Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Needs To Make Greater Distinction Between Stormtroopers and Jedi Knights–The Need For Progressive Politics In Houston

In her campaign for Mayor last year, then Houston City Controller Annise Parker, a Democrat, actively courted both Democrats and Republicans.

She may have felt she needed to do this to win–and she did win–but it sure was depressing from the standpoint of hoping that strongly Democratic Houston could elect a Mayor based on progressive ideas.

A few weeks ago Mayor Parker proposed a hike in city water rates. She did this because we need the money to run the city.

Yet despite all the appeals to Republicans in last year’s campaign, Republican former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt is aggressively challenging the increase.

Mr. Bettencourt is possibly best known for quitting the tax office not long after winning reelection in 2008. Regretfully, though now out of office, Mr. Bettencourt is not finished harming the public’s best interests.

I don’t know what’s gained, beyond serving your own electoral interests, in courting Republicans to win in a Democratic city. Once elected, these folks won’t allow to you to govern.

If the feeling is that seeking Republicans is necessary because Democrats don’t show up for municipal elections, than at least try to do something about it after you get elected. Maybe making such an effort would allow you to run your next campaign in a way more consistent with your values as a Democrat.

Houston has plenty of Democratic officeholders sitting in safe seats. I’m sure in some cases these folks also have campaign war chests saved up.

What do these folks do all day? How do they go forever saying nothing about the low turnout in some of Houston’s minority communities, and saying nothing about the failure of Houston progressives to demand more from Democrats running for office around here?

Above you see a picture of Mayor Parker. The Mayor is dressed in white and standing in front of some stormtroopers.

I wish the Mayor would make a greater distinction between Darth Vader and his stormtroopers on the one side, and Princess Leia and the Jedi Knights on the other side.

Sure–Everybody is all smiles when someone is winning an award or receiving a proclamation. But when the trouble starts you can bet that Mr. Vader and his troops will be fighting for the Dark Side.

If Mayor Parker starts talking about the high poverty rate in Houston and all the people in Houston without health insurance—both subjects the Mayor so far seems intent on ignoring—you can be certain that Mr. Vader will take out his light-saber.

Ms. Parker began in politics as a fighter for the human rights of gay folks. An additional legacy the Mayor could leave is that of someone who worked both in public and behind the scenes to bring a more progressive politics to Houston.

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment