Friday, March 29, 2013

Meeting Ben Hall, Mayoral Candidate for Houston

Except not for us small timers.
So obviously I'm into politics, and I love the city of Houston. We're America's most ethnically diverse city, we're wrestling between liberal and conservative at the moment, we've got a long history, we're actually building light rail (IN TEXAS), and the University of Houston has a great research program. As an active member of the community, a member of the history department as well as the owner of a small catering company, I'm interested in learning about politicians and what they bring to the office, if they get elected.
 
So when I was incited by the owner of a local establishment to come to a meet and greet for Ben Hall, from 6 to 8 on the 28th, I thought it'd be a great chance to as a few questions about his policies. I mean, two hours is a good piece of time to have to talk with someone. Even an hour would have been nice.
 
But then the flyer went out that it would be from 5 to 7, so I said, okay, I may have to miss a bit of work but I'm willing to do it, especially since I was personally invited by the owner to come, support and maybe get some talk in. Certainly even a few minutes would have been nice. Members of the National Black MBA Association were there. Although the total crowd was small, there were at least a dozen people there specifically see Hall.

And what does Ben Hall do? He doesn't show up from 5 to 7. Instead he gets there at 7:30, his staff having arrived an hour ahead of time. When he drops in, he shakes hands down the line at the bar, does the Wobble with some women on the floor, and vanishes ten minutes later. No time to talk, no time to ask about policy, no time to show that he cared. To be honest, it was rather insulting.
So listen up Houston. As of right now, Ben Hall doesn't really seem like he has the time to discuss policy with members of the community. I suppose we weren't just high enough on his list for him to pay more than lip service to. What's insulting is that I was not the only one that took time out of their day to arrive. At least two other men complained to his staff that they'd arrived at five to see Hall, and were now having to leave before the man even arrived, because Ben Hall didn't have time in his day to have even a ten minute discussion about how he'd help the Third Ward or anyone in Houston, really.

Politics is partly a personality game, a publicity game. Hall didn't do himself any favors by acting as if we weren't worth his time.

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