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Horwitz 4 HoustonThe Issues

I’m James S. Horwitz, and I’m running for the Houston City Council, at-large Position #5, because I think Houston deserves better.

We were taught in grade school that our democracy is built on the ethic of citizens caring about other citizens. The moral mission of democracy is to protect and empower all citizens equally by the provision of public resources.My opponent, Jack Christie, espouses an ideology that does not serve the public good.

He's against public health, voting against vaccinations for the poor and the elderly. (This flies in the face of science! Fact-check)

Christie believes that LGBT people are sinful and wrong. His "tolerance" extends to "not casting the first stone."

Christie supported a recent proposal to gut the City's adherence to the revered Open Meetings Act, which would have allowed the City Council to conduct some of its proceedings in secret.

Christie voted against a recent proposal to stop prosecuting starving Houstonians who scourge the garbage for sustenance. When we criminalize poverty, we become a society without compassion.

Worst of all, Christie's Tea Party mindset does not allow him to serve all of Houston. Whether this includes the constant bashing of Social Security/Medicare or opposition to same-sex marriage, Councilmember Christie is seriously out of touch with the citizens of Houston.

I'm sick and tired of politicians being "work horses" for special interests instead of our citizens, and then wrapping themselves in the flag and the constitution. That's not patriotism, that's public deception.I'm not a politician by any stretch of the imagination.

I believe that people deserve to be heard. That's what led me to stand alongside Mickey Leland when he and I were students, and it's what makes me stand up for voting rights and gender equality to this day.And that's why I'm running: to restore sanity and reason to public office.I'm not bought by an ideology.

I believe in justice for all, and my entire life has been spent working for and in Houston. (My opponent moved into the city limits when he decided to run for office!)

If you want a candidate who serves the citizen and not the interests of ideology, I'm asking for your vote.

- James Horwitz

Here's my take on the issues:

On Transparency


"In 1967, this State’s Legislature passed the 'Open Meetings Act,' a landmark law that allowed citizens to take their government’s decisions out of smoke-filled rooms and into the open. My opponent has tried to rescind this progress, by allowing the meetings here –at Houston City Hall– to return to the smoke-filled room. That is unacceptable."

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On Voting Rights

"During my college days, I marched with my friend Mickey Leland and participated in sit-ins. We were fighting for voting rights for all our citizens.

Unfortunately, Texas has been ground zero in recent attacks on our right to vote, including a discriminatory Voter ID law. This new law requires everyone to have a Government issued photo identification, like a Driver’s License, in order to vote. If you do not have a Driver’s License, you can go to a local office of the Department of Public Safety to receive a free ‘voter ID.’

Remember, the address on your ID must match where you register to vote–an invaluable reminder for students. The State of Texas and my opponent don’t want you to vote, so they aren’t advertising this information. I’m James Horwitz, and I do want you to vote."

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On Immunizations

“My opponent has stated that he believes 'vaccines do more harm than good' and that 'people don’t die from the flu.'

He later voted against Federal subsidies earmarked for childhood immunizations for the poor. Folks, we live in a City where the Texas Medical Center is our largest employer, and a huge chunk of our economy comes from medical innovation and hospitals. Can we really afford to have someone in a position of power who rails on against Modern Medicine?

Our decisions should be made on the basis of evidence."

The facts say that vaccinations save lives. Can we really afford to have someone in a position of power who rails on against Modern Medicine?

Learn more about the facts (yes, click here, Jack Christie) >>

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On Transportation

"I believe that more reliable bus service, the full expansion of the METRORail and eventual commuter rail service are all invaluable requirements for Houston's transportation expansion.

If the METRORail is completed —including the Richmond and Uptown lines— thousands upon thousands more people will live much closer to the rail, and thus be more inclined to ride it.

When it comes to bus service, I believe the best thing we can do is to use technology to our advantage. Recently, I spent some time in Boston, and was amazed as to how they handled their transportation. Boston, like Houston, is sometimes only able to afford two or three buses an hour at specific stops, but is able to deal with the issue far better.

This is because the transit authority publishes an app, to be accessed on a Computer or Smartphone, that informs the reader in realtime the status of the next bus (the bus has a GPS tracker). Such an app minimizes the amount of time riders must spend outside, ideal for the frigid climate of Boston (or the humid climate of Houston). I would work to entice METRO to develop a similar app for their riders.

I believe that Houston would be served well by a commuter rail. We could use the existing railroad tracks that are already in place, and stretch out to every corner of the City. This commuter rail could be a cheap, easy way to move masses of people into the inner city for work every day. Feasibility would have to be determined first."

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On Recycling

"The office of my law practice is in Midtown.  Despite being a stone’s throw from City Hall, it has absolutely no recycling service. So I take paper trash, aluminum cans, and glass bottles with me, for a thirty minute drive back to my home in the Meyerland area in order to recycle. That’s ridiculous, I think ALL of Houston should have access to recycling.

I believe that the City of Houston should do everything in its power to expand the largely successful recycling program to the entire city. Recently, Houston City Council did take some meaningful action to expand the program to more households, but it was not enough. The recent expansion focused, just as much, on improving recycling services to homes always serviced, rather than giving some minimum recycling service for as many homes as possible.

Houston now has a single stream of recycling. The big green bin system works. It should be expanded city wide without delay.

Working and corporate people moving here from out of state expect a modern recycling system and are upset when they don't have one serving their home.  Houston has a reliable corporate partner in Waste Management whose current recycling factory is running at half capacity because the City of Houston won't expand the current system city wide. The cost is minimal given our corporate partners' willing involvement.

We cannot wait for Houston to experiment on futuristic systems that may or may not work (the "one bin for all"). That pie in the sky idea would require a 100 million dollar plant five years to build with no proven track record to demonstrate it even could work.

Let's not wait."

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More information on where I stand with the issues here >>

Endorsed by

News + Views

>> An update <<

Why I'm running: see the press release >>

The Houston canine endorsement:

There he goes again! My opponent's irresponsible attitude on public health could cost Houstonians their lives. Read the article in the Houston Chronicle >>

My opponent Jack Christie is a public official who doesn't believe in public health. Here's an audio clip from an August 2013 interview, in which Christie continues his ideological opposition to public immunizations:

Hypocrisy? Sorry Christie, but you can't support something you disagree with. Jack Christie's anti-LGBT views don't represent Houston. Read the article >>

Charles Kuffner: Interview with James Horwitz

Texpatriate: Questions for Jim Horwitz

Republican Houston Council Candidate Jack Christie Is Not What He Claims Really? >>

UH
meeting with the UH Downtown Students Association

More News & Views >>


About James S. Horwitz

Before law school, while James Horwitz was in college at the University of Houston, and later in graduate school, he was a leader in the youth services field for many years developing half-way houses for runaway and throwaway kids in the greater Houston and Texas area. This resulted in his participation in the creation of national legislation that developed the National Runaway Youth Hotline, as well as funding for community centers throughout the United States.

During law school, also at the University of Houston, James created a number of tax exempt organizations servicing the needs of families in distress in Houston. His experience in working with youth service oriented organizations resulted in his frequent attendance in juvenile court on behalf of children and their families as well as being a resource for juvenile court judges on many cases. Hence his foundation in juvenile, criminal, and family law.

After completing law school more than 35 years ago, James Horwitz built his law firm with a single focus: representing business owners as their general counsel. The experience he has gained from operating his organizations as well as his own law firm for decades has given James Horwitz the unique perspective and sound judgment that a business owner needs and should seek on a day to day every day basis in order to be successful.

Learn more about James S. Horwitz >>

Houston deserves better

© 2013 James S. Horwitz, All Rights Reserved

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