Friday, February 20, 2009

My first speech as a Candidate for Ft. Worth's District 8 City Council Seat

Wednesday, Feb. 18th, 2009
Today, I officially filed for a place on the City of Ft. Worth General Election Ballot for the Office of District 8 City Council. Something that several of my lifelong friends have wanted me to do for a long time and when I told them what I was going to do, they said, “I can’t believe it’s taken you THIS long, Suzette!!”

The first thing people ask me when I tell them that I am running for office is…..are you a Republican or a Democrat. My answer is Both -- and none of the above

I don’t really fit in any of the political boxes very tightly.

I will say, that I’m hoping that the

* The Republicans & Libertarians will approve of me for my fiscal conservative-ness

* and my very liberal social-tolerant-beliefs will keep the Democrats from throwing me to the wolves ………

* and The Independents will like me because I won’t be beholden to the Party ideology arguments for the sake of Party loyalty.

So when people ask me what I am, I say let me tell you a little bit about my value system and what I believe, and you decide where I fall and if you’d like to support me as a candidate for public office.

I was born in the southeast Texas town of Beaumont, TX. I was educated in the public school system, I graduated from Klein High School in Houston, TX in 1980. I moved back to Beaumont, married -- (a great man, BTW) Put myself through college and obtained an Associates degree in Management from Lamar University. Divorced 4 years later, moved to Dallas -- worked in Corporate America for several years (more times than not, frustrated because I thought that I could do the job better than most of my bosses) went back to college part time and finished with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from UNT.
What gets me here before you today, to be quite honest, is a love of proving that I can make things happen…….when I have a clear vision………. and having a lifetime history of jobs in customer service and I know ………that I have the skills for working with people which is what I think a City Council job is all about.

I have a vision for making District 8 a safer, cleaner, more business friendly & a more resident friendly part of this City….and I feel confident… that I can make a difference.. for the better; in the District.

I believe that w/in the first 6 months I can get the crime rate knocked down to at least second place. Every single year that my opponent has been in office, District 8 has had the most total crime of all the Districts in this City. This is unacceptable! … if I get elected to this office, I promise you, that will CHANGE – - - - District 8 will not remain the most crime infested District in this City of ours!

HOW WILL I DO THIS? It’s quite simple. It’s called holding people accountable. We have laws on the books for a reason. If we aren’t going to enforce those laws then we need to take them off the books. If we are going to leave those laws on the books, then we need to enforce them….every single one of them, even littering.

If the jails are full and can’t take anymore offenders – sounds to me like we need to look at the system and see if there is a more effective way of dealing with the problem. I say it’s time for jail reform.

If we keep getting the same repeat offenders of the same crimes, sounds like we need to look at the system and see if there is a more effective way of dealing with the problem. I say it’s time for jail reform.

If the police officers are frustrated because the people they take downtown are back on the street corners before the officers finish their mounds of paperwork, sounds to me like we need to look at the system and see if there is a more effective way of dealing with the problem. I say it’s time the beat officers have an advocate at City Hall.

Let me ask y’all a question……(this is a test, but it’s an easy one!) If you know the answer say HEYYY!

How many of you know the name of your Neighborhood Police Officer?

My point exactly. Our NPOs need to know WHO THE RESIDENTS ARE! How can you fight neighborhood crime if you don’t know the residents, how can you educate the residents if you don’t know them? How can you keep communication lines open if you don’t communicate? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the NPOs! What I’m pointing out is that there is a gap in lines of effective communication between the fancy offices at City Hall and street level workers in this City. I’m saying let’s talk about how many salaries we the taxpayers are paying----- for positions above the NPOs…what are the people in those positions doing and who is holding them accountable?

It is my understanding that it’s the City Council’s job to make sure that City Government is serving the people and businesses in the neighborhoods.
From what I’ve seen on the EASTSIDE of town, it appears there may need to be more questions asked about who’s doing what -- how they are doing it -- and is it effective.

A few ideas I have on ReBuilding our communities

– Neighborhood Police Officers riding bicycles and walking the neighborhoods

– getting a vibrant and effective community service program going that teaches self responsibility with the hope of instilling some pride & life ----- back into troubled & lost souls

– Holding leaders of NAs accountable for communicating with the residents and businesses in the neighborhood -- regardless if the residents or business owners aggravate them or not! -- regardless if everyone agrees! – no one will agree 100% of the time… we all know that!…. but if we are to call ourselves leaders, then it is our responsibility to stay open to communication IF…. we are to serve…. the common good of the people.

MY GOALS FOR DISTRICT 8 would be to have

– a District that attracts Economic Development on its own w/out having to be sub-si-dized by the tax payers!

