HOUSTON – We are taking a closer look at the city of Houston’s Proposition B ahead of the Nov. 7 General and Special Election Day.
What is Proposition B?
According to the League of Women Voters of Houston, the proposition was sparked by the terms of Houston’s membership with the Houston-Galveston area council, a policy-making agency that distributes state and federal funds. The council is governed by a 37-person board that includes two Houston representatives.
However, according to Fair Houston, the proposition would address the underrepresentation in the Houston-Galveston Area Council, a group of governments covering 13 counties that doles out billions of federal and state dollars per year to its members. It would adopt a population-proportional voting system.
Currently, over 57% of the people in the 13-county region represented by the council live in Houston and Harris County but only have 11% of the voting power on the board.
Just last year, the council voted to distribute less than 2% of $500 million in federal Harvey recovery funds to Houston, despite the overwhelming majority of damage occurring in the city, according to Fair Houston’s website. They say this bias has hurt Houstonians.
Proposition B would ensure that everyone in the region has a fair voice and fair representation in important decisions about how billions of dollars are spent on transportation infrastructure, flood control, workforce development, and childcare, the organization stated.
Fair Houston stated that the proposition is supported by all leading mayoral candidates, both Democrat and Republican, including Sheila Jackson Lee, John Whitmire, Gilbert Garcia, Robert Gallegos, Lee Kaplan, MJ Khan, and Jack Christie.
If voters say yes, the City of Houston would participate only in those Government Councils or Regional Planning Organizations that are managed by population-propotional governance.
If voters say no, the City of Houston will keep the present system.