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Who Can Liberals & Progressives Support For Houston City Council In 2011—Election Day Is Here

(Blogger’s note 11/8/11—Election Day is here. This was first posted two weeks ago.)    

It is time for our Houston municipal elections.

(Above–Houston City Hall.)

General Election Day is November 8.

Here is a link to help you find out where to vote.

Who can a liberal or progressive support in these elections?

As is so often the case in Houston, the pickings are slim.

Houston city elections are low-turnout affairs in which an electorate not representative of Houston’s demographics chooses from candidates who discuss a very narrow range of issues. Just how much is it that can we hear about red light cameras?

The credibility of the candidates on the ballot is often judged by how much money they have raised.

Here is my look at the Houston city ballot and, also, some additional links to help you figure out how you’d like to vote.

Houstonians merit liberal and progressive options at the ballot box.

Houston was a 61% Obama city in 2008. If we can’t muster up some decent candidates, then maybe we should use our political energies to support Occupy Houston.

While we should vote in every election, the energy and hope we are seeing from the Occupy Wall Street movement is more positive  and hopeful than anything occurring in our municipal elections.

Here are my endorsements—

Mayor-–I’m leaving my ballot blank for Mayor. I simply don’t believe Mayor Annise Parker has any consistent commitment to progressive values. Good people will disagree, but the Mayor has had two years to offer leadership on pressing issues of poverty and on the lack of broad political participation in Houston. She seems to have little interest in these subjects.

Mayor Parker is likely to win reelection in 2011. The absence of competent and credible opponents, and her campaign war chest of more than $2 million helps make this so. Yet despite her good electoral outlook for 2011, the Mayor is concerned with winning a strong majority of voters in 2011 so as to strengthen her hand with City Council, and to help her fend off challengers in 2013.

I’ve no desire in helping the Mayor accomplish these goals. No matter what percentage of votes cast in 2011 Annise Parker ends up  winning, it will be done with an overall turnout of somewhere between 10% and 15%. There is no way the Mayor will have a credible mandate from an involved public. Why should Mayor Parker be given the illusion of a mandate when she has never engaged in serious grassroots efforts to expand voter turnout in Houston, and when she does not pursue policies that are inclusive of Houstonians of every economic status?

(Update 10/31–Mayor Parker has received a grade of A- for fiscal conservatism from the Texas Conservative Review. I say again that Mayor Parker does not warrant the support of liberals and progressives.) Continue reading

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston College Student Walkout On 11/11/11

Here is the poster for an upcoming Occupy Houston event.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Here are some details about the event from the Occupy Houston website-

We call on University of Houston students to meet in front of the library building at 11:00am.

At 11:30am we march to Tranquility Park in downtown Houston for a day of solidarity and celebration of global protest movements.

The festivities start at 2:00pm in the park!

From 2:00pm to 5:00pm we’re holding discussion circles in the park. All topics are up for chat, but we plan to discuss:

  • health care
  • the homeless
  • taking care of our veterans
  • spirituality in collective movements
  • occupation ideology

Don’t limit yourself to these! Tighten your thinking caps and lets talk about the issues that drive our movement. At 5:00pm we’ll open it up and celebrate art and poetry. We’ll have an open mic, so come on out and rap, sing, or perform. Get creative! This goes on until it ends, folks. We’re going to do this one right.

Don’t worry if you’re not at U of H. 11/11/11 is a national day of solidarity, and we welcome everyone! We are the 99% and we are finally making our voices heard!

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments