Early Voting for the General Run-Off Election started yesterday, May 16 until Friday 20th at 6p. The final voter choices for nominees of the Democrats and Republican is the purpose of this type of election because the final choice must have won a majority of the votes cast. At stake are some very important choices for County Judge, Commissioner Pct. Various County Court at Law judges and Constables, mostly on the Democratic Party side. Sheriff nominee and constable dominate the interest on the Republican side. Be sure to vote Early and avoid the rush on the May 24th, Election day.
Congratulations are in order for those who ran vigorous campaigns for Texas Southmost College and the Port of Brownsville. The campaigns collectively increased voter turnout, doubling the number of votes cast during Early Voting and doubling again the votes cast on Election Day. Even the Mail-In ballots reached a high number of 510 for these type of elections. Everyone voting had a stake. The Establishment and incumbent candidates for the Port, Reed (unopposed), Gowen, and Lopez beat the Hernandez backed duo of Rivera and Villanueva by good margins. The campaign of Patrick Anderson by the anti-LNG group did not make much of a vote difference toward the loss by Rivera. Over on the TSC ballot side the surprise candidates were Zavaleta and non-candidates Hockaday who withdrew from the race but her name still appeared on the ballot. Zavaleta like Pizana did not wage much of a visible campaign; didn’t see much literature or street canvassers. Cantu, one of two women seeking office on the TSC board, and Zavaleta are now headed to a Runoff election later in June.
My family and I joined the hundreds who attended the 80th “Birth Day” party for the Port of Brownsville. We greeted Port Commissioners Masso and Woods who we ran into among the crowd and had a most informative boat tour narrated by none other than Port Director Eduardo Campirano. Thank you for a wonderful time while we visited our Port facilities and all the dozens of vendors who showed their community support with booths filled with information and goodies for the public including HEB who gets so much business from our community and gave back a little to the community with lots of hot dogs and drinks. We loved the “paleteros” the best. Thank you all.
The rest of the weekend was spent with my family on Boca Chica beach. Thank you, Commissioner Benavides, for keeping it clean and maintained for free beach access. We parked almost on the waterfront. It was definitely a great change from visiting any California beach or even the Charge-You-To-Park-Beach-Access on South Padre Island.! Maybe HEB can contribute Port-a-Potties at Boca Chica beach Commissioner.
Calling on all good people to do the right thing this Saturday, May 12th. We would like to help the Postal Carriers and United Food and Commercial Workers union members in getting food to the needy. Please Check your pantry and pull out canned food, juices, boxes of cereal, pasta, rice and beans. Nothing expired or in glass containers.
Put the donation by your mailbox in a bag or box on the 12th of may and the letter carriers and volunteers will pick it up for delivery to the local food pantries.
The V3 Army for the Good asks of you to be generous.
My name is Mike Hernandez and I am supporting Raul Villanueva and Ed Rivera for Port Commissioners.
I was born and raised in Brownsville until midway through high school at which point my family relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth area due to my father’s employment. My family history and presence in Cameron County dates back to the early 1800’s and the majority of my family still live in the Valley. I am now semi-retired and chose Cameron County for my philanthropic efforts given the fact that it has the lowest per capita income in the country and because I have always considered it my hometown.
I feel that it is appropriate and legitimate to ask why I would become involved in the Port elections. My reasons in a nutshell are as follows:
1) Brownsville is ranked last in the nation in per capita income and has been ranked there for some time.
While I understand the challenges of being a border town to Mexico, the combination of being on the border but also on the coast puts Brownsville in a uniquely favorable position above all other border towns from here to San Diego.
We now have a tremendous opportunity before us to transform our economy and increase the quality of life our residents. And I want to help make that happen because it’s the right thing to do. Our community deserves it.
2) While the Port of Brownsville has a history of corruption, it is not my belief that any of the current board members are engaging in corruption in any form.
This particular election is not about corruption. It is about an overall lack of vision for how to create good paying, long-term jobs for the people who need them, and making the Port work for the community, instead of the other way around.
The bottom line is that, under normal circumstances, ports are an asset to a community in two ways…tax generation and job creation. In successful communities, ports normally generate their own operating revenue from the businesses there without needing outside subsidies. Unfortunately in Brownsville, the people must pay taxes to support the Port, which is the opposite of how it should work. So not only should we not have to pay taxes to the Port, but the Port should instead be contributing to the tax base of our community.
Doing so would not only allow us to better meet our community’s basic needs (e.g., streets, drainage, traffic, parks, trails etc.), but would also reduce our tax burden.
3) Personally, my businesses are in the metropolitan areas of Texas and are related primarily to finance and the automobile business, not shipping or warehousing. Any suggestions that I have some current or future opportunities to benefit from the Port of Brownsville is just political maneuvering and inaccurate.
The most important thing to me is that the Port becomes the job creation asset and the tax revenue contributor for our community that it is supposed to be.
While I am respectful of the efforts and commitment that the current board members have made over the last 8 years, it’s obvious that it’s time for a new vision to finally make the Port of Brownsville the engine for creating good paying jobs and contributing to the City as we deserve.
It is my conclusion that Raul and Ed clearly understand that, and have the correct vision and plan to make that finally happen.
But having said that, Raul and Ed are professional and independent thinkers. They are not beholden to me or anyone else, and do not have, or are related to anyone who has, any private business interests at the Port; which in my view would be a direct conflict and should not be allowed of any commissioner.
I firmly believe that their interest is to make our community better, and that they have the capacity and ability to make that happen.
I have invested in their campaigns because I believe that their leadership will give our community an important competitive advantage for growing our economy and creating more and better paying jobs. I believe that it’s every citizen’s responsibility to get involved to make sure that we have the right leaders to move our community forward.
There are special elections being held in Cameron County and other places across the state on May 7th before the partisan political party Run-off elections of May 24th The basic rule regarding voter eligibility is to register to vote no less than 30 days before the election. So, the date for May 7th was yesterday, The close of eligibility for the Run-off election will be next April 25, 2016.
V3 volunteers and staff who are Cameron County Deputy Voter Registrars have been diligently registering voters all last week. In just four days at the student center of Texas Southmost College our V3 Army registered 110 new voters. And, these student voters now can choose who will sit as Trustee on the college board where three (3) seats are up. There are plenty of candidates for these positions. Their campaign signs are up all over the district area, mostly in Brownsville. Check them out before you vote. Early voting begins in ten (10 ) days, April 25, 2016.
The first winner of the raffle for a gift card was Cinthia Alejandra Lopez. And she got $10 to spend on us at Sonic. You should sign up also……6 more gift cards to go in Brownsville and 21 in northern Cameron County….. Attend a V3 event and sign up or come by the office at 1767 Boca Chica Blvd, Brownsville, Tx 78520.
Our staff and volunteer crews began our community survey work today in near perfect 74 degree weather. Dread the summer heat when we should be mid-done with the work of visiting 150,000 households in Cameron County. We want to talk one-on -one with our residents to discuss V3 and why civic engagement is of the utmost importance if we are to make fundamental social change in the Rio Grande Valley.
Easter is around the corner and several things come to mind: La Cuaresma is going to be over, Whew!
Giving up things we love for Lent is a really difficult experience much like New Year Resolutions.
Except for one: Giving up giving up anything for La Cuaresma.
I am keeping one promise and that is to keep working for Bernie Sanders for president of the USA.
Headed now to K Mart (Yes, there are still some stores around) to register voters. I am a deputy voter
registrar for Cameron County. You should become one yourself in your county.
And over the weekend to as many parks where La Raza is to reigster more voters while they pray over the BBQ grills con unas frias in the ice chest while the kids hunt for the huevitos de la coneja.
Watch out for the cascarones con harina…
Mayor Avina Gutierrrez of Yakima WA hosts presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tomorrow and grants him keys to the city……
p.s. Avina is my daughter
Last One Standing Writes…
Yes, I am still standing and organizing at age 71. You remember Reies Lopez Tijerina, Corky Gonzales, Cesar Chavez (aka The Four Horsemen) and Las Veteranas Emma Tenayuca, Virginia Muzquiz,, Olga Villa, Maria Hernandez, and many, many others who have deceased?
I am organizing in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas because it is the poorest MSA in the country! We must begin again from the bottom up across the Rio Grande Valley, on to the rest of Texas and the Southwest, and finish the entire country in twenty years. The Bernie Sanders for president got me out of retirement because what he stands for on the issues is the Raza Unida Platform. What he espouses is the substance of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights which never saw legislative light because he died. I want democratic socialism to compete in the public arena with corporate conglomerate capitalism on issue and positions.
Join our V3 movement: Army for the Good.