When this board first met one another in 2009, we spent many a night at City Hall comparing our choices in the upcoming Municipal election. The open election that year in At-large position #4 saw two qualified Democrats run for the office, including C.O. Bradford. In the four years since taking office, this board has continued time and time again to be impressed with Councilmember Bradford’s integrity, service and dedication to his office.
This board’s first interaction with Councilmember Bradford, likewise, came well before the creation of Texpatriate. In December 2009, the Mayor’s Youth Council, of which the members of this board were all members, hosted a town hall event at a local high schools pertaining to juveniles issues.
Bradford, who was still a Councilmember-elect at the time, was one of the main panelists at the event. Among the dozens of Municipal officials contacted for this event, Bradford remained the only one to return the calls of this board. He diligently answered questions on the topic at hand, and met with people regarding their concerns.
At the time, this board believed that it was possible that Bradford had simply not yet developed the unfortunate sanctimonious attitude prevalent among many officeholders in politics. However, we were soon proven wrong, as the genuineness of Bradford did not decrease upon taking office. Rather, this board has observed him taking many steps to remain connected with his constituents and true to their concerns.
Upon commencement of Bradford’s second term, he was given the lucrative title of Vice-Mayor Pro Tem. However, this has not stopped him from continuing to do what is right, despite who he opposes. In 2012, Councilmember Bradford was the only Democratic member of the Houston City Council to vote against an asinine, punitive measure that criminalized giving food to the homeless. Bradford embodied the views of his constituency, that was opposed by many otherwise progressive individuals, including the members of this board.
The Vice-Mayor Pro Tem has also fought for far less controversial items, such as expanding much needed property tax relief for seniors. Additionally, this board was very pleased when Bradford recently spoke out in favor of a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance protecting the LGBT community.
The only other candidate for this office is Issa Dadoush. In this board’s interview with Dadoush earlier this month, he repeatedly stated that “my campaign is not about the incumbent.”This board finds such a statement to be a whimpering equivocation systemic of a campaign that lack substance. While this board believes Dadoush brought up some good points about how to run the City’s utilities, we believe that, in campaigns involving incumbents, the election serves as a referendum on the incumbent’s record. If the challenger fails or declines to show how the incumbent may have failed, it is the responsibility of the voter to determine this on her or his own.
This board, however, finds that Councilmember Bradford has done a truly superb job in his four years on the City Council. While he often opposes the Mayor’s administration, often on issues we disagree with him about in part, he always does so respectfully and pragmatically. These are among the best features one looks towards in a public servant.
Accordingly, this board endorses C.O. Bradford for another term on the Houston City Council, At-large position #4.
The Texpatriate Editorial Board consists of Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey & Noah M. Horwitz of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans.