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Houston Democratic State Representative Hubert Vo Owns A Slum Property

Houston-area Democratic state representative Hubert Vo owns an apartment building that appears to suffer from slum conditions.

This property has been cited by the City of Houston for these slum conditions.

From the Houston Chronicle article about the slum citation

City building inspectors on Wednesday issued several safety citations against an East End apartment complex owned by state Rep. Hubert Vo.

The citations to the Courtyard Apartments on Villa de Matel allege eight structural and electrical problems, including rotting wood, missing balcony railings, loose boards and broken windows, city officials said.

“There were the kinds of things you’d see in a building that has not been well-maintained,” said Susan McMillian, a senior staff analyst in the city’s Public Works and Engineering Department. “It needed more intense maintenance than what had been done.”

Homeowners in the nearby County Club neighborhood have complained about the property for years, calling it a visual blight and a magnet for crime.

“It’s really a deplorable situation, and the sad thing is that people are actually living there,” said Charles Mayfield, a member of the area’s Super Neighborhood Council. “It’s really disheartening to see, and surprising, to say the least, that anybody — no matter who they are — would let the property get into such a condition.”

Vo, a Democrat running for re-election to his southwest Houston seat in the Texas House, has owned the four-building, $2.8 million property under one of his companies, Newlink Investments, Inc., since 2002.

Here is a Chronicle blog post by city reporter Matt Stiles that has pictures of the apartment building.   

A frequent theme of this blog is that city voters have the right to expect more from Democrats than just being pimped for votes at election time. 

How did this building get into such a state of poor repair to start? How about a push for more inspectors and better enforcement from our Democratic Mayor and Democrats on Houston City Council?

I don’t live in Mr. Vo’s district. If I did I would not vote for either Mr. Vo or his Republican opponent in November. 

This is all the worse coming from Mr. Vo because his winning the seat over the very obnoxious Republican incumbent Talmadge Heflin was such a great victory.   

This is not about private conduct by Mr. Vo. He has a public responsibility to the people who live in his building and to the public as a whole to keep this building in good condition. 

I’m not having any more of voting for Democrats at the municipal or urban level when they have a hand in the seemingly never-ending decline and neglect of America’s cities.  

I don’t know if we need a third-party, or a competitive Republican party in our cities, or a new Marcus Garvey to lead people out of a society that does not care if city folk live or die.

Maybe what we need is a better Democratic party.

I do know that we don’t need Hubert Vo.

April 4, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | 17 Comments

Conflicting Immigration Policies From Different Levels Of Government

A recent Houston Chronicle story discusses the possible impact on the local ecomony from increased enforcement of immigration laws.   

The story says some local employers have formed a group to lobby for, in essence, non-enforcement of immigration laws.

They won’t put it that way. But that’s what it is.  

I’ve long had the view that immigration is good and I welcome immigrants to the United States.

Immigrants bother me far less than the native population. The native population is often annoying.

Still, I was struck in the article by the suggestion that road construction work would be slowed by a crackdown on undocumented workers.  

I noted this for two reasons.

First is that we have one branch of government–at the federal level—conflicting with government at the more local level.

Talk about a policy mess. I know this road work is being done by contractors hiring undocumented persons. But can’t we get some policy coherence?

The federal government can say what what it wants. Still, if a big place like the Houston-area is not on board, federal policies, to the extent they exist, will have limited meaning. 

The other thing, despite my support of immigration, is why are people breaking the law getting jobs funded by taxpayers? Public money should not be used to help break the law.

In this case, the laws should be changed to allow an easier path to citizenship for undocumented people.

At the same time, government-sponsored work should come with good wages and benefits. If these things were offered, the native-born population would want these jobs in the first place   

I’m not going to solve the immigration question in a blog post. 

What I feel can be said is the current setup leads to exploited immigrants, low-paying jobs for the American-born population, an absence of respect for the law, and big profits for business places that will do whatever they can get away with doing.           

April 4, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Immigration | , | Leave a comment