Another pair of endorsements from the Chron, again one obvious and one that required more thought. First, the easy one.
Centered along the Westpark Tollway toward the city’s far west edges, District F is Houston’s international district.
When people from around the world immigrate to Houston, that Houston is often in District F. Home to large parts of Asia Town, especially Vietnamese communities, the district’s diversity also includes a growing Hispanic base. It is almost like the Alief and Westside neighborhoods are the setting for Houston’s own West Side Story – parents seeking the American dream, kids breaking cultural barriers and, unfortunately, gang violence. You may even find choreographed musical numbers at karaoke bars.
Incumbent Council Member Al Hoang’s first term was marred by controversy, but he’s spent the second delivering for his district. Voters should give him a third.
The Chron endorsed his opponent in 2011, but unlike that year CM Hoang drew only a no-name challenger, and as the Chron notes he did have a better term this time around. I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of CM Hoang, but the choice this year was clear.
The more interesting choice was in At Large #2, and for the third time so far the Chron recommended a vote for a challenger to an incumbent.
The task of Houston’s five city council members at-large is to see the proverbial big picture while being well-briefed on the needs of City’s Council’s diverse 11 single-member districts. Only the mayor and city controller have similarly broad, citywide duties.
In At-large Position 2, the vision needs to be more expansive than that shown during the two-year incumbency of Andrew C. Burks, whose performance has not met acceptable standards.
Reports of the sitting councilman’s less than courteous behavior toward constituents coming before council on several occasions are especially concerning.
Burks has drawn three capable opponents in this November’s race. From this group, we recommend the candidacy of David Robinson, a challenger to Burks in the 2011 race for the seat formerly held by three-term Council member Sue Lovell.
Robinson, 47, holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Yale and a master’s in architecture from Rice University. He is a practicing architect and planner with strong, informed views on how Houston’s future should be shaped.
Robinson’s previous service to the city is extensive. He was appointed to the city Planning Commission by Mayor Bill White and reappointed by Mayor Annise Parker.
His direct involvement with the city’s neighborhoods runs equally as deep. Robinson’s eight years as an officer of the Neartown Association included two terms as president. He currently serves as president of the citywide Super Neighborhood Alliance.
The Chron endorsed Kristi Thibaut in the open seat race last time. I’ve said plenty about this race, so I’ll just point you to my interviews from this cycle with Robinson and Burks. What are your thoughts on this endorsement?