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Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate

December 28, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

A passage that I couldn’t resist sharing after stumbling upon it …

The standards shall ensure that the summary is presented in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner and utilizes terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee.


I would strongly suggest that something similar could be found in a variety of bills. The requirement is essentially a “common language” or “no legalese” clause. It just smacks of some obvious irony that a federal version of this mandate would include so many multi-syllable words – ultimately disqualifying itself for inclusion in the very document being developed.

It’s moments like this that I wish I had a hotline to Washington Monthly’s Charles Peters.

2008-12 Citizen Voting Age Population Update

December 24, 2013 Census Stuff No Comments

I’m gradually wading back into the annual update of Census numbers via the American Community Survey that just came out. For the sake of maintaining the bookmark I’m keeping on Harris County Population trends, here are the latest 5-year estimates covering 2008-2012 shown in contest of previous ACS releases:

         Tot. Pop. '10 (%)    Tot. Pop. '11 (%)    Tot. Pop. '12 (%)
TOTAL      4,092,459           4,025,409            4,101,752
Anglo      1,349,646 (33.0%)   1,353,868 (33.6%)    1,354,869 (33.0%)
Hispanic   1,671,540 (40.8%)   1,621,065 (40.3%)    1,671,262 (40.7%)
Afr.-Am.     754,258 (18.4%)     747,398 (18.6%)      775,085 (18.9%)
Asian        249,853  (6.1%)     246,924  (6.1%)      257,467  (6.3%)
Other         67,162  (1.6%)      56,154  (1.4%)       43,069  (1.1%)

         18+ Pop. '10 (%)     18+ Pop. '11 (%)     18+ Pop. '12 (%)
TOTAL       2,944,624          2,893,717            2,956,297
Anglo       1,085,630 (36.9%)  1,085,427 (37.5%)    1,090,375 (36.9%)
Hispanic    1,082,570 (36.7%)  1,049,076 (36.3%)    1,084,712 (36.7%)
Afr.-Am.      541,108 (18.4%)    540,203 (18.7%)      553,966 (18.7%)
Asian         194,956  (6.6%)    193,555  (6.7%)      200,401  (6.8%)
Other          40,360  (1.4%)     25,456  (0.9%)       26,843  (0.9%)

              CVAP-09 (%)         CVAP-10 (%)         CVAP-11 (%)         CVAP-12 (%)
TOTAL       2,195,535           2,230,550           2,276,903           2,328,000
Anglo       1,090,624 (49.7%)   1,051,265 (47.1%)   1,048,230 (46.0%)   1,051,533 (45.2%)
Hispanic      494,695 (22.5%)     530,490 (23.8%)     560,416 (24.6%)     590,282 (25.4%)
Afr.-Am.      481,492 (21.9%)     506,150 (22.7%)     519,122 (22.8%)     531,518 (22.8%)
Asian         106,547  (4.9%)     120,660  (5.4%)     125,733  (5.5%)     130,291  (5.6%)
Other          22,177  (1.0%)      21,985  (1.0%)      23,402  (1.0%)      24,376  (1.0%)

A lot of the obvious trends are still in motion – growing Hispanic and declining Anglo population shares key among them. But here are a few other tidbits that jump out to me:

» If you look at the Under-18 data (or simply subtract VAP from Total Pop), I come up with a group that is majority Hispanic (51.2%), with Anglo (23.1%) and Afr-Am (19.3%) populations jostling for 2nd place. Even better, 91% of those Hispanics are citizen. This suggests a lot about what the peak potential is for each demographic. If we assume the numbers are static and evenly applied (neither of which I’d do in real life), that means the high-water mark for population generation among Hispanics is clocking in at about 46% CVAP (51.2% x 91%). Barring other changes, that means you would never see a CVAP Hispanic majority in Harris County.

» Fortunately, things do change. The 18+ group of Hispanics show signs of citizenship increase, going from 45.7% citizen in the 06-10 ACS, to 50.6% in the 06-11 release, to today’s 54.4% share today. That’s a far faster increase than you’d get from 17 year olds turning one year older. Simply put, this is among the most encouraging numbers I think you’ll find here. I’m not sure how sustainable that is or what factors drive that the most. But as long as Hispanic population is growing and the rate of citizenship is growing, that’s nothing but good.

» The Asian population doesn’t have much room for growth. At least not in Harris County. The Under-18 share of population is at 5.0% and the 18+ share is at 6.8%. That has all the earmarks of a ceiling that’s been hit. Don’t say you weren’t warned. There’s still ample room for growth in faster-growing suburbs and other areas with a low starting point for Asian population. But in Harris County … not likely. That makes Houston a very odd place to read about the growing Asian population meme, if nothing else.

Fair warning: there will be more maps and data with some excellent health insurance and educational data included in the release.

Travel Day

December 23, 2013 College No Comments

I’ll be travelling the mean streets of I-45 today to get back home for the holidays. So in lieu of any real blogging, I’ll simply note that I had no idea that former UH quarterback and coach’s son Clay Helton was on staff with USC for their Saturday bowl game. He ends his head coaching stint with a perfect 1-0 record as USC named a new head coach and a strong desire to keep Clay as Offensive Coordinator and QB Coach. Hey, it’s not bad news for every former Cougar QB!

JerryWorld 2013: The Saturday Finale

December 21, 2013 High School No Comments

Every game today has a Metroplex representative and the daily attendance has been wratcheting up from the previous years. So there’s all kinds of predictions of attendance records falling. And with that, I’m off to get an early seat.

Bigtime Saturday games on tap today:

12p – 4A Division II – Brenham v Aledo – Aledo was Aledo in this one 38-10. It was a better game than the score indicated and definitely wasn’t as one-sided as the Aledo-LaMarque from a few years back. Brenham represented well.

4p – 5A Division I – Pearland v Allen – Again, the favorites prevail, with the Kyler Murray show driving Allen to a 63-28 win. This one was a showcase clinic for Allen. Beck of a year by Pearland, though. They started the season unranked. I thought that was a huge oversight then and they were a deserving finalist this season. But … Kyler Murray. Whattayagonnado?

8p – 5A Division II – Katy v Cedar Hill

JerryWorld 2013: Friday Afternoon Lights

December 20, 2013 High School No Comments

A more manageable 3-pack of games on tap today. I’m about to head out to take it all in. Last night was definitely a grind – I only made it through part of Q3 of the third game, with all but the first game being about an hour behind due to lenghty games. This time around, I’m bringing something to read other than my smartphone.

Here’s the agenda. Again, I’ll have the occasional update on facebook and twitter:

12p – 3A Division I – Kilgore v Carthage – Carthage wins their 4th title in six years. No shock that they came in as favorites, but Kilgore played them well into the final minutes before Carthage sealed it with a late TD and a 34-23 final.

4p – 3A Division II – Argyle v Fairfield – This one was a bit of a classic, with two lead changes in Q4, a safety, and a turnover on downs at the 9 yard line before Argyle held on for a 38-33 win. Some nice talent on both sides of the ball, including a Texas Tech commit in Argyle WR Ian Sadler.

8p – 4A Division I – Denton Guyer v SA Brennan – This was a great mood-setter for some higher-caliber football on Saturday. Guyer has a great QB (headed to UT) in Jerrod Heard. That was a bit much for the vaunted defense of Brennan whose first-team defense had only given up two touchdowns all season. The final was 31-14, but it was a game going into the final quarter. Despite Brennan’s outcome, their monster LB, Grant Watanabe (a Colorado U commit) was named defensive MVP. From here on out, it’s worth taking note of the names on the rosters since we’re going to see a few that will play on more Saturdays in the future.

JerryWorld 2013: The Thursday Marathon

December 19, 2013 High School No Comments

I’m just about to head out to Cowboy Stadium (as presented by AT&T or something like that). Four games on tap today as every single high school championship game will be played under the dome in Arlington this year. Unfortunately, the 6-man games were last week. But the small schools are just as fun to watch.

So this is the day that my facebook and twitter feeds become a little football-heavy. If you’re down with that, feel free to follow along. If not, feel free to steer clear.

Here’s what we’re in store for today:

10a – 1A Division I – Stamford v Shiner
Shiner was all that kept this from being the third matchup in a row between Stamford and Mart. This year’s Stamford team lacks the offensive and defensive MVP from last season: Hagen Hutchinson completed a redshirt season at Midwestern State after arriving last season without a scholarship offer. The school’s only loss this year was to Cisco, who will be playing the night game for a 2A title. I can’t say that I know a darned thing about Shiner other than their record (11-3) and that they are home to the greatest brewery on earth. But I like Stamford in this game.

Halftime Update: Shiner looks like the more complete team, leading 21-7. Stamford has another great QB and a monster WR. But they’re getting limited opportunities to shine (sorry).

Final: Stamford wins it 41-28 after being down 7-28 on the opening drive of Q3. Impressive comeback. QB/FS is the second player to win Offensive and Defensive MVP. First was last year’s QB/FS from Stamford. Gotta say the WR for Stamford was pretty deserving, though. Gonna be hard to catch a better game this weekend. This one was fun.

1p – 1A Division II – Wellington v Falls City
I know nothing of either team. This ought to make it an interesting game for that reason alone. Falls City won a 2010 championship, but I’m not sure that was before my time of making the trek to catch these games. Wellington apparently has an all-state QB, but Falls City has won it’s first three playoff games 151-0 before beating a good program in Tenaha last week. Yeah, this could be good.

Not Even Final Update: Wellington running away at the end of Q3 – 34-6. Both teams are a mix of pro-style and Strasbourg offense. Big deficit is causing the Beavers to run 4 receiver sets. Results are predictable.

Final: A slightly more merciful finish of 42-20. Games are running a bit over the scheduled time. That definitely makes it more challenging to sit through four of these games.

5p – 2A Division I – Wall v Cameron Yoe
Not sure how much this years Cameron Yoe team resembles last seasons’, but this is their third championship game in four years. They’re probably pretty good.

8p – 2A Division II – Cisco v Refugio
Rematch of last year, which Refugio won 36-35. Automatic for being a good game.

Further Reading:
» DFW Varsity: Dream state: Half of UIL football finals have defending champ
» Dallas Morning News: Thursday’s Class 2A, A football state final previews, predictions
» Dallas Morning News: Big-time college prospects abound in high school football state-title games
» Abilene Reporter-News: Cisco, Refugio set to tangle in rematch of 2011 title tilt
» Amarillo Globe-News: Wellington opponent Falls City determined to win state title
» Big Country: Stamford Faces Tough Shiner Team For The Title

Houston Election: Runoff 2013

December 16, 2013 Politics-2013 2 Comments

For all the incumbents offed over the weekend, none were terribly surprising. On the city level, each was a definite embarrassment in their own unique way. And the HCC incumbents who lost had some legitimate concerns about the value they were adding to that board. So the uneventful. My notes on the results are as follows:

- For all the backward steps that City Council has taken over the years in terms of quality of representation, David Robinson has some potential to offset that. Not just because he replaces someone who wasn’t up to the job – but because he fills the gap left by Melissa Noriega, who is replaced by …

- The One True Felix! We’ll see soon enough what he amounts to as a member of council. Will he be Mayor Parker’s biggest headache (as he suggested in his run in November), or will he be a productive, earnest member of council (as he suggested in his run in December)? I think it was a wash that either Morales or Kubosh would be a worthwhile member of council since they had already made a habit of telling so many different constituencies so many different things about what they would be on any given day. But votes are votes. And we’ll see what Felix amounts to when they start accumulating.

- Yes, I will genuinely miss Helena Brown. Thank you for your concern. It’s not simply that I think City Council deserves at least one attractive member of council (as simple a thought as that may be) … but because I have a fairly low opinion of Brenda Stardig.

- More substantively, HCC gets a bit of an upgrade after the embarrassment known as Dave Wilson gets elected in November. District V is my turf. I’m not entirely sure what to expect of Robert Glaser, but it wasn’t enough to prevent me from voting for him twice this year. HCC is a critical driver for Houston’s workforce, regardless of what one’s opinion is of the institution. I’ve had a few great meetings with some quality unelected types at HCC who do some great work to improve the quality of students they send out into the world. Here’s hoping for the best out of the trustees. First up is to see who they select as Chair of the board.

COH District A
Brenda Stardig   2,734  (51.1%)
Helena Brown     2,615  (48.9%)

COH District D
Georgia Provost  1,691  (29.9%)
Dwight Boykins   3,960  (70.1%)

COH District I
Robert Gallegos  1,819  (52.7%)
Graci Garces     1,634  (47.3%)

COH At Large 2
Andrew Burks    16,354  (49.3%)
David Robinson  16,831  (50.7%)

COH At Large 3
Roy Morales     15,824  (46.4%)
Michael Kubosh  18,258  (53.6%)

HCC - District 1
Zeph Capo               1,569  (53.0%)
Yolanda Navarro Flores  1,392  (47.0%)

HCC - District III
Adriana Tamez    1,706  (52.5%)
Herlinda Garcia  1,543  (47.5%)

HCC - District V
Robert Glaser    2,013  (59.6%)
Phil Kunetka     1,364  (40.4%)

A Sprinkle of Aggre-Blogging

A few bits and pieces to regain some blogging form …

» Today is Election Day. If you’re among the 6% or so … do your thing. If you’re in Austin, however, you’ve still got more time before things get going for picking Mark Strama’s replacement.

» Chron: Apartment renter: ‘Where is my door?’

An interesting story with an obviously compelling hook. But one issue to take with it:

Jacqueline Greene and her three small children slept in their Sharpstown-area apartment without a door for three nights last week because she is more than two months in arrears on her $593-a-month rent.

The story goes on to identify the apartment complex as “Villa de Cancun, in the 9400 block of Woodfair behind Sharpstown Mall.” Nevermind that Sharpstown Mall isn’t a thing anymore. Even more importantly … never mind that the 9400 block of Woodfair is in Westwood … 3.5 miles from PlazAmericas. Which is where this happened:

» Chron: Viva Cinema says it had ‘no choice’ but to close its doors
This is a bit of a shame. Mostly because I never made it over there for a movie and a meal. Which is probably part of the problem.

And in some high school football items …

» I’m already prepping for another trip to JerryWorld, where we get one additional game on Championship Thursday. Unfortunately, my old school lost in the last seconds at the hands of one of the better QBs in the state last weekend. I’ll be over it in about six months. But here’s what the offerings have been slimmed down to so far:

5A1: DeSoto v Allen; Pearland v SA Madison
Obviously, I would have loved to see a Trinty-Pearland rematch here. But Allen and DeSoto are arguably the two best teams in the state. Pearland didn’t even start the season ranked, which I thought was bogus. Believe me … they aren’t to be taken lightly. For what it’s worth, the SA Madison team looks like a fairly strong representative of SA football. No combination of outcomes would surprise me for the Championship game, but whoever comes out of the Metroplex should win it all.

5A2: Cedar Hill v Lake Travis; Katy v SA Johnson
Katy and Cedar Hill met last season for the championship, with Katy winning 35-24. I wouldn’t expect any other outcome this time around.

4A1: Denton Guyer v Highland Park; Stratford v SA Brennan
I’m a little bored of seeing Denton Guyer over the past three years in the Championship game. But they would seem to be the best pick I can think of for next weekend’s final winner.

4A2: Aledo v Ennis; Brenham v Calhoun
I have to admit to being curious to see what Aledo looks like without the second-coming of Earl Campbell running roughshod over the competition.

3A1: Stephenville v Kilgore; Carthage v LaGrange
Stephenville v Carthage would be a great game to watch, I think.

3A2: Graham v Argyle; Fairfield v Sinton
I’ve obviously seen Argyle back in 2011 when they were pretty solid losers against Wimberly. But I have no lasting memory of the game … so it’ll be fun to see some new teams regardless of how this one pans out. #yayalzheihmers

2A1: Wall v New Boston; White Oak v Cameron Yoe
Saw Cameron Yoe look incredible last season.

2A2: Cisco v Leonard; Refugio
Cisco and Refugio met in the 2011 championship game. No idea what to expect this time around, but that’s what makes the small schools so fun to watch.

1A1: Stamford v Hico; Mart v Shiner
I refuse to recognize a championship game at this level that has any schools other than Mart and Stamford in it. Stamford doesn’t have Hagen Hutchenson back at QB/FS, so I’ve got to think that any team coached by a guy named Rusty Nail (as Mart does) is my pick.

1A2: Wellington v Albany; Tenaha v Falls City
Tenaha and Albany strike me as suitable combatants for a nice East Texas civil war game.

Stratford-Brennan are kicking off tonight at Reliant. And Saturday at Reliant has the Brenham-Calhoun game at noon and the Katy-SA Johnson game at 4. It’s not just for scheduling purposes that I note this. The UIL has been saying that the only reason they can hold multiple state championship games at JerryWorld is because they need 4 dressing rooms to accommodate one pair of teams rolling in and another pair rolling out. Funny how it’s only a rule when it needs to be.

Aggre-Catching-Up: 2013 Holiday Edition

December 4, 2013 Etc ... No Comments

Consider this my feeble effort to pry myself out of a bout of “burial by research.”

» First things first, Early Voting is going on in the Houston area for City Council and HCC trustee elections. I’m covered in both of those situations and cast my vote for Robinson, Morales, and Glaser. I’ll leave it to the smart readers to figure out what offices those match up to and why I chose them. I had something approaching fun working as an Election Clerk during the November elections, but I’m skipping out on that this time around. That’s not intended to dissuade any readership who might be interested in doing so and working in the primaries next March – especially if you have any spoken language skill in Vietnamese, Chinese, or Spanish. One of the newfound joys in life is that I now get calls and requests for leads on that. Feel free to hit me up if that sounds like something you’d want to try.

» Compressing all of my football notes into the briefest possible bullet-point: I’m a little proud of myself for venturing out to see a few Coog games finally. I never thought much of the crowded environs at the old Robertson, so the travel-year for home games made it interesting to see the soccer stadium and pick up an affordable ticket at Reliant for the SMU shutout. On the high school front, my Trinity Trojans are still in the playoffs – but they go up against a team that dropped 61 points on them earlier in the season. Win or lose, though, the 5A-D1 title game *should* be an all-Metroplex affair. I’m going to love that if Trinity makes it. And I’m rooting for Allen High if they don’t. I had the good fortune of watching the Cinco Ranch Cougars play Strake Jesuit this season. Luke Klingler (David’s kid) was the QB and it looked like they were just playing catch until Luke took a hit and stayed out the rest of the game in order to avoid injury before the playoffs. Luke doesn’t seem to have a college offer. He might land at a DI school. But I’ve got to think that there’s a DII school out there that would kill to have a kid with his kind of arm and that might be a quicker path to a starting gig. His cousin, Cory Klingler (Jimmy’s kid), will be playing on the offensive line for Rice over the next four years. And on a note of small-world-itis, David Klingler works right across the freeway from me. That’s some kind of Coog overkill if you ask me. And on a sub-HS level … yes, I’m aware of Case Keenum being the starting quarterback for the Texans. I’ve already instructed Aereo to DVR “The Sound of Music” tomorrow night due to the game being of more immediate interest.

» Looking ahead to Campaign ’14, I’m just as amused as the next person about Al Hoang vs Hubert Vo. Amusing because Hubert’s district gained a few points in Dem strength due to redistricting in the 2013 special session. For my boss’s part, we gained some turf that I’m very much looking forward to working.

» Professionally, I’m finding this 2010 profile of Michigan State’s use of video editing for their basketball team to be increasingly relevant to what I do for a living. Suffice it to say, there are some interesting rules that the Texas House abides by that make this so.

» The latest read on my Kindle: “The New Democrats and the Return to Power” by Al From, formerly of the Democratic Leadership Council. I thought I might read it in one sitting, but the flashbacks kinda took me by surprise. And yes, there will be a full review posted ASAP.

» Steve Teles’s “Kludgeocracy in America” is something that I truly feel is worth a bit of written-word exploration (sometimes known as blogging). But if you’re contemplating working as an intern for my boss in 2015, there’s a higher degree of certainty that you’ll get a fuller classroom-style treatment on it in the next legislative session.

» Combining the two points above, I’m also finally getting around to reading Stephen Waldman’s (back when he was known as Steven) 1996 mini-opus, “The Bill.” It only took me 17 years to get around to it. And it looks like it will be very much in use for those same interns, come 2015.

» End-of-the-year(ish) posts remind me that it’s time to go through some of the random guitar noodling I’ve done over the past year. I’m pretty sure the pickings will be slim since the practice regimen has suffered in much the same way that the blog schedule has. I’ll find something worth posting, though. That, or I’ll finally do a recording of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.” Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Once again …

Once again, the workday is a bit too much fun-filled with research projects to dive too deeply into subjects that I wish I had the time to blog about. One point to interrupt that for, however, is to extend an open invite to any/all folks who might wish to partake of some political activity tonight. And on that note, my State Rep is kicking off his 2014 campaign season at our favorite Italian Restaurant: Barry’s Pizza. So consider this an invite to join us between 5 and 7pm for free food and drinks.

Aside from that, there’s a little serendipity in reading Steven Teles’ “Kludgeocracy in America” thesis while also reviewing the House Appropriations hearing on the state CPRIT agency’s botched grant process. Specifically, the agency’s expressed desire during the committee to go ahead and award grants approved during the moratorium period that they were under at the time:

Should outgoing Governor Perry opt for a more four-eyed Presidential run in 2016, I look forward to hearing how this is totally different from any failings of Obamacare.

CoH 2013: District F Map

November 12, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

Near-perfect time, the Chron covers the newly-elected mystery member of council and Kuff beats me to that particular punch. Well worth reading before we dive into the nuts and bolts of particular neighborhoods within District F. But with that said …

Once more, two-way contests prove far easier to communicate a point with a map. What you see in blue are boxes carried by Richard Nguyen and in red, those carried by Al Hoang. Nguyen’s base corresponds fairly nicely with the Vietnamese-rich Alief area, while Hoang’s corresponds almost perfectly with the more Anglo GOP boxes in the district. The region that extends from the reservoir toward Katy includes a good deal of split precincts that have annexed turf and little population.

When redistricting did it’s biggest number on Hoang’s original District F, I believe I may have commented that I doubted the new district’s ability to elect an Asian in the future due to much of the Chinese population in Sharpstown being outside of the new F. One could argue that the election of a fairly green candidate like Nguyen opens the door for a stronger candidate in 2015 out of Royal Oaks, Briarmeadow, or just an Alief-based candidate that appeals to those voters. The split among voters, I think, demonstrates how close the split is and how precarious the future may be for Asian candidates in this district.

It’s worth remembering that Alief != Vietnamese. Nothing is ever 100% of anything in politics. So I’m fairly certain that Nguyen’s victory is a bit more complex than suggesting “Vietnamese voters finally voted en masse against Al Hoang.” I hope for the best in CM-elect Nguyen, though.

Color-wise, there was definitely some formula built in to color code it based on Nguyen’s percentage. But it basically ended up as a basic red/blue map, with Nguyen being the blue in this case. As shocking as Nguyen’s win was, I think I’m even more surprised by his strong showing in very un-Asian boxes that he didn’t win. Namely, the Westchase boxes: 49% in Pct. 559, 51% in Pct. 807, and 45% in Pct. 556. Those boxes are almost entirely mid-priced apartments, with a few condo units mixed in. The Asian population is significantly smaller share than in Alief proper. And it probably demonstrates more than just any reported anger at Al Hoang. Namely, it looks a bit more like Hoang was napping and didn’t do as much work in building his name ID up in the new parts of his district. Remember, he didn’t have opposition last time around. Based on this, it looks like he would have been beaten by anyone willing to drop a piece of campaign mail in the district.

This could be a very interesting district to watch over the remainder of the decade.

full pageGoogle Earth

CORRECTION: Hoang did have opposition in 2011 – Peter Rene and Hoc Thai Nguyen. Together, that limited Hoang to all of 55% in the 2011 contest. It’s worth noting that Richard Nguyen was the campaign manager for HTN back then. Kuff reminds me that Rene earned the Chronicle endorsement back then. I’m told that Nguyen sent out a mailer and the Chron references a $10,000 debt incurred from campaigning. Draw your own conclusions on what concoction of political activity/strengths led to a win for Nguyen, but a more meager showing for Rene.

CoH 2013: District A Map

November 12, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

Outcomes like that of District A are a challenge to map in a visually meaningful way. So this one just looks a bit like a mess. What does eventually come out from the map is how small Stardig’s base is – namely the area northwest of I-10 and Sam Houston. Poke around those precincts and you’ll be hard-pressed to find Stardig going over 30% in her home turf. In fairness, she does get 43% in her home precinct.

But much like the Costello map, there are two ways to view this map and I suppose Stardig is in the inverse position of Costello. Here, Stardig has a good coverage of thin support around the heart of Spring Branch proper. Helena Brown does better the further out from Spring Branch you get. And the boxes on the far north and far west are a lot of annexed turf with little population. I mercifully exclude all the zero precincts. Helena holds her own in Spring Branch and Mike Knox even manages to win Pct. 262.

In the end, I’m not sure that I’d read too much into the geographic dispersion or concentration of either Stardig’s or Brown’s support. This is a brand new GOTV game among their known supporters and a persuasion game among the undecideds (or reconsidering). Had I seen a bit more strength around Stardig’s home, I might have figured she’d have a good edge going into December. Lacking that, I’ll call it a coin toss.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Red – Helena Brown: 50% or higher
Light Red – Helena 40% – 50%
Purple – Brown >= Stardig
Blue – Stardig > Brown

CoH 2013: Citywide Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been mapping. I don’t know what you did with your holiday weekend, but I chose to salute our veterans by updating a database and rejiggering some old code with another layer of proverbial duct tape. Each cycle is a progression in trying to find a better way to package a lot of detailed information that would otherwise bore a sane person. This time around, I opted to combine the election maps and the ‘Hood by ‘Hood breakdown for 22 neighborhoods in the city.

Today is about rolling out the citywide results. I plan on posting the results for District A, District D, District F, and District I tomorrow. One annual caveat for the neighborhood definitions – I do not pretend to give a precise summation of a neighborhood based on precinct boundaries. What I do is pick about 5 precincts that roughly correspond to particular neighborhoods. I know for a fact that I’ve got Sharpstown defined pretty well, for instance. But I don’t pretend that there wouldn’t be quibbles with my definition for Near Northside, or Alief, or outer Mars. They’re intended to add some color to what happened in the city, not serve as a complete, scientific definition of how the neighborhood performed electorally.

Mentioned in a post or two, I’ve opted to include the Undervote for each neighborhood, also. To the uninitiated, Undervote is the share of voters who show up to vote, but do not cast a vote in a given contest. Mathematically, it is “Total Ballots” minus “Total Votes.” Total Ballots remains constant for a precinct no matter what. Total Votes fluctuates wildly. This concludes our math class for the day.

I think that this aspect of the electorate deserves more research – primarily because it struck me that the numbers might be higher than usual this time around. I’m used to seeing some 20% undervotes and an occasional 25%. But contested Mayoral elections are almost always in the single digits. This time around, there were some 30% showings. And when you look at it by neighborhood, you’ll see areas where a majority of voters from a given area went to the polls, showed their ID, probably were ready to give blood to vote … and ended up saying “Meh” to some important races.

With that, here’s the daily index of posts with election goodies …

Yes, I skipped out on mapping Bradford’s 80% win in At Large 4. Feel free to make a case for some incredible finding that I’ll be able to show in the form of a map if you found it more interesting than I did.

BONUS: For a little context on what turnout looks like for runoffs, let’s just say it’s complicated.

CoH 2013: Mayoral Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

For the post-Greanias Line outcomes for Anglo Dems, this is pretty much the template. I had suggested earlier that the inexplicably long run of anti-Ben Hall ads on television might have been aimed at keeping Afr-Am votes from Hall. Based on Parker’s 30ish showing in Afr-Am neighborhoods, there might be something to that. But the really impressive showing here is that Parker won Hispanic neighborhoods strongly (she barely lost them to Locke in 2009) and the only non-majority showing among Anglo GOP ‘hoods is in Kingwood.

I was guessing that Parker would end the night with an outright win south of 60% and that’s exactly where she ended up. 2015 will once more redefine “the new normal” for city election coalitions. And there’s a long way to go before seeing if there is potential for another Bill White-style consensus showing, or if the Parker templates have some staying power to elect candidates from an Anglo Dem + Anglo GOP base. There’s also no telling what’s in store for a potentially stronger Afr-Am candidate to perhaps join Anglo Dems and Afr-Am neighborhoods.

