One Colorado Business Owner Partners with a Houston University to Help Harris County Seniors Endure Long Lines at the Polls.

(Denver, Colorado) – With only a day until the 2020 U.S. presidential election, voters in Harris County, Texas are clamoring to the polls, many waiting hours in line to cast their vote. After watching what was happening on the news, Colorado business owner Jim Burness wanted to help.  

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“We weren’t sure how we could make a difference, but we knew we had to try,” Burness shared and after a few hours of brainstorming, he had an idea. “We knew lots of companies would be sending water and offering food, but I wanted to find another way to keep people in line. I was most concerned about seniors and those with health issues, so we packed up a bunch of camp chairs and shipped them to Texas.”  

In fact, it was more than “a bunch”. Mr. Burness and his wife cleaned out their local Walmart and shipped a huge pallet of camp chairs to Texas. Unable to travel and distribute the chairs himself, he decided to reach out to the Rice University Young Democrats for help.

In fact, it was more than “a bunch”. Mr. Burness and his wife cleaned out their local Walmart and shipped a huge pallet of camp chairs to Texas. Unable to travel and distribute the chairs himself, he decided to reach out to the Rice University Young Democrats for help.

“We were blown away by the gesture and definitely wanted to find a way to make this happen,” Alissa Kono shared, a junior studying social policy analysis at Rice and President of the university’s Young Democrats. The group, who’s actively engaged in getting the vote out on campus, has also been phone banking and actively reaching out to the community to ensure everyone gets to the polls and is up to date on the issues. “This election is too important not to vote, but even beyond that voting is a huge responsibility and privilege, and everyone needs to get out there and exercise their voice.”  

“We’re fortunate in Colorado, because everyone receives a ballot in the mail. But in Texas that’s not the case,” Burness shared. “When I was contemplating how I could best support the election, I kept thinking of my dad. There is no way he could have ever stood in line for an hour let alone five. My hope is that this small gift will allow others like him to have their voice heard, no matter if they are voting red or blue.”

Nearly 1.4 million Houston area residents have already cast their ballots in early voting, exceeding the number that turned out for the 2016 election. This surge, without question, is a response to the presidential race, but also related to the challenges Harris County voters found in 2016. Even though they continue to see long lines, Harris County officials have done everything in their power to make voting more accessible by expanding voting hours and tripling the number of voting locations, the lines continue to be long. While local officials actively want to ensure their constituents are able to vote, the newly blue county leadership, also recognized the nation’s third largest county with record breaking turnout could play a pivotal role in the election – potentially, tipping Texas for Biden. 

While Mr. Burness is an active Colorado Democrat, he’s equally a strong believer in exercising your right to vote – so much so, he is closing his offices on November 3rd. “I made the decision to make Election Day a staff holiday, not only because I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to vote, but also because so many wanted to get involved as poll watchers, dropping off ballots for the elderly or making phone calls,” he shared. “Do I want to see Biden victory? Absolutely, but regardless of party, no

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University of Houston professors analyze Harris Co. voting trends

Two professors at the University of Houston have been crunching the early voting numbers daily, analyzing who is hitting the polls.

HOUSTON — Texas has never been the leader in early voting, but this election, things are turning around.

Two University of Houston professors are analyzing voter trends in Harris County. They’re trying to see who is actually casting their votes early, and they’re doing this through the daily roster put out by the county clerk’s office after people cast their votes.

“We can take the voter file and analyze how people are going to vote in the past and get a sense of how they are going to vote currently,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at the University of Houston. 

They’ve created maps that show the clusters of voters who cast their vote. They even divided the maps among Democrats and Republicans.

“We are seeing strong support from democrats places like downtown Montrose and West University. We are also seeing a spike in republican voters from places like Kingwood and out in Katy,” Rottinghaus said. 

They’ve even analyzed the Latino vote in our area.

“The number of Latinos is growing. There are more Latinos voting, but as a percentage basis, it’s pretty flat. Both parties have been late at courting that vote. As a result, you don’t see that spike,” Rottinghaus said. 

One thing is for certain: Rottinghaus said they have seen an increase in new voters. And those new voters could be the key for the future of our state.

“The vote for success for Democrats does hinge statewide on Harris County,” Rottinghaus said. “If Democrats can flip Harris County, then you can see the state flip blue.

For the complete analysis, click here.



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Marcus Harris hopes small tweaks will revive his Australia Test career

Victoria opener Marcus Harris is hopeful a set-up adjustment he has made with new state coach Chris Rogers will help propel him back into Test calculations.

Harris hasn’t played Test cricket since the 2019 Ashes where he made just 58 runs in six innings. Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer dismissed Harris five times between them, all from around the wicket and all where he was squared up.

Harris identified that he needed to make a technical adjustment but found it difficult to do last season with less than a month between the Ashes and the start of the domestic summer.

“Pretty much since the end of the Ashes almost I’ve been trying to work on how I can stay a little bit more side-on and some stuff like that,” Harris told ESPNcricinfo. “It was hard to try and work at it in season, so I never did much of it during the season.”

ALSO READ: Cameron Green set to return to bowling crease for Western Australia

Harris did score a century in his first Shield innings last summer but it came on a lifeless Junction Oval pitch where six players reached triple figures, two of which were double centuries, and only 12 wickets fell in four days.

He made four more half-centuries for the summer in 10 innings but none exceeded 70. He missed out in the tour match against Pakistan in Perth and lost his Test spot to Joe Burns.

Harris was keen to work on getting more side-on in his set-up and strokeplay over the winter but coaching changes in Victoria and the Covid-related state lockdown provided some hurdles.

Harris’ long-time batting mentor Lachlan Stevens moved from the Victorian men’s program to the women’s program while and one of Harris’ other sounding boards, Andrew McDonald had left Victoria’s senior coaching role early last summer to join the Australian team as an assistant coach.

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Victoria were without a senior coach right up until mid-August when former Victoria and Australia opener Rogers was appointed. Harris worked diligently with Victoria assistant coach Andre Borovec in the interim.

Under the McDonald, Stevens, Borovec and Mick Lewis coaching unit Victoria’s batsmen in particular had been given the freedom to explore their own technical preparation within reason, with the coaches fully supporting and working with the player-made plans and only intervening when form issues demanded it.

Rogers has a different philosophy having come from coaching Australia’s Under-19 team.

“He’s very different to [McDonald],” Harris said. “He’s very technical and he likes tweaking. He’s very focused on that sort of stuff. Which is not wrong or right, every coach is different. He’s been good.

“He has just helped me a little bit with my alignment and just getting myself in a better position. That’s been really good. I just work with whoever. All our staff are all very helpful.”

Rogers stated when he got the job that developing Victoria’s young batsmen into long-term Test players was his top priority and he specifically mentioned

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Tell Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that Black education matters

Politics influence educational equality. It’s been this way since the beginning. But why does the Democratic Party assume blacks will vote for them considering Democrats’ efforts to defund black educational freedom? Education has always meant black power, black liberty, black justice. The freedom of body and mind has always been the goal, and we will stop at nothing to achieve it — our black votes matter.

As early as 1635, white boys in this country had the freedom to learn. However, education equated to lawful death for enslaved blacks and imprisonment for whites who supported them or tried to teach them. Nonetheless, blacks educated themselves. There are accounts of writing tablets and books found in slave quarters, pit schools, and even eavesdropping on white classrooms to seize the opportunity to learn.

The Union victory in the Civil War not only gave blacks freedom, it also sparked the creation of black independent schools because they were now free to learn publicly. Our essence and our being deserved life. However, many blacks still lacked the resources to provide students with a well-rounded education.

During this time, Congress granted funding to blacks for the creation of black public schools. The efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau was to convert independent black schools into black public schools while providing limited financial support to community-appointed teachers. The Freedmen’s Bureau was unsustainable because government schools were not meant to educate both blacks and whites equally.

In 1899, the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional for states to collect taxes from both blacks and whites for public schools, but only white children were allowed to attend the schools supported by the government. Yet again, the government failed those who it was oath-bound to educate.

After decades of black children being forced into poor building conditions and receiving an education that was seen as inferior, Brown v. Broad of Education was deemed a lifeline. While blacks now had access to what were once all-white public schools, many blacks continued to send their children to black-run schools. Just as we do today, blacks desired a quality education they could control.

The fight for black liberty continues.

Today, the teachers unions’ embezzlement of power and subjugation of the Democratic Party has ensured the lawful destruction of black minds. They protect the public school system, the foundation of which has and will always be inherently racist while claiming it is the best option for black students. Yet, in 2020, only 15 out of 100 black students nationwide are proficient in reading. High school graduation rates for black students continue to lag behind their white peers, and studies show that 70% of black males without a high school diploma will end up in prison.

Our public education system still collects taxes from both whites and blacks — but has only ensured white students have a quality education. We were marketed a fake dream. The façade of morality can no longer be justified. Public schools are still separate and unequal, and

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Kamala Harris Joins CJ McCollum’s ‘ReMaking America’ to Talk Police, Education | Bleacher Report

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, left, guards Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) as he drives in the first half during an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum hosted a roundtable-style discussion with Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

The conversation aired as a PlayersTV episode of “ReMaking America,” and Kamala Harris posted it on her YouTube page Tuesday:

McCollum is a journalism graduate from Lehigh University and hosted the conversation that touched on a number of topics, including NBA players using their platform to push for change, systemic racism, the need for police reform, education and challenges the country is facing with the election approaching.

Sarah Todd of the Desert News noted Mitchell asked Harris what plan she and presidential nominee Joe Biden have for concerns about educational equality, pointing out “there’s no reason a kid in the Bronx shouldn’t receive the same education, because of where he goes to school, as a kid in Connecticut.”

After expressing how important the issue is to her, Harris said, “Part of what the problem is that we fund public schools based on the tax base of that community. That’s completely upside down. That doesn’t make any sense. That means that the schools that are getting the lowest funding are in the communities that have the highest need.”

She described a plan that would triple funding for low-income schools and teacher salaries in such areas while providing more counselors for students as well.

Lindsey Wisniewski of NBC Sports Northwest noted McCollum also touched on the importance of the issue, which follows since he wore the words “Education Reform” on the back of his jersey at the Walt Disney World Resort bubble.

Wisniewski shared more of Harris’ comments on the subject:

“We need to address undiagnosed and untreated trauma—poverty is trauma-inducing. If you’ve not addressed the trauma, that child cannot go to school the next day and take full capacity of what is there. That’s why I say that it’s really important to include in our push for more funding for public education, that piece of it that’s about counselors in schools, and all the support so that your mother can teach, and other people can help the child.”

The discussion also turned to the fight against systemic racism and police brutality, which was notable because of how prevalent the topic was during the NBA’s restart inside the bubble.

“There are so many Breonnas and George Floyds, we all know that,” Harris said. “The thing that has made this issue much more in the public sphere is smartphones. So now people are seeing what we’ve been knowing forever, but maybe didn’t have witnesses. So, having leadership that speaks the truth about it and then what do we do in terms of reforms…”

A number of NBA players joined the worldwide protests following the police killing of Floyd and then continued to use their platforms once the season restarted.

They did so by displaying messages on the backs of their jerseys, kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and using

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Donovan Mitchell discusses voting, education and police reform with VP candidate Kamala Harris

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell impressed everyone with his playoff performances in the NBA Bubble. But, as Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum put it, “what [Mitchell] did in terms of speaking out was even more impressive.”

That’s why Mitchell recently joined McCollum and 76ers forward Tobias Harris as part of a discussion with Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

A video of the conversation — with all four participants wearing masks and socially distanced — was released Tuesday, and touched on topics ranging from voting to education to police brutality.

“I went to private school and public school. I’ve seen two different Americas,” Mitchell told Harris. “There are friends I went to private school with who have no idea what’s happening 45 minutes away in the projects, now idea how people live.”

Mitchell went on to ask Harris about her education policies.

“You have raised what I think is one of the most important issues that we need to address immediately,” Harris said. “I do believe that teachers do god’s work. It’s a skill and a gift to give your life to educate other peoples’ children … and we don’t pay them enough.”

Watch the entire conversation below:

 

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