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What Will Houston Mayor Annise Parker Say And Do About 47% of Houston Kids In Poverty?—Where Are The So-Called Progressives And The Democrats?

A few days ago the office of Houston Mayor Annise Parker offered up the following status update on Facebook–

“Forbes Magazine says, “if you want to see a successful 21st century urbanism, hop down to Houston and the Lone Star State.” What do you think?

Here is the link to the article that the mayor was referencing. The Forbes article was written by Joel Kotkin.

Here is one thing the article says—

“Although it also attracts a large number of low-skill migrants, Houston has considerably expanded its white-collar workforce. According to the Praxis Strategy Group, Houston’s ranks of college-educated residents grew 13% between 2005 and 2008.”

Don’t worry folks—Those low-skill migrants are so busy doing our dirty work for us for low wages, that they don’t have time to bother you in any other regard. That is unless you are one of the folks obsessed with the immigration status of the people you exploit.

Houston has good points. There is a feeling that you can come here from someplace else and make a life for yourself and your family.

There is, however, another side. It is a side of Houston that Mayor Parker has never addressed  since she became Mayor earlier this year.

Here is what  a May 27 report from Houston Public radio station KUHF says about the free school meal program in Houston schools

Their (The Houston Independent School District) statistics show 47-percent of Houston children live at or below the poverty level. They say that means more of them are likely to go hungry. However there’s no poverty requirement to receive food with the summer program. They say any child can just show up and he or she will be served. When you combine the parks and school locations, there were 430 sites that served free lunch last summer. They say Texas ranks lower than most states when it comes to feeding its children and they’d like to add even more sites….”

47% of kids in poverty. I’d say that this number is an everyday crisis. We (try to) address an oil slick when it befouls the Gulf of Mexico. We make our dirty air in Houston an issue.

What about nearly half our kids living in poverty? Isn’t that a big crisis?

Mayor Parker must be a public advocate for our City of Houston, yet she must also acknowledge that we have many terrible problems in Houston that go beyond drainage and budget issues.

Mayor Parker is a Democrat who began her career in politics fighting for the human rights of gay folks. Where is her commitment to the best ideals of the Democratic Party and to the betterment of all citizens in Houston regardless of how much money they make?

It is up to liberals, progressives and Democrats in Houston to demand more of Mayor Parker.

The future of Houston involves more than pushing for more bike trails and urban rail lines.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

2010 Summer Vacation—Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit & Galveston

(Blogger’s Note—This is a post I ran last year. It merits another go-round because the places I list here are very good places to go.  For 2010, I’ve updated the post and also added Detroit to the list.)

Where should you and your family take a summer vacation this year? Where should you go by yourself or with that someone special for an excellent 2010 summer trip?

The answer is clear enough.

Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Galveston, Texas are the places to go.

I have visited all these cities in the summer and I can say they are nice places to visit and see.

These cities have long-established museums and interesting neighborhoods to explore. They have good restaurants. They have grand old buildings. Each of these cities has a river, a lake, or an ocean to enjoy.

The wife and I—though she was not the wife yet at the time—spent a summer week in Buffalo and Niagara Falls in 1998. It was fun.

(Below–Buffalo)

File:Downtown Buffalo05.JPG

Here is information about visiting Buffalo and the Niagara region.

I took a family vacation to Cleveland in the early 1980’s. Nothing is nicer than the Great Lakes in the summer.

(Below—Cleveland)

File:ClevelandSkyline.jpg

Here is information about visiting Cleveland.

I lived in Cincinnati for 18 years. It is a pretty city in the Summer. There is more than enough for you and your family—unless maybe you would like to enjoy some time by yourself— to do for a few days.

(Below–Cincinnati)

Here is information about visiting Cincinnati.

The (future) wife and I  once spent a weekend in Pittsburgh. The weekend was not enough to see and do all that Pittsburgh offers.

(Below–Pittsburgh.)

File:Pittsburgh view-from-incline sm.jpg

Here is information about visiting Pittsburgh.

There is plenty to do in Detroit. There is an excellent   lake, a Greek quarter, the Tigers baseball team and many museums. It has been many years since I have been in Detroit, but I was there for a couple of weekends in the summer and there was more than enough to do. I wager you could find enough to enjoyable do in detroit to last you more than a weekend.

(Below–Detroit.)

Here is information about visiting Detroit.

Galveston, Texas is my home away from home. I’ve lived in Houston for 12 years and I go to Galveston every six weeks or so to take a walk on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston is on the rebound from Hurricane Ike and is open and ready for visitors. There is no oil on the beaches from the oil spill. (You should call any Gulf Coast destination you plan to visit before canceling a trip because of the fear there may be oil on the beaches. As I write this post on June 1, 2010, I’m not aware of any resort area in the Gulf that has a problem with oil. People’s jobs in these areas depend on tourism. Please don’t make a decision without all the facts.)

(Below–Galveston)

File:Galveston (Texas).jpg

Here is information about visiting Galveston.

Maybe you live near one of these cities. Maybe you’d like go somewhere where there is some history and some character.

Give one of these cities a try. Disney does not need your money. Visit places where they will be happy you came.

You’ll be glad you did!

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment