Ramey Ko – Ramey Ko is an attorney and activist in Austin. He should be best known for his work in Asian Americans for Obama, but Republican stupidity assured us he will be best known as “the guy who held his cool while on the receiving end of a massive dose of both ignorance and racism from Betty Brown.” With extreme professionalism, he tried to help Brown understand why it would behoove her and all Texans that voting rights for Asian Texans and all Texans not fall prey to bureaucratic errors creating name mismatches. Brown’s ignorance/racism and Ko’s cool reasonableness drew worldwide media attention. Watch the video of their exchange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9hdVUzMeDw
Calvin Tillman: Calvin is mayor of a tiny town at the epicenter of the Barnett Shale. Several industry giants seized DISH land and installed several huge compressor stations and processing plants right next to neighborhoods. They built a crisscross of pipelines all through the town and on private property. He has taken a hard line with industry, crafting a strategy to get the most bang for his press releases.
Calvin and the DISH City Council spent @ 10% of their yearly budget for a private ambient air study. This is the first such study where the results were made public so that all citizens in the Barnett Shale area might benefit. The levels of toxins were amazingly high and many DISH residents are seriously ill but they are poor and do not have health insurance. Calvin worked with TDSHS and finally got them to agree to test DISH residents. This is the first time a state agency has tested residents for drilling toxins. Calvin travels to other areas and speaks about these issues. He has offered to speak and assist others and refuses any compensation for travel or time.
Calvin is largely responsible for TCEQ’s changed policy, announced today, in responses to Barnett Shale air emissions. Also, he is a blogger.
State Rep. Elliott Naishtat and his Capitol Staff: While he may not be a native Texan, the work that Representative Naishtat has done for the State of Texas earns him a spot on the Texans of the Year List for 2009. Even with Voter ID putting a choke-hold on progress, Naishtat and his Capitol staff worked diligently to pass more legislation than any other member of the House during the 81st session. The Representative from Queens, who just completed his 10th session, has consistently proven himself to be an advocate for the sick and elderly, passing legislation that will create the Legislative Committee on Aging and ensuring Texas receives $15.2 million in Violence Against Women Act grants. We would be remiss in acknowledging Elliott Naishtat — as the Representative is always quick to remind people — without also recognizing his longtime staffers (Dorothy Browne, Nancy Walker and Judy Dale) who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help make Texas a better, safer place to live.
Texas Watchdog: Texas Watchdog (http://www.texaswatchdog.org/) had a role in breaking stories in the just completed Houston city elections. Though their work can, at times, be controversial, we welcome another online news organization to the Texas media landscape with our nomination of the group.
Hank Gilbert – For his continuing work to defeat infrastructure privatization schemes and working with Democrats and more than a few Republicans, he helped put a stop to CDA’s this past session and handed Governor Perry and Commissioner Todd Staples a rare defeat.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Mike H. says
That was an interesting exchange between Betty Brown & Ramey Ko. I hope someone tells Rep. Brown about there being Republicans, including candidates & elected officials, out there with non-WASP names! I admit having more trouble with Slavic names than Chinese names. And,, I wonder if I should change my Scandinavian now?
My main focus, though, is Calvin Tillman turning DISH into the Town that roared. It sure makes the TRRC & TCEQ look very bad, indeed.
Should be by now that the ordinary residents of Texas know and understand how worthless the RRC and the WCEQ are to us. I f you are and O&G operator or an industrial polluter, these state agencies are just what you want, couldn't be better! Now that we understand this situation, maybe we can move forward, along some other avenue to get help for residential pollution in Tx.