City Leaders Speak Against Prop. 1
September 29, 2010

Several members of  Houston city council stood in solidarity on the steps of city hall Wednesday morning to say they could not support Prop. 1, the  plan to collect a monthly fee to fix the city’s flooding and drainage problems.

Council members Wanda Adams, Jolanda “Jo” Jones, C.O. “Brad” Bradford and Jarvis Johnson say they have critical concerns which must be addressed in an implementation ordinance.

“As public officials, we have a responsibility to let our constituents know what they are voting on. To date, we cannot answer those questions because the information has not been provided,” said Adams.

Mayor Annise Parker is expected to outline the potential implementation of  Proposition No. 1 at this mornings city council meeting.

“We want to ensure that the oldest and  most-in need neighborhoods’  street and drainage projects are completed first; that all Houston businesses have equal opportunity to participate in contracting opportunities, and that Houstonians get hired first,” said Adams.  “Likewise if the drainage fee is collected on citizen’s water bills, then renters are held responsible for the legal obligation of a property owner yet are excluded from much-needed infrastructure work. Churches, colleges and other organizations need to know how much they have to pay.”

Houston Council Member Jarvis Johnson Arrested
July 1, 2010

District B Houston city council member Jarvis Johnson was arrested Wednesday night for felony evading arrest.

Police say Johnson had a female passenger in his SUV.   The woman, who sources say is an office worker in Johnson’s council office, was allowed to leave in the vehicle and will not face any charges. 

His mug shot was released to the media after Johnson posted his $2,000 bond.

According to the Houston Police Department, an officer spotted Johnson speeding in the 2600 block of the Eastex Freeway access road.

Instead of pulling over when the officer turned on his lights and sirens, Johnson allegedly kept driving for another five to six blocks.

Meanwhile, Mayor Annise Parker has released a statement: “The arrest of Council Member Jarvis Johnson is not related to his position or work as a member of Houston City Council.  He has a right to due process. The justice system will run its course. Beyond that, I will defer to the facts in the public record.”

While the Mayor is withholding judgement,  community activist Deric Muhammad has called an afternoon news conference to discuss what he describes as HPD’s “unjust” arrest of council member Johnson.

Controller Green Endorses Congresswoman Jackson Lee
February 6, 2010

 News Release

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee won two more endorsements today in her re-election campaign for the 18th Congressional District.

Announcing his support today was Houston City Controller Ron Green, the first African American elected to that position.  Green, who is a constituent of Jackson Lee, praised the Congresswoman for the federal funds she has brought to Houston.

“During these challenging economic times, we need all the help we can get from Washington,” said Green at a news conference in front of City Hall.  “Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee understands that and is fighting to make sure Houstonians get the maximum return possible for the tax dollars they send to Washington.”

Green listed some of the many projects for which Jackson Lee has brought billion of dollars to Houston, including METRO rail, the senior home repair and weatherization programs, funding more cops on the streets, public works projects and relief and recovery funds for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.

“I am confident that Congresswoman Jackson Lee will work with the President and others in Congress to deliver what everyday folks so desperately need right now:  new jobs and economic development, financial reform that protects Main Street and not Wall Street and finishing the job on health care reform.”

Also announcing their support for Congresswoman Jackson Lee today were the members of Momentum PAC.  This political action committee mobilizes young professionals in the political and economic sectors in an effort to ensure long term growth their community.

The members of the group told the Congresswoman today that they want to be involved with her on a number of projects, including roundtable discussions on issues and mentoring programs for young people.  Jackson Lee expressed her appreciation for their support and told them she could put them to good use for the community.

These endorsements by Controller Green and Momentum PAC add to the growing list of support for Congresswoman Jackson Lee, including:  Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia; Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia; State Senators Rodney Ellis, Mario Gallegos and John Whitmire; State Representatives Carol Alvarado, Garnet Coleman, Ellen Cohen, Harold Dutton; Jessica Farrar, Senfronia Thompson, Sylvester Turner and Armando Walle; City Councilmembers C.O. Bradford and Ed Gonzales; Constables Victor Trevino and May Walker; HISD Trustee Carol Mims Galloway; Houston Community College Trustees Eva Loredo and Mary Ann Perez; Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party Lenora Sorola-Pohlman; Alison Leland; former State Representatives Debra Danburg and Col. Rick Noriega; the Tejano Democrats, Houston-Black American Democrats, AFL-CIO Council, the Latino Labor Leadership Council, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas Action Fund, Inc.; GLBT Caucus and Harris County Democrats.

Congresswoman Jackson-Lee Ready For Campaign
January 24, 2010

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee proved once again on Saturday that she is a tireless campaigner, one of  her greatest strengths going into a contested March primary.

She began the day with a breakfast for Houston area ministers, had lunch with precinct captains and finished with a combination birthday party/campaign kickoff Saturday afternoon. 

If  turnout  is any indication, the Congresswoman still has strong support in the district.

The crowd included families, community leaders, elected officials (and candidates trying to get elected) along with volunteers who are ready to hit the ground running to help the Congresswoman win re-election in the 18 Congressional District. 

Faces in the crowd included: former city council member Gordon Quan who is running for Harris County Judge. Former Police Chief and current city council member C.O. Bradford  and Houston Federation of  Teachers President Gayle Fallon.

As 2 on the Beat previously reported,  Houston city council member Jarvis Johnson and attorney Sean Roberts are running against Jackson-Lee in the March 2nd Democratic Party primary.

If she wins the primary, Jackson-Lee will face a Republican opponent in the November general election.   The 18th congressional district is solidly democrat, so the Congresswoman shouldn’t have to worry as much about losing the general election, IF  she can win the primary. 

However, some political observers believe Jackson-Lee is vulnerable and could face a tough time winning a ninth term in congress.  While there is anti-Washington/anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping across the country, Jackson-Lee has perceived weakness that hit closer to home.

Her opponents, both Republican and Democrat, accuse her of being out of touch with residents and not doing enough in recent years to help the district.

She angered many of her constituents when she backed Sen. Hillary Clinton over Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Primary.

She also raised eyebrows when she showed up at Michael Jackson’s funeral and pushed for the late pop star to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor.

When asked by the media if she is concerned  about losing or being forced into a runoff,  the congresswoman said, “the seat belongs to the people. I will continue to fight for the people in Washington and in the district.”

She did not directly address the claims made by candidates/opponents Johnson or Roberts.

Congresswoman Jackson-Lee Says She Deserves Another Term
January 6, 2010

 She faces two opponents in the March democratic party primary, but U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee says  she deserves another term in office – to keep representing the people of the 18th congressional district.

Houston city council member Jarvis Johnson and Houston attorney Sean Roberts have filed to run against the eight term congresswoman. 

Yesterday I posted a campaign statement from Johnson and Roberts.  Below I am posting the notice that I received from Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s campaign.

SHEILA JACKSON LEE FILES FOR 9TH CONGRESSIONAL TERM

(Houston, TX)……With the November ’09 General Election now history and attention being focused on the upcoming March 2nd Democratic Primary Election, the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee filed in December for her bid for a 9th term in the U. S. Congress. She has vowed to continue her commitment of serving the constituents of the 18th Congressional District and has tirelessly worked throughout 8 terms since 1995 after she defeated previous incumbent Craig Washington. She currently serves on the prestigious Judiciary, Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees; and chairs the important Transportation & Homeland Subcommittee.

 

It is no question during her extensive tenure in Congress that Congresswoman Jackson Lee has continued to “bring home the bacon” for her constituents because “Sheila Works and Sheila Delivers!” She has consistently stood alongside her district constituents to provide resources to generate dollars which created hundreds of jobs, provided health care funding, demonstrated leadership on the Iraq war and to honor local Vietnam Veterans with long overdue Purple Heart medals to name a few of her accomplishments.

Regarding this race, Congresswoman Jackson Lee says, “I won’t tell my own story, but will allow the people of the 18th Congressional District to tell the real story. I am honored and ready to serve them again.”

Congresswoman Jackson-Lee Faces 2 Primary Opponents
January 4, 2010

   

    Supporters of  U.S. Representative  Sheila Jackson-Lee are downplaying reports that the embattled congresswoman is in deep political trouble after two challengers  filed  to run against her in the March democratic party primary.     

Only hours after he was sworn-in for another term on Houston city council,  district B Council member Jarvis Johnson announced that he is a candidate for the 18th Congressional district.   

  On Tuesday, January 5, Council member Johnson,  plans to hold a media briefing in front of the Mickey Leland Federal Building, where Congresswoman Lee’s office is located, to outline his reasons for challenging the eight term congresswoman.   “America is a great democracy and the people are given the opportunity to choose their leadership. Leadership should be chosen by their examples of delivering meaningful services to their communities,” said Johnson in a news release sent to 2 on the Beat.   “Over the course of the next two months, I look forward to having a spirited debate on who can best represent the people of the Eighteenth Congressional District.  We’re going to have a frank discussion on who’s capable of bringing and creating good paying jobs for the people of the district.   Who can spark genuine economic development, and who can provide leadership to marshal resources to help eliminate the dropout rate,” added Johnson.  ####   

 Johnson is not the only democrat with his eyes on the 18th congressional district seat.  Houston attorney Sean Roberts has also filed to run in the primary against Jackson-Lee.   

(news release)  

ATTORNEY SEAN ROBERTS MAKES OFFICIAL BID FOR 2010 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY IN THE 18TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT HOUSTON, Texas    “I have spent considerable time talking to the people who live and own businesses in this district and I decided to run because people want a representative in Congress who will focus on the needs of the district and deliver results,” said Roberts.  The 18th District is represented by Sheila Jackson-Lee, a democrat serving her seventh term and seeking re-election. Once a predominantly Black district, CD 18 is now 37% White and 40% Black, of which 36% describe themselves as being Hispanic or Latino.  “The unprecedented challenges we face present unprecedented opportunities for districts like the 18th Congressional District. These new opportunities can be realized with a representative who has the right set of skills, broad vision and a level-headed temperament so that all the neighborhoods in this diverse district can grow economically and thrive.”  Roberts, 38, began his career at Vinson & Elkins, one of the leading energy law firms in the world. He now runs a successful law firm specializing in domestic and international business litigation. “In Congress, I will focus on issues related to job creation, the economy, affordable education, and healthcare that works,” added Roberts.