I'm voting for the straight Democratic ticket in the Houston Municipal runoffs.
These candidates are Chris Hollins for Controller, Melanie Miles in At-Large #1, Nick Hellyar in At-Large #2, Richard Cantu in At-Large #3 & Letitia Plummer in At-Large#4. (Here are Houston Democracy Project 2023 Houston runoff recommendations.)
I'm not at all enthused about Ms. Miles or Mr. Hellyar. I think they are both opportunistic. They are both going about saying they are committed Democrats, when Ms. Miles only recently switched to the Democratic Party and Mr. Hellyar leaned on Republican voters and police unions to get into the runoff.
But I'm going to vote for them. A big reason I'm voting for them is that they are better than their opponents. Their opponents represent a political party that is openly discussing suspending our civil liberties if returned to the White House in 2024. Beyond that, there is plenty of reason to believe that Republicans won't accept losing the 2024 election.
Texas is run by Republican Party that won't denounce association of Nazis and white supremacists & that gives us Ken Paxton as the top law enforcement officer of the state.
The law enforcement unions that so many Democrats trip over themselves to win the favor of, refuse to step back from election-deniers and anti-democratic candidates and officials.
Of course we are not safe in Houston and in Texas. The people of Houston must have safety from the political right. There is no public safety without democracy.
So I'm going to vote for the full Houston Democratic slate for Controller and At-Large Council. If in the very real prospect we must ask our elected offcials to take political, career or even physical risks to protect democracy in Houston, I'll remind them they said they were Democrats when they needed our votes.
Maybe it's all a thin reed. But it's what I got. The strongest solution to the trouble ahead is a public ready to protect itself from extremists by working together, demanding that elected officials show up for us & in general being willing to confront the reality that freedom is at risk.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County. The Project will continue through 2024 at the least.
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I'm Neil Aquino