Yesterday I went to Houston City Council to testify about St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s application for a 1000’ alcohol free zone. The application process was grueling. The scrutiny which we have had to endure and the attitude of many officials has been daunting. The support of our Councilmember Ellen Cohen has been exceptional. She pushed back against a structure that is clearly dominated by commercial and development interest. Today St. Stephen’s is one of only 7 private schools to have successfully received this designation in the past 11 years.
What strikes me as I reflect on the politics of this process is how the public good of our city seems to be limited to what is good for business and development. The alcohol free zone only prohibits bars from coming within 1000’ of our school. The notion of limiting development for the safety of children seemed foreign.
Montrose is changing mightily. More money brings more interests. More moneyed interests can make life especially difficult for the least among us—children, the handicapped, the poor, the old. God may be inviting us into new avenues of witness.