Michael Kubosh Fights for Civil and Religious Liberties in the City of Houston
Imagine you or a loved one finds yourself homeless. When one puts themselves in a homeless person's shoes, what's the first thing that usually comes to mind? If you're like me, the first thing that I think of is, how are they going to eat? The second thought that enters my mind is where will they sleep?
So back to that first thought, the food thing. As I've never been homeless, I can imagine that in the city of Houston, lots of homeless people are left to beg on street corners for money to buy food. Others may go into food establishments where they are often turned away by the proprietors of the businesses. Some might even dig through the garbage to find leftovers. There have been cases where this has happened resulting in food poisoning ( so much for protecting the homeless!!) Others might be fortunate enough to have food brought to them by various non-profit groups or religious groups to help stave off hunger pangs. Or at least they used to be that fortunate.
Non-profit and religious groups were free to feed the homeless people of the City of Houston in 2012. They were free to feed until the Houston City Council decided it needed to pass a feeding ordinance in order to regulate the distribution of the food. All in the name of safety, of course.
The ordinance was passed by an 11-6 vote after a month of testimony from groups such as Food Not Bombs, area churches and religious groups voiced their opposition to the proposed law. Opposition was universal, but the Mayor and those that profit off of the homeless prevailed. With few conservatives on the current city council, how can the city of Houston ever hope to reign in its spending and its overreach into our Constitutionally-protected rights? It’s enough to make a conservative give up on Houston and move to the suburbs and ignore the problems inside City limits.
But those problem affect all of us. Higher taxes on water in the City will eventually cost us more in fees. Crime doesn't go away; it only moves down the street. Having a single regional crime lab saves all area taxpayers money, and floodwaters don't recognize city limits. So again I ask, what can a conservative do?
One political truth that must be understood is that while the City is largely Democratic, the voters in City elections trend towards fiscal conservatism. This has been largely true for most, if not all, mayoral elections. Bill White pledged not to raise taxes and won 3 terms, and Annise Parker claimed to be the most fiscal conservative candidate in her first race for Mayor. That claim was never really challenged by Gene Locke, and subsequently Ms. Parker secured most of the Westside vote in the run-off and the election.
The last Mayoral election was a close-call for incumbent Annise Parker who was wounded after the mishandled red-light-camera campaign; not only did the voters vote to remove the cameras, but the mayor and the city unsuccessfully fought to overturn the election and keep the cameras up. The results were a public relations nightmare for the mayor, and she was vulnerable. Unfortunately there was not any one challenger strong enough to unite the fiscal conservative vote to unseat Mayor Parker, and she escaped a run-off by less than 1,000 votes.
Now enter Michael Kubosh, a city council candidate that not only stands for fiscal conservatism, Constitutional rights, and specifically religious freedom, he championed the cause of the red-light-cameras successfully after a long and hard-fought battle with the City of Houston and Mayor Parker. He also went to bat for the residents of our fair city when the feeding ordinance was proposed and then passed.
An article written in 2012 for the Houston Chronicle cites the efforts of Kubosh to form a group called Free to Give Houston as well as collect signatures "…to trigger a charter amendment election in November. The group sent out 30,000 letters last week urging voters to sign the petition." Kubosh himself presented the petition to Houston City Council, where he is quoted as saying: "You know, we have laws to protect private property without making laws to make petty criminals out of people who want to feed hungry."
Kubosh has worked closely with people from all walks of life. His work with the red-light-cameras and the City of Houston feeding ordinance brought him to work closely with David Welch, Executive Director of the Houston Area Pastors Council. Pastor Welch had this to say about Kubosh:
"Michael Kubosh has established himself as someone who has been willing to invest his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to restore integrity and accountability to city government in Houston. He has fought to defend the taxpayers on the red light camera issue, the churches and schools from being taxed through the drainage fee and the hungry and homeless on the city's ordinance to restrict feeding efforts. He is a servant leader whose integrity is above reproach and he is the kind of leader we desperately need on Houston City Council."
That sounds like the kind of representation we need, the type of conservatism that put Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in office. It’s the type of activism that Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan inspired.
Michael Kubosh is running to represent the will of the people, the people who want to petition their government for change. He is willing and ready to work with any council member and any mayor as long as they are doing what is right for the citizens of this city.
