I guess we’re rolling these out one at a time, and in no particular order.
When some politicians shift their positions on high-profile issues, they get tagged with the dreaded “flip-flopper” label. So when At-Large Position 4 Councilmember Letitia Plummer changed her mind — twice — on the city’s use of ShotSpotter technology in certain high-crime Houston neighborhoods, it may have looked to some like a lawmaker changing her tune on a controversial program just in time for reelection.
Plummer, though, explained to the editorial board recently that data drives a lot of her decision-making, even if it doesn’t always align neatly with her personal political views.
Plummer’s willingness to keep an open mind in a political climate where many elected leaders are content to operate in silos and echo chambers is a refreshing trait. She is both an independent advocate for the city and willing to be a check on the mayor. Plummer deserves a second term.
It’s difficult for council members to stand out in a city where the mayor has the final say on the agenda. But when Mayor Sylvester Turner put forth a proposal for a $5 million voluntary relocation fund for Fifth Ward residents living near a contaminated rail yard that may cause cancer, Plummer was the only councilmember willing to risk irking the mayor by “tagging” the vote and put it on hold for another week. Plummer said she wanted to make sure the affected community understood exactly what was at stake before she signed off on the plan.
Shortly after tagging the vote, Plummer met with Fifth Ward residents and advised them to be cautious about accepting buyouts. While she ultimately voted to approve the relocation fund, she is also advocating for the city to place radon testing and extraction devices inside Fifth Ward homes until the Environmental Protection Agency releases more test results on the contaminated soil next year.
“One thing I pride myself in is being an independent voice,” Plummer said. “Based on the science, (Fifth Ward) is not in immediate risk, but we do need to look at the homes.”
The open-minded stuff was about ShotSpotter, which certainly merited skepticism. You can listen to my interview with CM Plummer here. I like her just fine, I thought she brought good ideas to the table on police reform, and her three opponents are two nobodies and nostalgia act Roy Morales. I got a good laugh out of the Chron saying they were impressed by one of the nobodies saying that he would “pore over the city’s finances to find inefficiencies and waste”, which has to be one of the emptiest platitudes in politics. I’m sure he also enjoys long walks on the beach and spending time with his family. Anyway, listen to the interview and vote for CM Plummer.