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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

The system has been reimagined

Now we get to see how it all goes. Seven members of the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority board were among the first passengers to try the revamped bus network launched early Sunday morning after taking a 30-minute bus ride around the city. Metro CEO Tom Lambert joined along on their quick spin across town, allowing […]

Endorsement watch: The score so far

We’ve had a slew of endorsements for municipal races this past week. I’ve been keeping track of them as best I can on my 2015 Election page. This isn’t always easy to do, because some groups are not very good at posting their endorsements anywhere. I gather, for example, that the HPFFA has made endorsements, […]

Turner’s police plan

Time to look at a major policy proposal, from Mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner. Mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner unveiled a plan Thursday to expand the Houston Police Department by 540 officers by 2020, an effort he said is needed to help police better engage the communities they serve and to improve trust between some neighborhoods and […]

System reimagining set to debut

Here we go. Houston’s bus system, long considered sluggish and inconvenient, is poised for a transformation that’s drawing national attention for its boldness – and skepticism from some riders. The Metropolitan Transit Authority will roll out its new bus network Sunday after more than two years of discussions, public forums, re-routing and re-re-routing to fix […]

Houston Unites

The pro-HERO campaign has been launched. Supporters of Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance launched a formal campaign Wednesday urging voters to defend the measure this November. ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke urged Houstonians to “send a message that this is a city that doesn’t discriminate.” Businessman Bobby Singh, invoking the threat of losing sporting events […]

New rail line numbers notch up in July

Good to see, but as before let’s maintain some perspective in these early days. Though still below initial estimates, use of two new light rail lines in Houston is increasing, based on July figures released Monday. After a rocky start, use of the Green Line along Harrisburg increased 25.9 percent from June to July, according […]

Interview with Chris Oliver

We wrap up our tour of the At Large #1 field with a visit with Chris Oliver, who currently serves as Trustee in HCC District IX. A businessman and graduate of TSU, Oliver has worked as a Congressional aide and as an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist with the US Department of Labor. During his service […]

Change to term limits will be on the ballot

Whatever. Houston voters will decide whether elected city officials should serve two four-year terms rather than three two-year terms starting in 2016, potentially lengthening the terms of some current council members. The City Council voted 12-5 Wednesday to place the item on the November ballot. Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and […]

Interview with Tom McCasland

We continue with the deep field of candidates to succeed term-limited CM Steve Costello in At Large #1. Up next is Tom McCasland, making his first run for public office. He does have campaign experience, however, having worked on Bill White’s team. An attorney and the son of missionaries, McCasland has worked with the Houston […]

Students against Dave Wilson

OUT SA, the website for out students and allies at Houston Community College, reviews a litany of Dave Wilson’s recent activities and discusses what can be done about them. Mr. Wilson has created a hostile environment for LGBT students, staff, and faculty of Houston Community College by these actions. In addition, with his last action, […]

Interview with Jenifer Pool

We continue with At Large #1, where term-limited incumbent Steve Costello is now running for Mayor. Today’s candidate is Jenifer Rene Pool, who is making her third attempt to win a citywide race; she finished third in a crowded field for At Large #3 in 2013, less than one percentage point out of the runoff. […]

City says West Gray will be ready for early voting

I sure hope they’re right. The city’s Metropolitan Multi-Service Center should be partially open and ready for early voting in October after a water main break in late April that shut down the facility. City Council on Wednesday approved a contract for up to $1.85 million to reconstruct parts of the center at 1475 West […]

Interview with Lane Lewis

We are now done with the district Council interviews, so we move on to the At Large races, where most of the non-Mayoral action is happening this year. There are two open At Large seats, and both of them have drawn a large field of candidates. This week we focus on At Large #1, currently […]

City appeals Wilson petition order

No surprise. The verdict on whether anti-gay activist Dave Wilson collected enough valid signatures to force a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will have to wait. On Friday evening, the city appealed District Court Judge Brent Gamble’s order to count […]

Change to term limits may be on the November ballot as well

Here we go again. Mayor Annise Parker’s proposal would wait until 2020 to lengthen City Council members, the mayor and and controller’s terms; while Councilman Jerry Davis is proposing a staggered roll-out starting in 2016. Supporters say the 2020 plan would be the easiest sell to voters, with no current elected officials standing to benefit. […]

Endorsement watch: Houston GLBT Political Caucus 2015

Congrats to all the endorsees. A raucous municipal endorsement meeting brought mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner the coveted backing of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus on Saturday, positioning the 26-year state representative to broaden his coalition to include the city’s progressive voting bloc. Caucus members voted 142-85 to endorse Turner after more than an hour of […]

Chron looks at Mayoral fundraising

They focus on small-dollar donors. A Houston Chronicle analysis of the top seven candidates’ campaign finance filings covering the first six months of the year shows most businesses and special interest groups are waiting for the race to shape up before pushing their chips forward, and shows the top campaigns have each drawn roughly half […]

Lyft to come back to San Antonio

San Antonio is no longer without any rideshare companies. The ride-hailing company Lyft is poised to return in the “near future” to San Antonio — after the City Council reviews a proposed pilot program next week. Councilman Roberto Treviño, who spent the summer negotiating a deal with the company, said Friday that Lyft officials have […]

And now we have a lawsuit over HERO repeal ballot language

Oh, for crying out loud. Last month the Texas Supreme Court suspended the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, more commonly known as HERO, and ordered City Council to either repeal the non-discrimination measure or put it up for a public vote. On Wednesday council voted 12-5 for the latter, and in November Houston voters will be […]

Metro makes its final tweaks

Ready or not, here comes System Reimagining. Metro officials on Wednesday approved minor changes to the agency’s redesigned bus system as they brace for response from tens of thousands of riders once the revamped system launches Aug. 16. Metropolitan Transit Authority board members approved three changes aimed at solving specific problems caused when routes were […]

HERO affirmed by Council

It’s official – HERO will be on the ballot this fall. City Council voted to affirm Houston’s equal rights ordinance Wednesday, a move that will send the law to voters in November per a Texas Supreme Court ruling. City Council voted 12-5 to leave the law in place, with Councilmen Dave Martin, Oliver Pennington, Michael […]

Interview with Steve Le

As noted, District F is a diverse and growing area, out along the southwest part of Houston, including a piece of Fort Bend County. A lot of District F residents are immigrants or children of immigrants. One such person is District F candidate Steve Le. Le emigrated to the United States in 1975 with his […]

Pastors file a lawsuit over HERO

I have three things to say about this. Organizers of the anti-Houston Equal Rights Ordinance petition have filed suit against Mayor Annise Parker, saying she and unnamed “conspirators” unconstitutionally rejected valid petition signatures and “smothered the Citizen Referendum Petition in the crib.” (Gotta love a lawsuit whose opening salvo includes infanticide imagery!). Filed by four […]

Defending HERO

It’s a big job, but we can get it done. “We’re going to do everything we can to win HERO at the ballot box,” [Houston GLBT Political Caucus] president Maverick Welsh said. It would be Houstonians’ third time voting on protections or benefits for gays, which they rejected in 1985 and again in 2001. Then, […]

Interview with CM Richard Nguyen

One more set of District Council interviews before we move on to the At Large races. District F covers a stretch of fast-growing, very diverse southwest Houston. It was the location of the biggest political upset of the 2013 election, when a little known and lightly funded candidate knocked off a two-term incumbent. That candidate […]

Hall for all the haters again

Enjoy the attention while it lasts, dude. Already a staunch opponent of the nondiscrimination law, Hall has become more vocal in the wake of last week’s Texas Supreme Court ruling that City Council must repeal the ordinance, known as HERO, or place it on November’s ballot. From Twitter to television, Hall is using his criticism […]

Connecting trails

Always good to see. The Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Parks Board recently celebrated the completion of the White Oak Bayou Path, the first in a series of projects creating a more connected system of hike-and-bike trails in the city. Mayor Annise Parker and District A council member Brenda Stardig joined the organizations […]

HISD and HCC finance reports

Here’s what we know, though it’s incomplete. Fundraising among most HISD board members was slow during the first half of 2015. Board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who plans to seek re-election to her District 2 seat this November, raised the most money this reporting period ($4,000) and has the most on hand ($8,195), according to the […]

Bridal Extravaganza happily adjusts to a same-sex marriage world

Love is love, and business is business. Vendors in the industry, from florists to caterers, are seeing a bumper crop of same-sex Texas weddings. “I think there’s going to be some pent-up demand, and that’s exciting,” said Laurette Veres, Bridal Extravaganza producer. In Texas, same-sex weddings could generate at least $182 million in total spending […]

Harris County will have a bond issue on the ballot

More things to vote on this November. Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to put four bond measures totaling $848 million on the November ballot to address tremendous population growth in Harris County during the past two decades. “When you consider that Harris County has more people than 24 states, it really isn’t that much,” County […]

Where the forest and the trees collide

Headline atop Tuesday’s Chronicle: Spike in Metrorail crashes prompts a second look at safety measures. Metro recorded a record 17 accidents on its rail system in June, and most of them involved the kind of action Marchetti narrowly avoided: people or cars moving into the train’s path or, in one case, a bicyclist riding into […]

If HERO then no other ballot items

Makes sense. With her signature nondiscrimination law likely to appear on the November ballot, Mayor Annise Parker left in doubt Wednesday whether she will ask City Council to also place before voters long-discussed changes to term limits and the city’s revenue cap. Parker said she has no interest in putting the latter two items to […]

Got questions about the new bus routes?

You can get answers, in person, from a Metro staffer. From the inbox: METRO makes it easy for riders to learn more about the New Bus Network through a series of customer information sessions being held across the METRO service area: On-hand staff can provide trip planning assistance and answer specific rider questions on the […]

Is this the plan that will save the Dome?

Maybe. A few months ago Ed Emmett had a breakthrough moment about how to save the Astrodome, a goal he’s been chipping away at for the better part of eight years. The Harris County judge was driving out of the county administration building lot headed straight for the historic 1910 courthouse in downtown, and he […]