September meeting 2016

Bellaire/Braeswood Democrats will host Kim Ogg, the 2016 Democratic nominee for Harris County District Attorney.  She is a native Houstonian; licensed by the State Bar of Texas in 1987; and recognized as a specialist in Criminal Law by the Board of Legal Specialization since 1992.   Kim Ogg was also just endorsed by the Houston Chronicle and we have included the text from the endorsement below.   In addition to the speaker, Bellaire/Braeswood Democrats will have updates on volunteer opportunities and ways you can get involved to make a difference in this November 8th election.

Monday, September 12
6:00 pm – Dutch-Treat dinner
6:45 pm – Start of meeting
Union Kitchen
4057 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77025

Houston Chronicle Endorsement of Kim Ogg (September 3, 2016):
For Kim Ogg: Harris County needs a change in leadership to help fix a broken criminal justice system:
Why should Kim Ogg replace Devon Anderson as district attorney? Let us count the ways:
Anderson’s office threw a rape survivor in jail to force her to testify. Anderson unnecessarily delayed the case of Alfred Dewayne Brown after the appeals court overturned his conviction, leaving an innocent man in jail for months. She mishandled the prosecution of anti-abortion activists charged with tampering with a governmental record, facing criticism from both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups. In a brazen act of political grandstanding, she stoked public fears and racial tension after the senseless killing of sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth by the mentally ill Shannon Miles. One of her prosecutors was even caught texting with a bailiff in the middle of trial to talk about the jury. And Anderson continues to brag about using the death penalty even as innocent people are exonerated from death row and Texas’ top legal minds are calling for it to be abolished.

Each month seemed to bring more allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, whether witnesses being paid for their testimony or evidence being withheld from defendants. Yet every time problems arose in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, you could bet that Anderson would stonewall instead of standing for justice.
Harris County cannot take four more years of a prosecutor’s office that pursues convictions at any cost. It is a mentality that risks putting the innocent behind bars while the real criminals run free.

The incumbent’s mistakes, scandals and politicking have wasted taxpayer dollars and undermined public trust in our criminal justice system.

Anderson, a Republican, has rolled out reforms when it was a political imperative – and we’ve praised her when it was earned. But each improvement she’s pursued, from reducing marijuana prosecutions to targeting our broken bail system, was just a watered-down alternative to policies advocated by 2014 Democratic challenger Kim Ogg.

There is no reason for voters to be content with a diet version of much-needed reform when we can go with the real thing. It is time to elect Kim Ogg as district attorney.

A former Harris County chief felony prosecutor and current manager of her family-owned law firm, Ogg, who is board certified in criminal law, will bring something more important than her smart ideas or a passion for true justice. She will bring managerial experience. Before Anderson was appointed district attorney, the largest office she ever ran was a courtroom.

In contrast, Ogg, 56, has served as the head of the city’s anti-gang taskforce and as executive director of Crime Stoppers. In both of those roles, she’s overseen staff and harnessed limited resources to successfully unite Houston’s wide network of law enforcement agencies and non-profits.

“I have extensive dealings with how to make a group of organizations work toward one purpose, and I think that’s very important in leading the DA’s office,” Ogg said during her interview with the Houston Chronicle editorial board. Anderson declined to meet.

Ogg says that she will use “cite-and-release” for low-level marijuana possession – a move that Texas has allowed for years but Harris County has failed to embrace. She also will stop routine objections to personal recognizance bonds. The county needs a leader willing to stand up to the bail-bond industry and a presumption of guilt that forces the working class and minorities to stay behind bars even if they’re innocent.

Just spend a few days down at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center and you will see that there is vast room for improvement. While other Texas counties have moved forward, our district attorney’s office insists only on moving in fits and starts with the threat of lawsuits lingering overhead. We’re in dire need of a fresh set of eyes and a new way of thinking that will reorient the office toward one overriding principle: equal justice for all.

At the end of the day, Anderson’s record would be unacceptable in a private law firm, and voters shouldn’t accept it in our public law firm. We believe it is time for a change. It is time for Kim Ogg.

August 2016 Meeting

Stronger together!

Thanks to DJ Ybarra, of Battleground Texas for speaking at the event.

Thanks to all who attended Bellaire Braeswood Democrats workshop. Great speakers, important issues, and an enthusiastic group of Democrats made the evening a memorable success.

Click here to download a copy of our presentation from the meeting.

Big shout out to the outstanding team at La Tapatia, 5710 Bellaire Blvd., our convivial hosts for the evening!