The Houston Democracy Project sometimes gets a little weary.
I recently drove by what to my untrained eye seemed yet another water main break in Houston. You see what I saw in the picture above.
The water mains are breaking because of our drought and because our infrastructure is old and falling apart. The city is having a difficult time keeping up.
A big reason we are having a difficult time keeping up is that in 2004 Houston voters imposed a revenue cap on how much money the city can take from property taxes. (There are also state restrictions on what we can collect.)
There has also been a recent report on how Houston has poor funding for public parks. The revenue cap is cited as a large cause for the lousy funding.
Half of our city budget goes to police and fire. Those guys don't care if the grass at the park is mowed or not.
It's unfortunate that in a diverse and Democratic voting city, we have restricted our own ability to live better. Consistent water pressure and nice parks are a good thing.
There is also the reality that in 2015 Houston voters overturned our Houston Equal Rights Ordinance by a 61%-39% margin. I recall that vote and there was a lot of homophobia involved.
I wish we would treat ourselves and each other a little better here in Houston. It's one thing to have outsiders who hate us come and work to mess us up. It's another thing when we do it to ourselves.
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 email@example.com.
I'm Neil Aquino