The Houston Democracy Project works to create, inspire and help organize pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
These coalitions consist of whoever shows up & must demand that our elected officials show up for us as we fight to protect democracy.
(Above is picture of Houston I took. Here is link to Pictures I Have Taken section of Project.)
Here are some ways people we elect in Houston and Harris County can fight for democracy:
*Use their resources, influence and time to campaign for Democrats in every election cycle. We could use much more help from elected Democrats in safe seats and from Democrats on Houston City Council.
*When accepting law enforcement union endorsements, insist such unions step back from support of candidates and elected officials attacking democracy. There is no public safety without democracy.
*Speak up when democracy is under assault & help create a climate where rank & file citizens are informed and prepared to act. We merit protection from the anti-democratic right.
*Understand that protection of freedom may require career, personal and even physical risks by public officials. If you've chosen this critical time to seek or hold office, you must meet the challenges of the moment.
Here are the Houston Democracy Project 2023 Houston municipal election runoff recommendations:
I'm voting for Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee.
It's an insult to voters that both Rep. Jackson Lee and Senator Whitmire have been in public office for decades, and don't have the ability to generate enthusiasm in the districts they represent. Neither have well-served democracy in this important respect.
From the Houston Chronicle:
"In the precincts that fall in Texas Senate District 15, the district that Whitmire has represented for decades, the average turnout in the mayor's race was about 17% of registered voters..... In U.S. House District 18, the district that Jackson Lee has long represented, about 15% of registered voters turned out to vote in the mayoral race — lower than the turnout in Harris County as a whole this election cycle."
I'm concerned with Senator Whitmire's open relationships with authoritarians and his intent to bring Greg Abbott's Texas DPS troops to Houston. These troops will serve as deportation squads in Houston communities and would follow Donald Trump and Greg Abbott's instructions if Trump returns to the White House and implements the Insurrection Act as has been reported is in the works. The Senator has accepted the endorsement of many law enforcement unions without asking when they will step back from support of election deniers. There is no public safety without democracy. Senator Whitmire is reckless, complacent and living in a different era regarding the top public safety challenge of the day.
Chris Hollins has been one of the few candidates in Houston 2023 municipal elections willing to talk about voting rights and democracy. He has talked about expanding the role on Controller to address political freedom and far-right threats. This makes sense because all elected officials take an oath to the U.S. Constitution. Our freedom must be the top concern of all elected officials.
Houston City Council:
These are good candidates who might well show up for us if the Texas Secretary of State nullified a Democratic statewide win or a President Donald Trump ordered use of the Insurrection Act.
At-Large #3: Richard Cantu. Mr. Cantu is a decent and thoughtful person who I believe will consider what is the right thing to do when faced with tough choices.
At Large #4: Letitia Plummer. Councilwoman Plummer has at times wrestled with pursuing a hopeful course on the one hand, and the relentless depressing status quo inertia of Houston City Hall politics on the other hand. Hopefully she will be there for us if needed in an anti-democratic crisis.
These candidates are better than their opponents. Both have the potential to grow and to reflect with greater focus on the anti-democratic challenges facing Texas and the nation.
At -Large #1: Melanie Miles
At-large #2: Nick Hellyar
Travis McGee has an extensive record of advocacy and support of democracy in District D. I support Mario Castillo in District H. Voters should sit out the District G race where there is no pro-democracy choice.
Houston Municipal runoff Election Day is Saturday, December 9. Early voting is November 27- December 5.
Here is a broader Houston Democracy Project look at the Council runoff candidates. Here are Houston Democracy Project recommendations from the first round of voting on November 7.
Here is Erik Manning's spreadsheet with the primary voting history of '23 Houston municipal candidates.
All elections are partisan.
If you found these recommendations helpful, please share them with other & please consider supporting the Project with your contribution. It takes time, effort and resources to do this work. I have full autonomy from candidates and elected officials. We must advocate for ourselves. The Project will continue through 2024 at the least. If you have a question about the Project or a suggestion, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
I'm Neil Aquino