Position 1— With several noteworthy candidates in this race, it is an admittedly tough decision to go with one over another. Jenifer Rene Pool‘s decades of experience in the construction industry would be of great benefit as a new Mayor and Council continue to tackle the city’s massive infrastructure needs. Lane Lewis is a proven public servant with a record of producing extraordinary results during his tenure as chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party. Either would be an excellent addition to the Council table. But the time in which Houstonians live points to yet another candidate… Tom McCasland. Recent years have seen a nearly inconceivable proliferation of area property values, the result of which has left Houston in an affordable housing crisis. Along with finding a path forward on the city’s pension obligations, affordable housing is sure to be one of the next challenges faced by the local government. His successful time as head of the Harris County Housing Authority would bring necessary expertise to the people of Houston. The pick for At-Large Position 1 is Tom McCasland.
Position 2— Incumbency is by no means an automatic ticket to reelection, as was seen two years ago, when David Robinson defeated then Council Member Andrew Burks. But if any incumbent in the At-Large races deserves another term, it is certainly Robinson. His wealth of knowledge and experience has helped to guide responsible solutions for the city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Robinson also understands the importance of planning for the future of a rapidly-growing city, and has been a constant advocate for implementing the right solutions, not just those for “right now”. The pick for At-Large Position 2 is David Robinson.
Position 3— Even if one disagrees with Council Member Michael Kubosh, it’s tough not to like him on a personal level. He is a charismatic and kind-hearted individual, always entertaining and often engaged with people in the community. But among all of the Council Member’s many God-given political gifts, listening doesn’t seem to be one of them. Time and again, he has made irresponsible statements, and fluctuates on his positions from one audience to the next. This was apparent during the fight surrounding Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. Unlike Council Member Brenda Stardig, who opposed HERO while at least maintaining a respectful posture to both sides, Kubosh preached “respect” to the public, but then fell in line with those spreading unnecessary hate and lies when the cameras were off. Rather than continue the chain of divisiveness, voters should instead consider Doug Peterson for this race. With a strong record of community activism, Peterson understands that diversity and equality are necessary elements of Houston’s success. As a Clear Lake resident, he also pledges to work towards bringing better quality of life for residents outside of the inner loop. Another 1st-time candidate, John LaRue has run a respectable campaign and would bring many positive attributes to the seat, but in this year Peterson is the better choice. The pick for At-Large Position 3 is Doug Peterson.
Position 4— This race is yet another open seat with two very strong candidates… Laurie Robinson and Amanda Edwards. Either would serve the people of Houston with extraordinary commitment and common-sense pragmatism. But for this election cycle, Amanda Edwards proves to be the best choice. Though Robinson holds a wealth of experience in municipal government, Edwards’ time as a staff member for U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee shows that she understands the intricacies of constituent service. Her experience in municipal finance law is also timely in light of the city’s fiscal challenges. The pick for At-Large Position 4 is Amanda Edwards.
Position 5— Like Kubosh, there’s no denying that Council Member Jack Christie is personally a likeable guy. But once again, personality cannot make up for a host of irresponsible comments and questionable positions around the Council Table. This year, the clear choice is candidate Philippe Nassif. He may not have the advantage of incumbency, but Nassif’s impressive experience working for The White House, Mayor Annise Parker and one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations will ensure that he brings a needed global perspective to one of the world’s emerging global cities. In particular, his expansive work in helping to combat poverty and encourage affordable housing will prove necessary attributes to solve Houston’s upcoming challenges. The pick for At-Large Position 5 is Philippe Nassif.