In the Second installment of the 2013 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Modesto “Moe” Rivera, candidate for Houston City Council At Large Position 2.
Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted verbatim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
MR: Modesto (Moe) Rivera
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
MR: Negative, this is the first time I have run for office.
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
MR: Government is essential since it represents its voting and non-voting citizens and has the power to rule and enforce laws. Government is necessary to manage its people’s affairs, offers rights and protection and certain services without government chaos would exist. We need to elect officials that look out for everyone’s interest.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
MR: Promote a balanced budget and insure that expenses do not exceed its collected revenue (Tax, services and other revenues). I plan to do this by educating and influencing other members of Council s of such. I will also use my personal financial record, accounting, business experience and education as assets in obtaining a balanced budget. I will only approve responsible and reputable construction projects and service contracts.
TL: With the exception of city government and some other select businesses, Houstonians can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender because we do not have a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance for general employment. This lags behind other Texas cities such as Dallas, Austin, and Ft. Worth. Do you support a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance for the city of Houston? If not, please explain why. If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.
MR: I cannot support a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance for gays and lesbians; but will support a policy of “Don’t ask and don’t tell”. Gays and lesbians need to be protected from being ridiculed, bullied and treated unfairly; I promise to fight and defend them to the best of my knowledge and strength.
TL: There have been an alarming number of complaints filed against officers in the Houston Police Department, accused of unwarranted police brutality towards citizens. A disproportionate amount of this violence occurs in minority communities, and in the vast majority of these cases, officers have gone unpunished. As a result, these incidents cause a cycle of mistrust between Houstonians and the very officers sworn to protect them. What can you do to increase oversight of the Houston Police Department, and help ensure that these incidents do not continue?
MR: Agree that this is an ongoing issue; the Mayor through the back-up from City Council should inform the HPD Chief that this type of behavior and abuse will not be tolerated. If abuse is reported then the Mayor must appoint an independent commission to investigate the incident and take action based on its recommendation. Consequently this may lead to the suspension and or dismissal of the abusive police officer and its chain of command.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
MR: My candor, persistence, demeanor, work ethic, and respecter of social justice before God.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
MR: I spend my time training physically, mentally and spiritually and mentoring others.
Thanks to Mr. Rivera for his response.