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Interview with Steve Reilley

By now you are aware of the effort to alter the historic regulations that keep the part of town that was once the independent city of the Houston Heights dry. The dry designation, in the area you see in the embedded picture – see here if you’d like a more modern context – was part of the annexation agreement between the Houston Heights and Houston. It could only be overturned by an election. Well, that election appears to be slated for this November, as a group called the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition says it has collected enough signatures from relevant residents to put this on the November ballot. The issue has already attracted a great deal of attention, and no small amount of misinformation, from residents and folks nearby, some who want to keep things as they are and some who can’t wait to have an HEB built nearby. To try to clarify things and get some answers to my own questions about the process, I sat down for an interview with Steve Reilley, who is heading the effort for the HHBC. Reilley is an attorney and a resident of the affected area, and he was a Democratic candidate for civil court judge in 2010. Here’s what we talked about:

As I said, there is definitely some opposition to this, as well as some enthusiastic support, but as yet I am not aware of an organized effort to oppose the ballot measure. When I do learn of such a group or organization, I will reach out to them for an interview as well. What are your thoughts on this?

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Blue laws can’t become a memory fast enough for me.

  2. voter_worker says:

    Informative interview, thanks. Relative to the discussion of the applicable boundaries, I want to point out that you’ve posted two different versions of the voting area. The older map shows the strip on either side of Heights Blvd extending south from White Oak Bayou excluding a notch at the bayou, while the more recent map on Google does not show this strip. I ask because there are 10 registered voters at 114 Heights Blvd, within the strip, and their status should be researched to ascertain their eligibility or lack thereof. It’s also possible that there are registered voters in the businesses inside the strip although I did not look at that. To any who don’t know, the Tax Assessor Collector/Voter Registrar determines by geographic analysis the voters in all election jurisdictions in Harris County, based on available maps. This body of jurisdictional coding is then used by the County Clerk when they set up the ballot structure for each election they conduct.

  3. Steve Reilley says:

    Point of Clarification: The number of signatures needed is based on a number equal to 35% of the number of people who voted in the 2014 Governor’s race. Based on current records, the coalition needed 1525 signatures to place the issue on the ballot. More than 1700 were gathered.