By Marc Campos

Talking Down, Drugstore Cowboy

It is bad enough that Houston's Latino and African American communities get the shaft from METRO on the light rail shuffle, but you don't have to talk down to us. We didn't get what we voted on - pure and simple. What we're getting was not on the ballot. The former METRO Chair called it "insulting."

The members of congress from the Houston area that represent Latino and African American constituencies, who also happen to be METRO's biggest supporters, were left out of the decision making process. In fact, Commentary can't find any leader of color that was in the deal making room. Not good. Heck, ditto what the former METRO Chair said.

Some folks like to tout Houston as one of the most diverse cities in the whole, wide world. Maybe so, but not when it comes to making a key public transportation policy initiative like the one that was just shoved down our throat. Let's see, people of color vote for expanding light rail, local GOP members of congress oppose, light rail wins in large part because of the people of color vote, local GOP members of congress that supported losing side get to help cut the new METRO deal, people of color don't participate in negotiations. Sounds like something out of the 1950s.

The dominoes never fell. The GOP doesn't get the opportunity to put a Latino - Henry Bonilla - at the top of the ballot as their GOP nominee for U.S. Senator. Dems don't get to watch a much anticipated bloodbath between Kay and the "do-nothing Drugstore Cowboy." Carole Strayhorn will still give the Drugstore Cowboy a fight - remember, she still has custody of the state checkbook and he still has to get through a special session. Don't fret Dems.

By the way, "Drugstore Cowboy" was a movie by Gus Van Sant about a drug addict that was played by Matt Dillon. Rick Perry don't look like Matt Dillon.

June 20, 2005, 9:00AM

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