Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Consider The Progressive Coalition On Your 2009 Houston City Council Ballot

(l-r) Donald Cook, Deb Shafto, Alfred Molison

There is a “Progressive Coalition” of candidates running the Houston City Council in 2009.

Dan Cook (Left in photo)  is a candidate for At-Large Position #1.

Deborah Shafto (Center) is a candidate for At-Large Position #4.

Alfred Molison (Right) is a write-in candidate for District C.  (It is not clear to me why Mr. Molison could not get his name on the ballot in a district when the other two candidates could get on the ballot for citywide positions.)     

Here is the web home of the Progressive Coalition. 

Houston political blogger Charles Kuffner conducted an interview with these candidates. 

Here is part of the Progressive Coalition agenda—

· We want to give this international city the voice it deserves by using the “bully pulpit” of the Council to speak out on national and international issues that concern us as Houstonians: global warming, endless foreign wars, and poverty.

· We support single-payer health insurance and Rep. Conyer’s bill H.R. 676, which would save the City of Houston $163 million a year. We believe the City of Houston should use its influence and resources to push for it, too. We urge the passage of this resolution proposed by Health Care for All Texas.

· We support a city-wide mandated Living Wage.

That all sounds good to me.

Given how many people in Houston lack health insurance, health care reform in Washington is very much a local issue.  

From listening to the Democrats running for municipal offices in 2009,  you’d have a hard time thinking we have any liberals in our majority-Democratic city of Houston.

Candidates with a message can make a difference even with little chance of winning.  They can shape the debate and put issues on the agenda that might otherwise be ignored. 

Politics are at core about imagination. Something undone is seen as needing to be addressed, and plans are made to get the work done.

If you’re  lucky, it is an agenda that matches your own that is imagined and completed.

If you’re a liberal or progressive in Houston, you may have a long wait until issues of importance to you are taken up by Democrats running for city office.

Many of these Democratic candidates are good people. But low turnout in city elections, and a history of  few and low expectations by the Houston electorate, make strong liberal and progressive action unlikely from Houston City Hall.

It is up to us as citizens to change these expectations and to insist upon more.

If this is not possible in our majority-Democratic city in the age of Obama, where and when will it be possible?

October 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. What a bunch of goofs. These are all federal issues, not city issues. They make themselves look stupid.

    Comment by John Cobarruvias | October 22, 2009

  2. John–If you think that the large number of uninsured people in Houston does not make health care reform a local issue, I don’t know what planet you are on. You support Annise Parker for Mayor(John is a local blogger)who goes around appealing to Republicans, and then you make light of liberals and progressives. What would motivate you to do that?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 22, 2009

  3. maybe the health care reform needs to happen at the state level instead of federal, it might be easier to manage and get started if its state based. texas would be screwed sorry neil you would have to move to a blue state.

    Comment by bill brady | October 22, 2009

  4. texas is the winner


    Comment by bill brady | October 22, 2009

  5. Thanks, Neil, for your intelligent response to juvenile name calling and frankly ignorant commentary on John C’s part.

    Comment by C. Lee | October 28, 2009

  6. C.Lee–Thank you. Please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 28, 2009

  7. The issues listed are not merely “federal.” The quoted material says the city should lobby for single payer (other cities are doing this). The decision of how to marshall Houston’s lobbyists is a local decision.

    Also a Living Wage law is a local issue. Here is a quote from wikipedia;”U.S. cities with living wage laws include Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico; San Francisco, California; and Washington D.C.[3] (The city of Chicago, Illinois also passed a living wage ordinance in 2006, but it was vetoed by the mayor.) Living wage laws typically cover only businesses that receive state assistance or have contracts with the government.[4]”

    Comment by Keith S | October 28, 2009

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