Binderim's Blog

Monday, May 08, 2006

Binderim in Beaumont for Cinco de Mayo Weekend

We had a productive day in Beaumont and Port Arthur today with the Binderim campaign. Gary Binderim spoke today to the National Association of Letter Carriers--District 1 at the Holiday Inn in Port Arthur. Although he was given a warm reception in the first minute after his arrival, his fan base grew exponentially as soon as it was announced that he is the guy taking on Ted Poe.

Gary spoke from the heart today about his issues, his decision to take on a corporate-funded republican, and about his family's union background. He gained individual supporters and campaign volunteers after announcing that he is not a fan of Postal Service privatization and that he is not about to mess with the livelihood of hard-working people that provide an essential service to America. And he is not about to compromise the quality of work that they do in favor of corporate contracts that effect little quality of service.

After having lunch with the group and speaking personally to several individuals--many of them still going through the FEMA failures (administrative and otherwise) after Rita--we headed off on a tour of Port Arthur and Beaumont.It is amazing that this area is still a sea of blue-tarped roofs. Even sadder is driving by a construction contracting business whose first commitment is to rebuilding their own infrastructure before getting back to business. And eight months later, not only is rebuilding barely starting, there are still piles of debris at every corner in certain (and poorer) areas of the district. Where's Ted Poe?

After the tour, we ended up at Riverfront Park in downtown Beaumont for the Cinco de Mayo festival. Unfortunately, the crowd was a bit thin after the same showers that hit us in Kingwood this morning, hit them later in the morning. But we met many good Latinos--Democrats! Some had not voted, others had been voters but were hungry to become activists, but they were not afraid to talk to Gary about their feelings toward Ted Poe and the Republican Congress. The vast majority felt that McCain-Kennedy was a good start, but more than anything, their demands are for simple respect--something the Republicans (and a few area Democrats) are yet to provide the community, according to them. So, it is safe to say that Gary gained some fans in the Latino community of B/PA today.

We were overjoyed in meeting this young lady--a 16 year-old citizen, daughter of immigrants. She's active in the community, she marched with thousands of others in Beaumont and Port Arthur on Monday in support of human and civil rights, and she's ready to help elect good people. The shocker? She picks whom she supports based on key issues and not rhetoric! A very intelligent young woman that is sure to be on the ballot one day soon.

All in all, a great day.