Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Houston Councilman James Rodriguez—Should We Trust Him Or Not?

 
Houston District I Councilmember James Rodriguez (Mr. Rodriguez  is the gentleman to the left of the center in the photo above.has been in the news of late. With the election of Adrian Garcia to serve as Harris County Sheriff, Mr. Rodriguez, who says he is a Democrat, is now the only Hispanic member of Houston City Council. This despite the fact that we have at least 850,000 Hispanic persons here in Houston.
( Here is a most forceful rebuttal to this post from a local Democrat.)
(Here is a reply that is a little more useful.)
 
Here is Mr. Rodriguez’s campaign web home.  
 
Here is a map of Council District I
 
Should we trust Councilman Rodriguez? Will he be an effective representative of Houston’s Hispanic population, and for all persons in his district and in our city? 
  
In Houston, it can be hard to pin down just where our political leaders stand.  Party identification is easily obscured in our so-called non-partisan municipal elections. (Voter turnout is always low. And once elected, incumbent councilmembers are nearly unaccountable at the ballot box  until term limits force them out.) Take, for example, the photo above. In the center you see Republican Bill King. On either side of Mr. King are members of his so-called issue study group.
 
Mr. King has been considering a run for citywide office in 2009. So why is a Democrat like Mr. Rodriguez sitting with Mr. King? Seated to the right of Mr. King is Democratic State Representative Senfronia Thompson and, next to Rep. Thompson, one Jessica Colon. Ms. Colon is identified as “national chair of the Young Republicans.”      
 
Now I’m certain the conversation to get Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Thompson to serve on Mr. King’s issues committee went just like this–
 
Mr. King—Hey James and Senfronia, I’m really concerned for the future of Houston and I need your input. Would you please serve on my issues committee so we can work for a better city?
     
Mr. Rodriguez & Ms. Thompson—Why sure Bill. Let’s get going!
 
Of course, this kind of stuff is just how Houston is politically. So we’ll keep hope alive for Mr. Rodriguez until we see him in action a little longer. 
 
Below you see a picture of Mr. Rodriguez that recently ran in the Houston Chronicle. You see that Mr. Rodriguez is pondering the future. (That or he’s trying to remember if he turned  his stove off at home.)
 
What is Mr. Rodriguez  pondering?
 
Is he wondering when leadership in Houston’s Hispanic community will finally pass from yesterday’s men who wasted years fighting amongst themselves while people in the community needed help and political power? Is he wondering what he can do to help give Houston’s Hispanics the seat at the political table their numbers, energy, and abilities merit?….. Or is he thinking he’s got six years to serve as a councilmember, and he’d better make the right people happy so he can be well-postioned for higher office when term limits knock him off council?
 
I’ll wager Mr. Rodriguez is thinking about both helping people and about his own ambitions. We’ll see which side of that equation comes out the winner. Here’s hoping he is an okay person.      
 
( Below the photo of  Councilman Rodriguez is Gene Kelly in Singing In The Rain.)   
    
photo

January 12, 2009 - Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , ,

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