The Houston Charter Amendment Petition Coalition held a press conference yesterday to highlight Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s suppression of the voting rights of 40,000 Houstonians. The press conference was led by Urban Reform’s Charles Blain and featured Houston City Council Member Michael Kubosh and Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton among others. You can view the opening of the press conference below:
During the question period, I asked Mr. Blain how much an election would cost and why it was important to hold it now rather than the Mayor’s edict of November 2023. The cost estimate from the Turner administration is about $1.3 million. Blain went into detail about why the fiscally responsible move would be to hold the election this November as voters expect. After Mr. Blain’s response, Doug Smith with the Houston Civic Club chimed in about the cost.
At the 1:13 timestamp, Mr. Blain has a nice quote:
“We’ve all heard the mayor and his staff equate property tax increases to the cost of a Happy Meal. If you talk about the cost of living being negligible but you talk about the cost to vote is too high then something is wrong in the city.”
I asked Mr. Kubosh about the timing and how many votes he thinks he has for his amendment to Turner’s agenda item.
As you can see, he thinks he is short on the votes right now and needs at least 2, perhaps 3 more for his amendment to pass. At the 1:11 timestamp, he says:
“I don’t care what the petition says, I would be here supporting any petition that the citizens bring forth to go to council.”
Which led to my next question, why is he the only council member present?
I love his answer and it is true that he has kept his original campaign promise that he would be an outsider telling us what went on inside City Hall. He is term limited but I hope he finds another position to campaign for because he really is the type of person we need in office. He is about the only local Republican that is able to garner the support of the black community and that is because he doesn’t show up in their community during the election season, he is in their community all the time. Others ought to try that before they dismiss the black vote as “always voting for Democrats”. Check out his slogan at the 0:34 timestamp:
“Voting delayed is voting denied”
That is exactly what Mayor Sylvester Turner is trying to do, deny the will and votes of 40,000 Houstonians. It’s a shame.
It was good to get out there and see that there are still people fighting for our rights. You can read more about the HCAPC on their website or in Holly Hansen’s report from their initial press conference almost a year ago over at The Texan.
Keep up the good work HCAPC.