Lots of progress happened at the Texas Democratic Party Convention, which was held in Houston, the most diverse big city in America. Lawrence O’Donnell would have you believe that astounding progress is in the party platform:
Lawrence is right to highlight the platform, which, as Stace notes, is a great way to contrast parties. But that’s not the amazing progress.
The party elected an incredibly diverse group of state party officers:
- State Chair Gilberto Hinojosa
- First Vice Chair Tarsha Hardy
- Vice Chair for Finance Farrukh Shamsi
- Secretary René Lara
- Treasurer Michael Apodaca
Farrukh Shamsi, not to be confused with Farouk Shami, who ran for governor, is in the third-highest party position in the state! What’s more, there’s not a single non-Hispanic white in the bunch!
That’s not all. The SDEC now has 6 Asian American members including Paul Tran of SD10 and Nicholas Chu of SD14. That’s 6 members out of 86, or nearly 7% — significantly higher than the approximately 4.4% of the state population that are Asian American. And remember, in sheer numbers, the Asian population of Texas is larger than that of Hawaii. In 2004, there were 0 Asian Americans on the SDEC. We’ve come a long way!
Also of note, 12 Asian Americans were elected as delegates to the Texas Democratic Party convention including community leaders Ramey Ko, AJ Durrani, Alex Karjeker, Francine Ly and Benjamin Chou. You may remember Alex Karjeker blogged his experiences as a delegate in 2008.
According to Texas Democratic Party delegate selection diversity rules, there should be 15 delegates, but the Nominations committee was run by the very dishonest David Escarillo, who refused to acknowledge diversity deficiencies by percentage, instead viewing them numerically, i.e. “we only lack 4 Asians.” Well 4 Asians was a 50% deficiency according to diversity rules! Escarillo even added diversity categories not included in the rules: over 65, veteran, and labor. The Texas Democratic Party must address this grievous rules violation.
At least no one was booed, unlike at the Texas Republican Party Convention. Escarillo, perhaps, should have been, though.
- Justin Gillenwater