TCADP Conference Panel Discussion: The Impact of Texas’ Changing Demographics on the Death Penalty

The TCADP 2012 Annual Conference, taking place on February 18 at the University of the Incarnate Word Sky Room in San Antonio, will feature a panel discussion on “The Impact of Texas’ Changing Demographics on the Death Penalty.”  The panel includes Jim Henson, the Director of the Texas Politics Project, Michael Cline, Associate Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University, Luis Figueroa, a staff attorney with MALDEF, and Andres Gonzalez,  a political consultant. Read their full bios below.

This discussion is very timely and relevant for anyone interested in the future of Texas politics!

Register for the conference online today! or  Download the registration form and mail it in. (Early-Bird Rates in effect until February 1, 2012)

Complete conference information is available on the TCADP conference webpage.

Panelist Bios:

Moderator – Jim Henson, the Director of the Texas Politics project

Jim Henson directs the Texas Politics project and teaches in the Department of Government at The University of Texas, where he also received a doctorate. He helped design public interest multimedia for the Benton Foundation in Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s and has written about politics in general-interest and academic publications. He also serves as associate director of the College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services unit at UT, where he has helped produce several award-winning instructional media projects. In 2008, he and Daron Shaw, a fellow UT government professor, established the first statewide, publicly available internet survey of public opinion in Texas using matched random sampling. He lives in Austin, where he also serves as a member of the City of Austin Ethics Review Commission.

Michael Cline, the Associate Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University

Michael Cline is the Associate Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University, an applied research center devoted to understanding the determinants and consequences of demographic change in Texas and beyond.  The current work of the Hobby Center includes estimating changes in the uninsured as a result of changes in healthcare policies, understanding the implications of demographic change for transportation demand, and exploring the socioeconomic effects of energy development for communities in Texas, among other things.   Dr. Cline previously served as the Director of Research at the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research and the Assistant Director for the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  His professional work in demography began soon after the 1990 Census – when he assisted in the analyses for re-districting proposals for county commissioner courts in west Texas.   Since that time he has provided demographic research to assist in planning for businesses, non-profits, and other institutions.  In addition to his work in demography, he has provided economic impact assessments of various businesses and organizations including the University of Texas System.  His work is published in various public policy reports and academic and professional journals.   Dr. Cline earned his Ph.D. in Applied Demography from the University of Texas at San Antonio, his M.A. in Geography from Kansas State University and his B.A. in Geography from Texas Tech University.

Andres Gonzalez, Political Consultant

Andres Gonzalez is a Partner with the Adelante Strategy Group, based in Washington, DC and San Antonio, Texas.  He has been involved in business and politics in Texas and nationally for over 25 years, including most recently as the owner of Andres Gonzalez and Associates, a Public Affairs and Political Consulting firm started in 1992 and located in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The firm has represented small and large businesses, public entities (cities, counties and Indian Tribes), political organizations and candidates.

Andres has worked with clients in the energy, telecommunications, medical, construction, retail sales and housing industries. He has provided strategic planning, lobbying, grassroots lobbying, financial and project management services, and consulted on all aspects of political campaigns.

Andres Gonzalez & Associates is the only Hispanic–owned firm hired as Field Consultants to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the last three election cycles. During the 2002 election cycle Andres served as the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Hispanic Outreach Project.

His various governmental positions have included serving as Special Assistant to U.S. Senator Robert Krueger (D-TX), White House Liaison for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Director of Agency Administration for Texas General Land Office.

His national political activities include serving in four presidential campaigns as State Director and in National Staff positions. He also served as a volunteer for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Clinton Administration, and served as volunteer Advance Staff for the Hillary Rodham Clinton Exploratory Committee. In addition he has worked on and run U.S. Senate, Congressional and statewide races in Texas.

Andres is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and has a BBA in Accounting. His civic activities have included serving on the boards of The Hispanic Institute and The William C. Velasquez Institute, and serving as one of the founding instructors for the Southwest Voter Registration & Education Project’s Latino Institute.

Luis Figueroa, Staff Attorney, MALDEF

While at MALDEF, Luis Figueroa has testified in numerous legislative hearings to advocate for the protection and advancement of Latino rights, particularly on the issues of bilingual education reform, access to higher education, voting rights, and immigrant rights. He has provided invited testimony on state legislation related to voter identification requirements at the polls, the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan, Texas Grants, and state enforcement of immigration. He also has coordinated multi-state election protection efforts and co-chaired the Texas Latino Complete Count Committee for Census 2010.

Prior to MALDEF, Luis was an Esther Peterson Fellow for the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, where he advocated for federal consumer protections.

Luis Figueroa grew up in El Paso, Texas. In the summer of 1999, he interned at the El Paso office of Texas Rural Legal Aid. In the fall of 1999, Luis interned at the White House in the Office of Political Affairs. In law school, Luis was a student attorney for the University of Texas Immigration Law Clinic and served on the board of the Public Interest Law Association.