This afternoon I feel compelled to devote an entry to pimping this long-awaited piece from Perry "PDiddie" Dorrell at Brains and Eggs. PDiddie is not known for mincing words in print, but here I must applaud him for exercising a fair amount of restraint.
No, Diddie is not literally equating Mayor Sylvester Turner to Stepin Fetchit, any more than Ralph Nader was calling Barack Obama an Uncle Tom in an infamous 2008 interview with Shep Smith.
Diddie promised last week to post an entire piece on a piece of municipal legislation he found particularly loathsome. To his credit, he wanted to regain his composure and get his facts as straight as possible before posting. As Diddie himself has phrased it, he has recently been "blogging less and enjoying it more," so he doesn't generate bloggage as quickly as he had only a few months before.
Sigh. I would like to believe that the liberal majority on Houston's City Council (the ones PDiddie calls "Democrats") have the best interests of the people at heart and in mind when they craft ordinances like this. Even if they do, even if they aren't merely running interference for their cronies in the bidness community, I don't think subjecting people to fines and potentially jail time for pandhandling or pitching tents in underpasses is the right solution.
I do believe that Turner sincerely believes that the City is helping the homeless and hungry with these measures, whether he's right or not. He has stated repeatedly that the City is working to provide permanent housing and food relief. But if reports are true that Turner accused Food Not Bombs of "pimping the problem," that's a fifteen-yard penalty and loss of bona fides. On top of that, I haven't read or heard anything from Turner, Councilmembers or housing officials outlining any details of their plan.
Houston's FNB runs on volunteers and small-lot donations of foodstuffs, not large grants from millionaires or corporate do-gooder funds. The volunteers have been feeding people, homeless or not, for more than 20 years, technically in violation of a city ordinance for the last five years, addressing head-on a problem that stubbornly refuses to go away.
Contrary to appearances, homelessness in Houston and Harris County has decreased in recent years—at least according to City Hall. If you frequent certain parts of Downtown and Midtown and see the tent cities, you are seeing the effects of a concentration of homeless people near essential services, not a massive increase in their population. (In the case of Wheeler Station, those "essential services" might also include access to a hit of kush.)
PDiddie's mixes his condemnation of Turner and his policy with some praise (boldface mine).
Turner showed up at the Climate March on Saturday and made another speech emphasizing unity and inclusion. He's fought hard for sanctuary for DREAMers and the undocumented against the Austin Republicans and the Trump Deportation SS, aka the Texas DPS. He's big on holding the fort for the LGBT community, and they'll once again be strongly behind him whenever he next stands for re-election. Those people are well-organized, after all, and the Latino bloc remains the so-called sleeping giant in electoral politics.
Regarding the boldface bits:
To be, as they say, continued.
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.