For a better Houston
The City of Houston has had a Strong Mayor System since the 1940s. This means that only the mayor of Houston has the power to set the agenda of City Council meetings. Only agenda items can be discussed and voted on. Under the current system, City Council members have to be on the mayor’s “good side”, if they want to add items to the agenda. Houston is the only large city in the state of Texas that has such a system in place.
Houston DSA believes that the city’s Strong Mayor System does not encourage democracy, and it’s time to overturn it this November of 2023. Houston DSA played a crucial role in attaining the required petition signatures for a City Charter Amendment during the fall of 2020. The City Charter Amendment would take away the mayor’s power to set the agenda during City Council meetings, and allow agenda items to be added if three council members ask for it in writing.
Getting rid of the Strong Mayor System could lead to left-wing policies being passed to better our city for all who live in it. For example, freezing the budget of the police, an institution that has served to harass and murder black & brown and working class people, and reinvesting in our communities: housing, sidewalks, community centers, flood mitigation, etc.
This City Charter Amendment will be presented to Houston voters as Proposition A, and it reads as follows:
“Shall the City Charter of the City of Houston be amended to enable three or more Council Members, by written request, to have item(s) placed on the agenda of a regular City Council meeting and to have such item(s) considered by Council?”
Join Houston DSA to make our city better and to increase democracy. Power should belong to the people and the city council members they elect, not a single person. Let’s get to work!