Other Issues

It’s hard to address everything in one website, and I encourage you to contact me with your own experiences, as many others have done so far. I’m glad I’ve earned your trust, and helping you reminds me why I do this. No matter what happens in November, I’ll keep speaking at City Hall on your behalf at public comment meetings, and I encourage you to join me. Please get in touch with me via my blog (via the menu link above), or email me at amanda@wolfehearsyou.com. But, here are some things we can talk about…

Environmentally sound communities and historic preservation.

The people who built and rebuilt neighborhoods like Montrose and The Heights envisioned a safe, green, environmentally friendly place that would allow for pedestrians, cyclists, and the like to feel safe - and preserve the character of the neighborhood. At the same time, as much as I will fight for public transit, I will also listen to those who do NOT want transit updates to destroy and displace long-standing businesses and residents. METRO needs to work with and for our community, and to answer questions regarding transparency in how they are using our sales-tax dollars. We can’t have another 2012 again, and we deserve to know where that money is going.

Close the camps!

Immigrants and refugees deserve the same treatment that any other new Houstonian receives. We must allow everyone who comes here to have a dignified path to citizenship or other legal status. Many hardworking Houstonians are here on work visas, green cards, etc. Houston champions its cultural tapestry, but what good are we if we’re not walking that walk and welcoming those who want to live and thrive in this city? How are we a “world-class” city if we don’t extend those open arms? We cannot call ourselves the “most diverse” city in the country if so many of our residents live in fear – or in unnecessary incarceration.

Equality for ALL, regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, or citizenship status.

It is time for Houston to bring another HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) bill to the table, because we are ready and educated – and I believe Houston has learned from its past mistake of being fooled by scare tactics. I pledge to author or co-author that bill, and reach across the aisle, so that no one from any marginalized group is left behind.

Affordable housing.

Unchecked development not only affects homeowners, property owners, and small-business owners, but – as I’ve mentioned before – renters. I am a renter, and have been priced out of homes I loved and cared for. Although I’m lucky to have a good landlord, not every landlord is conscientious. I propose levying an infrastructure fee upon new developers, particularly on “luxury” developments, and giving tax incentives to those who can provide affordable, safe housing, particularly if they can meet a list of criteria to qualify as a reliable, decent landlord. (I have a five-point list that I’ll address in my blog.)

Help for the homeless and indigent.

We can’t keep kicking our homeless population from camp to camp, just to get them out of the way of the latest “hot new development.” Our homeless population stays near their resources (food, medical care, and the like), and we must improve our abysmal shelter system. My comprehensive care plan for our homeless population will include proper shelters/transitional housing with easy access to public transit; mental health care and substance abuse treatment in conjunction with our current public health resources; and, most importantly, job/life-skill training. Our city is only as successful as the people on the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder, and by lifting up our neighbors who are hurting, we lift up ourselves. Houston will finally be that model city we imagine it to be when everyone has a safe, secure place to lay their head at night, and hope for the morning.

Budget crisis.

We have more than enough money to solve the majority of our problems, yet our budget needs a massive overhaul. Property owners and small businesses are shouldering so much of the financial burden, and there is much in our budget that is misappropriated and misspent. I pledge to go through every last bit of that budget, establish a better working relationship between the city and county, and ensure that your tax dollars are being spent in a way that directly benefits you and your fellow Houstonians – as it should be.

…more to come. I love this city, and if you’re reading this, so do you. Thank you. I’m glad to be your advocate.