HOUSTON, TX - Throughout an active fall season of candidate screenings for 15 contested Houston City Council seats, the topic of Council District B came up often - and not in a way that would please the northeast Houston district's long-suffering residents and voters.
Time and again, District B was held out as the poster child for how a district can be left behind in the competition for funding for all-important capital improvement projects and economic development by the private sector that typically follows in these projects' wake.
District B needs help. Because it is chronically underdeveloped, the district is regarded as a "food desert," meaning it lacks the services of quality grocery stores and other food amenities that are taken for granted in most other neighborhoods. Too many portions of the area are afflicted with environmental and health problems caused by illegal dumping of tires on overgrown lots.
District B needs effective leadership at City Hall. We believe the lifelong resident and city government veteran Alvin Byrd offers both the experience and knowledge of the district to bring change and hope to this majority-minority district. We recommend a vote for Byrd in the runoff election on Dec. 10. Early voting is under way.
Byrd, who currently serves as constituent services director for the District B incumbent, is a Navy veteran who was educated in district schools and has had a penchant for community service since his teens.
He has put forward a four-point plan that addresses basic needs in the district: support for quality education resources; increased law enforcement presence in District B neighborhoods used as refuges by drug dealers and other criminals; improvement and expansion of infrastructure such as drainage and roads; and broadening of employment opportunities by making District B a "District of Choice" for developers.
Alvin Byrd brings the energy and commitment to move District B forward, as his campaign literature urges. We believe he is the right choice for leadership at this critical juncture in the life of the district.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published by the Houston Chronicle on December 1, 2011. Here is a link to the original article.