Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

November 20th, 2019:

Interview with Carolyn Evans-Shabazz

Carolyn Evans-Shabazz

We weren’t supposed to have an open seat election in District D, but then Dwight Boykins got it in his head to run for Mayor, and the next thing you know there are fifteen candidates plus a write-in on the ballot. Two of them survived to go on to Round 2, and I have interviews with both of them to present to you. First up is Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, who led the field when all the votes were counted. She is currently serving as a Trustee on the HCC board, including as the Board Chair this year, having first been appointed in 2017 to fill the term remaining when Carroll Robinson resigned, then elected that November to a full term. Evans-Shabazz has been a teacher and Lead Evaluation Specialist with HISD, an educational diagnostician with both Aldine and Fort Bend ISDs, and an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the NAACP-Houston branch where she serves as Chair of the Education Committee. Here’s what we talked about:

You can still refer to the Erik Manning spreadsheet for your race and candidate information. The July finance reports that include District D are here, and the 30 day finance reports are here. My 2017 interview with Carolyn Evans-Shabazz from when she was running for HCC Trustee is here.

The latest UT-Tyler poll

A slightly more Republican sample leads to slightly better numbers for Trump in Texas, though they’re still not great.

Texas voters are split over whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, though only 43% of voters in the Lone Star State approve of the president’s overall job performance.

That divided snapshot comes from a new survey released on Monday by the University of Texas at Tyler.

With House impeachment hearings now underway, nearly 47% of registered voters in Texas do not believe that Trump should be impeached over allegations that he abused his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.

But nearly 45% of Texas voters do think Trump should be impeached.

The results are split mostly along partisan lines, with nearly 84% of Democrats supporting impeachment and more than 81% of Republicans opposing it. They also come as more Texas voters than not disapprove of Trump’s performance in the White House, per the survey.

The jumbled picture could loom over the 2020 presidential race, particularly as Democrats insist that Texas — and its 38 electoral votes — could be in play for the first time in decades.

“There is still much work left to be done in Texas” for Trump, said Mark Owens, a UT-Tyler assistant professor who helped conduct the poll. “It’s going to look to be a more competitive race in Texas than it was in 2016.”

See here for the September UT-Tyler poll, and here for July. The November press release from UT-Tyler is here, and the data is here. I’m going to highlight three things from these polls.


Dem or GOP?

       Dem    GOP
=================
Jul  35.7%  38.2%
Sep  40.0%  40.2%
Nov  35.0%  38.9%

Approve/disapprove

      Appr  Disappr
===================
Jul  40.3%    54.5%
Sep  39.6%    52.3%
Nov  43.3%    49.0%

Vote for Trump?

      Best  Worst
=================
Jul  38.6%  37.1%
Sep  39.7%  38.0%
Nov  46.3%  44.2%

The numbers are taken from each month’s poll results. The sample, which is one of those phone/online opt-in hybrids, was more Republican this time than previously. That’s likely going to fluctuate over time, but I’m noting it here as a way of showing that such changes can have an effect on the rest of the numbers. The “Vote for Trump?” numbers are the highest and lowest values he received from the various matchups against different Dems. My point here is simply that these numbers tend to reflect the approval number for Trump, though this time they were all a bit above it, and previously they were generally a bit below it.

We can also break the approval numbers down by partisan ID:


Approve/disapprove by party

          Appr  Disappr
=======================
Dem Jul   9.3%    87.8%
Ind Jul  17.0%    73.2%
GOP Jul  85.1%    10.8%

Dem Sep   5.0%    89.4%
Ind Sep  23.5%    59.8%
GOP Sep  81.9%    11.9%

Dem Nov   7.0%    86.5%
Ind Nov  33.6%    54.3%
GOP Nov  81.5%    12.2%

Republicans actually approve of Trump less than before and disapprove of him more, though both by small enough amounts that I wouldn’t read much into it. Independents are more favorable to him, though they started out way in the dumps and still aren’t at all approving overall. I don’t know that I’d make all that much of this either, but we’ll keep an eye on it. As always, these are just data points by themselves. I’m glad UT-Tyler is doing this as often as they have been, we should end up with a pretty good data series when all is said and done. The Texas Signal has more.

Chron overview of the District C runoff

Runoff season means it’s time once again for candidate and race overviews.

Abbie Kamin

The runoff for Houston City Council District C features two first-time candidates vying to replace the term-limited Ellen Cohen.

Abbie Kamin, a 32-year-old civil rights lawyer, finished in first place in an Election Day field that included 13 candidates. Kamin said she was drawn to public service after seeing how all levels of government failed in their response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which struck New Orleans as she began her freshman year at Tulane University.

She said constituent service would be a top priority as a council member.

“One of the reasons I’m running for District C is city government really has the biggest impact on the day-to-day lives of people,” Kamin said. “We have a lot of challenges we’re facing, whether it’s flooding, traffic, our roads; but I think there’s tremendous opportunity in how we address those.”

Shelley Kennedy, 61, narrowly advanced to the runoff with a second-place finish. A health care consultant who also runs a small construction firm, Kennedy said she would be a moderate council member who would work to unite liberal and conservative residents.

Shelley Kennedy

“I’m running because I love Houston and I think I can make it a better place to live, work and play,” Kennedy said.

Through Oct. 28, Kamin had raised $313,392 and had $117,979 on hand. Kennedy had collected $97,655, of which $11,727 remained.

[…]

One issue that draws a clear contrast between the pair is Prop B, the ballot referendum voters passed last year which requires firefighter pay to be brought in line with police of corresponding rank and seniority.

Kamin said she believes firefighters deserve higher pay, but that outcome should be achieved through negotiations between the city and fire union.

Kennedy supported the ballot initiative. Since a judge has since ruled Prop B unconstitutional, Kennedy said the labor dispute should be resolved by binding arbitration.

I highlighted that last bit because as the story notes the two candidates broadly agree on most things. You can hear them talk in more detail about a variety of topics in the interviews I did with them – here’s Kamin, here’s Kennedy – and draw your own conclusions. I don’t have a whole lot to add to this – I feel like most people should have at least some idea of who these candidates are, and from there which one they’d pick – but if you live in C and voted for someone else in round one, these are your chances to learn more and make your choice for the runoff.