I have attended a few Houston GLBT Political Caucus meetings before and after my Texan in Exile days in Da Ville, but this one was going to be special. It was going to be my first one ever as a paid member of the Caucus, and it also happened to be the 2015 Caucus Endorsement Meeting.
Founded in 1975, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is not only one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the southern US dedicated solely to the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans equality, it is also the largest political organization in Houston and Harris County.
A Houston GLBT Caucus endorsement, while it is a nonpartisan org that gives the endorsement based on your support of LGBT rights, has basically become over time one of the most sought after and critical ones if you are a liberal-progressive leaning candidate running for office in the Houston area.
Getting that endorsement helps your campaign tremendously if you get it, because their endorsement cards are used by Houston LGBT voters and our allies to ensure they are voting for liberal-progressive leaning candidates that have our community’s trans..bi and SGL human rights interests at heart and will do a great job in the office they were endorsed by the Caucus for..
So while I have experienced being a participant in the political candidate endorsing process when I lived in Louisville and was a member of the Fairness Campaign board, I was still excited about today’s events.
I didn’t get there until 12:55 PM because I overslept, but once I arrived at the meeting venue I could feel the excitement in the air as I walked into the IBEW Union Hall where they had to move this endorsement meeting from the Montrose Center. I later discovered that this was possibly the largest endorsement meeting ever attendance wise in caucus history.
Interest was huge because we in H-town are selecting a new mayor to replace outgoing Mayor Annise Parker and in the wake of recent political events surrounding HERO.. It was definitely on my mind and the minds of the folks in that packed and overly warm house. The air conditioning in the building was having problems and improvised fans were having to be used by the meeting attendees until the AC issue got sorted out..
Five seconds after I walked into the room I ran into HISD school board trustee Juliet Stipeche who was seeking the Caucus endorsement in her race. It also didn’t take me long to start running into old friends like Ray Hill, Brandon Mack, Ashton Woods, Fran & Kim Watson, Dalton DeHart, Melissa Vivanco, Lou Weaver,, Brenda Langer, Michael Webb, Antonio Maldonado, Maverick Welsh, Nikki Araguz Loyd and Will Loyd/ It was also an opportunity yo meet new ones like Sharon Fuller.
I also started running into friends running for office like Jenifer Pool, Jolanda Jones and Lane Lewis and candidates seeking Caucus support that I’d met at various events over the last few months like Phillipe Nassif, Amanda Edwards and Laurie Robinson, along with my first
Not long after I arrived at 12:55 PM because I overslept, the meeting started. After voting to by acclimation give all the candidates in non-contested races except one the Caucus endorsements they sought, and that all candidates endorsed by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus must publicly support HERO on some campaign materials, the meeting moved on to the business of dealing with the contested races, starting with the mayor’s race.
It took six hours of sometimes contentious debate and arguments that at times got heated, but in the end no chairs were thrown and no fights broke out. The Caucus endorsement business was handled masterfully by Maria Gonzalez who kept the meeting civil and Daniel Williams who served as the parliamentarian ensuring Robert’s Rules of Order were correctly and fairly applied.
Here are the candidates who earned Houston GLBT Caucus endorsements:.
District B – Jerry Davis; District C – Ellen Cohen; District F – Richard A. Nguyen;
District H – Roland Chavez; District I – Robert Gallegos; District J-Mike Laster; District K-Larry Green
City Council At Large
Position 1 – Lane Lewis; Position 2 – David Robinson; Position 3 – Doug Peterson; Position 4 – Amanda K. Edwards, Position 5 – Phillipe Nassif
HISD School Board Trustee
District 2 – Rhonda Skillern Jones; Position 3 – Ramiro Fonseca; Position 4 – Jolanda Jones; Position 8 Juliet Katherine Stipeche
District 3 – Adriana Tamez; Position 8 – Eva Loredo.
Congratulations to all the candidates who did get the Caucus endorsement, and to those who didn’t, sorry it didn’t happen for you this cycle.
Now let’s focus on the next step of getting them in office this November.