HOUSTON - He wears an unusual outfit, but his message is serious. A Houstonian is on a hunger strike and it's mostly because of no parking signs.
On a fairly popular street corner at Bagby and Walker in downtown Houston, if you've driven by it in the last 10 days, you may have noticed something a little different.
Outfitted in a functional if not fashionable umbrella cap in front of City Hall, River Oaks resident and for now full-time protestor Alex Nazini is on a hunger strike.
"There's a scale here and I would be happy to step on it," said Nazini.
He drinks water, but says he hasn't had a morsel of food in ten days and has lost more than ten pounds. He needs to update his sign.
"The city of Houston discriminates on the basis of nationality, falsifies public records, traffic mismanagement, ignores civil rights property rights," said Nazini.
But when you whittle it down, it would appear Nazini is sore about parking.
In front of his Ferndale Street home and most of his neighbors' homes are signs that read no parking from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Nazini says it's infringing on his property access rights.
But Houston's Public Works Department sees it another way, saying in a statement, "We assessed this area. It's a public safety issue. This is a narrow street and there is a high school nearby."
Translation: the road is too narrow, says the city, to support street parking during a busy time.
"I independently measured traffic flow on our street," said Nazini. "Anyone is qualified to count cars in each direction."
The real question is what kind of fortitude does Nazini really have? He says he willing to stay out on a hunger strike until his demands are met.
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