Senator Robert Byrd (92), of West Virginia has died today. He was the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history, and was proof that people can change. Once a segregationist and KKK member, Byrd turned around and renounced hate, earning a 100% favorable congressional rating by the NAACP, and mentoring Barack Obama in his time in the Senate.
This music makes me want to dance. When these guys fired up, I grabbed my camera and had to get some video. Basically, it was just about time for delegates to get out of the exhibit hall and head for the auditorium. Perhaps the idea was to drive people out, but I just made a beeline for them.
Somehow, I just can't imagine the GOP having mariachis at their convention.
This weekend, we're in Corpus Christi, Texas for the 2010 Texas Democratic Party Convention. We'll post more thoughts, videos, and photographs later, but we wanted to pass along the Democratic Platform document, just adopted. It seems that so often, the other major party makes a big show of opposition to whatever it is that they suppose we believe - without ever really asking us or bothering to consult with what we believe. I think the majority of this is very reasonable.
"The Democratic Party is not a collection of diverse interests brought together only to win elections. We are united instead by a common heritage - by a respect for the deeds of the past and a recognition of the needs of the future." John F. Kennedy, from a speech he was to deliver in Austin on November 22, 1963
Texas Democrats believe government can be as good as the people. We have faith that democracy, built on the sacred values of family, freedom and fairness, can afford every Texan, without exception, the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential.
We believe democratic government exists to achieve as a community, state, and nation what we cannot achieve as individuals; and that it must not serve only a powerful few.
We believe every Texan has inalienable rights that even a majority may not take away …the right to vote …the right to fair and open participation and representation in the democratic process …the right to privacy.
We believe in freedom …from government interference in our private lives and personal decisions …to exercise civil and human rights …of religion and individual conscience.
We believe in equal opportunity for all Texans …to receive a quality public education, from childhood through college …to have access to affordable, comprehensive health care …to find a good job with dignity …to buy or rent a good home in a safe community …to breathe clean air and drink clean water.
We believe a growing economy should benefit all Texans …that the people who work in a business are as important as those who invest in it …that every person should be paid a living wage …that good business offers a fair deal for customers …that regulation of unfair practices and rates is necessary …that the burden of taxes should be fairly distributed …that government policy should not favor corporations that seek offshore tax shelters, exploit workers, pollute our environment, or spend corporate money to influence elections;
“It found 11 cases where crews on deepwater rigs had lost control of their wells and then activated blowout preventers to prevent a spill. In only six of those cases were the wells brought under control, leading the researchers to conclude that in actual practice, blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs had a “failure” rate of 45 percent.”
Population estimates released Tuesday for U.S. Cities over 100,000 in population placed Lewisville, TX as the 10th fastest growing city in the nation, estimating our July 1, 2009 population at 105,169, adding 3,408 residents since 2008, and jumping by 3.3%.
Frisco, TX was number one on the list, and McKinney and Round Rock came in at #3 and #8, respectively. Fort Worth was just after Lewisville, coming in #11 for a 2009 population of 727,575.
These are population estimates only. The numbers from the 2010 official census are not yet released.
As we wrote before, this past Monday night, 6/21/2010, the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees met in open workshop to discuss the budget for the upcoming fiscal year - the 2010/2011 school year.
In a 4.5 hour workshop and meeting, Board members were presented with what appears to be a fairly lean budget based on a tax increase from $1.04 per $100 valuation to $1.17. There may be a few little areas that can still be trimmed without cutting jobs, but in order to achieve a balanced budget without a tax increase, there would have to be some massive cuts of personnel.
A rate of $1.06 would be a 2 cent raise that would bring the most bang for the buck, since the State of Texas would kick in additional money on top of what we collect. It would mean about $7 million in additional revenue. Additional cents beyond $1.06 actually net a bit less than the tax we collect, since some of that would go to the state under recapture rules. A tax rate of $1.12 would balance our budget.
In addition to the $1.06 - $1.17 the board might seek for maintenance and operations (M&O), the rate for interest and sinking fund (I&S) - basically bond payments, would be $0.3867.
Now, tonight on a 6 - 1 vote (Latham against), the board decided to publish the proposed $1.17 rate. This doesn't mean they'll vote for that, but they want to give notice of the highest possible rate they might choose. The rate they end up will likely be lower, if they want the voters to pass it.
Since the proposed rate would exceed what is called our "rollback rate" of $1.04 (this year's rate), a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) would be called - most likely for September. Voters could vote for the proposed rate, or against it, which would set the rate at $1.04 and cause the board to have to redo the budget and start making cuts or dipping into reserves.
You don't get to vote on the I&S fund rate, because you already voted for that tax increase when you approved the bond packages. (You knew those were tax increases, right?)
Videos are in the process of uploading, and will be available below when complete.
The presentation being discussed in the video is available in PDF format, so that you can follow along if you want. (258 pages - 5.6mb) The preliminary budget is also available in PDF format. (305 pages - 8.1mb) Note that the presentation and budget assumes that the tax rate will be $1.17 for M&O.
San Antonio hospitals are dumping seriously ill homeless patients at Haven for Hope. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme sees republicans hating health care for the poor. How selfish and cruel can a group of people be?
Neil at Texas Liberal offered up a post this week with two examples of folks voting across party lines. Neil says political parties provide a useful shorthand for voters and says people should support a slate that has the same general outlook and goals.
- The Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main Street, has numerous classes and programs on tap for the month of June. For more information on any of these events, contact the Youth Services Desk at 972.219.3577 or visit http://library.cityoflewisville.com.
May 15th - Oct 30th - Lewisville Old Town Farmers Market The Old Town Lewisville Farmers Market, a seasonal open-air forum for Denton County and North Texas-grown products, will be open Saturdays from May 15 through Oct. 30 starting at 8 a.m. at Wayne Ferguson Plaza in Old Town Lewisville.
Note: We're still in the process of updating the calendar for this weekend. Please check back!
June 24th - DCTA Public Meeting about A-Train 6:30 PM at Lewisville Municipal Annex. DCTA will give the public a chance to hear their current A-train plans and provide feedback.
June 24th - 26th - Texas Democratic Convention WhosPlayin will be in Corpus Christi for this event, so blog postings will be sparse until we get back.
June 25th - Flower Mound Free Concert: All Funk Radio Show Flower Mound Summmer Concerts in the Park, every Friday in June, 7:30 p.m. at Parker Square, 1500 Cross Timbers Rd. "All Funk Radio Show" is a hip-hop, jazz, R&B, soul, dance, and funk act. Series Information...
June 26th - Michael Burgess Town Hall Meeting Saturday, June 26, 2010, 10:00 a.m.
Keller ISD/Timber Creek High School 12350 Timberland Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76244 Map...