Thursday, September 06, 2007

HISD + GLBT ?

Something very significant happened at last night's general meeting. The Caucus membership had a healthy, thorough debate on whether to endorse the proposed HISD bond issue. The Caucus has rarely expressed official preferences on such things, but, amazingly, given the growing influence of the Caucus, our endorsement decision may just forecast the fate of the bond proposal on election day.

Yes, the GLBT community may in fact have the unusual burden of deciding this issue for the rest of the city. It's a strange situation, but Houston's GLBT community votes as a block, and our endorsement card is the singular guide for GLBT voters in Houston. Our card not only prescribes, it predicts the votes of thousands of Houstonians . There are few high profile races in this year's nonpartisan city election, and turn out will be low, so our community of habitual voters may have unmatched clout.

Advocates, both for and against the proposal, recognizing the impact our endorsement, showed up to make their cases last night. State Representative Sylvester Turner, who hasn't visited the Caucus since he ran for mayor, made a surprising appearance just to speak passionately against the proposal. HISD trustee Natasha Kamrani defended the proposal, pleading for much needed dollars and pledging to reach out to the community for more input. Controller Parker and Council Members Lovell and Brown also voiced their opinions. GLBT teachers and parents also spoke up. In the end, it was a really amazing demonstration of just how knowledgeable and curious our community is.

Debate was heated. Complex questions were raised, and after nearly an hour of discussion, wisely, the Caucus took a humble approach last night, deciding to postpone the endorsement and charge a special committee to further investigate the details of the bond proposal.

So...we're taking some time, because we all see that we must be careful on this consequential decision. I'm going to do my best to post a lot of information here, so that we can get a balanced perspective.

Later today I'll post the first of probably several posts looking into this question.

1 comment:

Maria Gonzalez said...

I do not invest in any conception of efficiency for education. Education is a labor intensive product, historically reserved for the elite few because nations understood it as a scarce commodity. We in this country are conducting a great experiment in attempting universal education. My answer has always been the same—more teachers, less students in classes. It is not efficient, easy, or cheap, but it is the best way to almost guarantee an educated populace.