The August 12 endorsement meeting of the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus is an important deal in Houston municipal politics.
The endorsement of the Caucus is very helpful in a low turnout race where just a few votes can make the difference between getting into a runoff or not. The Caucus mails out an endorsement card many voters take into the polling place.
I'm a Houston LGBTQ Political Caucus member who'll be voting in the endorsement meeting. I'm happy to hear from any candidate about how they will make protection and expansion of democracy an issue in 2023 & how they'll be an active part of the 2024 campaign in Harris County.
Where do you have a vote or a voice?
The Houston Democracy Project is very much about the power and leverage of rank & file Houstonians.
It's not about candidates. It's about each of us living in a free society or at the least moving us towards the free society we imagine for ourselves and the people in our lives.
Each of us has power in a low turnout race where just a few votes can make the difference between getting into a runoff or not.
ThInk about where you have leverage with candidates:
Your ability to make a donation or to volunteer for a candidate.
Your ability to go to a meeting where the candidate is speaking and asking them if they'll stand up to people trying to take our basic rights.
Any membership you have in club or organization that endorses candidates. Use that membership to press elected officials and candidates.
Your willingness to challenge people with some measure of local power or who may acquire some measure of local political power. You freedom is more important than an awkward moment or a stressful brief interaction.
Whatever influence you know you have in whatever fashion.
Locally we've lost our elected school board in what was just 60 years ago a Jim Crow city & Harris County Republicans are in the Texas court system trying to undo 21 Democratic elections victories from 2022.
Statewide we have a Texas government that pushes migrants into the Rio Grande River and denies them water in this crazy heat.
Nationally we have the real prospect of a second Donald Trump term.
It's not a big ask to ask our local candidates to address these facts.
Here are some things you can ask:
Will you make democracy a top issue in your campaign? Will you discuss the issue on your campaign literature and website?
Will you speak up on the loss of our elected school board and continuing efforts to reverse Democratic wins in Harris County in 2022?
What are you doing to increase turnout and involvement in Houston City elections?
Can I count on you to help elect Democrats in Harris County in 2024?
Will you use campaign funds and your influence to help develop and train non-white organizers in Houston? Progressive organizers? Will you use your resources to strengthen pro-democracy forces in Houston?
Will you insist police unions and any group you seek the endorsement of will always support free and fair elections in Texas?
If you are a Democrat, will you openly identify as a Democrat on campaign materials and in public appearances?
Another thing you can do is share word of the Houston Democracy Project and support the effort.
We can't wait for elected officials in Houston to take up for us. They won't do so unless we demand that they do.
I'm Neil Aquino