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Houston City Controller Ronald Green Does Not Tell The Full Story—When Will Democrats, Progressives & Liberals Ask More Of Houston Elected Democrats?

Houston City Controller Ronald Green, a Democrat, has written that Houston is on the economic rebound.

In the Houston Chronicle of Sunday July 4, Mr. Green, a former three-term member of Houston City Council, said that Houston is coming back from the recession. If you read the article I link to here, you’ll see that Mr. Green points out many statistics that he suggests show that Houston is moving ahead.

Here is some of what Mr. Green says—

“The metropolitan statistical area that encompasses Houston is showing some remarkable stability. Over the last decade, our population grew by 24 percent, a rate five times that of New York, Boston or San Francisco. We have attracted nearly one-quarter of a million new residents from other U.S. cities and towns. While the current downturn has cost us approximately 100,000 jobs, over the past decade we have added more than quarter of a million jobs – twice the number of Los Angeles or Boston and nearly three times that of New York. Numerous cities have lost jobs in the decade. For three months now, there has been a small but positive employment rate increase in Houston. Our college-educated workforce has grown by 13 percent in the past decade.”

That’s all great. Progress does occur in Houston and people do benefit from this progress.

There is, however, another side of Houston Mr. Green does not mention in his article.

We have a child poverty rate in Houston that approaches 50%.

Houston’s social service agencies can’t meet the needs of people in our city.

If good news can be discussed by our city leaders, then we need to hear the full picture.

If our elected Democrats will not address these concerns, what public officials will take up the needs of the many hard-working people in Houston who could use some help?

When will Democrats, progressives and liberals in Houston ask more of our elected Democrats?

If you do not ask for anything better, then you will not get anything better.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Who Are The Democrats Running In Houston City Election Runoffs?—Who Can A Liberal Support?

Who are the Democrats running in our Houston City Elections?

Runoff elections for Houston are taking place. Early voting ends on December 8 and General Election Day is December 12.

It is important to know who is running as a Democrat for our Houston city offices.

In this way, you can see who will do the least harm once elected.

This is not a hopeful view. It is not a 100% accurate view. But it is true enough.

Urban voters know they vote for Democrats time after time, and that our cities continue to decline.

While much of this has to do with factors beyond the control of city government, where is the effective advocacy and action on behalf of our cities?

Where can a liberal turn?

Where can someone who could use some help from government turn, when Democrats running for city office call themselves “fiscal conservatives” and talk about taxes as if they are the plague?

While I understand why candidates want the police endorsement, there are other things that matter in Houston as well. There is more to the public welfare than fear of crime.

Here are the Citywide races on the Houston ballot—


In our Houston Mayoral run-off, both Gene Locke and current City Controller Annise Parker are Democrats.

Mr. Locke consorts with gay-bashers and I don’t see how he can be trusted to do the right thing in any regard. Bigotry towards one is bigotry towards all.

Ms. Parker is, I think, a decent person who has run, in many regards, a shameless campaign.

You have to have a belief in the future unless you are just going to sit around and hope 2012 is for real—So Ms. Parker has my vote. She strikes me as smart and at least aware of a course of action that would benefit Houstonians of all economic classes.

I guess we’ll roll the dice and find out about Ms. Parker if she is able to win the election.

(Below–Rolling the dice in an 1840 painting called The Last Blow by Charles Robert Leslie.)

City Controller

The Democrat in this race is current City Councilmember Ronald Green. He is running against a Republican.

Mr. Green has not paid all his taxes. I’m not going to vote for a City Controller who has not paid all his taxes.

Mr. Green says is seeking to resolve the matter. I’m sure he is seeking to resolve the matter.

I wish Mr. Green had resolved the matter long before election season.

Not much is more central to how Democrats see the world than using tax dollars to enhance the public condition. I expect little-to-nothing of Republicans. I expect Democrats to pay up on taxes owed.

I won’t be voting for the Republican in this race. I’m going to leave this ballot space blank and let the chips fall where they may.

( Below–The chips are on the table. His Station And Four Aces from 1903 by Cassius Coolidge.)

Council At-Large # 1-

Real estate agent  Karen Derr is the Democrat in this race. I’ve met Ms. Derr twice and we really did not hit it off. That is my problem. No doubt I was difficult.

Ms. Derr’s web home says she is for ethics and against crime. This is good to know.

Ms. Derr  appears to be a successful hard-working woman. I’ll spin the wheel on Election Day and hope Ms. Derr has a measure of longterm vision to go along with her day-to-day qualities.

(Below–These folks are spinning the wheel in early 19th-century Europe.)

Council At -Large #2

Both incumbent Sue Lovell and challenger Andrew Burks are Democrats. Ms. Lovell has offered up four years of uninspiring service, but Mr. Burks is not really a credible alternative.  Mr. Burks runs for council every two years and this year lucked into a runoff he has little chance to win based on the first round of voting.

