Houston Mayor Annise Parker has been pushing an anti-food sharing ordinance in Houston that would criminalize many acts of kindness towards those most in need in our city.
(Above–The type of sharing with others that may soon be illegal in Houston.)
Beyond that, Mayor Parker, in explaining her support for the anti-giving ordinance, has some strange views about the public’s right to use public space.
“Mayor Parker argued that City property is, indeed, private — it’s owned by the City, she reminded people — and that the owner of City property should have the same rights as any homeowner or other private property owner…. “It’s a mistake to conflate city property with my front yard,” said Raj Mankad, editor of Rice University’s Cite Magazine, as he addressed the Council in response to Mayor Parker. “They’re completely different kinds of property. City land is public space; there’s a different history and a different body of laws that apply in public space.”
Mayor Parker views our public resources as somehow private.
The anti-food sharing ordinance is not dead. It may well be back before council–in a watered down but still obnoxious fashion–On Tuesday, April 3.
In Houston, the homeless get three laws in nine months directed at them, while millions of city dollars go to dog shelters to win the dog-owner vote, while soccer stadiums and so-called arthouse movie theaters get tax dollars, and while tailgating Downtown at the soccer stadium is encouraged so we can have more drunks driving on–of all places–Houston highways.
Funny how the fiscal conservatism the Mayor asserts when appealing to the right does not seem to preclude these panderings and give-aways.
Everybody is having a great time! Folks are out at the movie theater, or are drinking in public so they can hit the highways and drive drunk. The developers and the private concerns are feasting on taxpayer dollars.
It is big whoopee for all but the homeless who are getting moved along and arrested, and for those helping the homeless who will get a ticket from the police.
Mayor Parker won a fraction over 50% of the vote in 2011 against 3 minor candidates despite raising over $ 2 million dollars. She did this in an election where something like 10% of eligible voters cast a ballot.
The Mayor is hardly democratically legitimate. Her real support in Houston is maybe 6% or 7% of the whole city.
I hope a progressive candidate emerges in 2013 to oppose this conservative Mayor.
How long do we go along being afraid that we can’t do better than folks like Annise Parker?
Why don’t we try for once try reaching out to all of Houston, and try a hopeful inclusive message in our diverse and optimistic city?
(Below–The address for a great Facebook site that has been working hard to defeat this cruel ordinance.)