KEY PAC Endorses Proposition 1
October 21, 2010

 (News Release)

HOUSTON – Key PAC, a non-partisan group supports Proposition 1 as a fiscally responsible way to address our city’s decaying infrastructure.

Everyone agrees the City’s infrastructure needs improvement. We support Proposition 1 because it’s a pay-as-you-go measure that will help improve the streets and drainage problems for neighborhoods in all parts of the city and create jobs for small businesses,” said Felix Chevalier, Chair of Key PAC.

Once the measure is passed, we encourage the Mayor and City Council Members to work together to develop and pass a sound ordinance to begin the process on the much needed and long overdue drainage improvement projects. Let’s move our city forward by supporting Proposition 1.

Key PAC was established in 2004 and is comprised of educators, physicians, lawyers, business owners, government employees and corporate administrators dedicated to supporting legislation that enhances the quality of life in Houston.

 Election Day is November 2, early voting begins October 18 and runs through October 29. 

To learn more about Proposition 1, visit

Black Elected Officials Condemn Proposition 1 Supporter’s Remarks
October 21, 2010

I posted earlier about the letter sent by Proposition 1 supporter Bob Jones to  Council Member Wanda Adams.

Jones, an engineer and RENEW Houston contributor,  is upset that Adams has voiced her concern to the proposed drainage fee.

But some say he crossed the line when he questioned her leadership in the African-American community and whether she is putting personal ambition over the community’s needs.

Today some elected officials are condemning the letter:

  (news release) 

We, the undersigned elected officials, are incensed at the inappropriate remarks made by J.R. (Bob) Jones, P.E., President of Jones and Carter, Inc.  (See e-mail below.)  Whether we support, oppose or take no position on Proposition 1, we find these comments counterproductive to healthy public discourse.

Mr. Jones has taken it upon himself to criticize “our African American council members” for their opposition to Proposition One, the drainage fee issue on the current ballot.  He criticizes a well-thought-out op-ed piece by these Councilmembers opposing Proposition One not by arguing facts but by attacking them for their supposed lack of leadership because they have taken a position opposite of his.

Criticism is fair game and to differ with the Councilmembers or anyone else on policy is legitimate but to castigate them for not supporting Proposition 1 and to say further that this confirms his view that “we do not have any leadership from our African American council members” is insulting and arrogant by a key supporter of Proposition 1 and typifies the kind of attacks that are leveled when people do not agree with this measure.  This was also demonstrated when supporters of Proposition 1 viciously attacked the Houston School District Board when it requested that the district be exempted from this fee.

Some of these Councilmembers were elected by voters in their districts and some were elected at-large.  They have a responsibility to speak and vote in the best interests of their constituents and the City.  The people, not Mr. Jones, will hold them accountable, as they should all elected officials.

For Mr. Jones to say that these Councilmembers have placed their own political interests above the needs of the citizens for voicing their opposition to Proposition 1 would be laughable if it were not so offensive.  Mr. Jones, as one of the many engineers supporting this measure, will potentially financially benefit by the billions of dollars in contracts that will be produced.  Proposition 1 will supposedly tax Houston homeowners about $5 a month (if not more) for at least 20 years, raise $125 million dollars a year for at least 20 years and will generate  $8 to $10 billion, much of this money raised from people who are struggling now to stay in their homes.

And since no plan for spending these billions of dollars has been put forth, it is disingenuous to say that these Councilmembers will be at fault for continuing drainage and flooding problems if the measure fails.

Lastly, Mr. Jones writes that he hopes that the “community” and their districts will be able to find some leadership in the future since it is “certainly lacking right now.”  We are offended by his statements.  Today we stand in solidarity with the right of these members of City Council to exercise their responsibility to act and speak in the best interests of their constituents.  They have every right to express their concerns as others have expressed their support of Proposition 1.  Disparaging comments like those found in Mr. Jones’ e-mail serve no useful purpose and can only be intended to intimidate and to avoid a legitimate debate on Proposition 1.  We call on Renew Houston to debate this issue on its merits or lack thereof.

Sylvester Turner                                                          Al Green

St. Rep., District 139                                                   Congressmember, District 9

Chair, Texas Legislative Black Caucus

Sheila Jackson Lee                                                      Rodney Ellis

Congressmember, District 18                                     State Senator, District 13

Alma Allen                                                                  Garnet Coleman

St. Rep., District 131                                                   St. Rep., District 147

Harold Dutton                                                             Al Edwards

St. Rep., District 142                                                   St. Rep., District 146

Borris Miles                                                                Ron Reynolds

St. Rep.-Elect, District 146                                          St. Rep.-Elect, District 27

Senfronia Thompson                                                   Ron Green

St. Rep., District 141                                                   City Controller, Houston

Carol Mims Galloway                                                 Paula Harris

HISD Board Trustee, District II                                    HISD Board Trustee, District IV

New TV Ad Urges You to Vote For Proposition 1
October 11, 2010

These new ads begin as opposition mounts to Proposition One:

On Monday morning, the Harris County Republican Party announced it’s against the fee to rebuild streets and fix drainage and flooding problems.

I blogged about that earlier:

Here is the news release from RENEW Houston:

 Vote FOR Prop 1 Campaign Begins Television Ads

Watch the ad online at:

New campaign television ad features powerful message to voters to support Prop 1 as a fiscally responsible solution to fix Houston’s street and drainage problems   

HOUSTON – The Vote FOR Prop 1 Campaign enters a new phase with the release of a television ad on local stations today to expand our message to voters that this ballot measure is a fiscally responsible way to repair Houston’s aging streets and drainage system.

The 30-second ad explains why Prop 1, which would rebuild our city and halt the decay and blight caused by crumbling streets and drainage systems, is so necessary.

Houston needs a dedicated fund for streets and drainage that can’t be used by politicians for any other purpose. We need to rebuild our streets, help prevent flooding and create badly needed jobs in this tough economy. And we need to save millions of dollars for taxpayers by converting from wasteful deficit spending to a pay-as-you-go plan for these critical projects.


Election Day is November 2, early voting begins October 18.


To learn more about Proposition 1, visit

Harris County GOP Against Prop 1
October 11, 2010

Could this be more trouble for the City of Houston’s Proposition 1 –  flooding and drainage issue – on November’s ballot?

The Harris County Republican Party is urging followers to vote no. This follows concern voiced by the Houston Independent School District last week  and questions raised by at least for members of the Houston City Council.

Prop 1, if passed, would assess a monthly fee on private and business property owners.

The money  would go into a dedicated fund to pay to fix some of  Houston’s drainage and flooding problems.

Public schools and churches would not be exempt.  HISD said last week that the fee would cost the school district $2.5 – $3 Million annually and could lead to the district laying off teachers and raising property taxes.

Below, I’ve posted the entire message from GOP Chair Jared Woodfill:




Vote No on Mayor Parker’s Rain Tax-Proposition 1
By: Jared Woodfill
Chairman, Harris County Republican Party
Chairman Jared WoodfillIt appears that Mayor Parker and the City of Houston are at it again, attempting to pass the largest local tax increase in recent history-Proposition 1. This $8 billion referendum will be on the ballot in November.
Mayor Parker has decided to take a play from the Obama, Reid, Pelosi playbook, increase taxes in a recession. In a challenging economy, Mayor Parker and a majority of City Council passed an ordinance this year increasing residential water rates by 40% over the next three years. This resulted in Houston residents having one of the highest water and sewer rates in the country. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for our “big government” Mayor. In an attempt to take more of our money, Proposition 1 was placed on the ballot with a goal of collecting as much as $300 to $400 million dollars annually in drainage fees and property tax debt transfers from the City’s General Fund; all of this occurring in the country’s worst economic recession since WWII.
Advocates of Proposition 1 will argue that it isn’t a tax, it is merely a fee. The last time I checked, government charging individuals, churches and schools more money for a service they must have, i.e., water, is a tax. This “Rain Tax,” masquerading as a fee, will be levied on our churches and local schools. The Houston Independent School District board recently stated that the new tax could cost HISD $2.5 million to $3.5 million a year. HISD President Greg Meyers indicated that the “Rain Tax” could result in teachers being let go.
What is the ultimate cost? No one really knows. The open ended, vague Proposition 1 states it will actually charge a minimum of $125 million dollars in new drainage fees annually. The key word is “minimum.” In essence, Mayor Parker is asking taxpayers to give her a blank check, with no maximum rate. Proposition 1 also includes a provision that would make it difficult to remove, lasting two successive 20-year periods unless a super-majority (2/3rds) vote of City Council votes to cancel it.
You would think Mayor Parker would have learned from the missteps of former Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown who tried to pass a similar “Rain Tax” in 2003. Many of the same 40,000 Houston citizens who signed the “No Rain Tax” Petition in 2003 are part of the grass-roots army fighting to stop Proposition 1. It is clear that Mayor Parker doesn’t have her finger on the pulse of the community. The last thing we need is another tax. I encourage you to vote no on Proposition 1.