This will be Ms. Lovell’s last term on Council under the current term limits law. It would be great to hear a bit more from Ms. Lovell in this last term on behalf of people often left out at Houston City Hall.

(Here is some disturbing late information about Ms. Lovell. She has been helping a Republican in his effort to win against Jolanda Jones for At-Large # 5. Why must these people do this kind of stuff?)

( Below—In a two-horse race, somebody has got to win. John Herring’s Great Match (The Flying Dutchman and Voltigeur.) From the 1850’s.)

Council At-Large # 5—

Jolanda Jones is the Democratic incumbent in a tough race against a Republican.

I’m going to vote for Ms. Jones. She stresses in her campaign that she is an advocate for all people and not just the privileged.

Is she?

Who knows?

You can’t go by what they tell you— But you can’t leave the process to others when you have your own voice.

My gut feeling is that Ms. Jones cares about people and makes some effort on Council to help folks. She sure is a lot better than her challenger.

(Below–The People! The masses looking to enter Toronto’s Dufferin Racetrack in 1908.)

Houston’s municipal electorate is more affluent than the city as whole.

It is the concerns of this electorate that Houston politicians seek to address.

The fact remains, however, that many in Houston are playing for their last dollar.

These folks, as well as all people of Houston, should be on the agenda at Houston City Hall.

(Below–Gambling With Their Cotton Money. From 1939. Picture taken by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm  Security Administration.)

December 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Quick Thoughts On Yesterday’s Houston City Elections

Just a few quick thoughts on Houston’s city elections yesterday.

1. I’m glad Annise Parker has made the runoff for Mayor. I hope that Ms. Parker uses this new round of elections to more sharply define herself from her opposition than she did in the general election.

80% of voters yesterday chose a Democrat to serve as Mayor of Houston. Ms Parker has a new chance to articulate a vision of Houston that is not just racially and socially inclusive, but fully economically inclusive as well.

2. I’m not going to vote for a City Controller who has not paid all his taxes. I won’t vote the Republican in the race. But nor will I vote for Ronald Green.

If my not voting for Mr. Green helps elect the Republican—So be it.

A Democrat running to watch over our city finances should pay his taxes.

3. I wish the Harris County Democratic Party would do something to generate turnout in the runoff. Let’s begin to set the stage for Democratic victories in Harris County in 2010.

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

I Won’t Be Voting For Ronald Green For Houston City Controller—A Democrat Should Pay The Taxes He Owes

I will not be voting for Democrat Ronald Green to serve as City of Houston Controller.

Mr. Green owes more than $100,000 in taxes. 

The above link is to the Houston Chronicle. Here is how Mr. Green’s tax problems are reported in the Texas  Watchdog. 

Mr. Green, an incumbent member of the Houston City Council, is the only Democrat in the three candidate race. The top two finishers on Election Day will advance to a runoff. It is not likely that any candidate will win a majority in the first round.

I’ve written I would be voting for Mr. Green because he was the only Democrat on the ballot for City Controller.

However, this was before I knew Mr. Green had not paid all his taxes.

Mr. Green says he is resolving these issues. All right– Mr. Green does need to resolve these issues. However, the right time to do so is not in the final weeks before an election. This should have already been addressed. 

A city finance officer should be able to keep up on what he owes to the IRS.

A Democrat should pay the taxes he owes was an example to all citizens. We can’t say others should pay all taxes owed when we do not. 

How will needed government programs be funded if people don’t pay all taxes owed?

At my blogging space at the Houston Chronicle, where I’m a featured-political reader-blogger, I’ve been asked if I will vote for a candidate simply because he or she is a Democrat. 

No–Democrats do not have my automatic vote.

In the City Controllers race I will leave my ballot blank because I can’t support the Democrat.

In City Council At-Large positions #1 and #4, I will likely be supporting members of the third party Progressive coalition.

I’ve often said that Democrats in big cities around the nation take votes for granted without always offering much in return. This does not mean I’ll be voting for Republicans. Republicans offer even less.

What it does mean is that I’m open to other options. It also means that Democrats don’t get my vote without any questions asked.

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ronald Green Is Only Democrat Running For Houston City Controller—Take That For What It Is Worth To You

City Councilmember Ronald Green is the only Democrat running for Houston City Controller.

Here is a story about the candidates in the Houston Chronicle.

Mr. Green’s two opponents are Republicans. 

You can take this for what it is worth to you.

I’m not going to be voting for any Republican in the upcoming City of Houston elections.

Mr. Green offers nothing special to the people of Houston. He’s been a go-along-to-get-along member of council in his three terms at City Hall.

He’s been quiet when he should have been speaking our for greater social justice in our city. There is no reason a liberal or progressive should make much effort for his election.  

But Mr. Green is the only Democrat on that ballot and he likely can do the job well enough.

So I suppose I will vote for him to serve as our City Controller.

Here is Mr. Green’s campaign web home.

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments