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8.5% is the arbitrary benchmark rate set by the Texas Education Agency for the number of Special Education Students in a school district that may receive Special Education.  Even children with severe disabilities, including deafness and blindness, can't always get special education. 

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The Final Push is Here!


Here's a great opportunity to show how much you care about your community. 

We'll be holding a last effort all-day on Monday, November 5th to phone bank in our office to implore voters to get out and vote. Volunteer your time to phone bank and join other "Occupy the Vote" volunteers. We will be starting at 10:00 AM and going all the way to 8:00 PM. Come and join us for an hour or two or stay the day!.

Last Three Events Before the Election

We still have three events to go and they really something! There is a little something for every one so click on the links below for more deatils. Attend as many as you want! We will see you there and we will OCCUPY the Vote!




Early Voters Swarm Polls in Record Numbers

Here is a link to a Houston Chronicle Article about the record voter turnout in the early voting period. 

Dying for a Right We Ignore

View From the Cheap Seats

It is quite telling about the apathy of American citizens of all origins and walks of life that we simply ignore the rights and privileges that others are willing to court death to obtain. While we gleefully slash educational budgets to give subsidies to all those “underfunded and cash poor oil companies”, one little girl is willing fight for an education for herself and others at the cost of her health and possibly her own life.

Malala Yousufzai, is a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban for the audacity, no, the stubborn refusal to accept that she and other girls cannot be educated. In a unique combination of cowardice and ineptitude, Taliban soldiers shot her twice; once in the neck and once in the head. Upon realizing that they are not only the accursed of Allah, but poor gunmen, they have vowed that they will finish the job if she recovers. (Also as long as no fluffy bunnies or babies get in their way as they are not ready for such a fearsome foe.)

Malala is willing to die for her education. We are not willing to pay one extra penny to educate our children. If we closed our schools, told our children that they will not be allowed to return, would they even care? Considering how low a priority we give public education in our state, we had better hope that PBS survives. It might be the only chance they will have to learn how  to read. After all, if they can’t read how can they run the cash register at McDonalds when we order our fries?

Hip Hop The Vote Concert in Alief!

You can't miss this one! Come on OUT to Alief


Texans Together Education Fund presents the second in a series of non-partisan live music concerts called “Hip-Hop The Vote” taking place Friday October 19, 2012. These events are aimed at engaging the young adults in the Houston communities to become excited about registering to vote -- and more importantly -- turning out to vote in November.

Our focus is on Harris County because in the 2008 presidential election over one million eligible voters did not vote. In this election season Texans Together’s non-partisan campaign “Occupy the Vote” is aiming to get 10,000 low propensity voters to turn out and vote in this year’s presidential campaign.

During the event Texans Together, along with our community partners Mi Familia Vota and Texas Families for Incarcerated Youth, will collect “Commit to Vote” pledge cards and attempt to increase awareness around November’s elections.

It is important to note that the artists in our line-up have committed to doing 100 percent clean shows, with no profanity or suggestive behavior. 


WHO: Performing Live –  Doughbeezy, Killa Kyleon, Dirty&Nasty, GT Garza and UZOY and DJ Chill spinning between acts/speakers.

What: Hip-Hop the Vote Event

WHEN: Friday October 19, 2012 from 4-8 pm

WHERE: Alief Community Center – 11903 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77072


Why Does Texas Have Such Low Voter Turnout?


And Now, A Few Words…

Texas Public Radio's show, "Texas Matters," hosted a  piece recently on "Why Does Texas Have Such Low Turnout. See http://tpr.org/texasmatters/2012/10/txm121005.html. The host, David Davies, discusses with Professor Walter Wilson of UT-San Antonio and me why Texas has low turnout and what can be done to change it. I said essentially that to increase voter turnout Texas needs to do what has worked in other states: nonprofit groups, like Texans Together, training grass leaders and civically engaging people from disengaged communities year round. To hear the podcast, please click here. 

Why Community Organizing Matters

And Now, A Few Words…

The Texas Observer has just released a great article on why lower income minorities don’t vote in Texas and what can be done to change that: “No Shows:  Why So Few Texans Bother to Vote”.We are proud that it features Texans Together’s organizing work prominently.  See www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/no-shows-why-so-few-texans-bother-to-vote.

The piece’s author, Saul Elbein, notes that turnout is particularly poor in Texas and even worse in Harris County. For example, Latinos voted in 2008 at 57% in California, but only 38% in Texas and under 25% in Harris County. If Texas Latinos had voted at the rate of California Latinos in 2008, more than a million more Latinos would have voted in Texas! He notes that turnout has increased significantly in other states by nonprofit groups engaging lower income communities year round on concerns that matter to them.

Y’all Want Some Health Care? Too dang bad!

View From the Cheap Seats

Say Yes to Health Care! 

When you look at the numbers, they are just too big to really wrap your head around.  According to Texas Medical Association, 35% of Texans do not have health insurance.  That’s 4,886,100 people (adults 19-64) who have to go to an emergency room for a simple health problem.  It should not be necessary to point out that those with Health insurance enjoy better health. Try thinking of it this way: every third adult you see has no insurance.

Here is another number: 1,247,300 (children age birth to eighteen years old).  They have no health insurance.  Every fourth child you see is not covered. There is no excuse for this. Seriously, why can’t these kids get a job and get some coverage?

Last one: 6,234,900 people in the state have no health coverage.  That’s one quarter of the state’s total population. That’s every…well, you get the idea.

Are there any good numbers? Sure. We are number one! Yes, the great state of Texas, largest of the lower 48, 2nd largest economy in the United States,15th largest economy in the world, leads the nation in the uninsured. Ain’t we proud?

Hip-Hop the Vote Concert!

Only 11 days remain before National Voter Registration Day on September 25th and what better to way to spend the day than by listening to some local hip-hop artists while registering to vote. 

Come hang out with Texans Together at the Reggae Bodega from 5-8p.m. to hear DoughbeezyDat Boi T - Screwed Up Essay,Official Chingo Bling and The Niceguys.

Don't let your vote go uncounted. Register to vote. 

"We engage. We vote. We change Texas!"


EHL Broadens Its Scope!

EHL is Texans Together’s premier training and leadership program. We work in disengaged communities to recruit leaders who want to work in their neighborhoods to make changes where they live. Now, Texans Together is broadening its reach by recruiting and training leaders in new areas and ways.

We now have a Spanish EHL class for people who are more comfortable in Spanish, rather than English only. Our first class has already graduated.  In addition, we have held classes on the U of H main campus for our Young Adult EHL. By extending our network to more diverse elements, we are creating a powerful tool for social change.

Would you like to join us? If you are interested in a Spanish EHL class there is one on September 15th at the Mint community center located at: 6700 South Dairy Ashford Street, Houston, TX 77072. Join us at 10 AM - 2 PM and learn how to be a leader in a language you are comfortable in.



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Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296



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by Dr. Radut