Beyond City Limits
Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., July 25, 2003
Redistricting efforts and Gov. Rick Perry are growing less popular by the day, a new poll reveals. Democratic pollster Jeff Montgomery has released numbers showing that 45.5% of Texans oppose redistricting and only 30% support it, while 48.6% are now giving Perry a negative rating on overall job performance. Montgomery surveyed 1,031 Texas residents between July 2 and 16; 47.3% identified themselves as Republicans, 40% said they were Democrats, and 12.7% said they were Independents. Montgomery noted that Perry scored worst among African-Americans (73.4% negative) and Democrats (68.4% negative). On redistricting, strong opposition came from, of course, Democrats (70.9%), East Texans (55.7%), African-Americans (55.7%), Central Texans (52.5%), and Hispanics (51%). Among Republicans, the numbers showed 47.9% on the redistricting bandwagon and 24.8% opposed. "Frankly," Montgomery said in a press statement, "it's surprising that the special session was called when we're seeing so little support for redistricting." In last year's gubernatorial race, Montgomery's numbers were on the mark, showing Perry beating Democratic opponent Tony Sanchez by at least 20%. Perry waxed Sanchez by 19%. -- A.S.
Union leader Joe Gunn, president of the 220,000-member Texas AFL-CIO, announced July 21 that he is retiring from that job after 14 years at the helm. His replacement will be chosen July 26 during the union's constitutional convention, which begins today (Thursday) in Austin. As of press time, Emmett Sheppard, currently the group's secretary and treasurer, was the only candidate. -- Jordan Smith
Anarchists, internationalists, and anti-corporatists finalizing their autumn vacation schedules might consider heading down to Cancún Sept. 10-14 for the fifth World Trade Organization ministerial conference. There will be vegan margaritas aplenty (and perhaps a few Molotov cocktails spiking the tear gas) as an estimated 150,000 protesters from around the world converge in Mexico's famous resort city for workshops, forums, civil disobedience, and rallies promoting citizen alternatives to corporate globalization. If Cancún is a can't do, the Texas Fair Trade Coalition will host a caravan that will visit 10 Texas cities during the conference run. -- L.A.
A new survey concludes that about 1.9 million Texans -- 12.6% of the state population -- have been victims of sexual assault at some time, a number far higher than that indicated by Uniform Crime Reports. Conducted by the UT School of Social Work and partly funded by the state attorney general's office, the survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,200 men and women statewide. Only 18% of victims report their assault to law enforcement, the study claims. -- L.A.