Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Houston Voting Rights Suit Filed In City That Does Not Respect Right To Vote

A voting rights suit has been filed in Houston. The contention is that the city should immediately draw new district lines and add two new city council seats to reflect growth and changes in Houston’s population. These new seats would possibly boost minority representation on council to better reflect Houston’s demographics.  

Here is the Houston Chronicle story on the matter.

Since the 2010 census is not so far away, I can’t say this matter moves me one way or another.  The issue will be resolved soon enough in any case.  

What strikes me is the irony in filing a voting rights suit regarding municipal elections in a city where most citizens don’t respect the right to vote in municipal elections. Please let me clear that I mean this for voters of all colors in Houston. My favorites are the runoff elections for at-large city council seats that attract 2% or 3% of voters.

And how about minority legislators who serve in Austin who come from terrible turnout districts and who rarely– if ever–open their mouths about the turnout? Want to file a voting rights lawsuit?  How about filing it against urban Democratic parties across Texas and the nation who acquiesce and enable this kind of stuff year after year?

How about filing this suit against the electorate as a whole in Houston?

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Yesterday’s Elections & The Prospect Of John Howard’s Defeat In Australia

A few observations for yesterday’s elections—

Please click here for the Houston Chronicle’s election roundup. )

I was glad to see passage of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District levy in Harris County. That part of the county revolves around affordable housing for families and support of schools is very much needed.  

When the runoffs are completed, Democrats will sweep all five Houston at-large Council seats. I’m not certain how many of the 15 seats will be held by Democrats, but it will certainly be a majority.

The Chronicle should stop subscribing to the fiction that these people don’t have a party identification and provide readers with a party lineup on Council. The Harris County Democratic Party should celebrate the Democratic gain in picking up Michael Berry’s Council seat and the party should consider injecting open partisanship into 2009 city races.

The only bond issue voted down in Harris County was the one for a new jail. It’s hard the know the reason why and the margin was thin, but this rejection may serve as one more clue that Harris County will be voting Democratic in 2008.  

It was good to see the success of bond issues for a number of purposes in Harris County and in the statewide Texas issues. You can’t have needed services unless you are willing to spend some money.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, the new City Council is the old City Council with all nine incumbents returned. The Council of five Democrats, two Republicans and two third-party Charterites is a bit to the right of the city as a whole. Two, and maybe three, of the Democrats are fairly conservative. Also, again there will be just two blacks on the Council in what now must be a majority black city.

It was good to see a Democrat win the Kentucky governorship.

In Australia, interest rates have been raised just a few weeks before the upcoming late November election. Right-wing Prime Minister John Howard is on the ropes and this is not expected to help. Mr. Howard’s defeat and a Labor government in Canberra would be excellent.  

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 4 Comments