Brazos County

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.”

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.

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.

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