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Confused about Kubosh
The City of Houston did not ban feeding the homeless. Instead, it insisted that groups - no matter if they are extreme left-wing, like Food Not Bombs or religious, such as my church or yours - obtains permission from private land owners before distributing food.
As Republicans, we should be praising efforts to protect private property. We cannot disregard property rights when it is politically expedient.
Unlike Mr. Kubosh, I live in Houston. I see the problems we have in homelessness. I encourage everyone to give what they can - through your church or through another organization to help the homeless get off drugs, find medical help and earn an honest living and move up in life. Simply demanding the right to give away handouts to those who need a hand up in NOT conservative and NOT in our city's best interests.
Re: Confused about Kubosh
Thanks for the reply we always like hearing from our readers. We will try to answer your questions or statements as you have phrased them.
"I am confused as to how Mr. Kubosh would make Houston a more conservative, and therefore better place."
Michael Kubosh has for years fought to promote Conservative values locally, statewide and nationally, but since you mention the City of Houston, we will focus locally. Mr. Kubosh has over the years financially supported many conservative candidates and causes, eventually serving at one time as the County Party's financial chair. Mr. Kubosh spoke against last years bond proposal ,which he felt was unwise considering the debt the city is currently carrying. Mr Kubosh and his family fought the City's Red Light Camera program both at the ballot box and then in the courts to assure that the will of the people was respected. This effort cost considerable funds and was done purely to expose what many felt was the City's unconstitional Red Light Camera program. That campaign also exposed the hypocrisy that the cameras were about safety and proved that they were instead only about money.
Mr. Kubosh has made the personal investment of money, time and reputation to support many Conservative causes including times that he benefited nothing from the effort. We consider those to be not only Conservative values but personally admirable. Mr Kubosh fought irresponsible spending( fight against unsustainable Bonds) reckless and dishonest laws (Red Light Cameras) and limit of personal freedom( feeding ordinance fight). Our City needs more men and women like this representing us, that will help make Houston a better place.
"The City of Houston did not ban feeding the homeless. Instead, it insisted that groups - no matter if they are extreme left-wing, like Food Not Bombs or religious, such as my church or yours - obtains permission from private land owners before distributing food."
This is only partially accurate, so ultimately inaccurate. The ordinance did not simply ban feeding on private property, the ordinance also requires organizations to get permission form the City to feed on public property.
Mr. Kubosh made it clear at the time, he was not in any way opposed to protecting private property rights. He and many others felt that there were enough laws on the books that dealt with trespassing, littering, and vagrancy that were more than sufficient to deal with the legitimate concerns of private property owners. (most Conservatives agree we should enforce the laws we have rather than creating new laws and limiting the rights of the citizens). The ordinance has effectively limited the public's right to freely express their beliefs to aid the poor and needy. Again Conservative values dictate that Government limit its interference into a citizens Constitutional rights.
"Unlike Mr. Kubosh, I live in Houston. I see the problems we have in homelessness. I encourage everyone to give what they can - through your church or through another organization to help the homeless get off drugs, find medical help and earn an honest living and move up in life. Simply demanding the right to give away handouts to those who need a hand up in NOT conservative and NOT in our city's best interests."
Mr. Kubosh has established his residency in the City. And furthermore has been a business owner, an employer, and taxpayer in and to the City of Houston for over 20 years. Conservatives also generate economic growth, provide legal and needed services to the public and pay the taxes and fees due. However being a Conservative does not require that they do so quietly and obediently . So, in addition to all the other battles Mr. Kubosh has engaged in, he also fights daily to limits the fees and registrations that harm small businesses and limits our City's economic growth. As he fights to protect citizens Constitutional rights to a fair and equitable legal process.
We borrow this last part of our answer with this from Oxford online dictionary . Conservative: holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.
Michael Kubosh when asked why he was running has always replied "to make sure everyone has a voice." He speaks about the words that are inscribed on the walls of City Hall, "The people are the City". Michael has pledged to make sure anyone who has something to say will be given the opportunity to say and it and Michael has pledged to listen. It is with that in mind that we encourage you to reconsider some misconceptions you hold about Mr. Kubosh and his campaign.