I will tackle the thorny issues that concern everyday Houstonians: crime, traffic, keeping the City clean, and the maddening difficulty of dealing with the City bureaucracy. I do not promise to “solve” these problems or to “fix” them, but to tackle them head-on and make progress every day. More police officers, properly trained, will make our lives more secure and will save money. Prudent spending on mobility will make our lives less stressful and will save money. By cleaning up our City more effectively and efficiently, we will have confidence and pride in our City and save money in the process. Efficiency in public works, especially permitting and inspection, will accelerate the development of affordable housing and (of course!) save money. When we make this a more pleasant and liveable City, we will attract more businesses, more jobs, and more wage earners to share the load. If you honor me with this position, then, as with all other jobs I have ever held, I will bring integrity. intelligence and intensity to the Office of Mayor. I hold firmly to the principle that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
Houston has approximately one-half the number of police officers per capita as Chicago and New York, even though we have over 600 square miles to patrol. Despite HPD’s best efforts, crime rates have increased along with response times, while clearance rates have plummeted. Priority must be given to higher salaries and recruitment efforts for public safety. Crime victimizes all classes and races. And while the wealthy can afford alarm systems and private patrols, the average citizen cannot. Every resident deserves to be safe no matter where they live.
Keeping Our City Clean
Picking up the trash is a no-brainer. Residents’ health and sense of well-being are enhanced by a clean neighborhood. That should be the norm throughout Houston.
Getting around Houston is more frustrating every year. As Mayor, I will focus on addressing this problem, including filling potholes, synchronizing stoplights, building more roads where sensible, and working with METRO to promote public transit through prudent expenditures.
Houston is rightly proud of its business-friendly environment, with a diverse workforce and immense entrepreneurial skills. From the largest energy concerns (oil and gas, wind and solar) and the world-famous Texas Medical Center to smaller family-owned enterprises, our City must be mindful of all sectors of economic development. A city that works well is naturally more attractive to relocating and expanding businesses. I will work tirelessly to promote Houston’s human capital and liveability.
Planning and Development
Houston is a no-zoning city and should remain that way. But unchecked development has exacerbated flooding and traffic concerns. The City’s role in permitting and inspections can help us mitigate these problems. However, tardy and contradictory instructions by City departments cause maddening and expensive delays that cost everyone money–the City, the construction companies, home builders, nonprofits seeking to supply affordable housing, and the taxpayers. Planning and permitting require firm, capable, alert leadership.
A high-functioning city means more robust employment opportunities in the private sector. After decades of representing businesses of all sizes, I know how to encourage businesses to employ Houstonians and help them move up the economic ladder. My own experience as a small business owner has confirmed what I always suspected– that giving people hope and a stake in their workplace leads to more prosperous and engaged citizens. That is a far more practical and efficient approach than the huge, costly jobs programs that other cities run.