In the Second installment of the 2015 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Roland Chavez, candidate for Houston City Council, District H.
Please note: Responses are directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but may be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
RC: Roland M. Chavez
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
RC: Government is important because citizens depend on it to protect their communities, provide core services, ensure public safety, enhance quality of life, maintain our infrastructure, and wisely manage our tax dollars.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
RC: To ensure all core services are maintained and funded, and to work with other elected officials, both city and county to provide a safe community where all citizens can work, live, and enjoy this city.
TL: After decades of deferred maintenance and neglect, Houston’s infrastructure is in a critical state of disrepair. Ask any driver, cyclist or pedestrian, and they can readily tell you that city streets and sidewalks are crumbling… some to the extent that they pose significant danger to those that would traverse them. The Parker Administration has attempted to address the problem by the voter-approved ReBuild Houston Knowing that the next Mayor has no choice but to invest in city infrastructure, do you support the continuation of ReBuild Houston? If yes, please explain why. If no, please explain how you would address our copious infrastructure needs differently.
RC: I will support ReBuild Houston if it is here to stay. I have always supported the “worst first” approach to ReBuild Houston, and as a candidate for District H, I will seek for infrastructure support as District H has some of the worse problems within our entire city.
TL: At present the city of Houston has one of the strongest forms of “strong-Mayor governance” in the state of Texas, to the point that the Mayor alone decides what business comes before City Council. If elected, would you support an amendment to the City Charter that would allow any coalition of 6 Council Members to place items on the Council Agenda without prior approval from the Mayor? Whether yes or no, please explain your answer.
RC: YES, I believe if six city council members feel an issue should be publicly debated it should be placed on the agenda.
TL: If elected, would you support and seek to continue the current administration’s Complete Streets policy, which establishes that any new or significant re-build of city streets will work to prioritize and incorporate safe access for all road users, including pedestrians, persons with disabilities and cyclists?
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
RC: Having worked for the City of Houston as a Houston Fire Fighter for 34 years, and served as President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, I feel my experience in city government, knowledge of the city and the neighborhoods in District H, understanding labor/management relations, and working with many leaders throughout the city allows me an advantage on core services, public safety, infrastructure, budgets, and quality of life issues. Additionally, I am from Houston, raised in the District in which I am a candidate, where it provides me a great passion and appreciation for my parents, my community, and the entire city.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
RC: Living in the Woodland Heights, I enjoy time venturing out in the local scenes, festivals, sports, and antique shops. I also enjoy all types of outdoor activities, boating, fishing camping, softball, or just relaxing near a BBQ pit.
Thanks to Mr. Chavez for the responses.