Houston Mayor John Whitmire is often telling us to come together and work together. The quote above are his comments regarding the recent cold weather and slippery roads. No matter what is going on, Mayor Whitmire says we should be working together. It was one of his campaign planks.
We should work together as often as possible. Bipartisanship is essential in a democracy. But Mayor Whitmire's conception of working together and bipartisanship is heavily slanted in the wrong direction. Facing a clear authoritarian threat from the political right, Mayor Whitmire asks us to look the other way at extremism.
Mayor Whitmire could instead offer a unifying vision for Houston as a fighter for democracy and a clear opponent of political extremism. He could bring people together in that way.
Here are two matters directly related to Houston where Mayor Whitmire has been silent about already in his brief time as Mayor:
*Kate Cox recently had to leave Texas to obtain needed medical care related to her pregnancy. Mayor Whitmire emphasized his support of abortion rights in his recent campaign. In fact, one of his most visible spokespersons was Elizabeth Weller who was denied an abortion in Texas even though it was medically needed. Mayor Whitmire has not said anything about Kate Cox despite the similarity between her case and the case he cited to help win election.
* Governor Abbott recently said he would shoot migrants crossing the border other than that he would be prosecuted by President Biden's Justice Department if gave such orders. This is directly relevant to Mayor Whitmire's stated intent to bring Greg Abbott's DPS police troops to Houston. The Mayor said nothing about Governor Abbott's terrible remarks and by every indication still plans to invite DPS troops to Houston.
Greg Abbott's police troops here in Houston would have no accountability with Ken Paxton as Texas Attorney General and under a Trump Justice Department. They would be a public safety risk.
Mayor Whitmire everyday has the opportunity to face up to the reality of our politics. There is no public safety without democracy. Mayor Whitmire seeks to be a uniter and not a divider. He should unite people to oppose far-right political extremism & to fight for our best American values.
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.
Please share word of the Houston Democracy 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