HISD Board Of Managers Member Lindner Objects To State Takeover Of Local Park-Much Else Though Is Just Fine
The Houston Democracy Project attended the Save White Oak Bayou picnic this past Friday evening. The event was about the proposed expansion of I-10 into Stude Park in the Heights. This Texas Department of Transportation proposal would impede enjoyment of the Bayou and use of the park. The state's plan is a lousy idea.
Here is some of what the Save White Oak Bayou folks say:
We have a vision for a happier, healthier Houston. A retreat, a resource, and a refuge for all to enjoy in the heart of the city.
TxDOT also has a plan. It includes miles of concrete, paving over our parks, and increasing air and noise pollution.
HISD Board of Managers member Janette Lindner has been public about her opposition to the I-10 plan. Ms. Lindner lost election to the now-defunct elected HISD Board in 2021, but was appointed to the new unelected Board by authoritarian Governor Greg Abbott's TEA.
The state takeover of a neighborhood park is a problem. Removal of elected officials by a far-right state government in what 60 years ago was a Jim Crow city seems less a concern for Ms. Lindner.
I was planning to go to the rally against the highway expansion in any case to talk up the Houston Democracy Project. I brought a sign against the HISD takeover in case Ms. Lindner joined the crowd, and to make the point that the State of Texas is attacking Houston and Harris County in many different ways.
That's me in the picture above with the sign and Ms. Lindner on the other side. It looks like she might be filming me, possibly to suggest me for a good citizenship commendation.
I'm not going to talk to Ms. Lindner outside of an open school board meeting. I'm no problem for her. On the other hand, the Board of Managers has partnered with anti-democratic extremists to take away an elected school board in the 4th largest city in America and has a police force at its disposal.
The HISD Board of Managers is part of a larger pattern of ceaseless attacks on local judges, law enforcement unions supporting election deniers, Republican refusal to accept election results, laws meant to take away local control of elections and acts of aggression towards peaceful protesters that is meant to make us feel afraid and to take away our freedom.
There is no public safety without democracy.
Messing with a local park? No way says Ms. Lindner.
The removal of elected officials, reducing the role of unions, firing teachers who speak up, firing school custodians with little notice and closing school libraries so they can be replaced with discipline chambers? Sure.
Voting matters. So does showing up. We did vote. And the state came and expelled our elected officials. So we must keep at it in many different ways.
Community Voices For Public Education is doing good work fighting the takeover and advocating for Houston. Give them a look.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
Please share word of the Project and support the effort with your contribution. If you have a question about the Project or a suggestion, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm Neil Aquino