About

Hooman Hedayati serves as the Texas Field Organizer for Witness to Innocence. He was born and raised in Iran. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a double-major in Government and Middle Eastern Studies. As a student he founded Students Against the Death Penalty and served as an advisory board member for Campus Progress at the Center for American Progress.  He has also served on the board of directors of the Texas Moratorium Network.  Before coming to Witness to Innocence, Hooman worked as a campus organizer for the StudentPIRGs and as a union organizer for Service Employees International Union.

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One Response to “About”

  1. Hooman, you appear listed as the owner of the website “Change the Caucus” and I tried sending an e-mail on that contact page but don’t know whether it went through. I was stunned that the Dem state convention voted to keep the 2Step and am trying to find out the status of LULAC’s lawsuit and can’t find anything in Google beyond August 2009. I feel strongly about this issue and need more information to figure out how I can best help to keep it alive. I’ve sent e-mails to LULAC and their attorney Luis VERA. Below is the e-mail I sent to the state Democratic Party:

    I complained to my area’s Democratic state senator and representative about our 2-Step system back on Election Day 2008 and will be contacting them again now that our party’s state convention reinstituted the same system.

    Since the convention’s vote was 5000+ to 1000+ I fully realize the size of the outcome, but submit that since the delegates are byproducts of that system they just might have a vested interest in continuing it.

    I am a lifelong Democrat and am so for a couple or more generations back and, specifically regarding this issue, strongly feel and believe that my party is NOT LISTENING to me and many others like me.

    1) The mechanics of party organization (electing delegates) should NOT be tied to our VOTING for candidates.

    2) The dual primary-caucus system violates one-person/one-vote, giving the caucus attendees more clout. And nobody should have to go “extra” just to have their one vote count.

    3) The caucus system favors the cult-like supporters of very charismatic candidates and their usually superior ORGANIZATION and works against “regular” candidates who might have more popular support but not the high fervor and organization. Caucuses also violate the SECRET BALLOT. Why should anybody have to “justify” their voting choice in front of neighbors, co-workers, bosses, or anybody else? Even just a “declaration” of the choice in front of others is subject to intimidation.

    4) The news articles quoting supporters at the convention of the 2-Step say their arguments were: That this system increases participation; identifies highly motivated participants; and measures both intensity and popularity. These “reasons” are CANARDS. I participated in this system JUST TO ensure my vote THIS TIME was worth as much as it could be GIVEN the gimmicks built into this system. I had to play this game because it is the only game in town. I saw the crowds, the lack of adherence to the rules, the intolerable delays, how the majority of the participants left long before it was over because they were TIRED from work and needed to get home to tend to their families and get what little rest they could for the next day. The officials running this thing winked and told them their votes would count even if they left early. I also saw that we civilian party members, who don’t necessarily care about the mechanics of electing delegates to go to the conventions, had to put up with the “campaigning” for the local professional politicians who DO want to go to the conventions (the beneficiaries of the 2-Step) JUST SO THAT WE COULD VOTE.

    5) This system does NOT help the party, does NOT help the people VOTE. All we wanted was to VOTE. Since one of our Democratic Party PILLARS is the sacredness of VOTING, this whole system works completely against our convictions.

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