For the record, the food and the coffee concoctions at Nokturne absolutely rock. That's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to attending the Texas Congressional District 36 convention there tomorrow.
Another reason is that it's an opportunity to spend time with Hal J. Ridley, Jr., who is more than a little eccentric, pretty good company, and fairly handy with a guitar.
But as of now it's doubtful that the convention will be allowed to take place inside Nokturne. Restaurants and bars in Harris County have been ordered closed to sit-down service to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Nokturne's website says nothing about whether the place will be open this weekend, and my phone calls to the place are going unanswefred.
As I told Hal via text this morning, It wouldn't be the first time Greens in Harris County have had to conduct business in a parking lot.
Meanwhile the Texas Secretary of State's Office is clinging to the letter of the law regarding the scheduled meeting dates and places for conventions. It (collectively) is not allowing any postponements, and it is insisting that all conventions be in-person meetings rather than moving them onto the Internet.
No Online State Conventions—At Least Not Yet
GPTX co-chairs Alfred Molison and Janis Richards have been exchanging email with the SOS Office regarding the State Green Convention in particular. GPTX had a tentative deal with Pearl Street Co-Op in Austin, the site of two previous state meetings, to hold the 2020 convention there; however, Pearl Street has now canceled all public meetings and events due to the pandemic.
As involved in the conversation is Oliver Hall, the plaintiffs' attorney in the multi-party lawsuit against the Secretary of State (Texans for Voter Choice v. Hughs). Hall has been providing some legal and procedural advice on how to officially file for an exemption to the in-person requirement.
So far, the email exchange that Molison has been sharing with GPTX old-timers shows SOS staff continuing to hold the line, politely but firmly, in response to the Party's plea.
As always, it will be lovely to see my Green comrades from other parts of the state. I don't envision any of us transmitting or receiving the virus. But in times like these, we cannot be too cautious.
One wonders, of course, whether the state's Republican and Democratic parties will also be required to assemble in person, with thousands of delegates gathering in May and June, respectively. Current information indicates that the pandemic will not have subsided by then, and may even be worse. It sure would be interesting if SOS should insist that the Libertarians and Greens proceed with their April meetings in person, and then as the world falls apart allow the corporate parties to party in cyberspace. And by interesting, I mean a most unfortunate case of discrimination against the smaller, less established, convention nominating parties.
Other District Conventions
Sadly, I have not received information regarding the locations or starting times of other district conventions going on this weekend. Here is a list, however, of those conventions (candidates marked with * are those who have actually paid the state-imposed filing fee):
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