As many anticipated, well-regarded State Representative Sylvester Turner will face Bill King, former mayor of the bustling boardwalk of Kemah. Here are 5 key facts you need to know before you vote—and 5 reasons progressive voters need to turn out and vote for Sylvester Turner.
1 – HERO 2.0
Bill King gave the mealy-mouthed I didn’t like how it was drafted excuse for not backing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.
Let me make this plain: the ordinance was drafted just fine. It was written in typical municipal ordinance language, and reads about like any other ordinance around the country.
People who opposed it because they didn’t like how it was drafted are either people who are so narcissistic that they cannot support an ordinance that they themselves did not personally write, or just looking for a way to disguise their unwillingness to acknowledge that all people deserve equal rights and dignity.
If we want another crack at an equal rights ordinance in the next four years that guarantees protection for people in categories including gender identity, we have to elect Sylvester Turner. And then hold his feet to the fire so he brings it up with all fifteen categories covered.
2 – Refugees
Governor Abbott and his ilk can ignore the constitution and spout xenophobic vitriol as much as they want, but won’t stop the refugee crisis. Houston, in particular, is proud of our ability to welcome all comers. I’ll short-hand that to Katrina, Astrodome.
NB that rumors of crime increasing after Katrina because New Orleans sent us their criminals were demonstrably false. Do not even tell me that you can look at pictures like this and think oh, yeah, we better not let those criminals in:
We need our next mayor to get together with our county judge and figure out how we can help.
3 – Unions
Bill King’s bio proudly proclaims he is the son of a union pipefitter, which calls to mind Alex P. Keaton speaking about his father’s life as a hippie.
If you’re looking for the union label on a candidate, you need to look at Sylvester Turner.
Son-of-a-pipefitter tells you much less about King than the endorsements he touts. King will proudly tell you about the stamp of approval he carries from the Kingwood Tea Party. What would you guess the average tea party member thinks of unions?
4 – Pensions
Why are union relationships important? The pension problems. Neither candidate, if elected, will be able to dodge or delay the pension issues.
Sylvester Turner is a practical man. He respects civil servants, doesn’t truck with groups who think that union membership is the mark of the beast, and understands that leadership and governance involve compromise. He has strong relationships with people in Austin whose help might be needed to keep Houston’s pension obligations from swamping our city.
5 – Four Years
Houston City Proposition 2 passed, which means the next mayor’s term will be not two years, but four. Can we afford to go four years with a mayor who isn’t committed to being a champion for all 15 classes of people who would have been protected under HERO? Four years of a Tea Party-endorsed mayor?
The stakes are high. The basic functions of city government may be nonpartisan, but they’ll be carried out no matter who is elected, so we have to look at the big issues.
For a more progressive four years in Houston, voters need to turn out for Turner on December 12th.