Home»News»Houston Mayoral Election 2015: Ben Hall

Houston Mayoral Election 2015: Ben Hall

Despite being defeated by Annise Parker in 2013, former city attorney Ben Hall is ready for a second round in Houston's mayoral election.

Pinterest WhatsApp
Ben hall
– Member of the Democratic Party
– Ran for mayor against Annise Parker in 2013
– Served as city attorney in Houston for three years under Mayor Bob Lanier
– Harvard Law School alumnus, former adjunct law professor at the University of Houston, South Texas College of Law
– Founded Hall Law Firm in 2000

City Budget: Plans to save the city between $11 million to $15 million by consolidating Houston’s 23-department system into 14 departments. Wants to eliminate the “rain tax”, or drainage fee, that homeowner’s pay to improve Houston’s drainage and streets.

Houston Flooding: Plans to tackle flooding in the city by crafting short-term and long-term flood initiatives that include a citywide flood warning system and a Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) System that would improve flooding problems and reduce traffic congestion.

HERO: Hall opposes the city’s equal rights ordinance, calling it flawed and a risk for the safety of women and children.



 The Venture: Your motto is moving Houston forward, how would you move Houston toward a better education system and improving student life?

Ben Hall: Some mayors like to build on the past, and others like to envision the future and see how we get to that projector. I’m the ladder. I’d rather be pulled by the future, than pushed by the past. I’d like to be a mayor that brings that future about. It’s a highly technical future, where we incorporate all of the gifts of technology. So I want to make sure that we stay engaged on a social level of exploiting technology. Number two, we got to make sure our students here in Houston are protected while they’re on campus, while they are in school. We cannot have predators outside the campus and on the campus preying on our students, so as a result I’m giving priority to having ample policing, ample security around and on campuses. Finally, we got to make sure that we pay our instructors and teachers more money. It’s disappointing when a person who owns a disco tech makes more than a school teacher who is preparing our children for the future.

TV: As the Metro Rails expand around colleges, how can students attending the University of Houston and Houston Community College feel safe with the past crime incidents and lack of patrolling on their campus?

Hall: I know how free it is on campus. You almost kind of feel like you’re in a bubble and you don’t even think about safety issues. Tragically, that’s why a lot of our students are being preyed on. I think the fact that we have rail system should have been complimented with extra security, and I’m disappointed we don’t. We can do better and we will do better under Ben Hall administration. With my son at UofH, I noticed that the blue line from Moody Towers is dark. I said to myself, we need more lighting in this area. I’m committed that I will stay engage with students. You tell me what you need, and let’s see if we can work with your administration to get it for you.

TV: How can you be the voice of students and how can they get to know you other than reading the newspaper?

Hall: What I found is a massive disconnect between government and this tremendous energy on campus. Students want to be involved, but just don’t know how to get there. Go to BenHallforHouston.com. Not simply for your student body, but for you, to tell us what policy changes we need to address to make your life better in Houston.

“Police officers need to know that their duty is to preserve and protect us, not to abuse us.”

TV: Some members from the University of Houston NAACP are concerned for their safety as black students being targeted by police. What can you do to them to make them feel safer in Houston?

Hall: Well let me say, black lives matter. I am sickened by politicians who tried to avoid that answer where they want to talk about every life matters. Police officers are abusing black people and that’s wrong. I want to stop all the politics with this and simply say black lives matter. We may need police officers, but police officers need to know that their duty is to preserve and protect us, not to abuse us. I will have zero tolerance of any officers who abuse people under their watch. I don’t think there is another lawyer in Houston who has sued more police officers than I have. What the public needs is someone to stand up to police officers and say we want to respect you, but you have to earn the respect. I applaud the young generation for standing up.

TV: What are issues you hope to improve from Mayor Annise Parker’s administration?

Hall: I think Ms. Parker was neglectful in the way she handled our road repairs. She was misleading in terms of telling people about the charge of rain tax. She used that for salaries, hike and bike trails. I think she’s wrong to advance her own personal lifestyle agenda. I think she mismanaged the finances of the city.

TV: What changes can people expect to see from you regarding potholes and traffic congestion?
Hall: Immediate changes. In fact, we’re going to enter into public and private partnerships to address potholes and road repairs all over the city. Right now, the city is centralizing pothole repairs and road repairs at public works. As a result, there is a backlog in one location and we want to stop that. We’re going to have at least four different quadrants of the city that will address those areas. We cannot have third world roads in this city and try to pretend to be a first world city. The two principle ways to lessen congestion is to do the work at night and underground, which I’m an advocate for.

TV: What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Hall: Because I’m not a career politician and I am not confined to thinking the same old ways that these other politicians do. We have politicians who have been in office for 26 years and their own neighborhoods look abysmal. We have another politician who’s been in office for 20 years and he hasn’t even taken care of his own district. So we need change and a fresh way of looking over old ideas and that’s what I think qualifies me most. Being a trial lawyer, I know how the law interacts with the real world. I don’t see another candidate in the race I would vote for.

TV: What are some of your recent achievements?
Hall: Developing a scholarship program for kids that don’t deserve it academically but deserve it by drive, adding a scholarship program for an expression of love as opposed to academic performance, acquiring KCOH radio station and allowing children to come on and have their own program, which we lose money on but gain so much more.



Previous post

Facebook doesn't believe in Pancho Claus

Next post

MLS Semifinals: Game 1 predictions