Noel Freeman did us all the public service of trooping over to the City Secretary's office and compiling a list of people who had filed treasurer's reports as of Monday for election to a municipal office in 2009. As I discovered last week, they don't give that information out over the phone, so this is the only way to know for sure who's in and who's not, at least for now. Here's what Noel was able to find:
Yolanda Navarro Flores
Diana Davila Martinez
The names in italics are folks who are at least rumored to be running but who have not yet filed. Nobody has made a move towards At Large #1 yet, currently held by Peter Brown. I figure no one will do so until he does his formalities for the Mayor's race. I see freshman Member Mike Sullivan has an opponent - he's the only incumbent so far to get one, though he surely won't be the last. Lupe Garcia in District H is a new name to me - I've just stumbled across a Facebook group in support of his candidacy, but the man himself doesn't appear to have a profile. Does anyone know anything about this person? Yolanda Navarro Flores had not filed as of Monday, but yesterday afternoon a press release announcing her candidacy (reproduced beneath the fold) appeared in my inbox. I also got a release for Mike Laster, who had filed but hadn't made a formal announcement yet; that release is beneath the fold as well. Finally, there's a release from Noel Freeman about a Facebook fundraising campaign he's got going on. Miya and Greg have more. Anybody hearing anything else they'd like to add?
I'll say again, I do not know why this information is not available on the web. I cannot think of a single good reason why it shouldn't be. From the conversation I had with someone in the City Secretary's office, I get the impression that this is extra work to them, which is probably why it's not any kind of priority for them. It seems to me that the right answer is for the city to hire someone for whom handling elections and election-related activities like campaign finance reports is their primary duty. It was kind of amusing that the city didn't get around to posting campaign finance reports online until 2007. It's deeply embarassing that we can't even get a list of candidates who have filed a simple report, not to mention a peek at those reports themselves, in 2009. What century are we in again? Let's get with the program already.
erves as a Trustee of the Houston Community College Board representing District 1. The District H Special Election has been called for May 9, 2009.
"We are living in difficult economic times and face difficult choices. I want to make sure public safety and vital city services are delivered efficiently to District H. I strongly believe I offer the residents of District H a public servant with proven leadership, experience, and accomplishments. I have been encouraged by many neighborhood activists throughout the District to run for this very important position and be their advocate at City Hall", said Navarro Flores, a lifelong resident of District H.
Navarro Flores was elected to the Board of the Houston Community College in 2001 and was reelected in 2007. In 2008, she served as Board Chair. Under her leadership, the tax rate was reduced for the first time in HCC history. Student enrollment also surged to the highest number ever achieved. The development of the Northline Campus is another example of Navarro Flores giving tirelessly to HCC. She is also a former member of the Texas House of Representatives (1993-1995).
A former girls' softball coach, Navarro Flores has mentored hundreds of young people in her North Side community by helping them build self esteem and to find their place in society. She was also a founder of the Hispanic Education Leadership Committee, an entity that has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to HCC students.
Navarro Flores has a bachelor's degree in radio and television communications from Texas Southern University and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
Navarro Flores is a member of Lindale Civic Club, Houston Heights Women's Club and a Sustaining Member of the Harris County Democratic Party. She was inducted into the National Scholars Honor Society in 2007, was named YWCA Outstanding Hispanic Woman and is a previous recipient of the Rising Star award of the Harris County Democratic Party. She is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including State Bar of Texas.
Navarro Flores and her husband Larry reside in Lindale. They have two children and six grandchildren. The Flores' attend Christ the King Church.
Attorney and civic leader Mike Laster officially announced his candidacy for City Council District F today.
"For the past 12 years I have dedicated myself to the improvement and success of our community," said Laster. "From neighborhood protection and crime prevention to helping establish new ways to improve our area's infrastructure and development, I have been privileged to work alongside my neighbors and area business leaders in building a better community. I want to use that experience to be a strong advocate for the many communities of southwest Houston. I look forward to continuing my public service as District F's new council member."
Laster added that expanding and increasing Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department funding for District F will be his top priority. He will also emphasize the need for infrastructure investment to improve roads, water lines, sewers and all public facilities; encourage and promote commercial and business development in District F; and will work hard to provide quality constituent services to the citizens of District F.
An attorney specializing in real estate, Mike Laster has an extensive record of civic involvement. He currently serves as Chairman of the Sharpstown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and Redevelopment Authority, Secretary and founding Board Member of the Greater Sharpstown Management District, and is a Board Member and former President of the Sharpstown Civic Association.
Houston City Council candidate Noel Freeman's fundraising efforts officially hit cyberspace on Monday with the Facebook Four by Four in recognition of his race for At-Large Position 4.
His mission: to raise $4,000 in just four days from users of the popular social networking website Facebook, and less than a day into the effort, it appears to be paying off.
"In the span of ten minutes we watched $500 roll in." Freeman said. "All it takes is just $10 at a time to make a difference, and a lot of people want to be a part of what we are doing."
Inspiration for the online effort came from Freeman's extensive volunteer work for President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, which embraced supporters' willingness to contribute in small amounts. The Facebook Four by Four runs through Friday, February 6th. A link for more information can be found at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=59485120311
"Not everyone can afford to give $100 or $500, but they might not miss $5 or $10 a paycheck. That's lunch and a cup of coffee." Freeman added. "We'll make sure they get an invitation to an event with food - I can't have my supporters licking envelopes on an empty stomach."