TEXAS 2019 BALLOT MEASURES

PROPOSED TEXAS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

VOTE: November 5, 2019

Proposition 1 (HJR 72)

“The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”

Proposition 2 (SJR 79)

“The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.”

Proposition 3 (HJR 34)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.”

Proposition 4 (HJR 38)

“The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.”

Proposition 5 (SJR 24)

“The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.”

Proposition 6 (HJR 12)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.”

Proposition 7 (HJR 151)

“The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”

Proposition 8 (HJR 4)

“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.”

Proposition 9 (HJR 95)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.”

Proposition 10 (SJR 32)

“The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”

Brazos County Fall 2019 Local Elections-- Polling Locations and Dates

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Early Voting

October 21 - November 1, 2019

Election Day: November 5, 2019

*******BRYAN*****
Residents of Bryan may vote on the following:

• Mayor
• City Council Districts 1 and 2
• Bryan ISD Board of Trustees Districts 1, 3, and 5
• Texas Prop 1-10 (Texas Constitutional Amendments)
https://www.youngdemsbcs.com/news/2019/9/9/texas-2019-ballot-measures

BRYAN VOTING LOCATIONS:

Arena Hall
2906 Tabor Rd Tabor Road & N. Earl Rudder Freeway Bryan, Texas 77803

Bryan High School Blue Campus (Bistro)
3401 E 29th Street Bryan, Tx 77802

Bryan ISD Administration Building
801 S Ennis Street Bryan, Tx 77803

Jane Long Middle School
1106 N Harvey Mitchell Pkwy. Bryan, TX 77803

*****COLLEGE STATION*****
Residents of College Station may vote on the following:

• Mayor
• City Council Place 2
• College Station ISD Board of Trustees 3, 4, and 5
• Texas Prop 1-10 (Texas Constitutional Amendments)
https://www.youngdemsbcs.com/news/2019/9/9/texas-2019-ballot-measures

COLLEGE STATION VOTING LOCATIONS:

College Station Utilities Meeting & Training Facility
1603 Graham Road, College Station

Memorial Student Center (MSC)
Texas A&M University, Room L526, College Station, Texas

*******EARLY VOTING********
OCT 21 to NOV 1

EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS:

Bryan ISD Administration Building
801 S Ennis Street Bryan, Tx 77803

Arena Hall
2906 Tabor Rd Tabor Road & N. Earl Rudder Freeway Bryan, Texas 77803

Learn more here about the candidates here: https://www.youngdemsbcs.com/news/2019/5/6/know-your-reps-know-your-rights-know-your-power-2019-local-elections-in-brazos-county

#YoungDemsRising: We Outnumberd Boomers at the Polls in 2018 😎

Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X accounted for a narrow majority of voters in the 2018 election, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available Census Bureau data.

The three younger generations – those ages 18 to 53 in 2018 – reported casting 62.2 million votes, compared with 60.1 million cast by Baby Boomers and older generations. But it’s not the first time—younger generations outvoted their elders 2016 presidential election as well.

Millennials and Gen X together cast 21.9 million more votes in 2018 than in 2014. (The number of eligible voter Millennials and Gen Xers grew by 2.5 million over those four years, due to the number of naturalizations exceeding mortality.) And 4.5 million votes were cast by Gen Z voters, all of whom turned 18 since 2014.

The number of eligible voters among Boomers and older generations fell by 8.8 million between the 2014 and 2018 elections, largely due to higher mortality among these generations.

Together, Gen Z and Millennials reported casting 30.6 million votes, a quarter of the total. Gen Z was responsible for 4.5 million, or 4%, of all votes. This post-Millennial generation is just starting to reach voting age, and their impact will likely be felt more in the 2020 presidential election, when they are projected to be 10% of eligible voters.

Millennials, ages 22 to 37 in 2018, cast 26.1 million votes, far higher than the number of votes they cast in 2014 (13.7 million).

Know Your Reps! Know Your Rights! Know Your Power! 2019 Local Elections in Brazos County

Many other cities throughout Texas just had their local (AKA “municipal”) elections. Bryan / College Station doesn’t have ours until the fall. Activist friends in larger cities are (rightly) complaining about an abysmal voter turnout of 11.5% (San Antonio) or 9.87% (Dallas).

Many candidates in these cities ran unopposed. Many won with approximately 100 votes. Some lost by less than 50 votes.

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As bad as the turnout is in major cities, in Brazos County, our turnout is even worse. According to BrazosVotes.org:

In Brazos County, our voter turnout in the 2017 municipal elections was 8.7%.

Fall elections are supposed to yield a higher voter turnout, because voters are more accustomed to voting in the fall. Our turnout is lower than elsewhere even though we are supposed to have the added advantage of holding elections in the fall.

The first step to increasing voter turnout for local elections is for ALL OF US to talk about local candidates and local issues throughout the year. That also means spreading information—always be teaching! We need to empower ourselves and others with the necessary information. An informed citizen is more likely to be a VOTER. An informed, engaged voter is more likely to feel comfortable running for office.

Don’t feel bad if you feel uninformed. Young Dems BCS will be providing resources so that you can feel empowered & informed! We aim to make it as accessible as possible so don’t worry—we gotchu!

Here are some seats up for election in the fall:

 

Bryan City Council:

College Station City Council:

  • Mayor Karl Mooney (running unopposed)

  • Jerome Rektorik, Place 2

 

Bryan ISD School Board

3 positions up for election representing single member districts

  • 1

  • 3

  • 5

 If you live in Bryan but you aren't sure what district of Bryan ISD you are in, check out this map. This is how you determine which seat you would be running for. If you are in district 1, 3, or 5--your seat is up this year and you should think about running! 

College Station ISD School Board

  • Place 3,

  • Place 4

  • Place 5

 The seven-member College Station ISD Board of Trustees all serve three-year terms in at-large positions (so it doesn’t matter where you live in College Station—you can vote for each school board position).

Residents of Brazos County also have the opportunity to vote on Texas Constitutional Amendments. Learn more here.

Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta Blockwalks With YoungDemsBCS for Affordable Housing

Bryan, TX—Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta joined YoungDemsBCS on a blockwalk on Sunday, April 7 to stop Bryan City Council from taking away people’s right to live in manufactured homes in neighborhoods zoned as MU-1.

Dolores Huerta is a labor and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). When President Obama awarded Mrs. Huerta with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, he admitted that her rallying cry “Sí, se puede!” was inspiration for his campaign slogan “yes, we can.”

Mrs. Huerta joined with Young Dems BCS to collect signatures for a petition to oppose the ordinance that will change neighborhoods zoned MU-1 to RD5000, which will displace poor people by taking away their right to live in manufactured housing.

Young Dems BCS has already collected 230 signatures by conducting daily blockwalks targeting those affected in MU-1 communities. The petition will force a 3/4 vote and make it harder for city council to pass the ordinance, as only two council members have to oppose it for it to fail.

YoungDemsBCS will be blockwalking all day on Monday, April 8 and encourages the public to join us at any time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Residents of neighborhoods zoned MU-1 who would like to sign the petition can also visit 307 S Main St anytime on Monday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If you do not know whether you live in a neighborhood zoned MU-1, use this map.

Concerned community members may show up and speak out against the zoning change at Bryan City Council on Tuesday, April 9 before the council members vote on the ordinance. In order to be included in public commentary, you must arrive and provide your name before 5:30 p.m.

Hundreds of families will be negatively affected by this ordinance if it passes. Planning & Zoning is eliminating a major form of affordable housing without offering any alternatives in its place. This could further exacerbate Bryan’s affordable housing crisis, which a recent report by the Bush School called “the most pressing concern facing the Bryan/College Station community.”

Many of those affected own the land they live on and the manufactured home might be the only structure they can afford to put on their property. They want land that appreciates in value rather than renting a spot in a mobile home park for at least $400 a month.

So many apartment complexes in Brazos County rent by the room, which isn’t affordable for a low income family. Many apartment complexes may reject an application if the tenant has bad credit. The Planning & Zoning Committee acts like these low income families have options but choice is a luxury.

Residents who live in manufactured housing in an MU-1 zoned neighborhood will be “grandfathered in” to the new zoning (RD5000) and allowed one replacement structure. This zoning change would creates a future of uncertainty for low income families. Residents should be able to live in peace without the threat of displacement and potential homelessness looming over them.

With this ordinance, the Planning & Zoning Committee hope to relegate all future manufactured housing to mobile home parks, which is why some residents referred to the ordinance as “segregation” during public commentary. This zoning change also disproportionately affects the Latinx and black communities of Bryan.

Those who wish to participate in the blockwalk should bring comfortable shoes, their smartphone, a car phone charger, and a clipboard. Follow YoungDemBCS on Facebook for updates.

Stop Bryan City Council from Segregating our Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: YoungDemsBCS@gmail.com

Bryan, TX—On April 9, Bryan City Council will vote on the MU-1 ordinance, which displaces poor people by taking away their right to live in manufactured housing in neighborhoods zoned as MU-1.

Young Dems BCS calls on the community to join us for daily blockwalks in affected neighborhoods to collect signatures for a petition. The petition will force a 3/4 vote and apply pressure to council member Reuben Marin (District 1) and Prentiss Madison (District 2)—both of whom are up for reelection this fall.

Blockwalks leave from the parking lot of 307 S Main Street every weekday at 5:15 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon.

Hundreds of families will be negatively affected by this ordinance if it passes. Planning & Zoning is eliminating a major form of affordable housing without offering any alternatives in its place. This could further exacerbate Bryan’s affordable housing crisis, which a recent report by the Bush School called “the most pressing concern facing the Bryan/College Station community.” Many apartments rent by the room, which low income families cannot afford.

On Thursday, March 28, Bryan’s Planning & Zoning Committee held a town hall to “take public opinion into consideration.” During public commentary, 30 Bryan residents spoke out against the MU-1 ordinance, and zero residents voiced approval. Ignoring the voices of their constituents, the Planning & Zoning Committee unanimously approved the ordinance anyway.

At the Town Hall, Planning & Zoning Committee member Paul Torres said that he lives in a brick house in a neighborhood zoned MU-1. He told the crowd that he would not want to live next to a manufactured home, as it would negatively impact his property value. By saying this, Torres admitted to a conflict of interest and, thus, should have recused himself from the vote. However, he did not.

Members of Young Dems BCS, a local group of young people working to help the community in Brazos County, are joining with concerned community members to demand that Bryan City Council throw out this unpopular ordinance and side with the people instead of developers.

Wealthy residents are the job creators of Bryan. If wealthy residents want to stop living next to poor people, they should pay them a living wage instead of relegating them to the mobile home parks where they are “out of sight, out of mind.”

If wealthy residents do not want to look at an “eyesore,” they should invest in community beautification.

The members of the Planning & Zoning Committee, from their position as real estate brokers and investment bankers with homes valued well above the local average, seem to hold a misguided notion that people with low incomes choose to live in manufactured housing. Many do not have the luxury of choice. They simply want to live on the land they own in the structure they could afford.

Residents who live in manufactured housing in an MU-1 zoned neighborhood will be “grandfathered in” to the new zoning (RD5000) and allowed one replacement structure. Planning & Zoning repeated this throughout last week’s town hall, saying that residents “will not be affected immediately.” However, this gives little comfort to those affected, because it’s still a promise that they will one day have to uproot their lives. Starting over costs money, and many of those who live in manufactured housing are barely surviving on a low income. Residents should be able to live in peace without the threat of displacement and potential homelessness looming over them.

With this ordinance, Planning & Zoning hope to relegate all future manufactured housing to mobile home parks, which is why some residents referred to the ordinance as “segregation” during public commentary. Mobile home parks often charge a monthly fee of $400 or more to rent the lot within the park. Many people cannot afford the monthly lot rental fee, and would rather own a piece of land that appreciates in value if they can afford it.

Those who wish to attend our daily blockwalks should bring comfortable shoes, their smartphone, and a car phone charger. We also encourage you to bring a clipboard. Follow Young Dems BCS on Facebook for updates.

Speak Out Against Racial Profiling in Brazos County

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At a Bryan City Council meeting on 2/12, a report was released on the racial disparity in Bryan PD’s policing. Watch the video of the report here.

The findings are disturbing, and show that black people comprised 25% of traffic stops, though they make up only ~14% of Bryan’s driving population. Latinx people were also pulled over at a rate disproportionate to their percentage of the population.

We also found that in BrazosCounty:

  • Latinx people are incarcerated 89% more than White people.

  • Black people are incarcerated 898% (about 9x) more than White people.

  • White people go to jail at a rate 42% BELOW the state average.

Source: http://trends.vera.org/rates/brazos-county-tx

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YoungDemsBCS invites you to join us at a Bryan City Council meeting on May 14 to voice your concerns regarding these disturbing findings. Arrive and provide your name before 5:30 in order to be included in the public commentary portion, which starts at 6.

RSVP here to let us know you plan to attend City Council Meeting with us.

On Saturday, May 11, we will be hosting a workshop to prepare for the city council meeting. At this meeting, we will go over messaging, tone and data points. Members of the community are also invited to attend and share their personal stories.

We will also go over the specific asks we have of Bryan City Council and Bryan PD for feasible improvements (and we welcome any suggestions you may have as wel!). This workshop will ensure that we come prepared as a collective and can speak confidently to Bryan City Council on the issue at hand.

RSVP for the Criminal Justice Working Group here.

What is the Green New Deal? Find out at our next meeting.

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Humanity has just over a decade to get carbon emissions under control.

Or else, well, you can guess what else. Global, catastrophic climate change impacts become inevitable and irreversible.

Democrats do not currently have a plan to address climate change, and last addressed it in 2009 when they passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Some people call the Green New Deal “ambitious.” What they don’t seem to realize is that we have now entered a do or die moment. We NEED to be ambitious.

Big problems call for big solutions.

To learn more about this resolution and how it plans to address climate change as well as racial / economic inequality, come to the next Young Dems BCS meeting on Sunday, March 31, 7 pm, Square One.

TEXAS VOTER PURGE UPDATE

Bravo to U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio on achieving a temporary halt to the Texas “voter fraud” purge! Biery called the purge “a solution looking for a problem.”

“[...] perfectly legal naturalized Americans were burdened with what the Court finds to be ham-handed and threatening correspondence from the state which did not politely ask for information but rather exemplifies the power of government to strike fear and anxiety and to intimidate the least powerful among us,” Biery wrote.

Brazos County has a list of 570 names that have been “flagged” as potential non-citizens. According to the Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock, 47 of those individuals received the initial letter questioning their citizenship, followed by a “disregard” letter. The rest of the people on this list likely don’t even know they are on it.

The Texas voter fraud list is comprised of people who initially used a green card or similar documentation at DPS when obtaining their drivers license or state ID, indicating that they were not a citizen at the time. Anyone who used such documentation as far back as 1996 could be included on the list, even if they have since become a naturalized citizen.

And since we naturalize thousands of citizens every year, that situation is very likely.

Civil rights groups argue that the list constitutes voter intimidation targeting Latinx and immigrant communities, and we at YoungDemsBCS agree. We will be watching to ensure that voting rights aren’t stripped from these communities who are already targeted in the Trump era.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State David Whitley’s chances of getting confirmed in the TX Senate aren’t looking great. He needs a 2/3rds vote to be confirmed but all Texas Democrats have pledged to vote “no,” which would be enough to reject his confirmation.

Note: the battle isn’t over! Counties haven’t thrown out these “fraud” lists entirely and still seem to be going through them. But these are good developments! We have activist groups such as Jolt Texas, Texas Civil Rights Project, LULAC, and others to thank for the progress we’ve made so far.

While we are on the topic… Need to register to vote? Email us at youngdemsBCS@gmail.com

Racial Profiling in Brazos County

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As Young Dems BCS continues to sift through the racial disparities in Bryan and CollegeStation policing and incarceration, we found that in BrazosCounty:

Black people go to jail at a rate that is 122% above the State Average.

Black people go to jail at a rate that is 122% above the State Average.

  • Latinx people are incarcerated 89% more than White people.

  • Black people are incarcerated 898% (about 9x) more than White people.

  • White people go to jail at a rate 42% BELOW the state average.

Source: http://trends.vera.org/rates/brazos-county-tx

White people go to jail at a rate that is 42% under the State Average.

White people go to jail at a rate that is 42% under the State Average.

Please join us at the April Bryan City Council meeting, where we will be presenting feasible solutions for making Bryan PD's policing more equitable:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2161415630547592/?ti=ia

One solution we will propose is enabling residents to file complaints about police behavior without having to GO INTO the police station in person and possibly come face-to-face with the police officer they are complaining about. Other counties, like Harris and Travis, have web portals and other ways of submitting notarized complaints remotely.

Video of report on BPD’s traffic stops, which was presented at the previous City Council meeting, can be found here: https://bryantx.swagit.com/play/02122019-2239