I am done with running for office, at least until 2016, possibly 2018. Now that the hangover is good & gone, this site is in transition, to be used to promote an author and his book rather than a candidate. But beyond that, I'll be beating bushes (not Bushes) statewide to find Green voters would want to become Green activists. Our goals by the fall of 2016 are
Meanwhile, on the political front, it appears we have some catching up to do.
It occurs to me that I did not post links to the official results of the 4 November general election: Harris County and Texas. The results for my race are on page 26 of the Harris County tabulation, whether in PDF or HTML format.
The best electoral news for Greens in Texas is that GPTX gets to keep its ballot line for 2016. We accomplished this by earning at least 5% of the vote in at least one statewide race. Thanks to Democrats not nominating anyone for three judicial seats, we got at least 5% in all three. Judith Sanders-Castro busted through the 10% barrier in her race for Court of Criminal Appeals, the first Green candidate to do so in Texas.
We also transcended a mighty barrier in a four-way race (Democrat, Green, Libertarian, and Republican): Martina Salinas breached 2% in the race for a Railroad Commission seat, our first candidate since 2000 to achieve that. In 2014, unlike 2000, there were no Mighty Ralph Nader coattails for our candidates to ride.
There's plenty more of interest in these results, especially the performances of Kenneth Kendrick for Agriculture Commissioner and Emily "Spicy Brown" Sanchez for US Senate.
The largest metropolitan counties mentioned above include, but are not limited to
Bexar (San Antonio)
Tarrant (Fort Worth)
Williamson (Round Rock/Georgetown)
Hays (San Marcos)
Fort Bend (Sugar Land/Richmond)
Nueces (Corpus Christi)
Several of these counties (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, and Webb in particular) have active Green Party organizations already, but those county chapters will try to attract new members.
Green candidates did especially well in the heavily Latino counties of the Rio Grande Valley. Those counties in the extreme south of the state are ripe for the picking. Turnouts in the Valley ran from 12% to 20%, but as Webb County has demonstrated, those who do bother to vote are very politically aware.
Following my previous post on Election Night, I'd like to extend my gratitude to all those who ran for office on the Green ticket and other states, as well as everybody who assisted them in their campaigns.
We still have a long way to go, educating people that the Green Party even exists as well as what it stands for, but we have also come a very long way, as evidenced by our percentages of the vote. When there is no Democrat running in a statewide race, liberal and progressive Texans will vote Green: 8 to 10 percent in the three statewide judicial races, almost 15% for Antonio Diaz in the District 21 Congressional race, and 16.62% in the race for Harris County Judge.
Now Texas Greens can boast about Judith Sanders-Castro polling over 10% in her Court of Criminal Appeals race with no Democrat, and Martina Salinas over 2% in a four-way race (Democrat included) for a Railroad Commission seat. Both of those results are firsts for the Texas Greens.
Public perception of the Green Movement in the US, among those who even know we're here, seems to be stuck at the 2000 general election. But the 2000 Nader/LaDuke ticket was not a one-off, flash-in-the-pan campaign: It was the culmination of 20 years of local organizing. Even though the various states' Green Parties have encountered some setbacks since 2000, they thrive, they raise consciousness, and sometimes they get their candidates elected.
An Appeal to Millennials: Take Over!
To no one's great surprise, those of us who have been active in the Green Party since 2000 have aged. Those 14 years have been long and eventful ones. Even if our energies have waned, our passion for the Movement and its values has not. If you can imagine 14 years, now imagine those who have kept the Green Movement alive since 1980. Imagine the changes to the social and political landscapes those people (the ones still around) have seen.
Coincidentally or not, the generation known as Millennials started appearing just after 1980.
Millennials, the Greens need you—a lot of you: young, dynamic, values-driven organizers who want to change the world for the better. Our Millennial comrades have a reputation for spurning partisan politics, but that's mostly because they know how the major parties have screwed things up for the people and the planet. The Green Movement and its political wing were formed with you in mind, even though you did not exist then.
It would be most helpful if we could get a Millennial to administer some of our websites:
Texas Greens, GPTX Nationbuilder, Harris County Green Party. The pay is nonexistent, spelling and punctuation count, and you'll need to leverage all your social networking skills just to get people to look at your work. But it's oh-so-rewarding. Come to a meeting if you have a county party organization nearby. If not, get some friends together and form one. We'll help.
100% of Harris County's precincts are now reported and counted. Nothing is official yet, but...News Flash: I didn't get elected.
