Speaking with one voice for Latinos
Rodriguez now the sole Hispanic on City Council
— Houston Chronicle2
The volume of calls that pour into City Councilman James Rodriguez’s downtown office has grown considerably since Nov. 5.
The calls have translated into more invitations to community events, more pleas for help with local problems such as gang violence and far, far more requests for political support.
The calls have come not because of any change in Rodriguez’s status as a council member, he says, but because it was on that day when it became clear that he would be the sole Hispanic on the 14-member council.
He is fond of saying that when Councilman Adrian Garcia was elected to be the next Harris County sheriff, Rodriguez’s southeast Houston constituency grew by nearly a factor of four.
A host of candidates already have lined up to replace Garcia in a special election for District H expected to be held in May, and most political observers expect that a Hispanic ultimately will win the seat.
But for many, six months with only one Latino council member is far too long in a city in which at least 42 percent of the population — more than 850,000 people, according to census figures — is Hispanic.
2 = article may expire in a few weeks.