It’s the place where you and your family live. It’s your home, your neighborhood, your community. And you should have a voice in decisions that affect you and everyone in your community.
But your ability to continue having a voice in vital decisions affecting your neighborhood and your community is under assault from politicians in state government in Austin. They want to force every town and city in Texas to conform to their ideas and they have the power to do it.
If it is working, leave it alone.
The dramatic growth in jobs and population in Texas cities in recent decades is indisputable proof that the decisions Texans have made at the local level have produced the kind of communities where people want to live, work, and do business.
Year after year, Texans towns and cities lead the nation in the number of companies and people moving here. Even so, some politicians want you to believe people in communities across the state are adopting job-killing policies that are unfriendly to business. The reality we see around us every day proves they are trying to mislead us.
The success Texas cities have had in attracting people and businesses is the envy of the nation. But that success comes with challenges such as maddening traffic congestion and the need for more police officers, firefighters, water and sewer lines, trash collection, and all the other local services we all depend on.
In Texas, state government provides no funding for city services aside from some small grant programs, so it is up to cities to find ways to pay for the state’s growing needs.
The most important decisions we must make as a community involve the level of service we want and how much we are willing to pay for them. Those decision should be made by you and the people you and your neighbors elect locally to lead your community and not legislators who live hundreds of miles away.
One size does not fit all.
As Texans, we’re proud that our state is unlike any of the others and the same holds true for our pride in our home towns. The unique character of each city is shaped by the priorities and values of the people who live there.
Texans don’t want to be told they have to conform to one way of thinking or one way of living – whether it comes from Washington or Austin. Texans don’t care whether people in other communities make decisions that differ from the ones in their home town. Whether it’s burnt orange or maroon, sweetened or unsweetened, red salsa or green – there’s not just one way of being Texan.
But there’s one thing all Texans can agree on: We want to continue making our own decisions about our own home towns.
Our Home, Our Decisions.
Editor’s Note: The above commentary was provided in the form of a flyer by Texas Municipal League President Holly Gray-Moore to members of the Texas Municipal League Region 12 at the group’s annual summer meeting on South Padre Island on May 10, 2018.