Today is the day Team HERO has been anxiously awaiting since the faith-based haters announced they were going to attempt to collect signatures to force a repeal referendum.
The signatures were turned in July 3, and ever since then City Secretary Anna Russell’s office and a dedicated team of over 100 volunteers have been poring over the 5199 pages turned in.
Many of those pages were riddled with errors or had issues of concern that may render them invalid. Many had duplicate signatures, or were signed by people who aren’t Houston residents or registered voters.
Others had fatal errors that invalidated the entire page, or others were collected before the June 3 start date, also making them invalid.
According to the Executive Summary issued by the independent review group conducting the signature validation process, the faith based haters only collected 16,500 signatures, short of the 17,269 needed to place it on the ballot.
We’ll get the official word later this afternoon from the City Secretary’s office and at a 5 PM CDT press conference featuring Mayor Parker and City Attorney Dave Feldman. If it turns out the executive summary is correct, the petition drive fails, and then the HERO haters as they have already indicated will start filing lawsuits
Good, that’s less money they can throw into GOP campaigns this fall.
I was out of town when it happened, but it was reported to me by people in attendance that the sisterhood discussion moderated by Dee Dee Watters on July 31 at the Montrose Center went well.
I was there on only 6 hours sleep for the noon HERO strategy meeting that happened at Legacy Saturday. Some of the things we’re going to do I’m sworn to secrecy about, but some of the topics we talked about were our game plan should this move into a referendum either this year or in 2015, making sure all sectors of the Houston LGBT are involved and our messaging is on point and hammering home the fact the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance protects ALL Houstonians.
The African-American SGL, bi and trans community is planning to have another strategy meeting in which we talk about issues and messaging strategies specific to our community. August 12 at 7 PM is the tentative date and time for it, and once I get the date and location I’ll post it in a future HERO news update.
Starting at 6 PM will be the HERO forum sponsored by the Forward Times. Still haven’t been able to determine whether Mayor Parker and various city council members will show up, but keep hearing that one of the panelists will be former city councilmember Jolanda Jones.
It’ll be interesting to see which haters show up.
Location for this forum is the CWA Hall at 1730 Jefferson St. downtown, and definitely will be there along with Team HERO in full effect for this one.
The struggle to keep the HERO continues.