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Looking Forward to 2008: Maria Gonzalez

(Note: I have asked a variety of people to submit an essay to me to be posted during the month of December, to be called “Looking Forward to 2008”. This entry was written by Maria Gonzalez.)

As the vice president and chair of the PAC of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, I am looking forward to 2008 with great anticipation. We will have a great opportunity to further establish our support for progressive and GLBT friendly candidates. Building upon our extraordinary success in 2007, which included being victorious in 16 of our 17 endorsed races, including the first group to endorse the HISD bond issue, the Caucus will continue to be one of the most active political groups in the city.

The Caucus will have a slate of endorsed candidates ready for the March primary. With a record number of individuals seeking our endorsements in their races, including the judicial primary races, the Caucus will be very busy in January interviewing candidates. Our general meeting in February should be very lively as we will discuss and vote upon our endorsements for the Primary. Once we endorse, we will make sure that our endorsed candidates names become available to our vast support base represented in our database of over 30,000 registered voters in Harris County.

Once the primaries are done, we will focus on our next efforts, to endorse in the November elections. We will begin screening in late June and most of July. The interviews with candidates provide some of the most direct means of assessing individual support for our GLBT community. We ask very direct questions about our issues like support for non-discrimination, but as a broad political group we will also being asking about quality of life and support for education. At our August meeting, the Caucus will vote on its endorsements. This will be followed by efforts to inform our supporters who we recommend for office this November.

We once again hope to reproduce our extraordinary success of 2007 when we nearly had 100% of our endorsed candidates and issues win. You don’t have to be GLBT to join the Caucus, just supportive of our community. The Caucus meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Havens Center, 1827 W. Alabama. We hope to see everyone there soon

Maria Gonzalez teaches American Literature at the University of Houston. She is the Vice President and chair of the PAC of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

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