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Posts Tagged ‘Houston City Council’

Another taxi survey

From the inbox: Vehicle for hire industry survey The City of Houston has retained Taxi Research Partners to conduct a study of demand within the vehicle for hire industry in Houston. The study will review current market conditions, identify key players and stakeholders in the industry and will establish a baseline for demand for those […]

Vehicles for hire vote put off till end of July

Seriously? The Houston City Council delayed a vote until July 30 on regulations for the vehicles-for-hire industry, keeping Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.’s legal status in Houston in limbo. Council member Mike Laster proposed an initial delay of 60 days, saying, “I believe this cake is not fully baked.” The delay was then reduced […]

Here comes the Uber and Lyft vote

Barring anything unexpected, today is the day that Houston City Council settles – for now, anyway – the Uber/Lyft issue. Houston is not the only place where transportation network companies are seeking to do business in Texas, of course. The Trib takes a look at the state of play around Texas. “As the current city […]

More reaction to the HPD no-investigations report

I’m not the only one that wasn’t impressed by Chief McClelland’s response. [Burglary victim Heather] Heinke’s experience is not unusual in the nation’s fourth-largest city. A recent HPD staffing study says that 15,000 burglaries and thefts, 3,000 hit-and-run crashes and 3,000 assaults were simply set aside last year without a follow-up investigation. Houston police commanders […]

On bathrooms and menaces

Nonsequiteuse has something to say. Steven Hotze, M.D., recently published these outright lies about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance: Mayor Parker’s ordinance would include minority status for the so called “transgendered,” allowing a biological male to legally enter women’s public bathrooms, locker rooms and shower areas and expose himself to women and girls or just […]

Vehicle for hire vote tagged

No surprise here. I had thought the ordinance was still in committee, but it went before the full Council yesterday. It was of course tagged – we weren’t going to have this vote only one week after the HERO vote, no way in hell on that. Most of the story recapitulates stuff we know, so […]

Bell op-ed for eliminating the revenue cap

More like this, please. A decade ago, Houston voters restricted city property tax revenues to the combined rates of inflation and population increases. Like most arbitrary rules that politicians apply to math, this revenue cap sounds like a great idea until it meets the realities of a growing and expanding city. During the Great Recession, […]

And we circle back to Uber and Lyft

Took longer than we thought it would, but on we move to the next contentious debate. Companies that connect riders with drivers via smartphone and tablet applications could operate legally in Houston, subject to certain conditions, under a proposal to be considered Wednesday by the City Council. The suggested changes to Houston’s taxi and limousine […]

Wilson’s petitions

Here, courteously sent to me by reader and regular commenter Mainstream, is a copy of Dave Wilson’s petition for a charter amendment to “prohibit men (who perceive or express themselves as women) from using the women’s restroom. The petition itself is in addition to a scare-mongering letter from Wilson, sent from his current “residence” on […]

We’ve got some budget challenges coming

Some chickens are coming home to roost. Beginning next summer with fiscal year 2016, Houston will face a projected $142 million gap between expected revenues and expenses in its general fund, which is fed chiefly by property and sales taxes and funds most basic city services. That exceeds the $137 million budget gap Houston had […]

HERO passes

Finally. After nearly nine hours of chanting and tears from seas of opponents and supporters in color-coded T-shirts, Houston City Council passed an ordinance on Wednesday extending equal rights protections to gay and transgender residents. Despite weeks of discussion and dissent over the measure, the final vote was 11-6, a count that matched guesses made […]

Today really is the day for the NDO vote

And as we finally head for a vote, the hysteria and fearmongering have reached a fever pitch. In just five words, Mayor Annise Parker handed her increasingly vocal opponents exactly what they wanted in the battle against her proposed equal rights ordinance: “The debate is about me.” That comment, part of a longer utterance at […]

Recall effort against Mayor Parker?

The haters huff and puff with their last breath. Opponents of Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed Houston equal rights ordinance have vowed to take the issue to voters in a referendum, but now they’re seriously discussing a sort of nuclear option at the polling place: a recall election to remove her and some council members from […]

TransGriot on the current status of the NDO

Monica Roberts wants to set the record straight about Mayor Parker and the latest version of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance that will (eventually, we swear) be voted on by Council. The local trans community asked for Section 17-51 (b) to be pulled from the proposed ordinance. I’ve written and testified it needed to go. […]

A letter to Ed Young

Found on Facebook, from an alumnus of Second Baptist School to Pastor Ed Young, reprinted in full because you need to see it. MY LETTER TO THE SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: Thank you again for featuring me in the Eagle magazine recently. It was an honor to be included. A friend of mine forwarded the below […]

Falkenberg on Wilson and the NDO

Lisa Falkenberg weighs in on the “Reverend RJ Ballard” email. The e-mail is the handiwork of Houstonians for Family Values, the group affiliated with none other than Dave Wilson. You may remember him as the old white anti-gay activist who got elected to the Houston Community College board last year in a predominantly black district […]

NDO delayed two weeks

I thought it would be over by now, but it’s not. A proposal to extend equal rights protections to gay and transgender Houston residents, which had been swiftly advancing to a City Council vote, stalled Wednesday as council members voted for a two-week delay to allow more public input on the increasingly divisive measure. Mayor […]

