Tag Archives: Greg Travis

TLCQ 2015: Endorsements in Houston City Council Districts

As the nation’s 4th largest city (or is it the 3rd??), what happens in Houston does not just stay in Houston, but is serious business for the state of Texas and the United States.  In the coming years as Americans chart a new future in energy production, medical care, societal diversity and creative endeavors, it is Houston that will be on the cutting edge of those national experiments.

For all of these reasons, the persons Houstonians choose to lead their municipal government have very important work ahead of them.


DISTRICT A— In 2013, Council Member Brenda Stardig made a triumphant return to the District A seat, defeating incumbent Helena Brown.  Since coming back to Council she has generally been a voice for accountability, pragmatic leadership and thoughtful stewardship of the public’s resources.

However, the Council Member’s vote against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was a notable exception to these established character traits.  Stardig’s initial assertions that HERO would do “nothing more than duplicate existing laws, add bureaucracy, and highlight the city’s endless overstepping of their jurisdiction” were proven categorically false.   In the few months that HERO was in effect, the 135 complaints filed with the Office of Inspector General demonstrated the city’s undeniable need for local protections against discrimination.  It’s also important to note that Stardig’s only opponent in the race,  Iesheia Ayers-Wilson has publicly stated that discrimination should be allowed by Houston businesses… a position which should give all reasonable Houstonians pause.  Texas Leftist sincerely hopes that Council Member Stardig continues to learn the facts about discrimination in the city she represents, and eventually reconsiders this misguided position.  The pick for District A is Brenda Stardig.


DISTRICT B— For a true example of Public Service, Houstonians can continue to look to Council Member Jerry Davis.  His work to improve the quality of life for his constituents can be evidenced through increasing infrastructure repairs, a constant commitment to clean up dilapidated properties and illegal dumping sites, and a fight to invest funding for after school employment and educational programs in an ever-tightening budget.  Davis has also worked hard to put under-served residents into Houston’s massive economic pipeline.  Announced at the beginning of this year, the Council Member helped to create an innovative new Job Training Partnership between local Community Colleges and the Houston Airport System, which will connect workers with vital skilled labor opportunities.  It is yet another example of showing leadership in ways that build a better future for Houston.  The pick for District B is Jerry Davis.


DISTRICT C— Focus on Houston’s future has also been an important goal for Council Member Ellen Cohen.  Over her two terms in office, she has been a constant champion for the rights and protections of minorities and those in under-served populations. She’s made the lives of District C residents better through support for projects like Buffalo Bayou Park, and helped to guide the dizzying amount of development that’s been under her watch.  With more Civic Clubs than any other District, Cohen has done her best to be responsive and attentive to her constituents’ many diverse interests.  She has earned a final term in office.  The pick for District C is Ellen Cohen.


DISTRICT D— Council Member Dwight Boykins is running unopposed.


DISTRICT E— Council Member Dave Martin is running unopposed.


DISTRICT F— Few local politicians can compare with the story of Council Member Richard Nguyen.  After an unexpected win in 2013, Nguyen quickly emerged as a leader that is well-attuned to the needs of his diverse community.  A strong supporter of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and a proven fighter for his constituents, Nguyen deserves a second term on Council.  Don’t be fooled by “Anti-HERO” candidate Kendall Baker in this race.  The pick for District F is Richard Nguyen.  


DISTRICT G— Though fellow candidate Sandie Mullins Moger has the more established record of public service through her time on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, District G voters should consider the more measured style of Conservatism from candidate Greg Travis.  His goals on Council are to be a watchdog for all Houstonians, and improve the plethora of infrastructure issues for his constituents.  While Mr. Travis may share some different views than this blog’s author on many issues, the fact that he understands how critical infrastructure repairs are now if Houston is to succeed in the future.  The pick for District G is Greg Travis.


District H— An open seat and one of this year’s most hotly-contested races, The residents of District H need a leader that can be ready to fill the shoes of current Council Member Ed Gonzalez on day one.   The area is home to both poverty and opportunity, so the right leader will be someone that can relate to both issues and connect them for the betterment of all residents.  Candidate Karla Cisneros comes highly recommended by the Houston Chronicle, but this blog believes that a wealth of public service experience and local government activism give Roland Chavez the edge in a very close contest.  Chavez is both a lifelong resident of the District, former Firefigher and former President of the Houston Professional Firefighters’ Association.  Given the challenges that the next Mayor and Council will face around pension obligations, Chavez has the ability to move this conversation forward in a positive direction.  The pick for District H is Roland Chavez.


District I— As a longtime resident and activist for improvement, Council Member Robert Gallegos knows well the needs of his constituents in District I.  But even more important than knowing what needs to be done in the present, Gallegos is also preparing the area for a bright and prosperous future.  Filled with a rich and diverse history and with amenities like an International Airport and rail line, this District needs a leader that can guide new development while respecting and improving neighborhoods for current residents.  In his first two years on Council, Gallegos has proven that he is the right person for the job, and deserves a second term.  The pick for District I is Robert Gallegos.  


