In 2003, Houston METRO's light rail proposition received heavy minority support. Like the baseball stadium and the basketball arena public votes, they would not have passed if people of color had not voted yes. Now METRO's telling minority neighborhoods that they won't get their light rail line after all. This city's leadership better start to get it. It is usually the minority vote that gets major projects passed - baseball and basketball arenas. Keep doing this minority vote shuffle and one of these days it will bite the city in the a__ when it comes down to another needed proposal. To Latino leaders, don't be compromised if METRO counters with a compromise to offer vendors exclusive rights to set up licuado stands at all the new stops for the fancy buses.
Seriously though, pay attention METRO - when you blow off the will of a community, you also blow off their leadership that supported your 2003 proposition. The leadership then gets cracked by their opponents. So METRO makes their minority supporters look bad and the opponents make them look bad. Not good METRO.
In a "let them eat pan dulce" like statement, the METRO Board Chair said in today's Chron - "Some people feel we have compromised some (rail) lines, but my understanding is that if you never had it in the first place, you never gave it up." Gee, thanks Meeester Seeenor Shair.
In the same USA Today, there is also an article on last week's San Antonio mayoral contest. Said Sheriff Ralph Lopez, a Judge Phil Hardberger supporter and a good Dem, about Julian Castro - "It wasn't Julian's time. He's got to get a few more notches on his political belt. Julian's going to have to wait his time." We know the sheriff is Bexar County's top law enforcement official, but we're also glad to know that he's the county's chief political timekeeper. Is that a Bulova or Timex? To future Latino SA Mayor wannabees, before you get in the race, find out how many notches you need on your political belt. Where do you get political belts anyway?
In the same article we get some straight shooting from former U.S. Congressman Ciro Rodriguez - "(Latinos) look at who's best for the job now....we're more willing to look at different issues than race." More Rodriguez - "I've known him (Hardberger) as a good friend and he's always been supportive of me..." He's right. The issue is friendship, not race.
June 17, 2005, 9:00AM