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!!
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In the Thirteenth installment of the 2015 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire we hear from Sharon Moses, candidate for Houston City Council, At-Large Position 5.
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?*
SM: Sharon Moses
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?*
SM: Government is important because it is the glue of our society. It unites the people in a way that no other entity can. Albeit there are differing opinions – opposing sides – varying points of view, it is still the center of the community. Decisions are made in government that affect us all. And fortunately we live in a democracy so in our government our voice matters and can make a difference in how we govern.
TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.
SM: My top priority is to reach out to the constituents and serve the community. I would hold neighborhood meetings and get to know those that elected me and those that didn’t. My primary goal would be to hear their voices and their concerns. As I prepare to take my place at the horseshoe, I would begin where their voices lead me.
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.
SM: I am not opposed to Rebuild Houston however, I am opposed to how it was presented to the public. Houston needs funding, Houston needs street repair and infrastructure improvement. However we cannot mislead the people in order to obtain the necessary repairs. We must be transparent with our policies, propositions and proposals to the citizens. Going forward we have to allow the
citizens to make honest choices with well-informed options. I propose we revisit the matter with a well devised plan of how and where the funding will be spent. Rebuild Houston in my opinion is not a bad idea, it just wasn’t implemented correctly.
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.
SM: Yes, I would support an amendment to the City Charter and here’s why. Once again we need to provide the public the opportunity to make informed choices. I believe that if 6 of the 16 elected City Officials deem the matter important enough to bring before Council, than that item should be on the Council Agenda, as it may be a matter that is of public concern and should be addressed. That is the purpose of City Council to be the voice of the people.
TL: If elected, would you support and seek to continue the current administration’s Complete Streetspolicy, 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?
SM: Yes, I would work to continue the “Complete the Streets” policy. I have a Masters in Transportation Planning and Management and as a student, my thesis topic was, “The Cost and Impacts of Transit Oriented Development (TOD)”. One of the things that TOD planning does is it creates multi-modal options and allows for easily accessible green space, mostly via transit modalities however the plan design is inclusive of other modes of transportation as well. This would include increasing walkability and cycling within the community. The Complete Streets policy to me supports that type of planning, as it is inclusive of pedestrians, cyclist and people with disabilities. To that end, I would consider this one of my priorities as an elected official and it would provide me with an opportunity to continue what I began while in pursuit of my Masters Degree.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
SM: I am the only lawyer in the race for Houston City Council At-Large, Position 5. I am the only candidate with a Masters in Transportation Planning and Management. I am the only candidate that has worked for the City of Houston for 9 years. One of those years was spent under the leadership of former City Council Member Ada Edwards, in District D. The other eight years, I worked in the Solid Waste Management Department as a Senior Community Liaison in the area of Recycling and Sustainability. As a liaison I have had the fortunate opportunity to reach out to the community and hear their concerns. Armed with their issues I have been able to relate that information to the Solid Waste Management Department and get things done. I have been able to make a difference in the community because of my position and concern for the people. Utilizing those community involvement skills, my training, education and background and the passion that I have for people has uniquely qualified me for such a position. It is time for the people of this City to raise their voices and be heard at the horseshoe by a representative that has integrity and knows how to put it in motion to keep Houston-Strong!
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
SM: I love green space and water. One of my favorite pass times is feeding the ducks at the park and walking the trails. I also enjoy theatre I have somewhat of a musical background and I greatly enjoy stage productions and live music. I am family oriented and enjoy spending quality time with my husband, family and Camille my pet Chihuahua.