One of the New Year’s traditions I’ve been observing that’s a fairly new one for me is to attend the first Houston City Council meeting of the year.
It started out of necessity in 2014 when in the wake of Mayor Annise Parker’s election to her final term in November 2013, the chatter about a Houston non-discrimination ordinance started ramping up. Dee Dee Watters and I were concerned that transgender Houstonians would be left out of it because we had no elected trans representation on council, and we showed up at the first Council meeting of 2014 with several Houston Black trans peeps in tow.
At that January 2014 public comment meeting we insisted that any Houston non-discrimination ordinance being considered for adoption cover gender identity in order to protect the trans community.
We also served notice at that January 2014 meeting that any attempt to pass a HERO without trans protections would leave the Houston trans community with no choice but to work to kill it.
That’s how it started, and ever since then either both of us or one of us will make certain that we are in the council chambers for that first council meeting of the year.
Today it was my smiling face bringing Happy New Year greetings from the trans community, thanking Mayor Turner, HPD Chief Art Acevedo and his command staff for attending the vigil we held at City Hall for Brandi Seals, our Houston trans sister who was murdered last month.
I also called for a renewed push to pass HERO 2.0 since in the wake of the November 2015 repeal of HERO, discrimination incidents, especially aimed at the Houston TBLGQ community have been rising.
And as soon as the video pops up, I’ll post it.
We’ll see what happens as the rest of 2018 transpires, but I definitely will be keeping an eye on Houston City Hall and won’t rest until it does.
And yes, I’ll be at the first meeting in January 2019. That’s an election year in H-town.