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Wed Oct 31, 2018, 11:47 AM

Inside Beto's Plan to Turn Out Black Voters in Houston

With two days till early voting, Cameron Mayfield, a Beto OíRourke field organizer, gets busy setting up a makeshift campaign office in a corner of a combination KFC/Taco Bell in Kashmere Gardens, a predominantly black neighborhood in northeast Houston. Mayfield lugs in a laptop and phone charger. Precinct maps and campaign literature are piled haphazardly on the table.

While other parts of the city are flush with Beto volunteers, the KFC/Taco Bell franchise owner was the only one in this neighborhood to offer up space to the campaign. The menís bathroom is currently out of order, employees take orders from behind bulletproof glass and, of course, thereís no WiFi.

Kashmere Gardens is one of the poorest parts of the city ó median household income hovers around $26,000 ó and it was among the areas hardest hit by Harvey. Forty percent of neighborhood residents affected by the storm are still living in homes that need repair. It also has a large concentration of people whoíve been incarcerated, many of whom are unclear about their voting eligibility. Many are unaware that their voting rights are restored once they get off probation or parole.

Kyle Maronie, who grew up in Settegast, a neighborhood a few miles to the northeast, shows up for the noon shift ó heís the main volunteer Mayfield depends on. Itís not easy work. People are often hesitant to answer the door and donít want to talk.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/inside-betos-plan-to-turn-out-black-voters-in-houston/

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