and Titties," designed campaign logos showing women in bikinis, and created a party platform shaming teenage mothers.

Read more below the jump.

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STD Awareness Month in Texas and Medicaid

by: Happyme

Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM CDT

April is National STD Awareness Month an observance that happens every year to bring awareness to the hidden big problem and get people tested.
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Texas Home To 4 Of 10 Most Income Segregated Metros in the U.S.

by: Nick Hudson

Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:11 PM CDT

This map shows how U.S. metros stack up on income segregation. Dark blue reflects high levels of income segregation; light blue significant levels; green moderate levels, and yellow low levels.

Four out of the ten of the most economically segregated large metro areas in the country are in Texas, according to a study conducted by Richard Florida and covered in The Atlantic Cities.

San Antonio-New Braunfels was the No. 1 most segregated metro area in the country. The Houston Area was the No. 4 most economically segregated. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro took the No. 8 spot. And the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metro was No. 10.

Economic segregation is a measure of the tendency of affluent people to live in neighborhoods where almost everyone else is affluent, and poor people to live in neighborhoods where almost everyone else is poor. The measure of income segregation reveals concentrated pockets of advantage and disadvantage. This is significant, according to Florida, because concentrated disadvantage has been shown to limit socioeconomic mobility.

Read More Below The Fold!

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Why I Support Proposition 6 on the November 5 Ballot

by: Robin Cravey

Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 10:53 AM CST

(Thanks to Robin Cravey for this post! Please vote FOR Prop 6 when you vote tomorrow. - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

I support the passage of Proposition 6, the Texas State Water Fund Amendment, on the November 5 ballot.  

I'm a little surprised to find myself writing those words.  But the proposition presents a good approach for funding water projects, and the process for selecting water projects has vastly improved in the past few decades.

What the proposition does is to set aside about $2 billion from the state "Rainy Day Fund" to be spent on projects in the Texas Water Plan, a plan supervised by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The Rainy Day Fund is the multi-billion dollar slush fund fed by taxes on oil & gas production.  This fund is alternately defended to the death and then raided by the Texas Legislature.  

There's not much to admire in the state's finances, and tapping this source of money for the state's water plan is a good use for some of the funds.

I say I'm surprised to be supporting this proposition, because opposing the Texas Water Plan and the TWDB was one of my chief causes as a young environmental journalist in the 1970s.

Read more below the jump.  

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Want to Climb the Income Ladder? Skip the Southeast and Dodge the Midwest

by: Nick Hudson

Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT

When it comes to climbing the income ladder, where you grow up may matter a lot.

In San Francisco and Seattle, a child raised in the bottom 20 percent of income earners has better than a 1 in 10 chance of ending up in the top 20 percent of income earners as an adult. In Memphis, Tennessee, by contrast, only one fortunate child out of every 38 becomes a top-earner as an adult.

You are significantly more likely to remain poor if you are raised poor in the Southeast or the industrial Midwest than if you are raised poor in another area of the United States.

Why the geographic difference in income mobility? Find out below the fold.

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Ted Cruz: Gay Marriage Will Lead to Persecution of Pastors And Christians

by: Omar Araiza

Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 03:30 PM CDT

Ted Cruz has sure been making his way around lately, spotted in Iowa, an anti-immigration rally hosted by a known racist, cruising around with his pop, and now in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

What wisdom did the aspiring potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee have to share with the world this time? Gay marriage will lead to hate speech laws and the persecution of pastors and Christians.

"Everywhere I go people are afraid for the future of our country;" Cruz says during the interview. "I think we're at the edge of a precipice. If we keep going down this path, we're risking losing our nation; we're risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty."

Watch the interview and read why Cruz is wrong about gay rights after the jump.

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In Search of The American Dream, Migrant Crossers Find Death in Texas

by: Omar Araiza

Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:30 PM CDT

The Rio Grande Valley -- known for its long summers, endless rows of palm trees and beautiful Gulf beaches. The region is located in South Texas, and is home to a large and lively border community. The region is now also the tomb of hundreds of men, women, and children that die every year while attempting to cross the border.

Texas has emerged as an epicenter for death and misery in the south as border crossers deaths reach all-time high. Official statistics from the U.S. Border Patrol -- who are only able to offer a partial accounting of border deaths -- document a total 271 deaths for the fiscal year of 2012. Migrant deaths in Texas are now higher than all other border states combined.

The data and facts were gathered in a report by Houston United's Prevention of Migrant Deaths Working Group and Dr. Christine Kovic, associate professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The report explains how the deaths in South Texas result from a series of policies beyond just the border region, and criticizes the lack of standardized DNA testing and comprehensive criteria to count border deaths. This, the report claims, add to existing racial and ethnic disparities of Latinos.

Read more of the report's findings after the jump.

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Comptroller Susan Combs Says No Thanks to Updating 2006 Immigration Study

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:00 PM CDT

Congressman Pete Gallego, (D-Alpine), received a no for a response from the state comptroller to update a study on the fiscal impact of Texas' population of undocumented immigrants.

The last time such a study was conducted was in 2006. The results showed that by deporting the then 1.4 million undocumented immigrants living in the state in 2005, Texas would lose a "$17.7 billion impact on the state's economy as well as state revenues generated by undocumented immigrants."

Those numbers represent figures from nearly 10 years ago. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of undocumented immigrants in Texas increased to 1.55 million by 2007 and 1.8 million by 2010. The numbers were not statistically different in 2011, the last year for which numbers are available.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., our conservative elected officials continue to put up a fight against a comprehensive immigration reform. Essentially fighting against billions of dollars generated into our state's economy.

Read more after the jump.

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Overview of Mayoral Races-so far

by: Aboubacar Ndiaye

Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:50 AM CDT

With Battleground Texas stoking hopes of turning Texas into a swing state by the 2016 presidential election, more attention is being paid to organizing during the interim. Before the 2014 midterms, Texas Dems have an amazing opportunity to identify supporters, mobilize communities, and train organizers and activists this year. Major cities in Texas will be having municipal elections this year. In competitive contests for offices from Mayor to City Councilperson, millions of dollars will be spent and countless organizing opportunities will arise. I have put together an overview of the Mayoral contests in the biggest cities in Texas:


Shaping up to be the most expensive and possibly most divisive of the city races, Houston's mayoral race pits incumbent Annise Parker against former City Attorney and current superlawyer Ben Hall. First elected in 2009 in a runoff victory against Gene Locke, Parker narrowly avoided another runoff in her reelection campaign in 2011, winning 50.4 percent of the vote against a slew of unknown candidates. Because of Ben Hall's ability to fundraise and large personal resources, the race is likely to be much more competitive this time around. The unaccounted variable in the race is potential entry of a Republican candidate in the race.

San Antonio

Golden Boy, Future Presidential Nominee, and Great Brown Hope of the Texas Democratic Party Julian Castro still has to win re-election as Mayor of San Antonio this year before he can fulfill the wish of every democrat in Texas. He is facing an array of newbie and perennial candidates with little name ID or campaign funds. As of this writing, unless something crazy happens between now and Election Day, he will cruise to re-election without having to stop his current national speaking schedule.

El Paso  

Current Mayor John Cook is term-limited and a large field of candidates are vying to replace him Among the eight declared candidates are current City Representative Steven Ortega, local businessmen Oscar Leeser and Robert Cormell, and substitute teacher Jorge Artalejo. Even in such a crowd, Cormell and Ortega, by virtue of their early fundraising prowess, are beginning to separate themselves from the pack.

Fort Worth

After handily winning her election to a first-term as Mayor of Fort Worth, Republican Betsy Price is running unopposed in her re-election campaign.

Aboubacar "Asn" Ndiaye was a Field Organizer on the Harris County Democratic Party's 2012 Coordinated Campaign. Follow him at twitter.com/thehardask

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