The Houston Democracy Project is looking to change the culture of municipal elections in Houston.
As we confront authoritarianism, we can't keep going on with low turnout, special-interest funded, law enforcement union-driven politics. These politics don't keep us safe and offer little hope of a better future.
Elected City of Houston Democrats have the capacity to define the responsibilities of their office. They can address what they want to address.
Every office holder swears an oath to the Constitution. Democracy is an essential part of the obligations of all elected officials.
Chris Hollins is a leading candidate for Houston City Controller. Mr. Hollins had been running for Mayor, but switched races after Sheila Jackson Lee got in the race.
Mr. Hollins was discussing issues of democracy when running for Mayor. He's still doing so as a candidate for Controller. He has consistently spoken up about attacks on Houston and Harris County from the far-right Texas legislature.
However, Mr. Hollins could make his commitment to democracy even more visible in his campaign.
For example, on his website he has a section called "Building A Safer Houston." This section has no mention of protecting democracy.
There is no public safety without democracy. With our Houston elected school board removed in what was just 60 years ago a Jim Crow city, the prospect of a return to that Jim Crow era of violent disenfranchisement is real
Mr. Hollins has a section called "Expand Opportunity Across Houston" on the website. Again, no mention of threats to democracy. Yet opportunity is surely diminished in a society lacking basic freedom.
Politics is an act of imagination. Communication is creativity.
Mr. Hollins is on the right track.
Here is more he could do:
Announce a plan to increase turnout and involvement in 2023 Houston city elections.
Make a public pledge to help the Democratic ticket in Harris County in 2024 and encourage other Democrats running for the city office to do the same.
Use campaign funds and influence to help develop and train non-white and progressive organizers in Houston.
Openly insist that law enforcement unions always support free and fair elections in Texas and that they step away from elected officials and candidates seeking to restrict democracy and overturn elections.
The Houston Democracy Project looks to empower rank and file Houstonians to fight for democracy & insist candidates running for public office in Houston fight for democracy as well.
Please help this effort by donating.
I'm Neil Aquino