Regardless, this is a fairly solid showing by Team Parker for her final election as a candidate. In the end, the only surprise was that there was nothing to be surprised about. For comparison’s sake, here is the 2011 neighborhood analysis and here’s the one from 2009, and the 2009 runoff.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Blue – Parker: 65% or higher
Med. Blue – Parker: 50% – 65%
Light Red – Parker: 35% – 50%
Dark Red – Parker: 0% – 35%

Neighborhood Analysis

Anglo Dem Neighborhoods
              Parker    Hall    Dick    Others   Undervotes
Heights        75.3%    15.1%    6.5%     3.1%      2.0%
Meyerland      75.1%    12.9%    9.5%     2.5%      2.3%
Montrose       86.2%     7.1%    4.7%     2.0%      1.6%
Rice U         81.8%    10.4%    6.2%     1.6%      1.9%

African-American Neighborhoods
              Parker    Hall    Dick    Others   Undervotes
Acres Homes    30.7%    63.6%    0.9%     4.8%      2.2%
UH/TSU         39.4%    55.5%    0.9%     4.3%      2.7%
Fifth Ward     30.0%    65.6%    0.7%     3.7%      3.0%
Sunnyside      28.8%    65.6%    0.5%     5.2%      2.9%
Hiram Clarke   38.9%    53.6%    1.9%     5.6%      2.5%

Anglo GOP Neighborhoods
              Parker    Hall    Dick    Others   Undervotes
Clear Lake     59.5%    20.3%   16.5%     3.7%      2.6%
Galleria       64.2%    18.1%   15.3%     2.5%      3.1%
Kingwood       44.1%    19.7%   32.5%     3.7%      2.7%
Garden Oaks    64.9%    15.6%   15.6%     3.9%      2.6%
River Oaks     75.3%    14.4%    8.6%     1.7%      2.8%
Spring Branch  54.8%    19.0%   21.4%     4.8%      3.0%
Memorial       59.7%    17.3%   19.7%     3.2%      3.0%
Sharpstown     63.1%    17.8%   14.1%     5.0%      2.8%

Hispanic Neighborhoods
              Parker    Hall    Dick    Others   Undervotes
East End       68.3%    18.5%    6.2%     7.0%      4.7%
Near Northside 63.4%    19.3%    8.1%     9.3%      2.6%
Hobby          53.9%    28.4%   10.0%     7.6%      2.6%

Multicultural Neighborhoods
              Parker    Hall    Dick    Others   Undervotes
Alief          56.8%    25.0%    9.8%     8.5%      4.3%

CoH 2013: City Controller Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

A win is a win. But this definitely takes some luster off of any plans for a Mayoral run by Ronald Green. I should just offer some evidence like “Look at Pct. 222″ or “Look at Meyerland” and stop there. Frazer ended up at or near 70% in all of those Anglo Dem boxes. That doesn’t bode extremely well for suggesting that Green can win those voters back in another context.

The contrast between the Anglo GOP and Afr-Am neighborhoods demonstrates how polarized the electorate was on this contest. And Green had enough support from the Anglo Dems who had carried him into City Council and the Controller’s office. As Kuff says, he’s likely not the frontrunner in 2015. But he gets another two years to regroup and rebuild.

As far as what the results suggest for a GOP-leaning candidate, I think the undervotes stand out here. Had Frazer been able to find a way to bring more of those voters to the square next to his name on the E-Slates, he’d probably be busy memorizing the oath of office this morning. That’s far easier said than done, however. But if anyone ever cracks some part of the code to accomplish that, they deserve a medal of some kind.

A point on this is evident in the Harris County side of the canvass for the Katy ISD bond. That vote had less than 2% undervote. Those voters went to the ballot knowing precisely what they wanted to vote for or against. No flooding them out with Prop 6 voters or Astrodome voters … that excuse seems to only exist in Houston for some reason.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Blue – Green: 65% or better
Med. Blue – Green: 50% – 65%
Light Red – Green: 35% – 50%
Dark Red – Green: 0% – 35%

Neighborhood Analysis

Anglo Dem Neighborhoods
              Frazer   Green   Undervotes
Heights        55.2%   44.8%     41.5%
Meyerland      65.8%   34.2%     36.8%
Montrose       46.1%   53.9%     41.1%
Rice U         66.1%   33.9%     39.4%

African-American Neighborhoods
              Frazer   Green   Undervotes
Acres Homes    10.3%   89.7%     14.0%
UH/TSU         10.3%   89.7%     12.3%
Fifth Ward      9.7%   90.3%     18.9%
Sunnyside       9.7%   90.3%     13.5%
Hiram Clarke   12.8%   87.2%     13.8%

Anglo GOP Neighborhoods
              Frazer   Green   Undervotes
Clear Lake     72.0%   28.0%     40.3%
Galleria       82.1%   17.9%     31.1%
Kingwood       79.0%   21.0%     30.8%
Garden Oaks    65.5%   34.5%     36.4%
River Oaks     77.7%   22.3%     38.2%
Spring Branch  72.7%   27.3%     26.2%
Memorial       81.9%   18.1%     31.0%
Sharpstown     64.0%   36.0%     29.5%

Hispanic Neighborhoods
              Frazer   Green   Undervotes
East End       40.3%   59.7%     31.2%
Near Northside 43.2%   56.8%     27.4%
Hobby          46.1%   53.9%     26.6%

Multicultural Neighborhoods
              Frazer   Green   Undervotes
Alief          42.2%   57.8%     33.8%

CoH 2013: At-Large 1 Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

Would that every map be as easy to communicate as a simple 2-person contest. As noticed prior to getting a draft of the election canvass, the different ways in which Mayor Parker, Controller Green, and Stephen Costello represent three of the most familiar paths to victory for a citywide candidate in the Parker Era.

Costello’s win certainly qualifies as a win and I won’t take anything away from it. There are more than one ways to look at the map below and one of them goes something like “Gee, that certainly is a broad base of support throughout the city.” But it still looks a bit weak when you look at how broad the 35-40% of what I’ll chalk up to as “anti-incumbent” vote.

I don’t think that a bar owner most familiar for his displays of team loyalty in the Luv Ya Blue era of Oiler football qualifies as a candidate with massive amounts of name ID. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s always a given that Griff earns a solid 30-40% of the vote just by putting his name on the ballot.

As far as pure speculation on how Costello’s current level of support translates to 2015, I’m not sold on him getting 70s in Anglo Dem areas, nor do I think he gets 60s in Hispanic areas. And given the latent dislike of him over Rebuild Houston, he doesn’t seem like an immediate possibility for coalescing far more GOP support. That gives him a fairly tight needle to thread in order to avoid the Greanias line next time around.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Blue – Costello: 65% or higher
Med. Blue – Costello: 50% – 65%
Light Blue – Costello: 45% – 50%
Light Red – Costello: 35% – 45%
Dark Red – Costello: 0% – 35%

Neighborhood Analysis

Anglo Dem Neighborhoods
             Costello   Griffin    Undervotes
Heights        65.9%     34.1%        37.5%
Meyerland      65.3%     34.7%        41.9%
Montrose       71.8%     28.2%        36.6%
Rice U         71.2%     28.8%        39.3%

African-American Neighborhoods
             Costello   Griffin    Undervotes
Acres Homes    53.4%     46.6%        33.7%
UH/TSU         54.9%     45.1%        44.0%
Fifth Ward     52.6%     47.4%        47.0%
Sunnyside      53.1%     46.9%        35.4%
Hiram Clarke   55.0%     45.0%        33.4%

Anglo GOP Neighborhoods
             Costello   Griffin    Undervotes
Clear Lake     60.8%     39.2%        39.4%
Galleria       64.5%     35.5%        41.3%
Kingwood       59.3%     40.7%        44.0%
Garden Oaks    60.3%     39.7%        35.0%
River Oaks     70.8%     29.2%        41.0%
Spring Branch  52.5%     47.5%        31.5%
Memorial       60.8%     39.2%        40.5%
Sharpstown     61.7%     38.3%        36.7%

Hispanic Neighborhoods
             Costello   Griffin    Undervotes
East End       73.5%     26.5%        34.3%
Near Northside 67.0%     33.0%        29.8%
Hobby          62.8%     37.2%        32.9%

Multicultural Neighborhoods
             Costello   Griffin    Undervotes
Alief          55.3%     44.7%        41.2%

CoH 2013: At-Large 2 Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

This may have technically been a four-person race, but it played out like a two-person race. So that’s how I treated it for mapping purposes. The dark blue shading in the map captures a nice little image of the peak of where Robinson’s support comes from. One monkey-wrench in that plan, however – Moe Rivera did fairly well among Hispanic areas. His support is basically displayed with the lighter red on the east end and northside.

The runoff will likely come down to how much Robinson can add to his coalition in GOP turf and how effectively he can bring in Hispanic voters. If the Anglo Dem + Anglo GOP base west of downtown holds for Robinson, that should be enough for a win.

This brings us to a bi-annual ritual of assuming that runoffs will be a huge factor in At Large coalitions like this. In this case, there is the contrasting constituency runoffs in District A, District D, and District I. If I had a nickel for everytime someone says that a runoff in an Afr-Am district will bring an inordinate spike in turnout, I’m pretty sure that I’d have a few more nickels than I do at present. But not enough to convince me that it would be a game-changer. Particularly when the District D runoff (so far) seems to be a foregone conclusion. Elections like that don’t always prove to be big turnout generators. But I’m sure that whatever bank Boykins drops on southside voters, the talking heads will opine on it’s outsized impact. I don’t doubt that it can play around at the margins – and maybe AL2 ends up neck and neck.

But I wouldn’t plan on anything unique if I were in the Robinson camp. Indeed, if Robinson proves successful, his coalition will probably look a lot like Annise Parker’s 2009 coalition. I don’t know that I’d make either a Robinson or Burks victory a foregone conclusion at this point. But I would suggest that the base of voters that Robinson has to start with is a strong core to go into a runoff with.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Blue – Robinson: 60% or higher
Med. Blue – Robinson: 50% or higher
Light Blue – Robinson plurality
Light Red – Burks Plurality
Dark Red – Burks Majority

Neighborhood Analysis

Anglo Dem Neighborhoods
            Robinson  Rivera  Burks   Gordon  Undervotes
Heights        57.0%   16.1%   21.2%    5.7%     61.9%
Meyerland      55.2%    9.9%   28.8%    6.1%     60.0%
Montrose       71.3%   10.8%   14.4%    3.5%     48.9%
Rice U         67.1%    8.2%   20.3%    4.4%     57.7%

African-American Neighborhoods
            Robinson  Rivera  Burks   Gordon  Undervotes
Acres Homes    31.6%    4.3%   61.6%    2.4%     23.5%
UH/TSU         28.7%    4.2%   63.5%    3.6%     24.6%
Fifth Ward     31.3%    5.6%   60.0%    3.0%     29.7%
Sunnyside      19.3%    2.8%   74.3%    3.6%     18.9%
Hiram Clarke   29.1%   11.1%   56.5%    3.3%     23.8%

