How Democrats In Texas Are Trying To Win Over Fort Bend County

first_img Share Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneCampaign volunteers work the phones at the Sri Preston Kulkarni campaign office in Sugar Land on May 8, 2018. Kulkarni faces Letitia Plummer in the Democratic runoff for U.S. Congressional District 22.At a glance, volunteers at Sri Kulkarni’s campaign headquarters are no different than those for congressional campaigns across the country — huddling over laptops, tapping voters’ numbers into their cell phones and concentrating on the call scripts in front of them.But when the person on the other end of the line picks up, some volunteers greet them not in English but in Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu or Mandarin Chinese.For Kulkarni, a Democrat vying for a congressional seat in a Republican-leaning district, getting his message out to voters means not just knocking on doors and calling voters but also speaking the language they speak. “You need to reach out to those communities the way they are and the way they want to be reached,” Kulkarni said. “The blue wave is real. That force is coming from all of us.”Kulkarni and Letitia Plummer are vying in Tuesday’s Democratic runoff to take on U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land. Though President Donald Trump won the district by 8 percentage points in 2016, both Democrats see it as vulnerable, in part due to demographic changes — the same shifts that both candidates are using to their advantage. The district includes most of Fort Bend County, one of America’s most ethnically diverse counties: 20 percent of its residents are Asian, 20 percent are black, 24 percent are Hispanic and 34 percent are white. Clinton won the county decisively in 2016.In the March primaries, Kulkarni and Plummer came in first and second among five Democrats vying for the seat, drawing 32 and 24 percent of the vote respectively.Kulkarni, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, has focused his campaign on groups of voters that he thinks will help bring about a local “blue wave” in November — particularly Asian-Americans and Latinos, who have had low voter turnout in the past. When they’ve gone block walking in minority neighborhoods, Kulkarni and his team said they’ve noticed a sense of gratitude mixed with shock because campaigns have so rarely engaged those areas.“A lot of folks have told me that no one has knocked on their door before, no one has called them before,” Kulkarni said. “Some of them just grab me and pull me in like a life preserver because they’ve never had somebody come out that way.”Kulkarni’s campaign has translated his website into Spanish and Chinese, visited local temples and mosques and arranged appearances with Latino, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Indian media outlets, including Hindi/Urdu, Telugu and Malayali talk shows.One of the campaign’s youth volunteers, Nathan Troung, said many of the volunteers who are part of the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community recognize that their respective communities have low voter turnouts — and see the campaign as a way to help change that trend.“Just by the fact that Sri has been able to amass volunteers that engage in those communities in their own languages and their own cultural understandings, I think that does bring a lot to the table,” Truong said.Last week, nearly a mile away from Kulkarni’s campaign headquarters, Plummer was rallying a crowd of her own at a local restaurant. Similar to the the ethnic diversity of Kulkarni’s team, Plummer’s supporters reflected the diversity of the community she’s running to represent — African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans.“I’m a fighter,” said Plummer, who’s been in the race since June.Plummer can also point to her own unique political experience — the longtime dentist has worked on political campaigns and lobbied the Texas Legislature regarding adoption and surrogacy rights. In 2016, she worked behind-the-scenes of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a fundraiser and sat on the campaign’s small business task force. Though she said she’s campaigning solely in English, Plummer stressed that she’s also helping energize communities in the district who haven’t voted in the past — and credits her identity as an African-American woman of Indian and Arab descent. “The diversity of the district is definitely going to support a Democrat, for sure,” Plummer said. “People are excited about this race. For the first time in history, they have someone who speaks to them.” Olson’s campaign spokesperson, Chris Homan, told the Texas Tribune that Olson is taking the race seriously. “Pete celebrates the wonderful ethnic diversity of the district and is constantly working with people from all backgrounds to ensure he is effectively serving them in Congress,” Homan said. Since Trump became president last year, early murmurs of a potential “blue wave” election in 2018 have transformed into speculation of how big that wave will be.Democrats have focused much of their efforts this year on unseating three of the state’s Republicans: John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Sessions of Dallas. Though all three Republicans were re-elected in 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beat Republican Donald Trump in all three districts that year. Collectively, the Democratic primaries in those districts drew nearly 20 candidates and millions of dollars in fundraising. Those three primary races are each now down to two candidates facing off in the May 22 runoffs.But Democrats are also still battling in several runoffs for congressional districts that Trump won, in hopes that a national mood favoring Democrats will be strong enough to sweep them into office as well.Jacey Jetton, chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party, said Olson’s district isn’t in danger of flipping because Republicans are campaigning aggressively enough to ensure that their supporters turn out in big numbers in November. With a focus on grassroots organizing, Jetton said the energy from red voters remains strong. “We are the most diverse county in the country and people move here from all over the country because of the county Republicans have built,” Jetton said. “Republicans are still showing up. We haven’t slowed down one bit.”Nathan Gonzalez, editor and publisher of the Washington, D.C.-based Inside Elections, said he’s skeptical when campaigns appear to be relying heavily on turning out non-voters, but doesn’t rule out the strategy’s potential effectiveness, particularly in a climate in which Trump’s presidency is prompting an increase in civic action.“I think the burden of proof is on Democrats to show that they can harness the energy from the protests and increasing fundraising and large number of candidates in races into votes,” Gonzalez said. last_img read more

