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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).

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, September 10, 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:


    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.


    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.


    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.


    You can find many local Houston and Harris County events at the Harris County Democratic Party Here are some of the events that are listed:

    Come Join in the fun at the weekly TGIF Coffee Break at the Harris County Democratic Party (HCDP):

    Stop by for coffee and conversation at the HCDP office every Friday from 9:30 to 11 am. Email martha@hcdp.org for more information. Open to all.

    Houston Stonewall Young Democrats Monthly Happy Hour

    Houston Stonewall Young Democrats Monthly Happy Hours are the last Friday of each month. Location varies but announced on website: www.houstonstonewallyd.com. For more information, contact Brad Pritchett, 713.898.9734.the last Friday of each month. Location varies but announced on website: www.houstonstonewallyd.com. For more information, contact Brad Pritchett, 713.898.9734.

    Harris County Democratic Party Brown Bag Lunch
    The Brown Bag Lunch is a monthly event of the Harris County Democratic Party, held one the Third Tuesday of every month at our offices, 1445 North Loop West (exit Ella Blvd.) Come meet Fellow Democrats. You bring your lunch, we provide the soft drinks and guest speakers.

    Harris County Democratic Party Issues and Answers Evening Program
    Please join fellow democrats at their monthly evening Brown Bag Speaker Series, the last Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the HCDP HQ, 1445 North Loop West, Suite 110, Houston 77008.


    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

    DEMOCRATIC CLUBS IN HARRIS COUNTY: Here is a partial list of the local Democratic Clubs in Harris County. Click on the link or phone for more info.

    Texas Democratic Veterans-Houston Area
    Phone: 281-520-1604

    Democracy for Houston
    Phone: 832-474-3926

    Harris County Young Democrats
    Phone: 281-851-1868

    Houston Area Stonewall Democrats
    Phone: 832-474-3926

    Asian American Democrats of Texas
    Phone: 713-702-2377

    West University Area Democratic Club
    Phone: 713-665-0154

    Rice Young Democrats
    Phone: 503-502-9912

    Harris County Tejano Democrats
    Phone: 713-695-6006

    Greater Heights Democratic Club
    Phone: (713)305-5468

    Katy Area Democrats
    Phone: 956-472-4440

    Bay Area New Democrats (BAND)
    Phone: 713-992-4295

    Bellaire Democrats
    Phone: 713-665-4409

    Braeswood Democrats
    Phone: 713-665-4357

    Cy-Fair Area Democratic Club
    Phone: 832-633-1030

    Kingwood Area Democrats
    Phone: 281-796-1017

    Oak Forest Area Democrats
    Phone: 713-670-4348

    Sharpstown Democrats
    Phone: 713-270-1318

    Spring Branch Democrats
    Phone: 713-467-9020

    West Houston Democratic Club
    Phone: 281-584-9707


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