District J— Faced with the unique challenges of both an under-served multifamily communities and a plethora of prominent single family neighborhoods, the residents of District J needs a forward thinker that can at times have a bifurcated approach to constituent service.  Council Member Mike Laster has done a good job listening to both groups in his District and worked very hard to meet the diverse needs of both.  He understands that success of Houston depends on the many issues that can be resolved in his District.  Infrastructure improvement and creating economic opportunities have been central and recurring themes for Laster, and they are exactly why he deserves another term on Council.  The pick for District J is Mike Laster.  


DISTRICT K— Council Member Larry Green is running unopposed.


Houston City Council Map

TLCQ 2015 Responses

For information purposes only, here are all of the TLCQ 2015 Respondents.  Hopefully this will serve to increase the available information for Houstonians as we head into Early Voting next week.

Endorsements soon to follow.

Houston Mayor


Houston City Council


At Large Position 1

At Large Position 2

At Large Position 3

At Large Position 4

At Large Position 5


District B

District C

District G

District H


If you live in the city of Houston, this election matters.  Houston is a growing city that will face many challenges over the coming decades.  It is the next Mayor and City Council which will decide how we handle them.  Get informed, and V-O-T-E!!



(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense ideals in the Lone Star State!!)

TLCQ 2015: Greg Travis

In the Fourth installment of the 2015 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Greg Travis, candidate for Houston City Council, District G.

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?

GT:  Greg Travis


TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?

 GT:  No.


TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

GT:  Government is important, but only if it addresses the needs of the people and is representative of the people by setting the rules, rights, and responsibilities of all involved, without which we have no society.  Everyone is capable of governing themselves.  Government should be answerable to the people and the more control they have over the government, the more they control their own destiny.

Government should not oppress, but enable, allow the citizens to be free to reach their potential, by providing a basic framework by which and under which we can all operate.  Government’s first duty is to protect the people not run their lives.  Government can provide for basic needs best provided for as a whole, such as defense, security, or water and roads.  However, I feel it is better if it provides for security and opportunity by limiting its reach and allowing the citizens to lead free lives because with freedom there is hope—and there are dreams and from dreams we slip the horizons of our limitations and become more than who we are.


TL:  If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.

GT:  Fiscal Discipline—and followed closely by Infrastructure Improvements.  A lone Council member cannot on their own accomplish either without the help and support of the community and other council members.  I intend to educate the public through the media and social media as to the dire situation we find ourselves in and then promote the solutions—which is to curb spending and focus our priorities on infrastructure.  I intend to work with the Mayor and other council members and bring together a coalition who understands the seriousness of our situation.  I am proud that in 24 years, I have never lost a trial.  This shows I can get together with people I just met and within a week or two, convince them of the facts and my desired solution to the situation.  Further, I am a certified mediator and I am trained and practiced in bringing parties together to resolve a situation.  I intend to do the same on council.


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 Houstonprogram. 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.  

GT:  While there are aspects of Rebuild Houston I have troubles with, I generally support the concept.  I think the implementation of the program has been troublesome and misguided.  However, the program as conceptualized is good.  We need a dedicated funding source to address the years of neglect.  We have $500M a year in depreciation affecting our roads and infrastructure, with only $100M going towards repairing and replacement and that in and of itself is mainly due to ReBuild Houston.  We have 16,000 lane miles in Houston with 75% in need of repair or replacement.  What other way can we insure this need is addressed?  Bond issuances are problematic as we are near the ceiling on bond debt, and the process will take us too long to address our needs which are immediate.


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.

GT:  Yes.  Actually, I would prefer four members of council.  I think if you can get 25% to bring up a matter, it should be worth considering by the entire council.  This issue is one of the issues I bring up when talking to the residents in my district.


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?  

GT:  Yes and No.  While I support the concept generally and appreciate the goals, I do not think it is appropriate in Houston for most areas.  We have 16,000 lane miles currently which we can’t even maintain properly today.  To require complete streets could easily effectively increase that number from 20% to 33% depending.  Where would we get the money?  Further, not all streets or areas in Houston are conducive to such a policy or would pass a cost/benefit analysis.  To effectively handle current traffic and other uses would require usage of eminent domain on a scale we have never seen.  However, other areas are perfect for such a concept and there is a need. So, it is not as simple as a yes or no, but rather a case by case, area by area analysis.


TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

GT:  I do not have such a high estimation of myself to think I am the best candidate for this office as undoubtedly there are a number of people who could run with better experience than I.  However, I am the best candidate “running” for this office—simply because I care and I can and will solve the problems.  I am not a politician.  I am a businessman and an attorney with empathy for my fellow citizens.  The people in my district and in this city are tired of paying for services and not having them delivered.  They don’t mind paying for what they get but they do want to get what they pay for.   Roads, Drainage, Sewers, Police and Fire.   I get it.

As stated previously, I am both a litigator and a certified mediator.  I have never lost a trial in 24 years of practice.  I know what it takes to reach out and convince others of the actions needed to resolve situations in my clients favor.  I will use my talents to do the same on council for my clients—the citizens of my district.


TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

GT:  I spend time with my dogs (and semi-adopted stray cat).  I also go out on dates with my girlfriend.   I read, listen to classic (1960s and 1970s) music (Mo-Town especially), and continue to search for the perfect ice-cream.  Also, I spend quite a bit of time rescuing animals, whether domestic or wild (sort of a hobby).


Thanks to Mr. Travis for the responses.

Greg Travis