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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

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  • Friday, April 16, 2010

    Houston/Harris County, TX Focus

    Diane Trautman for Harris County Tax Assessor

    Democracy for America has endorsed Diane Trautman for Harris County Tax Assessor. Here is her statement to DFA:

    Background:

    I have a Bachelors degree in English and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Houston as well as a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University. I have over 30 years combined administrative and leadership experience in banking and education. Not only have I led large organizations, I teach others to do the same as a professor of education at Stephen F. Austin State University. As an active member of several chambers of commerce, community organizations, and Democratic clubs, I stay in touch with the needs of the community. I am proud to be wife to a very understanding husband, mother of three outstanding children, and grandmother of an adorable grandchild who all support me in my desire to bring ethical leadership to the Harris County Tax Office.

    Goals:

    In 2008, I was proud to be the Democratic nominee for Harris County Tax Assessor, proud to receive over half a million votes, and proud to be endorsed by the Houston Chronicle twice, once for the general election and once for the appointment after my opponent decided to quit 3 weeks after he was elected. The appointed interim tax assessor has had 2 lawsuits filed against him and now has a pending Department of Justice investigation on voter registration irregularities in that office.

    As a result I feel that public trust in this office is at an all time low. So at the urging of family, friends, and supporters, I made the decision to run again for HCTA in 2010 to restore public trust and improve customer service in that office. As a professor of education, I teach my graduate students to be ethical leaders and the importance of earning their customers trust. I intend to do the same as Harris County Tax Assessor.

    Issues:

    1. Due to my 2008 opponent resigning under a shroud of suspicion and lawsuits filed against the current tax assessor,one of the biggest issues constituents face is a lack of trust in the tax office. I will address this by running a more transparent office and modeling ethical and appropriate office holder behavior.

    2. Another issue for constituents is lack of customer service, specifically in the area of voter registration. Last year, thousands of voters were dropped from the rolls and thousands of provisional ballots were not counted in a timely manner. I will address this by developing a voter registration system that is fair, inclusive and works for all Harris County citizens and will promote community outreach and voter education throughout the county year round.

    3. Adequate staffing and training is a big problem in the Harris County Tax office. The past two tax assessors have cut staff in vitally important parts of the office and have had several department heads who have been accused of conflict of interest by using their position to influence voters. I would do a needs assessment for staffing all parts of the office immediately upon taking office, implement employee training programs for ethical behavior, and get rid of all political appointee department heads who know nothing about running the tax office.


    Please volunteer for Trautman's campaign or if you can't do that, please contribute.


    News from Houston/Harris County:

    This Tuesday, Houston, Have Your Say on education

    Harris County deputies form Caucasian officers group

    Re-Thinking Re-Cycling in Houston

    Rick Perry: Fact vs. Fiction on Education, Dropout Problem

    Houston Mayor Parker Should Be Commended For Proposing Needed Water & Sewer Rate Increases

    Commissioners want YOU to pay MORE taxes to support tax breaks for Polluters


    EVENTS:

    This comes from the Harris County Democratic Party: (selected events, they have more on their website)


    Neighborhood Democrats of Galveston Co. Meeting
    Date: Monday April 19, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Monday.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: Peppers Steak and Seafood, I-45 @ FM 518, League City
    Neighborhood Democrats of Galveston County will meet on the third Monday of each month (except Dec.), 7:00 PM, at Peppers Steak and Seafood on I 45 Northbound @ FM 518 in the Kroger shopping center. The street address is 220 Gulf Fwy. S., League City. If you wish to eat come early. No purchase necessary. The website is www.neighborhooddemocrats.org

    Contact H. J. (Jim) Brown, 832-415-4490 for information.

    Meyerland Area Democratic Club Meeting
    Date: Monday April 19, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Monday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: Fadi's Mediterranean Grill 4738 Beechnut (across from Meyerland Plaza)
    For more information, contact Alan Guttman, President, at info@meydems.org, or go to website www.meydems.org.

    Fort Bend County Democratic Party
    Date: Monday April 19, 2010
    Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Monday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: 500 Liberty, Richmond, Texas - Jane Long Building
    website: www.fbcdp.org

    Area 5 Democrats Meeting
    Date: Monday April 19, 2010
    Time: 7:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Monday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: USW Union Hall, 311 Pasadena Blvd., Pasadena, TX (formerly PACE Union Hall)
    For more information please contact Area 5 Chair: Jimmy Serrano at jfser@earthlink.net or (713)649-8838

    River Oaks Area Democratic (ROAD) Women Monthly Meeting
    Date: Tuesday April 20, 2010
    Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Tuesday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: St. Stephens Church, West Alabama at Woodhead, Houston, Texas
    Join the legendary River Oaks Area Democratic (R.O.A.D.) Women at their monthly meeting every third Tuesday at St. Stephens Church, located at West Alabama and Woodhead. Social interaction, including refreshments, begins at 5:30 p.m. Meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Contact roadway@roadwomen.com for more information.

    Southeast Precinct Judges Council Meeting
    Date: Tuesday April 20, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Tuesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, 4605 Wilmington Street @ Cullen
    Street: Wilmington @ Cullen
    Southeast Precinct Judges Council meeting. For further information contact: Willie Belle Boone, 713/733-5825, wbboone@swbell.net

    East End Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Tuesday April 20, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Tuesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: 708 Telephone Rd., Houston,TX 77023
    East End Democrats, a Democratic club focusing on the area east of downtown, North of the Gulf Fwy, west of the East Loop and south of Buffalo Bayou, meets the third Tuesday of each month at bohemeo\'s, an art/coffee bar. bohemeo\'s is located just 2 miles south of downtown 708 Telephone Rd. inside the Tlaquepaque Plaza.Coming south on I 45 from DT, take the Cullen exit, turn left on to Cullen, go to Leeland, take a right. After crossing Lockwood take a right onto Tlaquepaque Plaza....go through the arch way and you\'re here!!!!If your coming north on I 45 take the Elgin/Lockwood exit, take a right on Lockwood, before you cross Leeland/Telephone, take a right into The Plaza...you\'ll know when you see the big pink outdoor stage!For more information e-mail judy.craft@gmail.com.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

    Katy Area Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Tuesday April 20, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Tuesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: Chesterfield Club House, 1707 Briarchester (off Mason at Chesterwick).
    NEW MEETING LOCATION: Chesterfield Club House, 1707 Briarchester (off Mason at Chesterwick). 6:30 p.m. social.

    For more information please visit www.katydemocrats.net or contact Linda Sawyer, President at 281-455-8516.

    HCC Northwest - Spring Branch Young Democrats Meeting
    Date: Wednesday April 21, 2010
    Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: HCC Northwest - Spring Branch Campus
    Street: 1010 W. Sam Houston Pkwy North
    City/State/Zip: Houston, TX 77043
    Phone: (713) 718-5700
    For more information contact Dr. Veronica Reyna: veronica.reyna1@hccs.edu

    Oak Forest Area Democrats Meeting
    Date: Wednesday April 21, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the third Wednesday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: Cazadores Mexican Restaurant 11031 Hwy 290 @W 34th
    Phone: 713-670-4348 www.oakforestdems.org
    Please note new location. Cazadores is in the Academy shopping center.

    Northwest Crossing Area Democrats Club Meeting
    Date: Thursday April 22, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the fourth Thursday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: Don Jose Mexican Restaurant, 5305 Antoine @ Pinemont
    Meet & Greet 6:30pm, Meeting 7-8pm.
    For Information: contact Secretary Pat Schoellkopf @ (713) 466-8200 or (713) 466-0008 or President / Chairperson – Bob Schoellkopf, Phone: (713) 682-3853, bobschoellkopf@yahoo.com

    TGIF Coffee Break at Harris County Democratic Party
    Date: Friday April 23, 2010
    Time: 9:30 am - 11:00 am
    Repeat: This event repeats every week.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: HCDP HQ 1445 N Loop W, ste 110, Houston 77008
    Stop by for coffee and conversation at the HCDP office on Friday from 9:30 to 11 am. Email martha@hcdp.org for more information.

    Sharpstown Democrats Club Monthly Meeting
    Date: Saturday April 24, 2010
    Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Saturday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet
    Join the Sharpstown Democrats for their monthly meeting every 4th Saturday of the month at the Bayland Park Community Center located at 6400 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas. Contact Joyce Akins for info at 713-270-1318 or joyce_akins@hotmail.com.

    Texas Democratic Women in Harris County
    Date: Monday April 26, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Monday.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: HCDP HQ, 1445 N Loop W, Suite 110, Houston 77008
    The Texas Democratic Women of Harris County will meet at the HCDP headquarters at 6:30 pm. Contact Barbara Gardner for more information at bjgardner@tuckervaughan.com

    Harris County Young Democrats General Meeting
    Date: Tuesday April 27, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Tuesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: 1135 Oxford Hall, Houston TX 77008
    A group of young progressives (ages 14-40) from all walks of life who are unified in dedication to social justice. We meet monthly to discuss political issues and elections, as well as to volunteer for local campaigns and fundraise for local charities.

    Spring Branch Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Wednesday April 28, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Wednesday.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: Unitarian Fellowship-Houston, 1504 Wirt Road, Houston 77055-4919, 1 block NORTH of NE corner of Wirt & Westview
    Join Spring Branch Democrats for their monthly meeting. The meet & greet begins at 6:30, & the meeting begins at 7:00.

    Spring Branch Dems meets the 4th Wednesday of each month.
    NOTE: Meeting location may sometimes vary – please check website (www.springbranchdemocrats.com) for location.

    Contact crow_2004vote@hotmail.com or www.springbranchdemocrats.com, or call Anne at 713-467-9020 or Ann at (713) 468-5121.

    Texas Democratic Women of Fort Bend County Meeting
    Date: Wednesday April 28, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Wednesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway, Sugarland, TX
    We meet the last Wednesday of each month. For more information e-mail Monica Garcia: TDWFB@aol.com.

    Oil Patch Democrats
    Date: Thursday April 29, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: 1445 North Loop West, Ste 110, Houston 77008
    Contact Jim Rine at 281-414-1386 or John Preston at 713-659-6444 for more information.

    Oil Patch Dems will co-host the April evening Brown Bag program.

    Harris County Democratic Party Evening Brown Bag with Michael Tobis on Climate Change
    Date: Thursday April 29, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: HCDP, 1445 North Loop West, Suite 110, Houston 77008
    Please join fellow democrats at their monthly evening Brown Bag Speaker Series, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the HCDP HQ.

    This month the speaker will be UT Research Scientist Michael Tobis speaking on climate change. Oil Patch Dems are co-hosts of this event.

    TGIF Coffee Break at Harris County Democratic Party
    Date: Friday April 30, 2010
    Time: 9:30 am - 11:00 am
    Repeat: This event repeats every week.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: HCDP HQ 1445 N Loop W, ste 110, Houston 77008
    Stop by for coffee and conversation at the HCDP office on Friday from 9:30 to 11 am. Email martha@hcdp.org for more information.


    BIODIESEL IN HARRIS COUNTY:

    Biodiesel is an American produced fuel that is cleaner than traditional diesel. Up to B20 (a 20% blend of biodiesel and traditional diesel) any diesel engine, car or truck, can run on it. Above B20, some older engines may have problems but newer diesel engines should be ok. Here are some gas stations selling biodiesel near Houston:

    ORourke Petroleum: 223 McCarty Street, Houston, TX 77029, 713-672-4500. Offers B20 (good in any diesel engine). CFN CARDLOCK ONLY

    hyperfuels.com: 12969 W Hardy Frontage Toll Rd, Houston, TX 77037, 877-447-7207. Offers B100 (good in newer diesel engines, older engines may have problems). Open 9 AM - 5 PM.

    Peachleaf Bio: 1611 Peachleaf St, Houston, TX 77039, 281-449-9500. Offers B99 (good in newer diesel engines, older engines may have problems). COOP SIGNUP NEEDED. Call for details. Open M-F 8-5.

    Houston Biodiesel: 723 N Drennan Street, Houston, TX 77003, 713-222-0832. Offers B100 (good in newer diesel engines, older engines may have problems). Open 9:30-6 M-F; WEEKENDS CALL

    American Greenfuels: 6421 Eppes St, Houston, TX 77087, 713-634-0033. Offers B99 (good in newer diesel engines, older engines may have problems). CALL FOR AVAILABILITY

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