Today is the day for the non-discrimination ordinance

Yesterday’s open Council session and today’s vote will provide one last chance for fearmongering before the NDO finally passes. Among clergy trading pulpit for soap box is the Rev. Ed Young, senior pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church, who denounced the proposal for seeking to “elevate sexual preference to a constitutionally protected class.” [...] In […]

San Antonio City Council has its first hearing on Uber and Lyft

Sounds pretty familiar. Chief William McManus said Wednesday that the Police Department might impound vehicles belonging to Lyft and Uber drivers if they continue to violate the city’s regulations for vehicles for hire, such as taxis and limos. The city has cited 10 drivers for Lyft and Uber for providing a taxi or chauffeurlike service, […]

NDO vote will be next week

The proposed non-discrimination ordinance was on Council’s agenda yesterday, but it did not come to a vote as it was tagged, which means it’ll be voted on next week. The Chron’s preview story gave some insight into what we should expect from the ordinance based on the experience of other cities that already have protections […]

The small number of competitive legislative races in November

The Trib discusses the lack of legislative action in November. In the House, nine Republican and two Democratic races are still undecided. An early list of competitive November races — this is in a House with 150 seats — comes in under a dozen. Put another way, there are about as many competitive races in […]

Council hears NDO testimony

It went about as you’d expect. Houston is the last of America’s largest cities not to have local anti-discrimination protections, a fact some lauded and others condemned Wednesday during the first opportunity for public comment on Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed equal rights ordinance. Parker is poised to place the ordinance before City Council for a […]

GHP endorses proposed NDO

Good for them. The Greater Houston Partnership came out in support of Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed equal rights ordinance, giving the measure a boost as it heads to a City Council committee hearing on Wednesday. Parker plans to put the measure before the full City Council for a vote next week. The Partnership initially had […]

Costello comes out for Uber and Lyft

An email sent out by CM Stephen Costello: Over the past few months, City Council has been discussing proposed changes to Chapter 46, the city ordinance dealing with vehicles for hire. I’ve listened during committee meetings and public sessions. I’ve studied the presentations and analyzed the data. Most importantly, I’ve spoken to and read emails […]

The city and the downtown post office

Not sure what all the fuss about this is about. Developers eager to purchase the high-profile U.S. Postal Service site downtown – envisioned in recent years as a park, outdoor amphitheater or a development with housing and entertainment venues – are competing for the property with the city of Houston, which is considering putting its […]

More demolitions coming

Good. Houston next week will launch an effort to scoop up dangerous properties left to rot in so many aging neighborhoods, raze them and resell the land. Officials say the program, approved unanimously Wednesday by the City Council, could more than double the number of buildings demolished each year, help the city recover more of […]

Dallas and Seattle redoing vehicle for hire ordinances

I’ve said before that the review of Houston’s vehicle for hire codes will be a process and not a one-time deal, and that we ought to be prepared to review what we do now in another six or twelve months since we don’t really know what the effect of whatever we do here will be. […]

Your daily Uber/Lyft update

From the Tuesday Council committee hearing at which the draft ordinance was reviewed. Despite having a newly-released draft ordinance in hand, City Council members spent a Tuesday committee hearing asking many of the same questions about regulating ride-sharing services as they did months ago. Echoing concerns raised by taxi and limousine companies, council members grilled […]

Draft ordinance on vehicles for hire is out

Mayor Parker puts another item on City Council’s to do list. A proposed Houston ordinance could legalize hundreds of for-hire drivers providing rides through smartphone applications, but would require those drivers meet the same permitting and safety requirements as taxicab and limousine drivers already regulated by the city. Under the proposal by the city’s Department […]

First wage theft complaints filed in Houston

I hope these workers get the justice they seek. For three years Erik Lopez and his three brothers say they each often worked 80-hour weeks, building highway ramps and trash landfills for city projects. Yet they say their employer refused to pay them overtime. Nor did the company provide tax forms, such as a W-2, […]

Mayor Parker releases draft of non-discrimination ordinance

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker today released a draft of her proposed Equal Rights Ordinance. The document is the result of more than two months of collaborative discussions with various stakeholders. “As I stated in my State of the City Address earlier this month, the Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally […]

East Enders want the underpass

We’re talking about the long-debated Harrisburg rail line extension, for which three residents of the East End took to the Chron op-ed pages to make their case for their preferred solution. East End residents worked for years with Metro to work out a solution for the light rail to cross the “east belt” heavy-rail trunk […]

Council approves hoarding ordinance

I think they’re on the right track. The Houston City Council unanimously approved an anti-hoarding ordinance Wednesday without a clear idea of how it will be enforced. The ordinance, which does not apply to single-family homes, clarifies when police can seek a warrant to enter a home and prioritizes mental health treatment before turning to […]

Uber goes rogue

That sound you hear is me shaking my head. At least one ride-sharing company has decided to openly defy city law that bans its unlicensed drivers from charging for rides. While a few free-ride promotions remain ongoing, Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian confirmed Tuesday that the service, which connects interested riders with willing drivers via smartphone […]