I spoke with Mr. Capo before the meeting started and asked him how he felt about addressing Republicans. He related that he works closely with Republican legislators at the state level, specifically Texas Sen. Florence Shapiro, chair of the Senate Education Committee, and that he wanted to tout some of the reforms that the HFT was able to push through, reforms that Republicans agree with. During his talk, he discussed career and technology programs, teacher’s grading authority (SB-2033), adult education and workforce development (HB-1935), preparing for green jobs, and HB-3, which included limiting TAKS testing, replacing it with end of course exams.
It was actually an interesting talk and you have to give the RHCA and the HFT credit for recognizing that, even though their political philosophies are polar opposites, education bridges that gap and both sides need to be heard. It would be really easy for Republicans to dismiss any input and vice versa, but that would not serve our future well. Mr. Capo also passed out the August issue of the HFT’s Federation News, click here to read it . It is very informative.
Several candidates also attended the meeting. As mentioned previously, Eric Story was there. Also attending was TJ Huntley, who put in a plug for Roy Morales’ campaign for Mayor of Houston. I had to laugh at his plug because he said he didn’t want to be negative, shortly after saying that Annise Parker is a lesbian, Peter Brown is a socialist and Gene Locke had Obamites coming in to help his campaign. I completely understand his point about knowing who you are voting for, it just struck me as funny.
Tex Christopher also attended. Tex is one of three people seeking to oust Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in Texas’ 18th Congressional District and is working extremely hard. There is no possible way I could keep his schedule, the guy is everywhere. His campaign is different than his opponent John Faulk. Mr. Faulk is basing his campaign strategy on defeating Ms. Jackson Lee while Tex is basing his on “love for the people”. I told him that his campaign slogan should be the Campaign of Love. I do not know the third opponent, Jared Woodfill mentioned a third opponent at the candidate forum Monday, the only thing I’ve been able to find out is that it is possibly a female lawyer with the first name of Debra. Here is Tex’s speech, sorry for the camera angle, I didn’t know in advance he would speak.
Candidate for Harris County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Place 2 Virginia Pittman was also in attendance. Ms. Pittman is seeking to replace the retiring William Yeoman.
Candidate for HISD Trustee District 1 Alma Lara was unable to attend but her daughter, Felicia Lara, and Mr. Capo represented her in the video below.
You can also find out more information about Mrs. Lara by listening to her interview with Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff. It is interesting to look at her endorsement page, given that most of those organizations are certainly not Republican yet she was highly recommended by one of the event’s organizers, Bernadette McElroy. Considering that, it isn’t surprising that this event was not listed on the HCRP general calendar. Speaking of Ms. McElroy, she is extremely passionate and it showed when she forgot to ask her question in this clip.
Overall, it was a good meeting. The attendance was good, around 20 not counting candidates. That may not sound like a lot to those used to seeing hundreds or thousands at tea parties but believe me, it is a great turnout for a regular monthly meeting of a political club and is an indicator that more citizens are becoming active. The citizen activists are still a very tiny percentage of the electorate but certainly the number is higher today than in previous years. And there are opportunities for all to serve. In his opening remarks, RHCA President Ernie Garcia stressed the need for volunteers to fill open positions in their organization. If you wish to get involved, that would be a great place to start.
A few pictures below, complete slide show here.