Thursday, July 2, 2015

Judicial Buzz

If you are anywhere near the courthouse you've no doubt started to hear the buzz of people talking about how are getting opponents and which sitting judges are going to run for other seats.

Here is a list of all the judges that are up for reelection but I might have missed one or two.

Anna Perez
Luis Aguilar
Mike Herrera
Patrick Garcia
Angie Juarez
Laura Strathmann
Sam Medrano 
Sergio Enriquez
Diane Navarrete
Yahara Lisa Gutierrez
Carlos Carrasco
Jesus Herrera

There is also the Court of Appeals position. There's a white guy there, I forget his name, but he was appointed by a Republican. He's basically toast. I hear two judges that already have benches are considering running for the position as well. One of them will have issues because this judge has run for other benches before.

I'll break down who I think the judges that are most vulnerable to a challenge.

Mission Trail Express Opens

This is a big deal for the valley and for tourism along the Mission Trail. Its also yet another example of seeing substantive change in the valley.

El Paso's history is one of its strongest assets and some of its richest history is located in the valley along the historic Mission Trail.

For years there has been a push to highlight our history for tourism valley but it has moved along at a snail's pace for a variety of reasons, one of which has been that there are so many govermental entities along the corridor betwen the Ysleta and San Elizario missions.

Okay, San Elizario is not a mission, its a chapel. But it looks like a mission so the only real sticklers about that are people in San Eli. The point being its easier to refer to it as mission trail, not two missions and a chapel that looks like a mission trail.

Click play to hear more details and some interviews:





Leaders from the county (County Judge Veronica Escobar and Commissioners Perez and Leon), the city of El Paso (Rep Ordaz), the city of Socorro (Rep Cox), the city of San Elizario (Mayor Sanchez) and the Ysleta del Sur Tribal Council (Governor Hisa, the Lt Gov, War Captain, and Council Members) went to La Purisima in Socorro to cut the ribbon on a new Mission Trail Express circulator.

The buses have a wrap that distinguishes them from other county bus routes.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Briones Credit / Award Time

Hold the phone for just a minute here. I read the editorial in the paper today and I take issue with one small part of it. I think they over state praise for Briones just a bit.

Briones should be praised for getting the ball moving right away. I certainly won't take that away from her and unlike some of her counter parts, she did the right thing right away.

But if I'm not mistake she was quoted earlier in various media sites as saying that there would be a delay because of paperwork. I know for a fact that the County Judge and County Attorney pushed hard to over come that hurdle.

I also know that Briones was inquiring with county leaders about what to do if any of her staff refused to issue the marriage documents. 

So let's just call it like it is, we are lucky that we have several county leaders, to include Briones, that got the ball rolling right away.

Good for them.

That reminds me, Senator Rodriguez is Homeboy of the Week.

Douchebag of the week goes to Governor Abbott, Attorney General Paxton, and Senator 
Cruz.

Douchbag of the Month goes to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump...go fuck yourself.

New Digital News Platform in El Paso Set to Launch

A new digital news media platform will be launching in El Paso soon. 

The new platform has staff in place and launch is schedule at the end of July.

More details as they become available. 

Holguin Pushing Tejano Membership

Tejano Democrat Chair Eddie Holguin is making a push to try to rebuild the organizations membership.

Yesterday morning an email was sent to elected officials asking them to rejoin the Tejano Democrats.

Holguin is pushing to try to get the elected officials back because it was once the big feather in the cap of the Tejanos to have all the elected officials as members.

But party disputes and decline in membership started because of Blanche Darley's leadership.

Since election season started so early this cycle it looks like the Tejanos want to take the opportunity to rebuild membership.

Speaking of the election cycle, there is also a plot afoot to try to take over the Party from Chairman Butch Maya. Maya suffered a stroke and has been on the mend for quite some time. There is a Faldo urgency to get rid of Maya because of the upcoming primary election. This is all predicated on the Democratic Party in El Paso actually being able to push turn out.

But let's be real, the Party doesn't do that and the people that hang out in Party events wouldn't know how to push voters if their life depended on it. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dr. Uxer Retirement Story in the El Paso Times

Okay, before we go any further, don't get mad at me for what you're about to read. I didn't do it, I'm just pointing out what I saw.

A few days ago there was a story about Dr. Uxer resigning from the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees.

I read about the story on my El Paso Times app on my phone.

Interestingly this was the ad that was embedded with the story. (I told you, don't get mad at me, especially if you laughed!)


New Reps Sworn-in; Ordaz Touts Plan

Last night was the swearing in ceremony for the city representatives that just won the last round of elections.

City Representatives Svarzbein, Noe, and Ordaz were in attendance. City Representative Cortney Niland was not at the event and was sworn in this morning.

I see why Mayor Leeser rarely does public events. He's a terribly awkward speaker and he looks like he hates every minute of it.

Shout out to the city protocol gurus who had a Christian invocation on the day the city was swearing in a new Jewish member of council. Talk about a d'oh!

I knew it was coming to, I was waiting for the "in Jesus' name we pray" part and there was no disappointment!

Svarzbein gave no reaction though.

The new reps all gave speeches and thanked their families.

The stand-out was Representative Ordaz and not because she was the only one who had a County Commissioner and not a judge, swear her in either. She stood out because unlike the mayor, she had acknowledged the rest of her colleagues on the stage that were in attendance, but more importantly for another reason, she's the one that sounded like a mayor.

Rep Ordaz, in addition to thanking her parents, family, and staff, laid out an actual agenda of what she wanted to accomplish in this, her first full term in office.

Ordaz is the first woman to represent District 6. She is also the first rep in God knows how long, that has actually done anything for the district and seems to actually have an idea of what she wants to do in the years to come.

Her plan focused on two major points, a home buyer incentive program to encourage people to buy homes in older established neighborhoods as a way to both control urban sprawl, manage costs, and improve economic development. Rep Ordaz highlighted the fact that the Ysleta Independent School District has the lowest tax rate in the area.

Ordaz then laid out an idea about focusing on plans to approach public transit from a regional perspective.

That is something you normally expect from a mayor and its no wonder that more and more people are seeing a future mayor in Ordaz.

Ordaz appears to be uncomfortable with that talk because she's focused on what is in front of her right now. But a mayor from the valley sure would be nice.

It would be another first. And given the fact that she has won with the highest margin of victory of anyone in a recent election, its yet another reason that talk will start to become more and more prevelant.

She does all the right things. She takes care of her district, empowers the communities to compete for more grant money to improve their infrastructure south of the freeway where that is the greatest need and beautification projects north of the freeway where that is the greatest need, while keeping an eye on the big picture for El Paso.

I had interviews with all the representatives and will post them tomorrow.

Chente Por La Gente Parte 2

I know I left a few of you hanging earlier this morning when I finished a post about who is not running against State Rep Mary Gonzalez with "but I know who is..."

For those of you reading this that live in the Valley, you already know who it is, but for those of you who live in the 79912 and think good queso is melting down cheese-itz, let me let the cat out of the bag.

Former State Rep Chente Quintanilla wants his old job back. 

Obviously he has a huge steep hill to climb (her money, his age, etc) but it's not impossible especially considering his name is synonymous with a slogan. 

I'll give you some analysis on this race later but I thought I'd let the rest of town know what the valley already knows.

That's Culo...

You know, this isn't the first time it's happened but I was told that Rep Ann Morgan Lily didn't leave really anything behind for her successor other than a copy of Robert's Rules of Order and The Rise of the Creative Class.

She's hardly the first to do that. Former County Commissioner Sergio Lewis did it to County Commissioner David Stout and Tanya Chozet did it to Commissioner Perez. The most egregious example was former Congressman Reyes to Congressman O'Rourke. I can't even begin to imagine all the case work that was just stopped because of ego.

And let's be real, that's what it is. It's all ego when an elected decides to screw over the person taking over at the sake of the people. It's the most disrespectful act to constituents an elected can do next to public corruption.

As a staffer at the time, I can tell you it sucked really bad to be new at the job and then only to find out that you're expected to do the job without all the tools you need to be successful.

And it's usually constituents who suffer for it. Something they needed help on was half completed and they have to start a over from scratch while the new staff get their feet wet.

In a word, it's culo when someone does that.

But it wasn't the successor she wanted and appeared in a mailer with, so who cares right?

Rumor Killer: Mayor Ruiz Not Running Against Rep Gonzalez

Only because this is probably the 10th time I've had someone ask me, but Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz is not running for state representative.

Yet.

He may consider it some day in the future, but it isn't something he's going to do this session or probably even the next.

There is still lots of work to do and under his leadership and administration Socorro is a much better place. 

He's led the city to invest $10 million in infrastructure projects and unlike the little Jesse Gandara regime managed to do so without controversy over how the infrastructure was completed. At the same time the city has increased the number of family events including Easter egg hunts, movies in the park, etc.

Perhaps the biggest contribution and what he has led that has been the biggest departure from the Gandara regime has been the increase in transparency. Documents and back up are now more readily available and citizens have an easier time having feedback with the city reps during public comment.

So Mayor Ruiz still has work to do because Jesse Gandara still holds a lot of influence over his cousin who is a council member.

So while Mayor Ruiz would be viable for any number of offices as a candidate he has indicated he has no plans of running for state representative at this time.

But I know who is...

Monday, June 29, 2015

City Council Swearing-In Today

The candidates that recently won the last round of elections will be sworn in tonight downtown.

The following people will be sworn-in:

Rep-Elect Peter Svarzbein - District 1

Rep Michiel Noe - District 5

Rep Claudia Ordaz - District 6

Rep Cortney Niland  - District 8

So which one of you crazy conspiracy theorists are still spreading the rumor than I'm going to work for Svarzbein?

Let me clear up those rumors. I'm not.

I'm going to work for the Mayor. I hear he's a good boy.

Parties, Values, & Electing Judges

The local impact of the SCOTUS marriage equality decision centers around what the reaction of some judges will be regarding the decision on their part to conduct weddings.

Ted Cruz, the poster boy for Texas Crazy, has come out and said we should elect members of the Supreme Court. I guess he thinks he knows better than the founders and I'm sure the rest of the Tea Party Crazy Train are perfectly content to follow him down that path.

Go ahead Teddy, make this a campaign issue as long as you're still in the race. Thanks for the help.

The state of Texas has elections for pretty much all judges, except associate judges that are appointed. 

Despite what libertarians will tell you about some "false left-right paradigm" the truth is there is a big difference in the values of parties. The local judges that have expressed some concern about same-sex marriage are Democrats.

Marriage equality has always been a part of the platform of the Democratic Party. If a judge is religious they are free to practice their religion. No one is going to force them to believe anything and as a legal matter, they cannot be compelled to perform same sex marriages. 

I admire anyone that has the courage to stand by their convictions, even if I happen to disagree with those convictions. 

But we also have the right and responsibility to stand by our convictions as well. When someone runs for office, they will now be asked if they are willing to perform same sex marriages. They can, should, and will have to face scrutiny from the Democratic Party for not fulfilling their duties as a judge because of their personal beliefs. 

JPs in particular are in an even more difficult position because if they choose not to do the marriages, they force constituents to have to go to an entirely different jurisdiction to access the same services available to every other resident of the county simply because they are being held hostage by the JPs beliefs. The consequence of refusing to do same sex marriages is the fact that you will have to face the voters on that issue at some point. 

We as the electorate elect judges to interpret and apply the law. We don't elect them to interpret and apply the law based on their religious beliefs. 

If our party leadership is silent on this issue, which is a central part of the Democratic Party's platform, then our Party's leadership no longer deserves our support either. If we can't expect our Party leadership to stand up for the values of our Party, then why are they there? If you want to stand up for your religious beliefs, then go run for something having to do with whatever church you are a part of. So as a Democrat, I'm hoping to see or hear some statements in support of the SCOTUS decision and critical of Democratic judges that are not willing to perform same sex marriages from our Party Chairman Butch Maya, from our State Democratic Executive Committeeman and woman Donald L. Williams and Rebeca Bustamante, Chair of the Tejano Democrats Eddie Holguin, President of the Eastside Democrats Ruth Williams, and President of the Westside Democrats Ken Sutherland. 

If they don't, then they are failing us as leaders of our Party.

Its fine that judges want to stand by their beliefs, but the fact that some judges may use Republican rhetoric to justify not performing same sex marriages speaks volumes about them. So you get to keep your values and we get to hold you accountable for it.

I'm urging every Democrat to remember the names of the judges that are not willing to perform the same sex marriages come election time. 

But fear not, in case you forget...I'll make sure to remind you....

Texas GOP Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Texas Governor Greg Abbot and his tag team partner Attorney General Ken Paxton have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

For the Republican Party the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage would've been a blessing in disguise. Gay marriage was an issue that allowed Democrats to appeal to moderates and pull the away from the GOP. And without that issue, it would've been one less tool for us to get the base out in the upcoming elections.

Conservative governors could say they are against it but the Supreme Court ruled and its now the law of the land.

But perhaps its a little nostalgia kicked up by the Confederate Battle Flag coming down, but those governors, including our own, are now starting to sound like sessessionist all over again with the shouts to ignore the supreme court and start practicing nullification.

The Texas AG issued the most non-sensical opinion in recent memory on Sunday, which I posted yesterday. Basically his argument is that religious freedom means judges and county clerks can refuse to do things that are against their religious beliefs. 

This is a case of be careful what you wish for. 

Perfect example?

The death penalty. Texas kills inmates on death row more often than some people bathe. What if a good Catholic judge decided, "You know what, we Catholics are agaisnt the death penalty. I know I'm supposed to hear this case and all, but hey its against my religious beliefs, so no thanks."

Or...what if a conservative Tea Party nut's worst dream ever came true. What if there was a devout Muslim who was in a position to deny a woman a driver's license because his religious beliefs dicatate that women shouldn't drive?

Thankfully the AG's opinion is just advisory. And frankly I think he knows how stupid it is because his press release talks about knowing there will be a flurry of lawsuits on the issue. 

The reality is that the Surpreme Court is the law of the land. 

Religion is not law in the United States. 

And the SCOTUS decision doesn't mean that religions now have to perform same sex marriages. 

But hey GOP, thanks for allowing us Demos to score twice on marriage equality...

El Paso County Justices of the Peace Answers on Same Sex Weddings

I have called every Justice of the Peace in El Paso County to ask the direct question if they will or will not conduct weddings for same-sex couples.

Here are the answers I received from each Justice of the Peace.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 (Westside)
Judge's Name: Robert Pearson
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Didn't know at first because the judge is at a conference. The staff member called me back a few minutes later and indicated that he had spoken with the judge and he will be performing the marriages and said one could be scheduled as early as Thursday this week.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 (Northeast)
Judge's Name: Brian Haggerty
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Judge Haggerty via Text
Answer: "As a judge I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the United States and the laws of the State of Texas. If anone has the correct documents I have to conduct the ceremony."

Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 (Central)
Judge's Name: Guadalupe Aponte
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 (Eastside)
Judge's Name: Jesus Urenda
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff & Judge Urenda
Answer: "Yes I will be performing same sex marriages"

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 (Lower Valley)
Judge's Name: John Chatman
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Judge Chatman
Answer: He referred me to the County Attorneys Office for a list of judges that were available to do those weddings and that he was waiting to hear back from her. I told her I had already heard from the CA and summarized what her opinion said, He then repeated his answer of referring me to the CA only a little louder. I told him I wanted to know what he, as an individually elected office holder would do if a gay couple wanted to get married in his court and I asked him if that was a no? He responded by saying not to put words in his mouth and repeated a referral to the county attorney's office for a third time, only louder this time.

When I followed up with county attorney and she indicated that "There is no such list. Almost all judges can preside over weddings. There was a list of judges who were available today for all weddings. The list was created for the convenience of the public so they wld not have to wander around figuring out who is on vacation, in trial etc. The list of available judges was in anticipation of increas in wedding requests today." (This took place on Friday)

Justice of the Peace Precinct 6-1 (The Valley & Horizon)
Judge's Name: Ruben Lujan
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 6-2 (Far East & Montana Vista)
Judge's Name: Enedina Serna
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 7 (The Upper Valley & Westside)
Judge's Name: Kelly Dickson
Party Affiliation: Republican
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: She is going to check with the judge. The judge is currently on the bench right now. I will update this post as soon as I get an answer.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Breaking: Texas AG Says Judges & County Clerks Don't Have to Comply with SCOTUS

The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon just issued an opinion that judges don't have to perform same sex marriages and county clerks don't have to issue license if they have a religious objection. 

Here are some highlights from the opinion:

  • “County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.
  • “Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms, and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, when other authorized individuals have no objection, because it is not the least restrictive means of the government ensuring the ceremonies occur. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”
Paxon goes on to say, “It is important to note that any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine. But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.

“Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness, and act on multiple levels to further protect religious liberties for all Texans, but most immediately do anything we can to help our County Clerks and public officials who now are forced with defending their religious beliefs against the Court’s ruling.”

Read the full opinion here: 

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/51paxton/op/2015/kp0025.pdf


Friday, June 26, 2015

You Can Still Get Married Today

EL PASO COUNTY CLERK COMPLIES WITH SUPREME COURT RULING BY ISSUING MARRIAGE LICENSES TO SAME-SEX COUPLES

 

After this morning’s Supreme Court decision to recognize the legality of marriages between people of the same sex, the El Paso County Clerk’s office immediately proceeded to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

 

El Paso County Clerk Delia Briones explained that for weeks her office had been working with the El Paso County’s IT Department and the County Attorney’s Office to prepare to comply with any Supreme Court ruling regarding the same-sex marriage.

 

“After an early morning meeting with the El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, we reached to the conclusion that same-sex marriage was the new law of the land, and there was no need to further wait for clarification on how to proceed,” Briones said.

 

“When the first same-sex couple came into my office to request a marriage license at 11:48 a.m., our clerks were ready to process the paperwork and issue the marriage license as required by law. Up until 3:00 p.m. our office had processed 8 requests for marriage licenses from same-sex couples,” Brionesadded.

 

“I had obtained authorization from Commissioners Court to pay overtime to employees if it was necessary to extend services hours today until 7:00 p.m. due to any last minute rush of applications. So far, we have had just a slight increase in workload, but it is too early to tell if we are going to remain open late tonight,” Briones concluded. 

 

To apply for a marriage license applicants have to provide a proof of identity, comply with the age requirements, and pay an $82 fee. Once the marriage license is issued, the couple has to wait 72 hours before getting married, or request a waiver from a District Court judge. For more detailed information about the process to obtain a marriage license, please consult the El Paso County website at http://www.epcounty.com.

 

Individuals with particular questions can always call the County Clerk’s Vital Records department at (915) 546-2071.


Luke & Yairo Get Married

I don't personally know these two vatos but I extend my congratulations to them on becoming the first same-sex couple married following the SCOTUS decision.

The wedding was officiated by Judge Carlos Villa in County Court at law #5.

I previously posted about some of the judges not wanting to perform the weddings out of their personal or religious beliefs. Several have already reached out to me and assumed it was the JP's. That may or may not be true, but those aren't the names I was given.

Weddings is a big revenue stream for the JP's as individuals. They can charge what they want and don't have to give it to the county or even their offices for that matter. The Supreme Court just doubled their potential clientele, why on earth would the JP's say no to all that money?

Since Texas elects judges, this is now a campaign issue when they run for office. I think there is talk of a list of judges that will be available to perform gay weddings which I'm guessing is the Council of Judges rather inartful way of hiding the identities of their colleagues that won't perform the marriages out of their personal or religious convictions. But one should not assume all the names that are absent from the available list are judges that aren't willing to perform the marriages. Several judges are just too busy to perform any marriages.

Historic day today. Near the end of Gay Pride Month no less. 

Some EP Judges Don't Want to Marry Gay Couples

At least three El Paso judges have questioned if they are required to perform gay marriages apparently citing their religious beliefs.

Yes, I know their names. They are all Democrats too. 

I sure hope they are otherwise living the life of a good "Catholic gentleman".

The reality is that they have to perform weddings for all couple or none at all.

Sources in the courthouse indicate that at least three judges took issue with the possibility of having to perform the marriages and asked for a legal opinion from the County Attorney.

The County Attorney sent them the opinion yesterday and it says that they cannot discriminate and that the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct mandates that judges perform their duties without bias or prejudice. Therefore their options are to perform marriages for all people or to perform marriages for no one.

The County, and by that I mean you the tax payer, can be sued if a judge does hetero marriages but not gay marriages.

I have the entire document and have gone through it. I'll email it to you if you want it but here's the operative part:



Interview with Rep Mary Gonzalez on Marriage Equality Decision by Supreme Court

The landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court legalizing marriage equality across the country just came down.

I spoke with the most outspoke legislator on LGBTQ issues in the state of Texas, State Representative Mary Gonzalez, on the decision. Here are some of her comments:

Esparza Fundraiser

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quick hits - LVP Loss & Trump Pendejadas

A couple of quick blurbs too small for their own post.

I'm late on this but Leticia Van De Putte's loss in San Antonio demonstrates what I've said for a long time. The TDP is not close to turning Texas blue. She lost to an African-American in San Antonio. If a Latina Democrat with her notoriety, coming off of a statewide race can't win in San Antonio...dayum! It shows how hard it is to come back once you've lost and it shows that the Party is no where near as strong as we like to tell ourselves.

Donald Trump talked a lot of smack about raza and we are finally standing up for ourselves which is a good thing.

But I want to know where the GOP's  establishment leadership is on all of this. They've been trying to court the brown vote for years. Why aren't they pushing back on this? 

Where are the Latino Republican organizations?

And where are the brown Republican candidates? Are you guys just gonna letTrump  say this crap and not stand up for yourselves? Your silence sounds like agreement.

Neighborhood Associations - Why they are important

I wrote a piece yesterday about something that happened involving fundings some projects in neighborhoods in the valley.

Anyone who lives in the valley knows that there is a big difference between the way City Rep Claudia Ordaz and her predecessor do city business.

Her predecessor was known for one thing, saying no. Sure he was able to tell taxpayers he was looking out for them but the reality is that he didn't do a good job of ensuring that those tax payers who still had to pay taxes no matter how many times Holguin voted no, were getting their fair share in tax dollars back to District 6.

One of the reasons that happened is because of neighborhood associations. In this case, lack thereof. At the time of Ordaz's election there was only one active NA. From what I gather, her predecessor didn't care much for NA's because they were a pain in the rear and because of the same fear every other elected official in the city has...that when you give someone in the community a leadership position you may actually be creating a future opponent.

The problem is that a lot of city funds for projects flow through neighborhood associations, which gives the community members maximum control over how their funds are expended. Since there were basically no NA's, the funds never really flowed down to District 6. As a result tax payers weren't getting their fair share and its why they saw projects happen in other parts of El Paso but not in the valley.

Since she was elected Ordaz's office has been holding meetings with constituents to educate them on the process and the need for the neighborhood associations to form. As a result there are now more NA's in the district and more are in the process of coming on line.

If you are ever in the valley you know that for years there is a tremendous need for better streets, sidewalks, lighting, and speed control measures. The Pueblo Viejo park residents were more concerned about getting better streets than canopies. Had Ordaz funded all 8 canopies it basically would've sucked up the funding for two years and would've been something that only a limited number of valley residents would've used.

So her amendment Tuesday made sense.

The point is, if you want something done in your community like a street improvement, lighting, or speed bumps, talk to your neighborhood association. Call the city and they can tell you which one you live in. If there isn't one in your area talk to your city rep and ask them to help you form one. Its your tax dollars so you might as well use them.

Call 3-1-1 and you should be able to get more info.

Judge Carlos Carrasco Fundraiser

As always I publish any political events sent to me as a courtesy. 

Here's the latest one sent to me: