Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Texas Democratic Convention Follow-up

Talk about a tale of two conventions. A decade ago I boarded a bus to be an Obama delegate during the Great Obama-Hillary War of 2008. I sat on the back of the bus with a lot of other then young people supporting Obama and we were loud, obnoxious and drank a lot of beer on the way to the convention. There were only a handful of seniors on the bus.

This time the bus was mostly seniors and I sat in the front of the bus. Although there was still quite a bit of beer consumed.

Last time it was really ugly in the El Paso delegation. People were yelling and screaming at each other. There were a bunch of lawyers involved, the Hillary people broke every rule they could find to try to screw the Obama delegation over, until we got to the state convention were they got a taste of their own medicine.

Things got so ugly 8 years ago that they had to call in constables to come break us up. It was really ugly.

The only good thing about that convention was watching Hillary conceded that weekend and watching the El Paso Hillary delegates cry. That seriously gave me a lot of joy because they were such asses to us.

This convention was totally different. It ran smoothly. Our delegation didn't fight. Hell I don't think Pee Wee Mier even cussed anyone out in public this time! This was seriously the most civil convention I've seen (within the delegation).

I write about that because its a sign of major progress. A lot of our delegation are the old guard folks who have been pretty tied to the power structures of the past and opposed to almost all of the new and younger leadership within El Paso politics. But Beto is a rock star at the state level. The energy and buzz around him is significant.

And its more than that artificial sweetener buzz around Wendy Davis. Beto really has captured lightening in a bottle here and to watch a bunch of old guarders that used to be rabid Reyes supporters  all wearing their Beto buttons and vigorously cheer for him was a big deal.

I've been around long enough, and now have enough gray hair to prove it, to have seen the evolution of party politics over the last decade.

I've seen how ugly the old guard can get. Serious vitriol.

A madre.

But I have also grown to understand it. Many of them came up in local politics at a time when all the elected officials weren't brown. When there were very few women in office. When raza didn't run the party at the state level, hell they didn't even run it at the local level.

So their loyalty - which is the coin of the realm in politics - was to those old school Chicano leaders. Those leaders were trail blazers. And those leaders, after long careers, started to lose races.

Many of the supporters of those leaders weren't ready to see them go. That loyalty toward their leaders that was solidified through adversity congealed into a seething white-hot anger at the new class of leaders. They not only hated losing, they hated the young leaders for beating the people they were so loyal to. They opposed them no matter how right the new young people might be on an issue.

Hell they were so bad about it that they were willing to support a wealthy, white, Republican woman over a Chicana Democrat in the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats endorsement!

I don't agree with it.

But I understand where it comes from.

You know how petty they used to be? They used to make fun of Beto's name by purposely mispronouncing it. Remember Norma Chavez was NOTORIOUS for that shit.

And now, I heard some of them correct other people on how to say it. That my friends is a small thing that says a lot.

Don't get be wrong, we still have a lot of work to do. There are some old guarders that need to realize that its time for some other voices to have their say and represent El Paso. We had someone go to the rules committee that had a personal beef to settle and it makes El Paso look bad. We need people who will stand up for issues and causes, not personalities and bruised egos.

But we have still come a long way.
********************************
El Paso has arrived on the state scene. Several of our elected officials were featured in the video vignettes that were played during the convention, which looked more like a DNC convention. Senator Rodriguez had a great speaking time during the convention and received a loud reception. He gave a stirring speech and got the crowd going.

Reps Blanco and Moody were in the video vignettes of Texas leaders.

Noticeably absent were Congresswoman-Elect Veronica Escobar, CD 23 Nominee Gina Ortiz-Jones,  and State Rep Mary Gonzalez. You'd figure they would've been highlighted at some point but really weren't.

I think the party missed the shot on that one.

But the statewide candidates were all really good. That is the first time I can ever recall saying that and actually meaning it.

This was one of my favorite candidates. Stole the show if ya ask me.




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Democratic Convention & SDEC Races

The Texas Democratic Party will have its convention in the next few days in Fort Worth. Should be interesting this year because of how Trump has energized the Party.

Conventions are mostly fun, you get a chance to see some cool swag from across the state. I designed a couple of t-shirts that the Party is going to sell.

We'll talk about platform and get into a bunch of unnecessary arguments with one another because we are Democrats and that is what we do.

But there is one kind of important piece of business that gets done and that is select the SDEC Committeeman and Committeewoman positions. These are mostly popularity contests.

Former City Representative and Chairman of the Tejano Democrats Eddie Holguin will be facing a candidate from the NE Democrats who's name escapes me and a guy named E. Anthony Martinez. After spending years in the local Democratic Party, I have never heard of Mr. Martinez. He sent out an email to the delegates and it had a video. After watching the video, I don't think I've ever actually seen him at a Democratic Party event that I can recall in the last 10 years.

His email was kind of rambling about how he didn't think he was treated very nicely by TDP in a phone call. That was pretty much the entire premise of the email.

Holguin is a former elected official. He's the Chair of the flagship party auxiliary, and he and Democratic Party Chairwoman Iliana Holguin have been the standard bearers for the Party locally. He's transitioned from one of the youngest elected officials in town and matured into somewhat of a party elder now. You never heard of drama at Tejano Democrats meetings now because of his leadership. Its hard to see how the other two candidates eek out much support. But I'm sure I'll speak with both of them over the next couple of days and get to know them better and report back.

The SDEC Committeewoman race is a little different. It pits two well-known Party activists against one another - Sissy Byrd, Chair of the Black El Paso Democrats and Isela Castañon-Williams, who is an officer in the Tejano Democrats. Both ladies have paid their dues and spent their time working for the Party.

More convention stuff in the next few days.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Haggerty Opposes Resolution Condemning Tornillo Child Detention Camp

"Don't you ever talk to me like that again."

In a surprisingly angry outburst, County Commissioner Andrew Haggerty lashed out against County Commissioner David Stout regarding Haggerty's "no" vote on a resolution condemning the camp that incarcerates children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump Administrations new Zero Tolerance Policy. His outburst has drawn sharp criticism from the Chairwoman of the El Paso County Democratic Party, the Chairman of the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats, and his Democratic opponent in November, former City Representative Carl Robinson and other community leaders.

The exchange happened after the vote on the resolution during yesterday's Commissioner's Court meeting. Stout spoke after the vote thanking the judge and commenting that "it saddens me and is very unfortunate that we couldn't have a unanimous vote on this issue..."

Stout went on to say that he didn't think it was a partisan issue, which is not only absurd but shockingly naive for any elected official who has paid any attention to this issue at all to say, and spoke about how bad it was to separate children from their parents.

Stout never mentions Haggerty's name at all during his comments, just simply laments that it wasn't a unanimous vote and on the treatment of children.

Thats when Haggerty loses it. Here's video of Haggerty's response so you can see for yourself.



First of all Commissioner Haggerty, your vote actually is our business. You're an elected official and you're in a duly posted meeting in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, your vote is absolutely the public's business.

In fact, its the public's "freaking" business.

Now it is completely unclear why he had that reaction. Below is the video of what Stout said that Haggerty had such a disproportionate response to.



Understandably there has been a response to Commissioner Haggerty from local leaders. In a press release sent out today, El Paso Country Democratic Party Chairwoman Iliana Holguin had this to say:

“Our country is in the midst of a moral crisis created by a president who sees nothing wrong with tearing sobbing children from their parents only to detain them in tent cities such as the recently opened detention facility in our own backyard in Tornillo, Texas.  It is clear from his remarks that Commissioner Haggerty agrees with the sentiments of this president, who calls immigrants ‘animals’ and claims that immigrants are ‘infesting’ our country.  These comments are unacceptable and extremely offensive not only to residents of border communities such as ours, but to all of us who believe that the United States’ strength as a nation is a result of our diversity and the contributions that we all make to our country,” said Iliana Holguin, Chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party.  “Much like the president, Commissioner Haggerty seems to believe that immigrants deserve to be treated unjustly and inhumanely and it is very important for the voters of this County to know that before they cast their ballots on Election Day in November.”

Haggerty's opponent in November, Democrat and former City Representative Carl Robinson stated the following:

I find it inexcusable that an elected official cannot support a resolution condemning the separation of families..”

Chairman Holguin, of the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats characterized the statements and vote of Haggerty as "shameful" going on to say,

“his inability to support a resolution condemning the horrific and barbaric actions of separating families who have come to our city/country seeking asylum is truly  unbecoming of an elected official. What other Trump policies does Haggerty agree with?”

Former City Representative Lily Limón also released a statement saying:

I am in disbelief that an elected official would turn his back on a resolution condemning the horrific actions again families seeking asylum in our country. 

Regardless of party affiliation, Americans across the country have loudly proclaimed this immigration policy does not represent our values and must change. 

We will remember those who were silent and enabled this policy, turning their backs during a humanitarian crisis that easily could be eased with one phone call by the president.

Haggerty's tirade was a little confusing because at first he says his vote had nothing to do with his party affiliation and then he went on to tell Stout if the wanted to, he could open his doors to basically anyone he wanted to, which echoes of the "open borders" rhetoric frequently heard on Fox News.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

EPISD School Closures: A Screw Job to Community

The more I dive into this EPISD closure movida the more the whole thing disgusts me. It really makes you understand the adage that "ignorance is bliss".

Lets cut to the quick - the community was promised long ago that anyone going from a closed school would be going to a better one. That simply isn't true. Its a huge broken promise and there is a false urgency deliberately created to cram these closures down the community's throat.

Beall Elementary school is on the chopping block. The kids will go to either Zavala or Douglas. Neither of those schools are in good condition. The board, and frankly more disappointingly, the majority of the trustees, apparently don't have the slightest problem with closing barrio schools and cramming the kids in to other substandard schools.

But hey, they are just poor Mexicans that don't vote right? I mean its not like they have to power to do anything about it right? Lets just run over them because theres no ramification, amirite?

Seriously, how can the union bosses be okay with this? I hope they are going to come out against this at the next meeting because the community is counting on them to hold the board accountable, not be cooperative with the screw job.

And don't get me started on the fact that there are schools scheduled to be closed that have new playgrounds that were just put in. That is the most EPISD thing ever. Its honestly not a big deal, but its the personification of what a fluster cuck this all is.

Rusk Elementary is scheduled to be closed and those kids are going to go to Travis. That school is so old that I think Colonel Travis may still have been in command at the Alamo when that school was built.

But the most surprising is Moye. That is the school in the Devil's Triangle area. That damn thing is less than 10 years old. There are basically no real issues with capacity at that school.

You think a charter school isn't going to jump right into that location?

Seriously these closures aren't doing anything but helping charter schools.

But wait until you hear this little nugget...

The narrative that is being pushed by Hatch and his Hatchlings is that the closures are necessary because of budget shortfalls, which total $7 million.

Do you know how much money is being saved by these closures? About $600k.

So all these closures and it only amounts to around 8.6% of the budge shortfall. That means these closures aren't about the budget, or they need to get some new bean counters on Boeing.

The public deserves answers. Go to these meetings to demand them. Most of the trustees are on social media, engage them there. Some of them like Al Velarde are encouraging feedback and dialogue. Others like Mickey Loweree are deleting anyone that asks anything that look like a difficult question.

 

Georgina Perez: Homegirl of the Week

Its been awhile since I've given this out and if anyone deserves it lately its State Board of Education Member Georgina Perez.

I spend a lot of time being critical of local leaders. Especially on issues having to do with raza. Hell I'm known for taking attendance at the Cesar Chavez march and counting all the brown elected officials that don't even show up for that.

But as you read this post ask yourself, what have you done since last Thursday?

Well, Member Perez helped a young lady graduating in Tornillo work with Congressman O'Rourke's office to secure a temporary VISA for her mother to be able to cross the border and watch her graduation ceremony.

Then, as a Democrat in a 10-5 Republican majority board (meaning Republicans have quorum with 8 of their 10 members and literally don't need Democrats to show up) she was able to pass Mexican American Studies on the State Board of Education. While other states are eliminating that coursework in high school, especially in the Trump era, Perez led the charge to pass it, making Texas the first state to do so.

Then, for an encore, she was able to get Dolores Huerta back into social studies courses in the state of Texas. For those of you with no frame of reference, this is a board that a few years ago was overtly racist, removed Huerta from text books, and had a board member who wanted the idea that dinosaurs roamed the earth with man put into Texas curriculum.

To give you an idea of how bad things were, the SBOE refused to include slavery as even one of the causes of the Civil War. Well, she changed that too!

But thats not why I'm making her Home Girl of the Week. She's HGOTW because of the adversity she's had to face along the way this week. Racists and xenophobes have attacked her for helping that young lady get permission for her mother to watch her graduate.

On the other side, she has her own raza trying to burn her in effigy because they threw a tantrum over the name of the ethnic studies course for brown people. Even after Perez did a lot of politicking with her Republican colleagues on the board to successfully change the name back to Mexican American Studies, which was something none of the other Democrats had the pull to be able to accomplish, she is still getting heat from our own raza.

The protesters started referring to her as a "Lone Wolf". Perez embraced the intended insult, which is the most Chicana thing ever, and worse a big brooch of a wolf to the meeting this week.

Looks like she gave some haters the proverbial finger with her hashtags in this tweet following the vote too!



Why, because she wasn't vocal enough for protesters during the meeting. Well thats because the only thing some members can do is pitch a fit to give the appearance that they are putting up a fight. Others actually do the hard work away from the public eye to get things done. Some what credit, some just want to get the job done.

She even had one of the protesters threaten her with an opponent after the first meeting this week. Which was hilarious when you find out who the alleged opponent was going to be. Seriously, my sides are still hurting from laughing so hard when I heard who it was.

By the way, the vote was unanimous, so the heat really is misplaced.

Some people are show ponies, some are work horses.

SBOE Member Georgina Perez - Homegirl of the Week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Saucedo's Political Posturing

Seriously, this is the most El Paso story you can find in politics right now.

Look, I'll be straight with you guys. In this whole city attorney fiasco, which I think is universally acknowledged as a huge fluster-cuck, I don't think Margo is the main bad guy here.

I think he's made some mistakes, but I think two other city reps, Cassandra Brown being one of them, play a much bigger role in all of this than is being let on (but hey, those are a series of blog posts for later).

But I think Margo needs to be more self-aware.

Despite the fact that he was elected Mayor, I think he needs to understand that a lot of people don't like him and his personality lends itself to easily slipping into villain mode.

For example, Mayor Margo's quote in this story on KTSM about Saucedo's little transparent political ploy.


I am confident that David’s accusations are baseless and it’s apparent he is trying to position himself to run for office. He has limited business and governance experience, especially having been fined and disciplined by the TX Ethics Commission for campaign violations last year. 
In all candor, he should be ashamed of himself for his lack of character, integrity, and his lack of leadership with the Boys & Girls Club. El Paso needs young strong Hispanic leaders to step forward and he is not fit to represent our community.
- Mayor Dee Margo


Normally, this is the kind of thing that would make me lose my shit. A white guy, I don't care if he's mayor of El Paso or president of the fucking Bronco Ballroom, has no business telling us what kind of "Hispanic" leaders we need to represent our community. 

But, as it turns out, Margo happens to be 100% right about David Saucedo. And yes, Saucedo probably calls himself "Hispanic" too. 

Obviously I think its hilarious that two Republicans are taking shots at one another. But its more than just that. If you watch the video of the interview with Saucedo he talks about the media and is acting like he's some sort of crusader for the truth and defender of the media. 

He even went so far as to say that Dee Margo should not avoid the media and should "take it". 

Seriously?

This is the same vato that actually STOPPED an interview for a do-over because it was going so badly. 

You memmur, memmur?





Saucedo hasn't shown himself to be someone who is willing to "take it". Especially after the whole Boys and Girls Club fiasco. 

Truth is, I agree with some of what Saucedo is saying. Not that whole Doo-ruhn-guito part. I think Saucedo cares as much about poor raza about as much as I believe Max Grossman does, which is to say, zero.

For God's sake, this guy plagiarized Hillel the Elder and Ronald Reagan when he went on some riff about, "if not me, who? If not now, when?"

The answer to that rhetorical question is prettt much anybody. The fact that it is him making the complaint undermines it. It’s Trumpian ego that makes Saucedo think he has to be the one to push this complaint forward.

But if you think for one second that this isn't a pretty transparent political ploy on the part of Saucedo, then I have a port of entry in Socorro to sell you...

Its the Tolbert Factor.

Ever since Jim Tolbert used an ethics complaint to launch his political career everyone started doing it and each one has been worse than the one before. Max Grossman's little acolyte was next and he was a shitty candidate and lost. 

Now Saucedo?

Seriously does he not have anyone around him that cares enough about him to tell him, hey vato, if you do this its going to look like sour grapes because Dee Margo kicked your ass in the last election like you were an employee late for work...

This is only going to get more and more funny, so stay tuned. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

EPISD Closures: Secrets and Broken Promises?

I just watched the replay of the ABC 7 Xtra on KVIA's website about the closures at EPISD.

Click here to watch it, its enlightening/infuriating.

Lets start with some basics here. To his credit, Al Velarde went on the air and did something most elected officials don't do, acknowledged a mistake. He acknowledged that the closure discussion is something that should have been dealt with by the board long ago. Ross Moore of the AFT also said the board should have dealt with the issue sooner and didn't.

And that is something important to acknowledge. The budget with the number of schools they have right now is unsustainable. The math doesn't work. You gotta shut something down somewhere and be more efficient. There's really no way out of closing/consolidating schools.

And we as a community have to get passed the NIMBY mentality and make choices that are in the best interest of the district. Therein lies the rub. The community doesn't have that place at the table.

What Velarde and Moore didn't do, was convince anyone why they need to do it now at the 11th hour.

And thanks to this conversation on Xtra, I have a clearer idea of the timeline involved and I see why people are pretty pissed about this. EPISD is just three weeks away from adopting a budget. That is basically no time to have a meaningful community conversation about the closures.

According to Velarde the "officers" of the Board have been discussing it for three weeks before that. So by their own admission, they are looking at making a very big decision that will change the face of public education in El Paso barrios and the whole thing is supposed to take 6 weeks start to finish?

Yeah, there's no way that is going to get messed up, right? Seriously, have you seen how graduations are run by EPISD? They know those happen every year and they are always a fluster cuck.

The officers had a three week head start on this and didn't think to bring it up? This is why the community doesn't trust EPISD.

Secrets and broken promises.

Susie Byrd makes a compelling point that moving on this so late in the game is disrespectful to the public. Word around the campfire is Trent Hatch isn't fond of having meetings with angry people so he feels its better to rip the band-aid off and just make the hard decisions.

The problem is you don't get to have it both ways. The community was really important to EPISD when they wanted to pass the largest bond ever attempted in El Paso County. Having a community meeting AFTER you've decided the schools that are going to be closed is a slap in the face to the community and anyone who doesn't understand that should go back to school.

Why not deal with this year's budge shortfall by making some tough choices that don't involve shutting down schools? You live to fight another day, and then you buy some time to have a thoughtful and respectful conversation with the community about what schools need to close.

Let me speak a little truth to power here for a second and say something a lot of people are thinking but no one really wants to say...

There's only one brown person on EPISD's Board of Trustees. Seriously the board couldn't look less like El Paso if it tried, but that is the community's fault for not electing people that represent their communities. Anywho, everyone in the community just knows that its going to be the poor brown schools that get closed.

And that is why the Board appears to not give two shits about consulting with the community. Making a multi-million dollar major policy shift just 3 weeks before the budget is supposed to be finalize is disrespectful to the communities where those schools are located. This is going to look like a bunch of white folks shoving a decision without community buy-in down their throats.

This is where all the Chicano activists should be defending their barrios. This is where they should be raising hell with torches and pitchforks.

Ross Moore makes a good point about the Board being too caught up in drama when they should have been dealing with this issue. Although, I think Moore needs to acknowledge he was part of the drama himself. I mean he did get in some pretty public fights with Dori Fenenbock and Juan Cabrera.

So was Hatch.

Speaking of Cabrera, where the hell is he? Your Super is usually the face of the district. He has been conspicuous in his absence in this conversation. There's a reason he's not anywhere near this issue.

The reality is that this conversation didn't happen sooner because it was too close to a bond election, or it was too close to election cycle.

There really is no "good time" for this tough decision to be made, but 3 weeks before the budget finalization is probably the worst possible way to go about this decision. Its always easier to rationalize why you don't do something versus having the political courage to make the tough calls.

And the rush on this isn't necessary.

They should find a way to meet the budget shortfall through departmental and administrative cuts for this year (which contrary to Mr. Velarde, administration costs at EPISD ARE quite high), then take their time and involve the community in a deliberative and collaborative process.

Can you think of one reason why you shouldn't, other than you don't like meeting with people who are angry? I'm sorry that inconveniences you as a leader and that you expected every decision to be easy, but welcome to being a leader.

The Fenenbock Factor 

Lets all take a moment to pause for a minute and remember a couple of things. First, when Dori Fenenbock was peddling the bond as a spring board for her congressional bid, the idea was for students that were going to schools that would be consolidated to go to schools that were upgrades to the school being closed.

That isn't going to happen now.

Lets also remember that Dori was running for congress and never once showed the leadership to bring this issue up before now. There were a lot of hardcore Chicanos that supported Dori because, well they didn't like Escobar. I wonder how they feel now knowing that this was an issue that could've been dealt with when she is in a position to ensure that it was a reasonable conversation and not something shoved down our throats but chose not to?

Sure is interesting when you put into perspective her trips to visit charter schools around the country and now we have a situation where the charters can follow their normal playbook and open up in abandoned schools in impoverished communities...

Especially now that this plan is being put into place by Trent Hatch, her hand-picked successor.

Union Role

I know a lot of people that are pretty upset with the unions in this situation and think they "sold out". Predictably, I'm gonna defend them on this one. Ross Moore and Norma De La Rosa have shown leadership that is absent from the EPISD Superintendent on this issue. The Super is at least as guilty as the school board trustees for not acting on this issue sooner, if not more so.

A union boss' first job is to protect their membership. The union boss' in EPISD did their job.

The unions hate Cabrera, hell Ross Moore called for Cabrera to be fired. There's no love lost there. Hatch probably has Cabrera duct taped to a chair in a basement in the main office while they iron this all out for that exact reason.

But the union bosses, Norma De La Rosa from El Paso Teachers' Association and Ross Moore of AFT, protected union jobs. Thats what they are supposed to do. That is their job. To his credit, Ross Moore seems to understand more than the officers on the board exactly how bad the budget problem is there at EPISD. According to his figures, when you compound interest, inflation, etc the problem is even bigger than EPISD has said.



Moore is also calling for a couple of really important things that you should take notice of.

First, he's calling for a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to be held on June 19th to discuss this issue. This would likely be the only meaningful time for a public conversation on the issue. One meeting isn't enough obviously, but it is important that Moore is calling for the meeting and if he wants it, its likely he will get it. Hatch wouldn't dare risk upsetting the unions during the next three weeks.

The other important thing he's asking for that I think is really great, is a separate closure plan from each trustee. That gives you options and lets you see who is really putting some thought in solving this problem that they have with declining enrollment and a budget shortfall. Its like he's going back to the classroom and asking the trustees to show their work in math class. The community will get to see who is actually committed to solving the issue and who is just there to cast a vote with the wind.

The trustees need to put the effort into this mess they (unnecessarily) created with the 11th hour approach, not the bean-counters on Boeing.

The problem I see for the unions here is that the jobs are protected to the extent that they can take Hatch at his word that the teachers will be protected. Thats a lot of faith to put into a Republican. Republicans want to end unions. Yes, I looked up Hatch's voting record. Solid Republican, until the last primary were he could vote for his benefactor Dori Fenenbock...




I just don't see how union folks can stick their neck out for a guy who's values are diametrically opposed to their existence as an entity.

The brilliance of what they did is that they are in a position to pull out Hatch's chair from under him if they aren't getting what they want. But they are also in a position of great responsibility and the community is going to expect a lot from them. They are essentially the only thing stopping the community from getting completely hosed in all of this.

They can either parlay their position to benefit transparency and fairness in the closure process - or they will be seen - best case scenario, as naive for working with Hatch, or worst case scenario, co-conspirators in a community screw job.

Byrd-Dogging

Byrd is taking the community position on this and trying to push back on this effort to shove this down the community's throat, but she's essentially the only one.

Union Boss Ross Moore said something about her that just isn't consistent with the facts. He implied that Byrd isn't pro-teacher and wasn't holding Cabrera accountable.

Byrd appears to have a 100% voting record when it comes to teachers. She's certainly the most teacher friendly member of the board, so I'm scratching my head wondering why Moore made that remark, but there's a chance I misunderstood his implication.

But one I didn't misunderstand was is implication that Susie Byrd wasn't holding Cabrera accountable on the board and that Diane Dye (of all people) is.

Diane Dye holding him accountable? Laughable.

Byrd is essentially the ONLY person holding Cabrera accountable. The travel gate is a big example. Why the hell does Cabrera have a grievance against her if Byrd isn't holding him accountable? You don't file grievances against people you have a good relationship with.

I don't think there is enough time for Byrd to be able to stop this now. She's literally the only one standing up for barrio kids right now. This is going to end badly. Its going to be yet another reason people don't trust local government.

And its a perfect example of why people need to take a close look at who they elect for school board because when you don't, you get a board that doesn't look like your community, and worse yet, doesn't respond to your community.

To my fellow Chicanos...take note of who is on what side of this issue. Remember who is on our side, and more importantly, who is not.

Vote accordingly.

Friday, June 1, 2018

EPISD Closures

I'll be brief with this one.

I'm glad no one is losing their job. That means the union bosses did their job. But in the grand equation of all of this I don't see how it is sustainable if what Hatch says is true about the number of students EPISD loses every year.

I thought the bond was supposed to help with that.

I don't think you can protect all the jobs through attrition and salaries are the biggest budget expense, so I have a real concern that the Hatch will go back on his deal to protect jobs. But hey, you really interested in carving out some budget space through salaries...start with the main office. The district is top heavy. Start cutting out some frivolous administration jobs.

Or get rid of your police force. Seriously, we already pay for cops, why the hell does your district need its own police force? (I know, its an old rant but its an unnecessary thing we as tax payers have to pay for. Like judicial supplements. I figure if I complain about them enough, someone might hear me some day.)

There is a palpable deficit of trust between EPISD and the community that has been going on for a really long time. Pulling this movida at the end of the school year when its harder to organize families to protect schools wasn't an accident and that is why people don't trust the school district.

I think when everyone heard about this surprise press conference yesterday heard about school closures, they immediately assume that poor brown schools are the ones that are going to be closed. Both sides need to tread lightly on this one. If the data says the schools need to be closed, and if the data is accurate, then you gotta do what you gotta do. There's no reason to keep schools open unnecessarily or for purely sentimental reasons.

Sadly, you know what is going to go into those closed schools?

Charter schools.

But the district can't railroad poor brown schools and the communities they are in. They have to have a collaborative approach. Especially because a lot of them are in real danger of not being around for another term.

Closures are going to happen. If you monitor social media you know the votes are there. Now its about process and there are only a select few that can make sure this doesn't become a soup sandwich.

But come on, in your heart of hearts, you just KNOW EPISD is going to find a way to EPISD this whole thing up.

Corrections: Max Grossman & Others

I pride myself on being able to correct myself when I'm wrong, so I have to make a correction.

I wrote earlier this week that Chris Acosta was on a committee to select members of the El Paso Democratic Party Hall of Fame and I took issue with it because she works with a Republican operative. 

I was wrong. Most of what I write is opinion, but when I write something as fact, I try to get it right. So I got it wrong this time. She is not on a committee to select members to the El Paso County Democratic Party Hall of Fame. 

She's a member of an award committee of a prominent Democratic Party auxiliary, not the Hall of Fame committee. 

My bad.

Next, Max Grossman. I don't have anything to correct about him, but I put him in this piece because he says he's not a Republican...

He says he's a libertarian. 

Well, if he is, he doesn't appear to vote for them. Facts are facts so once again, here is the Dandy's voting record. He clearly votes Republican. If you challenge me on the facts Grossman, you better make sure you're not full of crap. 


Also, two other things abut El Paso's Dandy. 

He's bitching because he says I didn't post his comment about me on my blog, but if you follow my social media, he's posted a comment on a couple of different posts. I haven't taken it down. Its there if you wanna go read it. So maybe the complexity of posting a comment on my blog exceeds your technical capacity. But you haven't posted a comment and I've posted comments that are critical of me plenty of times.

Unlike you, I have a thick skin. Look at how you react to criticism, so save your sanctimonious rantings and learn how to perform a basic function like post a comment on a blog, Doctor.

For those of you playing at home, its the same old "criminal blogger" thing. Same shit haters have been saying for a long time.

Like posting that shit is going to magically make me go away?

If you haven't figured out yet, it isn't. 

There is nothing that is ever going to happen to me that is going to make me stop blogging. And my readers will keep coming. And so will you Max, because your ego is too big to not come and read anything about you. Hell, you're reading this right now. 

Just because other people are afraid to stand up to you (why I have no idea) doesn't mean that I am. And just because KVIA gave you a fluff piece doesn't mean that a lot of people in this town don't actually see you for what you are. 

Its been my opinion since Max Grossman has hit the scene that he uses raza for his own gain. I see it and I'm not going to pretend I don't. 

Second, Max Grossman threatened to sue me. I hate to break this to you Buttercup, but you aren't the first person to threaten me. I've been threatened by a lot more intimidating people in this town than the guy that in my opinion, looks like Mr. Peanut and Mr. Monopoly had a baby. 

So there, I'm expressing my own personal opinion in a satirical manner about a public figure. 

First you have to prove I've written something about you that I know to be untrue - which I haven't - and that you have been damaged by it. 

This is still America and you can't police thought. As much as your idol Donald Trump would like to, you can't jail people who express a dissenting opinion. I'm allowed to express an opinion about a public figure, of which you are. 

Saying you're going to sue people is like saying you're going to kick someone's ass. If you could do it, you would do it - not talk about it. 

You're a politico.

I'm a political blogger.

You can't have it both ways. 

You don't scare me Buttercup.