Editorial note: Noah M. Horwitz did not assist with the deliberation or compilation of this editorial.
Back in August, three members of this board attended a meeting at City Hall. We were consulted to represent the interests of young people in Houston as a delegation from Brazil visited the city. The meeting, which featured a diverse selection of City officials, was led by Councilmember Jack Christie. The present members of this board could not believe their ears as Councilmember Christie berated the merits of modern medicine time and time again during the meeting.
Councilmember Christie, of course, is no stranger to this controversy. We remember last January, when Councilmember Christie voted against Federal earmarks for childhood immunizations for asinine and utterly untrue reasons. The allegations that vaccines were ineffective and caused a “synthetic immunity” are bizarre statements typically attributed to likes of Jenny McCarthy, not a powerful public servant.
But the people of Houston have seen Councilmember Christie double down on these positions time and time again, whether it has been in private (such as our meeting) or even public statements he has made, such as a recent interview with Charles Kuffner.
This board is also somewhat irked to see Councilmember Christie advocate for sensationalist Conservative positions throughout his campaign. Whether this has been his harsh opposition to any form of social welfare program such as Medicare or Medicaid, his opposition to gay marriage or his espousal of the Texas Republican Party’s war on women, this board finds a plethora of traits in Councilmember Christie unbecoming of a public servant.
The first challenger in this election is Carolyn Evans-Shabazz. This board believes that Ms Evans-Shabazz has run an overall positive campaign reflecting many important issues. However, we have been concerned about her lack of a social media presence. In fact, until very recently, she lacked even a rudimentary web page. In this day and age, no matter how good one’s ideas and strengths are, no campaign will be taken seriously if it has no online footprint. This board represents Texpatriate, and, as the name suggests, we are not currently residing in Houston, though we most definitely plan on casting absentee ballots therein. One of the only ways members of this board are able to interact with candidates for office is through the internet. Accordingly, this board would feel uncomfortable supporting a candidacy with little-to-no presence on the internet.
The only remaining candidate, of course, is James Horwitz. This board believes that Horwitz has demonstrated his seriousness both as a challenger and as an alternative to Councilmember Christie. First, Horwitz has clearly and lucidly explained his policy positions, and done so in a very public setting. This includes intricate and meticulous descriptions of his pertinent opinions on such issues as infrastructure, density and enforcement on his website. Neither of the other candidates for this office can say that much. Horwitz has also successfully debuted four web ads.
Where Councilmember Christie has a weakness, this board believes Horwitz can strongly distinguish himself. Horwitz supports gay marriage and he believes that social welfare programs, when done right, may be very beneficial to the populous. Perhaps most importantly, Horwitz has worked, in stark contrast to Councilmember Christie, to align himself with interests in the medical community.
Accordingly, this board endorses James Horwitz for the Houston City Council At-large position #5.
The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey & Noah M. Horwitz of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans.