Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Amy Price for Houston City Council

I'm delighted to be assisting Ms. Price -- in an unpaid capacity -- with her campaign for the At Large #4 position on council. From the press release (prepared in part by yours truly):

"I’m proud of every hot, muggy, mosquito-infested, unique, culturally rich mile of this city. And it’s the people who make it special," said Price.

"We are able and resourceful, determined and compassionate. And I know that if we work together, we can continue to keep Houston an example that will lead Texas and the nation out of these difficult times. 

"Houston has very fortunately avoided many of the challenges our state and country faces, but we haven't been immune to budget cuts, furloughed employees, and an uncertain forecast. It almost seems we’re watching from a far shore as our middle class shrinks, social services disappear, and our children face a future of fewer opportunities. It’s tempting to give up on fixing -- much less healing -- our society and just settle for holding our ground. But trying to hold ground is exactly how we’ve lost ground. It’s time to bridge the gulf between public policy and the democratic ideals that shaped this country, state and city, and our City Council needs someone who will represent the working class people of Houston. The wealthy special interests already are well-represented."

If you believe that the services city government provides, such as ...
  • policemen and firemen having all the resources they need to do their jobs effectively;
  • fixing potholes;
  • picking up your garbage;
  • and providing clean, safe, drinking water

... are not the kind of things that should be on a P/L statement, then Houstonians finally have that candidate. And her name is Amy Price.

That last part is the most important part of her campaign. Amy's opponents for At Large #4 are incumbent C.O. Bradford and Louis Molnar. Bradford, a former HPD chief, narrowly missed getting elected Harris County district attorney in 2008 before backing up and getting elected to the AL#4 slot in 2009. Here's a snip from the front page of Bradford's website:

Houston is about BUSINESS! A great number of people come here to start businesses, invest in businesses, and advance their careers.

What can and should the City be doing now? Tighten its belt, reduce spending, and provide relief for businesses and citizens. Businesses tend to flourish and citizens do better when they have as much free reign to operate legally and ethically as possible. Reducing some of the business burdens, especially while our local economy is sagging, is an incentive to reinvest, expand, and grow businesses when possible. In my view, this is how we help create more jobs, boost our local economy, and increase revenues.

Sounds almost like a Tea Partier talking, doesn't it? Since Bradford ran for DA as a Democrat in '08, he's been busy consorting with every manner of Republican as he eyes higher office (mayor in '13 against Annise Parker?). Rumors earlier this year were hot and heavy that he was going to take a shot this cycle, but Parker's war chest -- among other things -- must have scared him off.

Bradford wears the long-running scandals of the HPD crime lab around his neck like an albatross, yet that hasn't slowed his political career much. Do Houston voters just look over it or do they even know?

Here's a bit from Molnar's website:

Houstonians need City Council to use their tax dollars efficiently and wisely. This means we need to look for new ways to stretch our budget dollars. We need innovation to make our money go further, and we should encourage a culture of cost-savings. Our economy is not the same as it was a few years ago. Doing more with less is the new way of doing things, and it’s time we take a hard-line approach to the reality of today’s Houston.

Ah, an austerity lecture. The only thing that's missing is a few Teabaggers yelling "cut, cut, cut" in the background.

These two men are the living embodiment of "business as usual" at City Hall. They wear expensive suits, have already spent large amounts of money on their campaigns -- Bradford allegedly invested $5,000 in a campaign song -- and seem to be relishing the opportunity to continue cutting essential city services.

Price, a psychotherapist by profession and a violin teacher by vocation, is NOT going to be "business as usual". That much is certain.

Find Amy on Facebook here and follow Amy on Twitter here.

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