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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

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, May 21, 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:

    More Republican Racism: Harris County GOP: Hispanics are freeloaders

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker Needs To Make Greater Distinction Between Stormtroopers and Jedi Knights

    AP Story on Perry's Million Dollar Mansion

    The new racist face of the GOP

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker Is “Happy” With Houston Economy Even As Many Live In Poverty

    Tracking Texas court races


    EVENTS:

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

    Texas Democratic Women in Harris County
    Date: Monday May 24, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the fourth 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 May 25, 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.

    Harris County Democratic Party Evening Brown Bag
    Date: Tuesday May 25, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Tuesday.
    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.

    Spring Branch Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Wednesday May 26, 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 May 26, 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.

    Northwest Crossing Area Democrats Club Meeting
    Date: Thursday May 27, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last 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

    Oil Patch Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Thursday May 27, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the last Thursday.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: 1445 North Loop West, Ste 110, Houston 77008
    Contact John Preston at 713-659-6444 for more information.

    TGIF Coffee Break at Harris County Democratic Party
    Date: Friday May 28, 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.

    Democracy for Houston Monthly Meeting
    Date: Wednesday June 2, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the first Wednesday.
    Type: Meeting (Public)
    Location: HCDP HQ, 1445 North Loop West, Ste. 110, Houston, TX
    6:30 pm social; 7:00 pm meeting at 1445 N Loop West, Ste. 110, Houston, Texas 77008.

    For more info contact Phillip McNutt at mgrnutt@yahoo.com.

    Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
    Date: Wednesday June 2, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the first Wednesday.
    Type: Club Event (Public)
    Location: Havens Center, 1827 W. Alabama (near Woodhead)
    Street: Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
    City/State/Zip: POB 66664, Houston Tx 77266-6664
    Phone: 713 521 1000
    Monthly club meeting.

    Please note the new location for the monthly meetings is Havens Center, located near Alabama & Woodhead, 713-528-6665
    Visit our web site: www.thecaucus.org

    Kingwood Area Democrats Monthly Meeting
    Date: Wednesday June 2, 2010
    Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Repeat: This event repeats every month on the first Wednesday.
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: Kings Crossing Apartments meeting room, 4545 Kingwood Dr, Houston 77345
    Kingwood Area Democrats meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Kings Crossing Apartments, 4545 Kingwood Dr. (across from Randalls). Go to http://www.kingwoodareademocrats.org/ for more information.

    Cy-Fair Area Dem Club--BILL WHITE to speak
    Date: Thursday June 3, 2010
    Time: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    Type: Appointment (Public)
    Location: Bear Creek Community Center, 3055 Bear Creek Dr., Houston, Tx
    Street: 3055 Bear Creek Drive
    City/State/Zip: Houston, TX 77084
    Join Cy-Fair Area Democrats on the first Thursday of every month. 6:30 p.m.--Meet and Greet; the program begins at 7:00 p.m. Most meetings wrap before 8:30 p.m. The meetings are held at Bear Creek Community Center, 3055 Bear Creek Dr, Houston, TX 77084. For further information contact Donna Bryant at schpinna@yahoo.com or call 832-633-1030.

    TGIF Coffee Break at Harris County Democratic Party
    Date: Friday June 4, 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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