This afternoon the Houston Democracy Project attended an event called by Houston District H Councilman Mario Castillo, about recently installed pedestrian safety medians on Houston Ave. that Mayor Whitmire says he will have torn out very soon.
Above you see Mr. Castillo talking to the people. There were about 70 folks I'd wager. Mr. Castillo is opposed to removal of the medians.
The medians and improvements are on Houston near the intersection of Houston and Washington. Here is a Chron.com story about the project.
While red light running, pedestrian and biker safety, & aggressive driving are important concerns, Councilmember Castillo got to the heart of the matter in a portion of his remarks.
The Councilman asked who was paying for the project, by what process has this all occurred and will district council people be respected by the mayor?
Mayor Whitmire discussed the issue just this past week at Council. Now already the crews to rip it all up are due to start work Monday morning the 5th. That's a quick turnaround. Would, for example, a report of poor equipment in a playground get such speedy attention?
Who has Mayor Whitmire's ear? How can these mysterious voices outweigh neighborhood input? How can funds for hastily-imagined non-essential work be so readily conjured up?
I would also ask how can a Mayor always talking about public safety, not view pedestrian safety as part of that issue?
When we have so much going on in Texas and nation, why do we have to spend energy fighting things like removing brand new work? When we live in such a great and hopeful city like Houston, why is this depressing stuff the course of action by Mayor Whitmire?
The Houston Democracy Project has been clear that Mayor Whitmire's blind eye towards political extremism as we face an authoritarian threat put Houstonians at risk. Mayor Whitmire's concept of public safety leaves an awful lot out.
Mayor Whitmire's autocratic conduct and secret dealings are the wrong way forward. His anti-democractic actions here are warning to us all that he will put the wants of the connected few above the needs of the city as a whole.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino