TDSheive - Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:33pm
By Travis Sheive
Starting on October 1st, millions of Americans will be eligible to enroll in private, affordable health insurance through the new Health Insurance Marketplace. What is the Marketplace? How does the it work? Do my family and I qualify to enroll? These are just a few of the questions Americans have about the new program, but luckily there are plenty of resources out there to help.
The Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly called an “exchange”) is an online resource allowing individuals and families to shop and compare health insurance plans, similar to the way sites like Expedia or Travelocity offer airfare. After filling out a short questionnaire to assess your health care needs, you’ll be able to choose between the plans available in your area, and find out whether or not you qualify for a federal subsidy.
mwruger - Fri, 09/13/2013 - 12:31pm
And Now, A Few Words...
County Judge Ed Emmett's Message: Working People Don’t Matter!
Tens of thousands of working people in Harris County this summer signed a petition for a vote to raise $35 million a year to provide high quality early education for our children. One man – County Judge Emmett – disregarded the will of over 85,000 registered voters by refusing to place the matter on the ballot. He refused despite the law's clear mandate that he "shall immediately" place citizen petitions on the ballot. To add insult to injury, a politicized panel of Texas judges, without even giving a reason, let him get away with it. Shame on them.
mwruger - Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:40am
An Economic Justice Conference
On Sat Sept 7, hear Economist Dean Baker on the current state of the economy. Explore how immigration, women's issues, workers, environmental concerns, students' issues, affordable healthcare, and racism are interconnected with each other and the economy. Take away ideas and skills to address the challenges of this economy from workshops on creating co-ops, community organizing, living sustainably, staying in for the long haul, and more. Click Here for More Info
Fred Lewis - Tue, 08/27/2013 - 2:44pm
And Now, A Few Words…
Thank you for supporting the Early to Rise petition to place an early education proposition before Harris County’s voters. Because of you, the Early to Raise Campaign submitted 150,000 signed petitions to place the measure on this November’s ballot. Mike Sullivan, the County Tax Assessor-Collector, certified yesterday that the campaign has submitted the required valid signatures.
We are deeply disappointed that County Judge Ed Emmett has refused to place the measure on the ballot—ignoring the wishes of 150,000 Houstonians, the mandatory statute, and the needs of our kids for a good educational start.
The campaign filed suit late yesterday to order the County Judge to place the matter on the ballot, and I am confident, as an election law expert, that the measure will be on the November 2013 ballot. The law is clear that if the required signatures are submitted, then the initiative must go on the ballot-- regardless of whether the elected official dislikes it or thinks it is not authorized. Voters get to decide the matter before the courts will get involved. (I am also confident the statute authorizes the early education proposal).
Please help us win this campaign for kids and get involved. Donate for our GOTV and social media campaigns and volunteer to help us.
The battle has just begun.
Texans Together Education Fund
mwruger - Thu, 08/15/2013 - 3:33pm
From The American Prospect
In Texas's Harris County, a major early childhood education initiative offers a test case for the rest of the country.
It’s hard to find a politician these days who doesn’t at least pay lip service to the idea of “early childhood education.” But actually improving pre-kindergarten remains an enormous hurdle—and in some states the situation has gotten worse. While a number of states made investments in pre-K 10 or 15 years ago, the 2010 Tea Party wave, combined with budget crises in many states, led to big cuts even in states that already had minimal pre-K funding. In the 2010-2011 school year, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities—a progressive economic think tank—reports that 12 states reduced enrollment in pre-K programs while others shortened the number of school days or found other methods of scaling back. It’s not much better at the federal level. While the Obama administration bandies about a new plan to expand pre-K and integrate it with the rest of public education, the sequestration process meant a $350 million cut to Head Start, the public preschool program for low-income three- and four-year olds. For many local activists, particularly in anti-Obama states, help isn’t likely to come soon from either the state or federal level.
mwruger - Sun, 08/11/2013 - 11:40pm
From the Houston Chronicle Editorial Page:
Copyright 2013: Houston Chronicle
It looks like Harris County will vote on the future of the Astrodome this November. If we can get $200 million on the ballot for a convention center, we should be able to get a vote on $25 million for children's education. Texas doesn't usually do democracy by referenda. Unlike places like California, you can't just put a law up for a popular vote by getting enough signatures. But thanks to an antiquated Texas law, proponents of expanded pre-kindergarten education in Harris County think they have found a way to turn a petition drive for pre-K funding into a slot on the November ballot. The program is called Early To Rise, and we think it deserves consideration on Election Day.
mwruger - Wed, 08/07/2013 - 1:07pm
Sheriff Garcia talks about Early To Rise
(Houston, TX) Today Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced his support for the Early to Rise Campaign, which is seeking to create a dedicated funding stream to improve the quality of early childhood education through a ballot measure in November. As the lead law enforcement officer tasked with overseeing public safety and the county jail, Sheriff Garcia explained the critical importance of placing this item on the November ballot.
mwruger - Sat, 08/03/2013 - 7:49pm
T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
Eliseo Medina, center, of the Service Employees International Union was among those arrested Thursday in Washington as part of an effort to push for an immigration overhaul.
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: August 1, 2013
WASHINGTON — Seeking to send a message to lawmakers as they leave to face their constituents over the August recess, 41 leaders of groups supporting an overhaul of the immigration system held a noisy but peaceful sit-in on Capitol Hill on Thursday and were arrested, in an escalation of their tactics. Just after midday, the protesters filed onto Independence Avenue near the Capitol and sat in the street, unfurling a banner that said “Keep Our Families Together, Immigration Reform Now.” With a crowd of several hundred cheering from the sidewalk and calling for “citizenship now,” the protesters were handcuffed one by one and whisked away in police vehicles.
mwruger - Fri, 07/26/2013 - 10:34am
Stand Up Sunday is HERE!
July 28th is "Stand up Sunday"! Churches all over Harris County will be collecting signatures to help Harris County toddlers get the head start they need to succeed in school. Only three days left to go to the big event and we need your help!
Photos from Wheeler Baptist Church on July 21st where we collected over 350 signatures for the Early to Rise Ballot Initiative!
Be sure and join us this Sunday for "Stand Up Sunday" where churches all over the city will be taking part. Contact us if your church would like to participate. Call us at (713) 782-8833 or email us:
Here's a list of some of our participating churches:
mwruger - Thu, 07/18/2013 - 12:14pm