– – a District that holds our police force accountable for enforcing the Class C Misdemeanor Crimes (what some call petty crimes)

– – a District that holds the DAs office and the FWPD accountable for prosecuting offenders to the fullest extent of the law

– – a District that provides bike lanes up & down the main corridors of District 8 so that we can inexpensively get people moving in & out of our side of town and maybe sell them a sandwich, salad or cold beverage in a safe environment like they do in other parts of our City.

– A District that has a Representative at City Hall that will actually know what’s going on and care what’s going on in the neighborhoods & in our Municipal Courts

– A District that has a Representative that will bring common sense to the money table and not ask for something just because everyone else is asking for it even when it’s not prudent from a business standpoint. It’s the right thing to do for the taxpayers -- - - (the owners of this City)!

– A District that has a humble, working girl, ready & willing to get her hands dirty and not be concerned about ruffling feathers in order to bring about NEEDED CHANGE!

– A District that values the historic charm of this City and protects historic homes in historic neighborhoods. I see no reason why we can’t work together and help neighborhoods rid themselves of crime & code violations and bring back some responsible homeowners to those neighborhoods.

If you will continue to support me through this campaign -- tell your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, business associates & certainly anyone you know on the Eastside that there is a girl running for the City Council seat in District 8 that

- means what she says and says what she means

- isn’t afraid of speaking up for the people & small businesses
- isn’t afraid to tackling the sensitive issues we have in District 8,

- A girl running for City Council who you won’t have to worry about doing shady housing deals that leaves the people in need with nothing -- the bandits with the money -- and the taxpayers picking up the pieces for bad business deals -- AND decisions made by ethically challenged politicians and their friends.

- A girl who won’t feel the need to sit on multiple Board of Directors and at the same time say that the District is so big I don’t have time to tend to the needs of the people!

- A girl who will be an advocate for personal responsibility, accountability and transparency, not only in the office of City Council District 8 but in all aspects of City Government and especially businesses that are getting money from the City of Ft. Worth on behalf of the taxpayers!

If you will help me spread this word, I can unseat the entrenched incumbent & we can restore this District to working for the people instead of working against the people and business communities of District 8 – we can help all of the taxpayers in Ft. Worth because there will be someone on their side for a change! Someone who will try her best to pick up where The Honorable Mr.Chuck Silcox left off.

- I can promise you that I will be someone following the money and making sure that everyone is held accountable. It’s the right thing to do for this District -- it’s the right thing to do for the tax payers of this City – it’s the thing I have to do personally… in order to look myself in the mirror each morning.

Last, but certainly not least! The dogs! This District is one of the WORST for having neglected stray dogs running around! Just last year (2008) there were 1,793 stray dogs picked up in District 8! That is roughly 150 dogs per month! Any you don’t want to know how many are euth-anized each day in this City! It is way past time for this city to consistently enforce the laws concerning humane treatment of the dogs!

and it is way past time for this City to address the problem of irresponsible dog ownership! It’s the right thing to do for the dogs, it’s the right thing to do for the taxpayers and it’s the right thing to do for our communities.
(Political Advertisement authorized by Suzette Watkins)
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TarrantLibertyGuy said...

YAY! Agree, Agree, Agree, Agree, Agree, One thing - not so much, Agree, Agree, Agree, Agree...

OK, So we don't agree on 100% - but I'd say, we're 80 - 90% aligned! Compare that to, 0% of your opponent's , uh platform?... Does she have a platform?
So, I think I'll support you!! (no surprise there).

Suzette Watkins said...

TarrantLiberty - I think she does indeed have a platform. It is to follow orders given by her Mother who used to be a Judge in Tarrant County and someone else who I will not mention. The platform seems to be:

1. Spend your tax dollars ineffectively and call in Economic Development.
2. Don't ruffle any feathers, don't make any waves with the powerful and influencial, and maybe they will pay your way right into the open arms of higher political office at the expense of the very people who voted you in office the first and second time.

Anonymous said...

you may want to updatethe star telegram of your filing as of todays paper your name is not listed among the candidates.

Suzette Watkins said...

Anon - Thank you. And the Star-Telegram wonders why they are losing money and having to conduct layoffs? I think some of the Executives might be in bed with the "establishment" here in Ft. Worth and are not big proponents of Freedom of Speech, (nor the Federal Freedom of Information Act) as I have voiced my opinion on a local blog site about the possibility of poor business decisions made by top Executives of the Star-Telegram. Also, maybe they fear an outsider on the City Council here in Ft. Worth -- someone not bought and paid for by the "Establishment." Hummmm, Oh well, onward with the Suzette Watkins for Council Campaign -- no time to waste! Thank you for your comments -- please keep coming back for more! I appreciate you here!
(Political Advertisement authorized by Suzette Watkins)