Houston Election Results and the effects on sheltering issues in Houston

Houston, TX –  On November 3, Houston held elections for mayor and all city council positions.   Houston Voters For Companion Animals prepared a Voters’ Guide which rated the candidates who responded to our Candidate Survey and/or participated in our Candidate Forum on September 29th.  The Voters’ Guide focused solely on sheltering issues.  

The candidates that we believe truly care about the high kill rates in Houston shelters and who are willing to work on this issue, using the programs and services that are already working across the country, were rated highest in the Voters’ Guide.

I am extremely happy to report that one of our highest rated candidates, Greg Travis, won his race for City Council District G. 

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  • Rated 5 out of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum? YES

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From the Voters Guide “Mr. Travis agrees that BARC should be a No Kill shelter and said that he will roll up his sleeves and tackle this issue.  He will be the liaison with city hall to get the lifesaving programs in place. 

We are really impressed with Mr. Travis’ responses to our Survey and at the Candidate Forum.  He had some very thoughtful and innovative ideas regarding implementing various programs of the No Kill model of sheltering that would increase life saving. 

We believe that Greg Travis truly cares about animals and animal sheltering issues and that he will work hard to help end the needless killing of shelter pets in Houston.  Mr. Travis is the type of advocate for pets that Houston really needs on city council if we hope to end sheltering killing in Houston. 

He would be an extraordinary asset to city council.”

Greg Travis

In addition, a couple candidates that Houston Voters For Companion Animals rated nearly as highly have made it to the run-off elections which will be held on December 12, 2015.  Notably, Roy Morales is rated 4 ½ out of 5 and is in the run-off election for Houston City Council At Large Position 4 (more info below). 

Unfortunately, several other candidates that we rated 5 out of 5 did not win their seats.   I am very disappointed about that as I really believe that they would have been great assets on city council and wonderful advocates in our fight to end the killing of shelter pets in Houston.  And Houston could certainly use as many animal advocates on city council as possible considering the mind numbingly slow progress that has been made in the last 6 years in increasing Save Rates.  

I hope that these candidates run again in the future and I hope more animal loving voters pay attention when they do.

Below I have listed the candidates who are in the run-off elections.   If they responded to our Candidate Survey and/or participated in the Candidate Forum before the general election, their ratings are shown by their names.  

If the candidates did not respond to our Candidate Survey, they were previously rated 0 as we had no information available to rate them. However, we recently sent another opportunity to these candidates to respond to the Candidate Survey.   Their responses will be posted on Houston Voters For Companion Animals’ website as they are received.  

A new Voters’ Guide will be created for the run-off election.  

Make sure that you take our Voters’ Guide with you to the polls.

Before voting for candidates who are not yet rated, I urge you to contact them and ask them to respond to our Candidate Survey.  It is crucial that we know their stance before giving them our votes.  

The candidates are listening to what voters want right now because they know that every vote counts.  Our votes are POWERFUL.  (One race was won by only FIVE votes, so every single vote counts).  

The contact information for all of the candidates is listed on Houston Voters’ For Companion Animals website here.

Remember that 65% of Americans have pets, yet only about 13% of Houstonians voted in the last election.   I predict that even fewer Houstonians will vote in the run-off elections, making each of our votes more powerful.

If we animal lovers joined together and voted for the right people, we could swing an election in favor of shelter pets this year.

MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT FOR SHELTER PETS!

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

Turner

SYLVESTER TURNER

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  • Rating 3 Out Of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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From the Voter’s Guide: “We disagree with Mr. Turner’s statement that improvements at BARC have been impressive considering BARC’s high kill rate. 

Mr. Turner made some interesting comments regarding solving some issues such as breed bans in rental housing, however we would have liked to have seen more research into this topic. 

There is a solution that been proven to work to end shelter killing.  If elected, we hope that Mr. Turner will be willing to learn how other communities have ended shelter killing and not just repeat what the kill shelter directors have told him. “

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King

BILL KING

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

District F

STEVE LE

STEVE DUC LE

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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RICHARD NGUYEN

RICHARD NGUYEN

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  •   Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

District H

KARLA CISNEROS

KARLA CISNEROS

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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JASON CISNEROZ

JASON CISNEROZ

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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District J

JIM BIGHAM

JIM BIGHAM

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended  Candidate Forum? No

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MIKE LASTER

MIKE LASTER

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  • Not Yet Rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? No
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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At Large Position #1

Knox2

MIKE KNOX

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  • Rated 1 out of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey: YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum: No

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Provost

GEORGIA PROVOST

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  • Not yet rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey: No
  • Attended Candidate Forum: No

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At Large Position #2

Davis

WILLIE DAVIS

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  • Not yet rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey: No
  • Attended Candidate Forum: No

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RobinsonDavid

DAVID ROBINSON

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  • Not yet rated
  • Responded to Candidate Survey: No
  • Attended Candidate Forum: No

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At Large Position #4

Morales2

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  • Rating 4 ½ Out Of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum? YES

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From the Voter’s Guide: “Overall, we were impressed with Mr. Morales’ views on implementing No Kill programs.  He stated several times at the Candidate Forum that “if they want to kill, they need to leave”.  

However, we would like to see him do a bit more research regarding why some No Kill programs do not cost more money, and even save money as he is under the impression that employees might get laid off if these programs were implemented.  

We would also like to see more research on so-called “dangerous breeds”.  Bite statistics show that most of dog breeds being banned from rental housing are not the same breeds being reported as biting most often. 

We believe Mr. Morales would be a great advocate for ending shelter killing and an asset on city council.“

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Edwards

AMANDA EDWARDS

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  • Rating 3 Out Of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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From the Voter’s Guide: “We disagree with Ms. Edwards’ statement that BARC has made “great strides” in recent years.   Her response to 7 of our questions was a single word. 

We feel that Ms. Edwards did not put a great deal of effort into responding to our Candidate Survey.  Therefore, we are not sure that this issue is important enough to her for her to be a good advocate on city council. 

We hope that if she is elected, she will do more research into this topic so she will understand why the No Kill model of sheltering is not only more humane, but more cost effective. “

At Large Position #5

Moses

SHARON MOSES

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  • Rating 3 Out Of 5
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? Yes
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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From the Voters’ Guide: “Ms Moses stated that she has not read Nathan Winograd’s entire assessment report, but that she would support a No Kill policy.  

She does not believe killing is the answer and is interested in researching No Kill.  

She supports programs to help keep pets in homes but does not want to burden the city with the cost.  She supports these programs only if there are public-private partnerships. 

Regarding a Return To Owner program, she states that she would have to revisit this matter with more information and some of her other responses were a bit non-committal.

We are pleased with some of Ms. Moses’ responses.  With a bit more research, she may be an asset in our goal to ending shelter killing in Houston.”

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Christie

JACK CHRISTIE

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  • Rated 1 out of 5 
  • Responded to Candidate Survey? YES
  • Attended Candidate Forum? No

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From the Voters’ Guide: “We disagree with Mr. Christie’s statement that BARC’s kill rate has been reduced “dramatically” since he has been in office.  

He stated that BARC most improved player in the city.   If this is true, we believe that this is a sad statement regarding our city.  

In addition, Mr. Christie will not commit to making No Kill the official policy of Houston.   

He does not support the implementation of performance standards at BARC.  

He did not respond to the question regarding whether he would support appointing a No Kill advocate to the Houston Animal Shelter Advisory committee.   

His response to 5 of our questions was only “yes”.   There was no elaboration.  

He stated that he would not mandate that the non-profit kill shelters must be transparent with the public regarding their Save Rates. 

He does not support passing the Companion Animal Protection Act.  

We do not believe that Mr. Christie will be an asset in our goal of implementing the programs that will end the killing of shelter pets in Houston. “

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