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Hill Earns CoSIDA Hall of Fame Honor

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFROEd Hill was an understated spokesman for Howard University. In 30 years as sports information director for the Bison athletic program, Hill was more than a disseminator of information about the games students played. He was a mentor, instructor, confidant and friend for scores of young men and women who have played pro sports and ascended to prominent roles in the sports media industry.His professional life was highlighted when the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) inducted him into their hall of fame during the annual convention at Gaylord Resort at National Harbor.Former Howard University Sports Information Director Ed Hill (2nd from left) with members of the 2018 CoSIDA Hall of Fame class following induction ceremonies at the Gaylord Hotel in Oxon Hill, MD (photo by Mark Gray).“You couldn’t have written a better script,” Hill told the AFRO. “Hall of fame, Washington, D.C., all of my friends, family, and mentors here to share in this moment, it doesn’t get any better than this.”Hill, who retired at the end of the 2016-2017 athletic season, never wanted the spotlight. He mastered the art of putting the shine on the accomplishments of players and teams who made history. However, he did take one last victory lap through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference where he was honored by the schools in the league. Hill was treated as royalty by his MEAC brethren in a manner befitting a retiring pro athlete.On every campus, when Howard visited for their annual basketball games, the already minted MEAC hall of famer was showered with gifts and platitudes during his own special night. Ultimately it was his peers in the conference who lobbied for Hill’s place in CoSIDA history. It was as important to them, as it was for Hill, to make sure when he was honored amongst the all-time greats in his profession.“I’m quite proud to have Ed Hill as a longtime colleague and friend,” said former South Carolina State SID Bill Hamilton. “We pushed hard and lobbied vigorously to make sure that he would be honored in his own backyard, so his family and friends could share in his moment with him.”During the ascension of Black College football into the mainstream of college sports during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hill’s marketing acumen brought credibility to Howard’s program. His two best marketing campaigns were for Howard quarterbacks Jay “Sky” Walker and Ted “Sweet Flight” White. Both signal callers led the Bison to HBCU national championships and played in the NFL. Their visibility was increased by clever designs of media guide covers and the reliability of Hill to consistently provide quality information, making it easier to get coverage from conventional media.Hill’s career began as a sportswriter with the Winston Salem Chronicle which gave him a perspective on how to develop relationships with sports journalists. He was relentless in providing information and accommodating the press despite the lack of space in facilities that remain less than state of the art at Greene Stadium and in Burr Gymnasium. Despite Howard’s lack of resources Hill’s professional resilience continued.Beyond his acumen in media and public relations, Hill’s mentoring and guidance helped mold many of today’s most prominent sports journalists at major networks and media relations professionals from his cramped work office space inside Drew Hall. Today that mentoring carries on into the streets of D.C.“We’re facing a lot of problems and I’m hoping to coalesce with other people to make a difference,” said Hill.last_img read more

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British engineers report successful test of space penetrator

first_img Citation: British engineers report successful test of space penetrator (2013, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-british-successful-space-penetrator.html (Phys.org) —British engineers have told reporters that a test of their space penetrator has been conducted and all signs suggest it was a complete success. The space penetrator is a bullet shaped projectile with electronics inside. Its purpose is to hard-land on another planet or moon, penetrating the surface by up to ten feet, then radio back sensor information. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Galileo spacecraft took this image of Europa, which is about the size of Earth’s moon, in 1996. Credit: NASA. Dual Drill Designed for Jupiter’s Europa Ice In the test, the penetrator was fired at a 10 tonne block of ice—it struck the block moving at approximately 340m/s, which is of course nearly the speed of sound. While the block of ice was reduced to a giant snow-cone, the electronic instruments inside the probe remained intact and in fact, continued to operate as planned, thanks to a spring mechanism engineers crafted to help soften the blow.The main goal of the penetrator is to determine whether life exists on another planet or moon in our solar system. Currently, the hope is that it will be used on Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is believed to be harboring a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust. The penetrator would be carried aboard a more traditional space craft then launched into orbit around a target as part of a satellite. At the appropriate time, a penetrator module would be ejected from the satellite. The module would consist of the penetrator and an engine component to propel the module to a desired location. Once that location is reached, the engine would be released and the penetrator would fall head first down to the surface below. Because of its high speed, it would make its way some distance below the surface before stopping.The researchers report the test penetrator experienced 24,000g as it came to a rest. Once in place, the penetrator would then begin sending sensor data via radio messages to the satellite which would relay them back to Earth.Representatives for the project team told the media that the penetrator could host a wide variety of sensors and could even carry a small drill for taking samples near the probe.The penetrator project is being funded by the European Space Agency, though the agency has yet to decide whether the penetrator will ever actually be deployed. Researchers on the project say it will be ready for launch within a decade’s time. More information: via BBC © 2013 Phys.org Explore furtherlast_img read more

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