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03 Jun 2015

Ken Melancon Website Launch

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ken melancon website

Check out Ken Melancon’s brand new website! Go to the site to learn all about the new campaign, upcoming events, our issues, how you can join the campaign, make a donation and more

District K Council Member Reiterates The Necessity For The Flood Damage Reduction Project

HOUSTON, TX – In the wake of the historic floodwaters that ran through the country’s fourth-largest city, Houston City Council Member for District K Larry Green is calling for the full federal funding of Project Brays. If properly addressed, the Brays Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project – or, Project Brays – could have helped spare countless Houstonians from the damages of this week’s flood.

“Project Brays must be taken seriously,” said Houston City Council Member Larry Green. “This week’s historic flood has demonstrated just how vital this project is to residents of District K, southwest Houston, and every citizen who lives in or around the city’s limits. Neighborhoods such as Westbury, Knollwood Village, Willow Meadows, and Linkwood deserve better and Washington should stop playing partisan politics and send much needed infrastructure dollars.”

Project Brays is a cooperative effort between the Harris County Flood District (HCFCD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that also incorporates local initiatives. The project aims to reduce flood damage through a variety of methods including channel and bridge modifications, as well as the use of stormwater detention basins. If fully supported and completed, the project could benefit thousands of residents and businesses along Houston’s Brays Bayou.

While Project Brays has made significant improvements in flood reduction, the project remains hindered by a shortfall in federal funding that has plagued the plan for years.

“As local Houstonians are picking up the pieces following this week’s flood, we still wait as Washington and some of our elected officials refuse to give this project the resources it needs,” said Council Member Green. “We can’t afford another damaging event like the one we experienced this week, and I strongly urge our leaders to give Project Brays the attention it needs to prevent future floods and damage.”

If fully completed, the project would not only reduce the size of the 10-year flood plain, but would also significantly decrease the flood risk for thousands of Houston homes, the Texas Medical Center, and several Houston-area universities including Texas Southern, Rice, Houston Baptist, and the University of Houston.

For more information on Project Brays, please visit:http://www.projectbrays.org/index.asp.

www.LarryGreenTX.com

14 Apr 2015

Texas’ Latino Disconnect

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By: Max Moll

On Thursday of last week, Governor Greg Abbott brought a message of prosperity and success to a sold out room of Houston Latino leaders, officials, and business owners.

The only problem – the message was more about Texas than it was about Latinos in Texas.

Sure, Governor Abbott touched on the vital role Latinos play in Texas’ thriving economy. He talked about the Houston Hispanic Chamber’s powerful role in the advancement of Latinos not only in Houston, but across the state of Texas, as well. He touched on his wife’s story as being part of a family that emigrated from Monterrey, Mexico. He also made sure to annunciate words with a distinctively Latino twinge.

But Governor Abbott’s message didn’t connect with what was going on in Austin.

As the Governor praised the Latino community’s inherent tenacity and commitment to hard work, the tenor of our legislators at the State Capitol couldn’t be any further from that praise. As Abbott praised Dr. Laura Murillo – the Hispanic Chamber’s visionary leader – our representatives in the legislature were busy pushing legislation that stands in the face of what the Hispanic Chamber and the Latino community are striving to build. While Abbott emphasized the Latino influence on Texas and his life, the Legislature was working to ensure that Latinos play a lesser role in Texas’ future than they have in its past.

While Governor Abbott said a lot in his speech, it’s what he didn’t say that said the most. Governor Greg Abbott’s comments to the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce noticeably – and almost painfully – omitted addressing the topics that most impact the Latino community. Why? Because the handling of those issues by the Texas legislature under his short tenure would not play well in a room full of Latinos.

On Wednesday, Senator Charles Perry’s “sanctuary cities” bill passed through the Senate’s Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. If passed, Senate Bill 185 will cut off state funding for governmental entities that forbid law enforcement from inquiring about the immigration status of those they detain or arrest. In other words, if you are pulled over for speeding and have a slight pigmentation to your skin, the officer has the right to ask for your documentation.

On another front, the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee also passed Senator Donna Campbell’s Senate Bill 1819. This piece of legislation would undo a measure passed in 2001 by Gov. Rick Perry that allows some children of illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state college tuition.

While legislators have claimed that these pieces of legislation aren’t “about vilifying anyone,” and are matters of necessity for law enforcement officers’ effectiveness, the dialogue around the bills sure feels different. And while Governor Greg Abbott’s praise of the Latino community in broad terms may be genuine, the legislature’s actions seem to stand in stark contrast of that praise.

Objectively, Governor Abbott’s presence at one of the country’s most influential Hispanic Chambers’ premier events seemed a bit odd. Following a week at the Texas legislature that featured a day tagged as “anti-Latino Day” by Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Emmanuel Garcia, the Governor may have been better off finding a “scheduling conflict” that kept him in Austin and off the dais in a room full of Latino leaders.

I was in the audience last Thursday and couldn’t help but chuckle every time the Governor used the word “dream” in his remarks. As he talked about the American Dream and the dreams of Texas, he remained seemingly unaware that the word “dream” has an entirely different context to a room full of Latinos.

In a microcosm of the day and its dynamics: Governor Greg Abbott spoke on the dreams of Texas and its citizens while the Texas legislature looked to strip DREAMers and Latinos of their own.

And that’s where the disconnect lies.

Join Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins for the Holiday Tree Lighting & Kwanzaa Celebration on Almeda! Saturday, Dec. 6th from 2-9PM.

Final December 6th Holiday Flyer

Houston-Based Public Affairs Firm Recognized During 20th Anniversary Award Celebration

 For Immediate Release

October 13, 2014 – (HOUSTON, TX) – The Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce (GHBC) recognized Houston-based public affairs firm ELITE Change, Inc. as a winner of the 2014 Pinnacle Award during its 20th Annual Awards Gala on Saturday.

“We are truly humbled to be recognized with this tremendous honor,” said ELITE Change, Inc. President & CEO Dallas S. Jones. “Our mission has always been about making a positive impact in the community, so we are truly humbled to earn this recognition from the Chamber.”

 

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Elite Change, Inc. President/CEO Dallas Jones

Founded in 1935 as the city’s first African-American civic organization, the GHBC has evolved into an active participant in the City of Houston’s socioeconomic process. The GHBC helps its partners and members navigate Houston’s large, diverse population, industries and the many nuances, which are unique to the city. The Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Awards honors African-American businesses that have achieved success by combining vision, determination, perseverance, and dedication to building strong communities.

The winners were announced during the 20th Annual Pinnacle Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday at the Power Center in Southwest Houston. The gala was held in honor of entrepreneurial pursuits within the African-American community and recognized the achievements of start-ups and established businesses, alike. “The gala was a celebration of entrepreneurism and the success that accompanies it,” explained GHBC Board Chair Vernita Harris. “Our winners are the best and brightest and the evening was dedicated to showcasing their stature and achievements.”

ELITE Change, Inc. is a public affairs consulting firm dedicated to making a difference in todays political and business settings by empowering organizations and individuals to be leaders in the communities they serve. ELITE Change specializes in Public Affairs, Strategic Communications, and Business Development. The company boasts a prominent client list of non-profits, corporations, and elected officials across many levels of government.

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Elite Change, Inc. President/CEO Dallas Jones thanking the GHBC for their recognition and support

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Chairwoman Vernita Harris and Elite Change, Inc. President/CEO Dallas Jones

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Elite Change, Inc. Team Members, Ashley Wyatt and Max Moll

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Mayor Annise Parker and Elite Change, Inc. President/CEO Dallas Jones

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Councilmember Jerry Davis, Councilmember Dwight Boykins, Elite Change, Inc. President/CEO Dallas Jones, Fountain of Praise COO George Anderson, Councilmember Larry Green

Greater Houston Black Chamber Of Commerce Announces
ELITE Change, Inc. As 2014 Pinnacle Awards Finalist

Houston-Based Public Affairs Firm Recognized As Finalist for the
20th Annual Pinnacle Awards

For Immediate Release

August 25, 2014 – (HOUSTON, TX) – The Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce (GHBC) revealed Houston-based public affairs firm ELITE Change, Inc. as a finalist for the 2014 Pinnacle Awards in an announcement released Friday.

Founded in 1935 as the city’s first African-American civic organization, the GHBC has evolved into an active participant in the City of Houston’s socioeconomic process. The GHBC helps its partners and members navigate Houston’s large, diverse population, industries and the many nuances, which are unique to our city. The GHBC is Houston’s premier source for identifying quality and qualified African-American, multi-sectored small businesses to do business with. The organization has a database of over 2,000 unique resources and members.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by such an important organization that focuses on the prosperity and growth of Black businesses in Houston,” said ELITE Change, Inc. President & CEO Dallas S. Jones. “Our company is founded on the principle of empowering the communities in which we work, so we are truly humbled to be recognized by a true pillar of the community in the GHBC.”

The Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Awards honors African-American businesses that have achieved success by combining vision, determination, perseverance, and dedication to building strong communities. The winners will be awarded during the 20th Annual Pinnacle Awards Black Tie Gala on Friday October 11, 2014, 7:00 pm at the Power Center. The GHBC will host its Pinnacle Awards Nominee Reception on Thursday August 28, 2014 from 6-8pm at the Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main Street.

ELITE Change, Inc.is public affairs consulting firm dedicated to making a difference in todays political and business settings by empowering organizations and individuals to be leaders in the communities they serve. ELITE Change specializes in Public Affairs, Strategic Communications, and Business Development. The company boasts a prominent client list of non-profits, corporations, and elected officials across many levels of government. Their client list includes Verizon, Major League Baseball (MLB), Lyft, Marshall Retail Group, NAACP, Stand for Children, State Senator Rodney Ellis, and Houston City Councilmembers Dwight Boykins and Larry Green, amongst many others.

 

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25 Aug 2014

The Middle Is Missing

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By: Max Moll

I find it hard to sleep sometimes.

It’s often due to one of the major culprits – a cup of coffee consumed too late in the day, a project left uncompleted, the things done that day, the things yet to be done for the next day, the internal struggle of achievements attained and ambitions unreached. The list goes on, but you probably get the point. It’s likely that we all have that one thing that makes it hard for us to rest. I guess that’s just part of this life we lead.

But last night was different.

Last night I found myself in a mental space that I don’t often like stirring in. As I scrolled through the bits of news from the day that I had missed that morning, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into hopelessness. ISIS, Iraq, the senseless killing of an American journalist; Hamas, Israel, Palestine, the bloodshed; Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO, another young man gunned down for no real reason besides the color of his skin. It was a lot.

“The world sure seems to be coming unhinged,” I thought as I continued to scroll through my iPad. As I ran out of new stories to digest, I ended up in the place where common sense, compassion, and civility go to die – the comments section. As to why I ended up there, I’m not sure. I certainly knew what I was getting myself into. In a day where the seething hatred of others can reach countless people in a matter of seconds, with the relative anonymity of the author protected by a computer screen and keyboard, I should’ve have seen it coming.

Take for example, a story that framed a comment from President Obama to sound as if he thought that withdrawing troops from Iraq was a bad idea and all President Bush’s fault. For the purposes of this piece – as well as personal posterity – I took a screenshot to capture the true essence of what I’m talking about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really is unbelievable. Again, for the sake of posterity I took a screenshot of the Facebook comments on the same article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I sorted through my thoughts before composing this piece, I finally realized why I found it hard to sleep last night. Even through all of the problems going on in the world, I found myself most troubled by the idiocy of the comments section. Due in large part to the biases of contemporary media outlets, the prominence of social media, and the polarization of today’s political environment, it seems as though we’ve lost the ability to have constructive discourse. What used to be a bedrock principle our system has now mostly become a pie-in-the-sky dream of our forefathers.

Sure, there have always been those who hold very negative opinions of our elected officials – George W. Bush caught a lot of it, Bill Clinton did as well – but we are currently seeing hatred reaching brand new heights (or depths?) Don’t believe it? Just look at the comments above in regards to our President.

“Only reason he got elected was he was black.” “He is Arab, not Black.” “But he knew to pull the race card because he knew that would be the only way he could get elected to ruin OUR not his country!” Another comment links to an article declaring President Obama as a part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

If the comments themselves are troubling, it’s the undertones are truly damning. That conversation is for another piece, but let’s just say that the undertones are in the same vein as clamoring for our President’s birth certificate and the ridiculous claims of “SOCIALIST! MARXIST!” Yeah, those undertones.

That said, these are just small, anecdotal examples of a larger question – will we ever be able to meet in the middle again? Will we ever be able to stop the mud flinging and elementary name-calling? Will we ever be able to stop talking about “left” ideas and “right” ideas, and come up with good ideas? Is our system under so much stress from both sides that it will eventually break? Has it already? I’m not sure, but I sure hope not.

When operating as it should, our political system is unlike any other seen in the history of this world. When we put aside petty partisan differences and replace them with a common belief that we can work together to help build the greater good, we achieve things no other country in the world can. That is what makes us uniquely American, and what makes this country greater than the rest.

Maybe this a hope based in naiveté, but I hope that we can reach that place again. That place where our disagreement and discourse leads to results, not partisan divide. That place where “left” and “right” are not stakes in the ground, but leanings that simply make us unique. That place where the middle isn’t missing.


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