I would like to thank Judge Ed Emmett for giving me a chance to appear on tonight's Conversation with the Candidates. Sincerely. To my great surprise, I discovered that I had not responded to the League of Women Voters' invitation, and I always respond to their correspondence, so they were not expecting me.
Aimee Mobley-Turney had said that it was up to the Judge to let me have a portion of the half-hour he had been allotted. My half of that half-hour should have been about 12:30, but on-air hosts Durrell Douglas and Reda Hicks wound up giving me about 9:30. No major deal, but it did make me feel a bit rushed, and I didn't get to cover everything I wanted to. Still, I am grateful for the Judge's generosity, even given that he has nothing to lose.
While Judge Emmett is indeed affable, and a throwback to a time when "Republican" did not necessarily mean "troglodyte," I will not extend my gratitude to withdrawing from this race. The voters of Harris County deserve a Progressive alternative. Even if Ahmad Hassan had stayed in the race, that Progressive alternative would still have been Yours Truly. However, I can offer my respect to the world's oldest living former president of Lovett College at Rice University (he moved into Lovett in its first year of existence).
After a break to swap guests, the Judge took over the candidate's seat on the set at Houston Media Source. The other half-hour was devoted to candidates for Harris County Treasurer, Orlando Sánchez (R) and David Rosen (D); we did not stick around to watch them, but will catch their bits online later.
The Judge deserves credit for handling the questions posed to him in a very professional manner, without ideological posturing or bloviating. He clearly cares about the job that he is doing. He brought up the issue of mental health in two places, once in some detail: in particular, how the largest provider of mental health care in Harris County is the Harris County Jail. "That's just wrong," he said. "You're right," I said as I watched from the lobby. A true conservative, he noted, would recognize that it costs the public more to keep serial offenders incarcerated then to treat them for mental illnesses and addictions.
We also agreed on sensible transit policy for the county and region, which Judge Emmett got to talk about on the program but I did not. He recalled the time Union Pacific decided to abandon the MKT tracks along the Katy Freeway, which they were willing to cede to Metro for commuter rail from the West Side, and Metro said, "No, thanks!" Those tracks are gone now, and there's no putting them back.
Where we part company is that I would like Harris County to become a bellwether for the renewable energy revolution of the next century. There are other issues as well, but let's start with that one. I truly believe that the Green New Deal, articulated by Green presidential candidate Jill Stein, is the key to a new kind of prosperity and to rolling back climate change.
Harris County does not need more business as usual. We, and the world, cannot afford it.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.