The Chron tries to wrap its arms around the District D race, talking to all 12 candidates. Since I have interviewed six of them – an interview with Lana Edwards will run on Wednesday – I will just quote from their bits about the other candidates, as I did with District B.
Political newcomer and bank employee Kirk White also cited youth activities as one antidote to crime.
“We need more after-school programs to give the kids something to do,” said the 34-year-old bank supervisor, who also is a rapper known as “Prez D.” He also wants to create better community relations with police by promoting them as “our friends and not our enemies.”
Candidates Anthony Robinson and Travis McGee have had negative experiences with police that shape their perspectives on law enforcement.
McGee, president of the Sunnyside Gardens-Bayou Estates Civic Club, was questioned, detained and searched by Houston police last year after inquiring about a neighborhood shooting. He also advocates for better after-school and summer programs to deter youngsters from crime.
“Once our children get into the system, it’s too late. I believe in prevention before detention,” the 39-year-old barber and business owner said, adding that he believes HPD needs better response times in District D.
He also supports creating a civilian review board with subpoena power to investigate police misconduct allegations. (Houston currently has an independent police oversight board that reviews HPD internal probes and monitors community concerns.)
Keith Caldwell, who grew up in Sunnyside, said protecting the old and young are the most important reasons for controlling crime.
“We have seniors now that don’t want to come out of their homes,” said the 39-year-old rental car company manager, who also ran for the seat in 2007.
This is Ivis Johnson’s first run for office, but the former city employee has spent a lot of time alerting Houston officials about issues in the district.
“At one time, I dialed 311 so much they thought I had a family member down there. That’s about the best way I can let city government know there’s a problem,” the 62-year-old Metro mechanic said. “In District D, I see a lot of problems. If I had a voice, I could draw attention to them and maybe get something done.”
Demetria Smith, also a political newcomer, said the district’s poverty is the chief contributor to all of its problems, crime included.
“The poverty issue is my main concern,” the 40-year-old financial consultant said. “The American dream is having a steady income cash flow.”
Larry McKinzie, a lifelong district resident and perennial candidate, is making his fourth run for the District D seat. After filing in 2007, 2009 and 2011, the 46-year-old teacher said he decided to try again because “when you see something wrong, you try to help or fix it.”
You can see all of my interviews with District D candidates on my 2013 Election page. There are links to other interviews at Texpatriate and New Media Texas as well. Anthony Robinson got the Chron endorsement. With twelve candidates, a runoff is basically assured – twenty percent will surely get you to Round 2, fifteen percent might be good enough. There are a number of quality candidates in this race, and it could go lots of different ways. If you live in District D, who do you favor? Leave a comment and let us know.