My fellow students,
After much careful consideration, I have decided to run for a position on the Huntsville City Council.
The major motivating factor behind my decision to run is my belief that the City of Huntsville could be doing more to embrace the local college here in town. It is interesting to note that our neighbor, Texas A&M, was only founded just three years prior to SHSU. However, Bryan College Station, in my opinion, has done a much better job of accommodating their university than has Huntsville. Which, in the long run, has proven to be mutually beneficial for both the college and the town (i.e. their booming economy and soaring admission rates).
I believe that if the Huntsville legislature were to take a few important steps towards greater inclusion and accommodation of SHSU students, this would go a long way to bridge the existing social gap between so-called “students” and “locals,” and the results would be advantageous for everyone.
If elected, one of the most important goals I would like to see achieved is my proposal to extend the curfew for local establishments (bars/clubs) from 12:00a.m. to 2:00a.m. There are a number of economic reasons behind this as well as safety concerns. First the economic reasons, as most students are well aware, SHSU is still (although it has gotten much better) very much of a “suite case college,” meaning that a large number of students leave on the weekends to go home. This has had a devastating effect on the Huntsville economy which, as a result, ends up missing out on the literally millions of dollars that students are spending elsewhere.
There are two main reasons why students leave Huntsville on the weekends: One is to work. It is extremely difficult to find a good paying job here in town which has forced many students to look elsewhere for employment. And the second is because a number of students simply just don’t feel like they can have a good time here. It is deeply ironic in my view that so many students would actually rather leave their apartment/dorm/house here in town to go home and be with their parents in order to enjoy their weekends. I believe that if the local closing times were to be extended, this would create more of an incentive for students to remain here in Huntsville on the weekends and spend their money at local establishments. This would serve as a great stimulus to the Huntsville economy, and the trickle down effect of this will be a better job market for students who desperately need them.
Moreover, as stated above, I also believe this would improve safety. There are a lot of well meaning people in this town whose initial reaction might be to oppose such a proposal who I feel might not be fully aware of some of the dangerous ramifications the 12:00 cutoff has created. The first is the fact that the midnight cutoff is leading many students to drive outside of town for their entertainment ( Conroe , the Woodlands, College Station , Bell ‘s Camp & etc.). Afterwards, many of them are then attempting to travel back into town in the late morning hours after consuming alcohol. As a result, we have, unfortunately, lost a number BearKats to alcohol related crashed on I-45. I am not bringing this up to condone that kind of behavior, however, I do feel that the fact that it IS occurring should not continue to be ignored. I believe that if the local closing times were to be put on par with the rest of the state of Texas , it would largely eliminate this temptation.
Secondly, the early closing times have also lead to an explosion in the number of “house parties” here in town. Unlike the bars and clubs, where at least some order is maintained, these parties are completely un-chaperoned. There is no one checking ID’s at the door, there are no bounces preventing/stopping fights and there is often no one willing to cut a person off if they’ve had too much to drink. As such, these circumstances often serve to create a very dangerous environment. I am not suggesting that pushing back the cutoff will completely eliminate these parties, but I do feel like it will greatly reduce there prevalence, as by that time many will likely opt to go home instead of continuing the night.
Other issues I feel strongly about are:
– The protection of private property rights against abuses of Eminent Domain.
– The establishment of regular Town Hall meetings.
– A return to fiscal discipline with regards to the use of City funds.
– An expansion in the number of paid Huntsville Fire Officers.
– A redrawing of the local Ward Districts here in Huntsville in a way that is fairer for student voters.
– The rescheduling of local election in Huntsville to dates more convenient for student voters.
– Extending the boundary for the legal sale of alcohol to include the West Hill Mall area.
– Better promotion of tourism in Huntsville .
– Improved water quality.
– The creation of more job opportunities for students.
City Council Candidate,
For more information, please consult my Facebook group:
SHSU Students Who Support Jason Myers for City Council