Monday, November 02, 2015

The Fight To Keep HERO - November 2

It's election eve, and I'm nervous that this election to keep HERO is tight going into Election Day tomorrow morning.

And it shouldn't be.

As I have pointed out repeatedly since last August, I have not been happy about the way this HRC funded campaign has been run from the initial August 12 press conference.  I have been appalled at the lack of outreach done to the Houston Black community which would probably decide this election being that it is also a city mayoral election with two African Americans on the ballot.

Councilmember Jerry Davis (who voted YES for HERO passage last year) basically spelled it out what needed to be done in order to defend the law and ensure it won at the ballot box.

So did myself and many other African-American HERO supporters.

I have also been scratching my head at the ongoing human rights malpractice as to why Houston Unites hasn't pointed out the consequences of what WILL happen to Houston economically if Prop 1 isn't approved.
-TransGriot  September 21. 2015

'The bottom line is that the HERO opposition has been since last May disseminating lies about HERO unchallenged. This election will probably be decided in Black neighborhoods, and we must get accurate information to our people to counteract the right wing lies.' 
--TransGriot, September 30, 2015

What we did get is a whitewashed campaign that didn't do enough to destroy the only political card the HERO haters could play in the bathroom meme attack,   It failed to point out the Texas and Harris County Republican Party and suburban right-wing activists were gleefully behind killing the HERO, and let nonstop anti-HERO commercials on Houston Black radio stations go unanswered. They were reacting instead of being on the attack, and that's a recipe for an electoral loss.

And if you think Moni is selling woof tickets about the Texas GOP involvement in this fight to keep the HERO, peep what Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had to say in this tweet about the HERO.

What a surprise.  As usual, Texas Republicans on the wrong side of a human rights issue.

But back to the numerous problematic ways this Houston Unites campaign evolved, right down to them making the mistake at their own press conference of validating the bathroom predator lie.

We got commercials that didn't include the community being demonized in Houston trans people, or give them air time to debunk the lies.   I commend Houston Latinx media for actually airing Latina trans people in HERO stories on their news stations to combat the lies, but a similar and critically needed effort featuring a Black trans person didn't happen for the Black community, and you had a GLAAD media trained trans person standing by ready to do battle with the lying pastors.

We also got too little too late outreach to the Latino and African-American communities as well and a bunch of late endorsements in favor of it that should have been rolling in BEFORE early voting started.

And what little outreach was done was handled by African Americans For HERO, the grassroots group that formed because of our alarm in Black Houston activist circles in terms of how the Houston Unites campaign was going.

And it's not just Moni who believes this HERO defense campaign was Prop 8 2.0 in terms of the critical mistake made in not reaching out to the Houston African-American community and listening to those of us who do grassroots activism in it.  Tarah Taylor wrote this on her Facebook page back on September 23.

So I'm going to go ahead and say what everybody's whispering about because not saying it does my people a disservice 
Why? Because nonprofit interest groups are choosing to IGNORE the black community - the group that benefits the most from HERO and has the most opposition to the ordinance.The field is wrong, timing is wrong, staff is wrong, marketing is wrong, offense is wrong, defense is wrong. 
All who are involved, I love y'all, has nothing to do with you personally but the grant money has you locked into a strategy that WILL NOT WORK and only caters to one marginalized group. And the black community that supports HERO doesn't appreciate your late response to our issues if there is a response at all - hasn't been one yet.
 Can we fix it? Yes, but you'll have to make some alliances, hold supporting organizations accountable, cut some turf in black neighborhoods, and knock those doors WITH THE RIGHT messengers IMMEDIATELY!
If y'all are mad about be saying it, imagine how mad I am watching this get thrown together and go down in flames 
HERO has volunteers that WANT to canvas the black neighborhoods to talk about racial issues but there's no infrastructure set up for it. Good portion of black voters vote by mail, mail-in ballots go out next week. WTF? 
Where's the strategy and field plan for women voters? Veteran voters? DisABLEd voters? Religious voters, business owners... I mean, what are we doing here???
In the words of Dr. Cleo Manago, you cannot talk to black people about a human rights issue using a white LGBT framework.

And when the Houston NAACP has a gala on Friday night and they don't even mention the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance that I and many Houstonians fought tooth and nail to get passed, there's a problem.

I hope and pray tomorrow that the people voting at polling places across the city will do the right thing and vote to keep a human rights ordinance that protects 15 categories of Houstonians.

But right now, I'm not feeling confident that will happen.

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