No November BAND meeting
We don't yet have enough statistics from last week's election to have a meaningful discussion about local election outcomes, so we will not have a monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Because of COVID-19, our usual holiday gathering will not take place, but we hope to celebrate our President-elect, Vice President-elect and newly elected Harris County office holders at a monthly meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Meanwhile, get some rest and be ready to lend a hand in the Georgia Senate race runoffs in early 2021.
How to shorten your time at the polls
Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, you want to be at the polls for the shortest time possible to minimize any possible exposure. You should bring your photo ID and wear a mask, but also:
1. Choose a time of day, preferably during early voting, when lines are the shortest, usually mid-morning or mid-afternoon, or the extended hours offered this week.
2. If you live in Harris County, print out a sample ballot for your precinct at harrisvotes.com. Other counties have comparable websites. Mark your choices on the sample ballot. If you are not voting a straight ticket and wish to study the individual candidates, see lwvhouston.org/voters-guide/#access for guidance about the individual candidates. Those in line behind you will be grateful when you vacate the voting machine long before that person who did not come prepared. Please pass this on to your first-time voting friends.
3. If you vote a straight ticket in the partisan races, you can get through the ballot in less than five minutes. Just look for the word "Democrat" after the candidate's name.
4. Make your decision about the nonpartisan races at the bottom of the ballot ahead of time.
Don't go to the library to vote!
If you visit Freeman Library on Diana Lane in the near future, don't go there to vote. For years, Clear Lake area voters have flocked to the Freeman Branch Library to vote early and sometimes mistakenly to vote on Election Day. Because of COVID-19, Harris County election officials are choosing voting locations with enough space to socially distance voters and voting machines. The small room where early voting usually occurs at the library did not qualify. Clear Lake area early voting sites include:
Multicultural Center, 951 Tristar Dr., Webster 77598 (near the former DPS site)
Pipers Meadow Community Center, 15920 Pipers View Dr., Webster 77598
University of Houston - Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston 77058
Clear Lake Islamic Center, 17511 El Camino Real, Houston 77058
Visit harrisvotes.com to see your sample ballot, print it out and mark it up to bring with you to the polls. Also on the Harris County site, search for the many other early voting locations in Harris County. Early voting continues until Friday, Oct. 30. See our website calendar to the left for dates and times.
Black Lives Matter Is Topic for October Meeting
The next BAND meeting will feature Ashton Woods, organizer of the Black Lives Matter Houston chapter. The club is again gathering on Zoom for the event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. Register to obtain the meeting link here.
Straight ticket voting not really gone
You may have heard that you can no longer vote a straight ticket. What that really means is that the shortcut to vote a straight ticket is gone. You will have to mark all the Ds all the way down the ballot in order to cast a straight ticket vote.
Recent big defeats by Democrats in large Texas counties had a lot to do with the move by Republicans to delete the shortcut from your ballot. This makes voting by mail even more attractive. Ballots in Presidential years are long and include not just the exciting races at the top. They include races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the Texas House of Representatives and a host of judges at the state and local level, as well as some other county positions such as constable and district attorney. Clear Lake area ballots include nonpartisan races for the Clear Creek ISD school board and Clear Lake City Water Authority directors. Often, those local races have more of a profound effect on your life than those at the top of the ballot.
In-person voters who wait until Election Day will be waiting longer than usual for a booth to open up because of the missing straight ticket shortcut. To save time, you can print out your sample ballot from harrisvotes.com and carry your marked up ballot to the polls where you can easily copy your choices on the eSlate.
Timely video interview with John Dean to be shown at BAND September meeting
The Wednesday, Sept. 9 BAND meeting on Zoom will include Barbara Radnofsky's taped interview with John Dean, of Watergate fame, on authoritarianism. The video is from the Harris County Democratic Lawyers Association. The meeting, which requires registration at email@example.com, begins at 7 p.m.
BAND continues with virtual meetings this election year
Join Bay Area New Democrats as they continue to meet on Zoom during the pandemic. Our next monthly meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. We will talk about how we will reach voters in the era of COVID-19 and an upcoming all-important election. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a link for the meeting.
BAND votes to endorse runoff candidates at Zoom meeting
At a specially called Zoom meeting on June 3, Bay Area New Democrats (BAND) members voted to endorse seven candidates appearing on area ballots in the upcoming Democratic Primary Runoff Election. Some voters already have mail-in ballots, and early voting begins June 29 for the July 14 election. The candidates endorsed by BAND are:
U.S. Senate - Royce West
Texas 14th Court of Appeals - Cheri Thomas
Texas Railroad Commissioner - Chrysta Castañeda
State Board of Education, Position 6 - Michelle Palmer
Harris County 164th Civil Judicial District Court - Cheryl Elliott Thornton
Harris County 339th Criminal Judicial District Court - Te'iva Bell
Constable, Precinct 2 - Lt. Jerry Garcia
Bay Area New Democrats to meet on Zoom on Wednesday, June 10
Bay Area New Democrats' next monthly meeting will again be virtual. Join our Zoom meeting a little before 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10 so we can honor our guest speakers' time constraints.
City Council member Letitia Plummer will discuss her proposal for reforms in the Houston Police Department. Olivia Stitillis, Texas Democratic Party organizing director, and Sam Zuniga, Harris County Democratic Party organizer and data director, will talk about Coordinated Campaigns and big plans for turning Texas blue.
Email email@example.com for a link to the meeting.
In-person attendance not encouraged at Senate District 11 convention
The Senate District 11 Harris County convention is set for Saurday, March 21 at the IBEW Local 66 union hall at 4345 Allen Genoa in Pasadena, but attendance is no longer required for those who wish to become delegates at conventions at the state or national level. In fact, it is better if you stay home, especially if you are immuno-compromised in any way, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Following the Democratic Primary, Texas Democrats who wish to continue their involvement would ordinarily have to attend the Senate District convention in their area. Local planners have decided that they will hold only an abbreviated meeting of the Harris County Senate District 11 Convention at 9 a.m. Those who do attend will be there for one to two hours or less. Planners intend a small meeting of just the people needed to conduct essential business.
If you wish to attend the state Democratic convention in San Antonio June 4-6 (if it is not postponed), register for the convention at 2020texasdemocrats.org and state a presidential preference. Those who registered before a presidential preference could be indicated, or who chose someone who is no longer running, will be counted as uncommitted unless they update their preference by signing up again.
The Senate District is the district from which voters elect their state senator to represent them in the legislature. Senate District 11 includes parts of southeast Harris County, as well as parts of Galveston and Brazoria County, and the other counties in the Senate District hold their own conventions.
Infectious diseases specialist, to speak on COVID-19 at the March 11 BAND meeting
What is actually known about COVID-19? What can you do to protect yourself? What is happening in Harris County to prevent the spread? Come join us to hear Dr. Michelle Onorato, infectious diseases specialist at the BAND meeting at Bay Area Community Center in Clear Lake Park, 5002 E. NASA Pkwy. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.
Plans for headquarters, Harris County judicial system to be topics at February BAND Meeting
Judge Tanya Garrison will be the guest speaker at the Feb. 12 BAND meeting. Her topic will be the Harris County judicial system. Also on the agenda is a discussion of plans for our 2020 Democratic campaign headquarters. The club meets on the second Wednesday of each month at the Bay Area Community Center in Clear Lake Park, 5002 E. NASA Parkway in Seabrook. Join us as we gather at 6:30 p.m. for social time, followed by the program at 7.
Club endorses 2020 Democratic Primary candidates
On Jan. 22, Bay Area New Democrats voted to endorse the following candidates for the upcoming March 3 Primary:
Railroad Commissioner - Chrysta Castañeda
Chief Justice, Supreme Court - Amy Clark Meachum
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 - Kathy Cheng
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7- Brandy Voss
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8 - Gisela D. Triana
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3 - William Pieratt Demond
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4 - Tina Clinton
Member, State Board of Education, District 6 - Debra Kerner
State Sen., District 11 - Susan Criss
State Sen., District 13 - Borris L. Miles
State Rep., District 128 - Josh Markle
State Rep. District 129 - Kayla Alix
State Rep., District 131- Alma A. Allen
State Rep., District 134 - Ann Johnson
State Rep., District 138 - Josh Wallenstein
State Rep., District 139 - Jarvis D. Johnson
State Rep., District 147 - Garnet F. Coleman
Chief Justice, 14th Court of Appeals District - Jim Evans
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals District, Place 3 - Dinesh Singhal
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals District, Place 5 - Amparo Monique Guerra
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals District, Place 7 - Wally Kronzer
District Judge, 80th Judicial District - Larry Weiman
District Judge, 164th Judicial District - Grant J. Harvey
District Judge, 164th Judicial District - Cheryl Elliott Thornton
District Judge, 165th Judicial District - Ursula A. Hall
District Judge, 176th Judicial District - Nikita "Niki" Harmon
District Judge, 179th Judicial District - Ana Martinez
District Judge, 333rd Judicial District - Daryl Moore
District Judge, 334th Judicial District - Steven Kirkland
District Judge, 337th Judicial District - Colleen Gaido
District Judge, 339th Judicial District - Te'iva Bell
District Judge, 351st Judicial District - Natalia Cornelio
Harris County District Attorney - Kim Ogg
County Civil Court at Law No. 4 - Lesley Briones
County Attorney - Christian Dashaun Menefee
Sheriff - Ed Gonzalez
County Tax Assessor-Collector - Ann Harris Bennett
County Commissioner Precinct 1 - Rodney Ellis
County Commissioner Precinct 3 - Michael Moore and
Kristi Thibaut (dual endorsement)
Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, Place 1 - Eva Loredo
County Constable Precinct 1 - Alan Rosen
County Constable Precinct 2 - Jerry Garcia (Harris County Lt.) (note: There are two candidates with the same name; BAND has endorsed Lt. Garcia.)
County Constable Precinct 3 - Sherman Eagleton