In the Nineteenth installment of the 2015 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire we hear from Jenifer Rene Pool, candidate for Houston City Council, At-Large Position 1.
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?
JP: Jenifer Rene Pool
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?
JP: Government is the people’s way of acting collectively for the betterment of the community and its citizens.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
JP: 1. Improve the services at the Permitting Center by instituting solid business principles to make the process more efficient.
2. Make sure our TIRZ agreements are following their mandates and spending money for the good of all citizens.
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 program. 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.
JP: Yes. I believe that the principle of “pay as you go” represented by ReBuild Houston is the best way our city can invest in infrastructure and not continue borrowing on the future to pay for today.
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.
JP: Yes. A Strong-Mayoral government may have been the best in years past when Houston was a much smaller city. However we are a different city today, and Council Members represent a quarter million people. Their contributions should be heard.
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?
JP: Yes, I am in full support of the administrations’ Complete Streets policy.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
JP: I am a successful businesswoman with years of experience serving the people of Houston as a liason between citizens and the city government. I was appointed by Mayor Bill White to the Buildings and Standards Commission in 2009, and to the Police Advisory Commission by Mayor Annise Parker in 2010. With expertise in political activism, infrastructure repair and and construction management, I have an intimate knowledge of what needs to be done to improve city services and how to accomplish the best outcomes for all Houstonians.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
JP: I work with women recovering from physical and drug abuse to empower them to succeed and build a better future.
Thanks to Ms. Pool for the responses.
Election Day 2015 is Tuesday November 3rd, and Early Voting runs from October 19th through October 30th. Check out this year’s Harris County Early Voting information for locations and times.