Anglo GOP Neighborhoods
            Robinson  Rivera  Burks   Gordon  Undervotes
Clear Lake     43.4%   15.7%   30.0%   10.8%     59.9%
Galleria       48.1%    8.9%   36.0%    7.1%     56.3%
Kingwood       29.8%   36.3%   28.4%    5.5%     42.4%
Garden Oaks    46.7%   17.2%   30.0%    6.2%     53.8%
River Oaks     57.5%    7.8%   27.8%    6.9%     55.1%
Spring Branch  37.7%   14.2%   38.6%    9.6%     44.1%
Memorial       45.1%    8.1%   36.1%   10.6%     58.2%
Sharpstown     46.1%   16.3%   30.5%    7.1%     49.7%

Hispanic Neighborhoods
            Robinson  Rivera  Burks   Gordon  Undervotes
East End       23.2%   54.7%   16.9%    5.2%     36.5%
Near Northside 24.1%   52.3%   18.7%    5.0%     31.1%
Hobby          25.9%   35.3%   25.4%   13.4%     30.2%

Multicultural Neighborhoods
            Robinson  Rivera  Burks   Gordon  Undervotes
Alief          41.0%   20.4%   29.6%    9.1%     44.7%

CoH 2013: At-Large 3 Mapping and Neighborhood Analysis

November 11, 2013 Politics-2013 No Comments

Big, open fields make for complicated maps. There isn’t much of a way around it. But the what should be of interest below for the runoff in December is the medium and dark blue areas. Those are precincts that Kubosh failed to top either of his opponents. How you interpret this map probably comes down to who you want to see win (or, if you’re the paranoid type, it means the exact opposite). “The One True Felix” definitely benefited from a little name ID and losing a ton of his savings into field operations for African-American votes. With all of that, he earns double-digits in every neighborhood I looked at. And there’s something there to suggest that that level of widespread support typically translates to a win in the runoff.

There are two counterpoints to this, however: that for all of his advantages, Kubosh still only managed 28.4% … and that for all of his spending in African-American areas, he only peaked at 42% in Fort Bend and 35% in Sunnyside. For the most part, Kubosh ran hard for those votes. And Brad Batteau’s support has only proven to be localised to the UH/TSU neighborhoods. Outside of that, that left a lot of Afr-Am votes up for grabs, and those voters are among the least likely to leave a contest un-voted in.

Despite those points, Morales definitely has an uphill climb as I see it. The remainder of African-American voters aren’t likely to come back and vote for Morales. I don’t expect a lot of third-party validators to step forward for Morales to help there. His best bet is to revive the Orlando Sanchez coalition, which isn’t terribly far removed from Jack Christie’s coalition outlined earlier.

To resolve any boredom for Dem voters who don’t see much merit in either Kubosh or Morales this December, there is some potentially interesting viewing of the results in District C for both Jenifer Rene Pool and Rogene Calvert. Pool won the district between the two, but the divide is fairly clear, with Pool doing well in the Heights/Montrose and Calvert doing well in Meyerland and Rice U. It doesn’t help make this seat on council anything other than an ignored placeholder. But it occupies a bit of time.

full pageGoogle Earth

Dark Red – Kubosh: 45% or higher
Light Red – Kubosh: 35% or higher
Purple – Kubosh plurality
Med. Blue – Chavez, Pool, Batteau, or Calvert > Kubosh
Dark Blue – Morales > Kubosh

Neighborhood Analysis

Anglo Dem Neighborhoods
              Batteau  Chavez  Calvert  Kubosh   Pool   Morales    Under
Heights         2.2%    26.2%    19.0%   17.7%   25.7%    9.1%     41.0%
Meyerland       4.2%     6.0%    27.5%   29.3%   18.1%   14.9%     46.1%
Montrose        3.0%     9.5%    22.7%   12.9%   42.4%    9.4%     46.0%
Rice U          3.2%     6.8%    36.2%   21.3%   20.3%   12.2%     57.1%

African-American Neighborhoods
              Batteau  Chavez  Calvert  Kubosh   Pool   Morales    Under
Acres Homes    11.4%    18.4%    16.6%   30.3%   15.0%    8.4%     23.2%
UH/TSU         37.9%     7.8%    11.8%   27.9%    9.6%    5.0%     21.3%
Fifth Ward     16.1%     8.1%    18.6%   34.4%   12.6%   10.2%     29.9%
Sunnyside      21.5%     7.7%    16.7%   35.7%   12.1%    6.2%     18.1%
Hiram Clarke   17.6%    11.0%    14.9%   31.0%   14.2%   11.3%     24.2%

Anglo GOP Neighborhoods
              Batteau  Chavez  Calvert  Kubosh   Pool   Morales    Under
Clear Lake      4.7%     7.6%    17.3%   30.6%   14.8%   25.0%     43.5%
Galleria        3.6%     5.1%    21.7%   34.6%   12.6%   22.4%     47.5%
Kingwood        4.4%     6.0%     9.7%   37.9%   13.2%   28.8%     39.2%
Garden Oaks     4.1%    17.8%    15.0%   29.3%   18.9%   15.0%     39.7%
River Oaks      4.7%     6.1%    28.9%   28.0%   15.4%   16.9%     53.9%
Spring Branch   4.6%    10.3%    11.3%   38.9%   14.6%   20.2%     34.8%
Memorial        3.9%     3.6%    20.3%   35.6%   10.0%   26.7%     44.0%
Sharpstown      5.4%     8.2%    21.4%   25.4%   14.6%   25.0%     36.3%

Hispanic Neighborhoods
              Batteau  Chavez  Calvert  Kubosh   Pool   Morales    Under
East End        2.5%    36.9%     6.0%   11.6%    8.7%   34.3%     23.4%
Near Northside  3.5%    32.7%     4.9%   16.2%   10.3%   32.2%     20.0%
Hobby           6.1%    23.4%     6.6%   22.4%   12.0%   29.4%     27.9%

Multicultural Neighborhoods
              Batteau  Chavez  Calvert  Kubosh   Pool   Morales    Under
Alief           9.5%    11.7%    13.8%   22.8%   20.9%   21.3%     38.8%

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