1. Cleaner Fresher Air And Water
Environmental protection -- The goal is to meet the federal government's air quality standard, including the removal of hazardous material from all neighborhoods and the equal protection of minority communities.
2. Health Care
The goal is to provide residents with reliable health care and medical services, including preventative care, and to address the prevention of early death caused by air pollution and exposure to hazardous material, as reported in Mayor Brown's May 4, 1999, press release on air quality in Houston.
A long-term goal is to establish a state-of-the-art research center for the treatment of mental illness, tuberculosis, and other conditions affecting the public health.
3. Equal Opportunities
Equal access to jobs, education, community development, and city contracts through a more just system of accountability to the public.
4. Historic Preservation and Community Empowerment
Restoration of all National Historic Areas in District I, including Freedmen's Town, the East End, Third Ward, Southeast, and other historic communities in Houston that need and deserve the attention that downtown and other affluent areas are receiving. Resources earmarked for historical preservation should be used for said purpose; public funds should be applied evenly instead of diverting money intended for historic areas into places of private commercial interest.
The city's plans should reflect community residents who have put together plans for developing and empowering their communities, including Clinton Park, Fidelity, the Ship Channel, Gulf Gate, Hobby Airport, Magnolia, and all above listed communities in District I and throughout the city.
5. Youth Development
The youth, being our future, need constructive, meaningful programs. Institutions designed to help and serve the youth and families that have been reduced in minority communities have been replaced with volunteer efforts by private citizens. In order to continue providing worthwhile activities for the children, resources and facilities must be made available to the community, through such plans as the Youth Master Plan for restoring the Inner City and supporting community centers in every neighborhood.
6. Crime Prevention
Having developed alternatives to crime and violence through after-school homework clubs, sports and recreation, work experience projects, educational field trips, and neighborhood improvement projects, the low-income families in the Inner City have taken a stand to fight crime. When local government closed down nearly all the community programs and services, local teenagers volunteered to supervise younger children in the parks, and adult volunteers transported children 12 miles to the nearest family recreational clubs. Supporting parks, community centers, churches, schools, and other family-centered programs are the best way to prevent crime.
Interviews with a cross-section of residents in District I have shown that taxes paid to the city to provide services are not equally reaching areas of Houston such as: the East End, Southeast Houston, Freedmen's Town, the Third Ward, Clinton Park, Fidelity, the Ship Channel, Gulf Gate, Hobby Airport, Magnolia, and all other neighborhoods in District I and throughout the City. Houston City Council and the Mayor must ensure that these underserved areas receive a fair share of public services and resources.
The rail project should be voted on by the public before decisions are made. Support of the rail project depends on whether it serves more people based on the proposed route, it reduces pollution and protects air quality, and it creates more jobs.
3. Term Limits
The present city ordinance of three two-year terms is sufficient. Any changes should be decided by the voters.
4. Downtown Development
Downtown development is important and should be fully supported, but no areas should be continuously overlooked and go unattended for the sake of this one area. Every neighborhood should get its fair share, from Southeast Houston, Third Ward, Freedmen's Town, East End and all other neighborhoods citywide, including those listed above.
5. Economic Development
Money from the federal government and the state has been sent to the county and the city -- through Community Action, Model Cities, Community Development, Enhanced Enterprise Zones, and other programs designed to help blighted areas -- but except for a very small fraction, these monies have never reached the areas for which they were intended. Community-based programs that have been serving their local neighborhoods deserve the funding currently misdirected elsewhere.
6. Affirmative Action
Current laws should be revamped to assist people who are economically disadvantaged and who would otherwise not have an equal chance at contracts, keeping in mind their ability to perform such a task.
Darrell J. Patterson for Houston City Council District I
Who is Darrell J. Patterson?
DARRELL J. PATTERSON is a community leader who currently serves on the board of directors of Gulf Coast Community Services Association and is the founding director of the Fourth Ward Health and Educational Center for Youth, Inc. He has served the communities which make up District I by his ongoing volunteer activities with various organizations, including Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Freedmen's Town Association, Kids for a Clean Environment, and the National Campaign of Listen to the Cries of the Children.
Why is Darrell J. Patterson running for City Council?
DARRELL J. PATTERSON is running for City Council out of concern for the future of the neighborhoods which make up District I. He opposed the Houston Renaissance Revitalization Plan for Fourth Ward which the current councilmember for District I supported and continues to defend despite both an ongoing Texas Attorney General investigation and a recently-released audit by City Controller Sylvia Garcia, which has been referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
DARRELL J. PATTERSON is concerned that City Council has become a voice for private interests rather than the constituents who elected City Council to represent them. DARRELL J. PATTERSON has continued to speak out in opposition to the ongoing access to public funding by these private interests, much of it through tax revenues, while our neighborhoods need infrastructure and other improvements. He wants to return the council seat for District I to the needs of the people whose needs have been overlooked.
As an advocate for children and the elderly, DARRELL J. PATTERSON is very concerned as well about the total lack of concern by City Council over the growing problem of ozone pollution and lead-paint poisoning, both of which are major threats to the residents of District I. What good are programs for children and the elderly if the air they breathe is harming them and possibly causing early death? What good are programs for children and the elderly if the homes they live in are poisoning them?
How Can I Help Darrell J. Patterson Win?