The really sad news is this: Turnout countywide just topped 33%, which is awful even for a midterm election. Statewide turnout will be about the same, not topping the nearly 5 million who voted in 2010. Is this the effect of the Voter ID law, ignorance, apathy, or a combination of these factors?
As tonight bleeds into tomorrow, however, I am full of gratitude, poor turnout notwithstanding. The Greens will get a ballot line in 2016, thanks to three attorneys willing to run for Supreme Court or Court of Criminal Appeals. State law requires at least one candidate to poll 5% in a statewide race for the candidate's party to retain ballot access; we got one candidate over 10%. It doesn't hurt that the Democrats found nobody willing to run for those seats and lose.
I will probably not get to thank everyone I intend to thank in this post. I'll make up for that later, when my mind is clearer.
Thanks to my dear Kayleen for putting up with all this electoral nonsense for the last three months.
Thanks to my HAUSmates for indulging my ego and letting me imagine that I could win this race. Of course, victory was highly unlikely, which is one reason I agreed to run.
Thanks to my hundreds of friends, from various periods in my life, who told me they voted for me. Most of them actually did, I'd wager.
Thanks to the 80,000+ Harris County voters who, for whatever reason, voted for the Green candidate for County Judge. I received 67,404 votes statewide in a four-way race in 2012.
Thanks to the 200,000+ Harris County voters who, for whatever reason, did not vote for either Judge Emmett or me. Most of you also did not vote in the three statewide judicial races wherein no Democrats ran. Most of you, I'm guessing, are Yellow-Dog Democrats to the core, and you weren't even going to fall into the lesser-of-two-evils trap. You represent our biggest challenge.
Thanks to the Democratic attorneys who got pitched an opportunity to run for the state's highest civil and criminal courts, after Republicans have run the table in Texas for 20 years, and said, "Are you kidding? Thanks, but no thanks."
Thanks to Judge Ed Emmett for stepping up to serve the 4 million residents of Harris County. Judge, it's refreshing to find a Republican who is truly interested in policy and governing.
Thanks to Ahmad Hassan for dropping out of the race. I would have been happy to be just a name of the ballot and a choice for Progressives who don't care for either major party. Your departure from the race made me want to earn the Progressives' votes.
Thanks to the Green Party organizations of Texas and Harris County for doing what they could to make running for office worth the investment of time and treasure.
Good night for now.
Somehow, with help from my ladyfriend and her Chevy Tracker, I made it to Dan Electro's Guitar Bar Friday night. The event was officially titled Halloweed 2014: Candidates, Costumes, and Cannabis. David Courtney, Green candidate for Texas Senate in District 17, and I were among the candidates. Among its many photos from the event, host group Houston NORML posted a photo of me in my Hunter S. Thompson outfit on its Facebook page. We heard some excellent musical acts, talked with the people in attendance, and then moved on to a gathering of Burners and Friends of Burners.
Please note that the Halloweed fundraiser drew candidates from all four parties in the 2014 Texas election. Yes, there was a Republican: Chris Carmona, whom I mentioned in this recent post. Kudos to Chris for bucking the Republican establishment and favoring the reform of marijuana laws. I wish incumbent Representative Jessica Farrar had her position on legalization more prominently displayed on her website, because I can't find any position on any issue at jessicafarrar.org.
The November 2014 edition of Sunday Streets did not seem to draw quite the crowds that previous editions have, but it was still a healthy crowdlet. Since Sunday's route covered 20 blocks of Third Ward, including several uninhabited blocks of Alabama Street over TX-288, the population was far less dense than October's event on West 19th Street in the Heights. What they lacked in quantity, the attendees more than made up in quality, and most were quite receptive to the Green message.
Amid all of that, I've been helping the aforementioned ladyfriend move house. Long story very short, she is moving into a much smaller place and must liquidate some of her furnishings. Also, my cooperative dwelling hosted a Halloween/Day of the (Living/Grateful) Dead celebration Saturday night. Today I reported to work; tomorrow I will take the afternoon off because of Election Day.
Your 2014 Green candidate for Harris County Judge is physically and mentally exhausted, and he cannot wait for this election to be over. Please give DBC a month or two before bringing up 2016.
Greens Up in Yo' Grill
If you're feeling especially Green, please join the Harris County Green regulars for Election Night at one of our usual haunts, the Midtown Bar & Grill, 415 West Gray Street. That's the old West Gray Café. We'll be upstairs, but if you have trouble with stairs, they have TVs on the ground floor.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.