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Houston Municipal Candidate Questionnaires – Runoff Edition

November 19, 2019

Abortion is, too, a local issue. As we recently saw in Austin, where City Council passed a budget amendment to provide logistical support for people seeking abortion care, city governments have the power to protect and expand abortion access.

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas wanted to know where candidates for offices with law-making power in Houston (that is the positon of Mayor and 16 City Council seats) stand on reproductive health and rights, including access to abortion care. Based on a questionnaire we sent to all candidates, we are proud to present our first-ever, nonpartisan municipal voters’ guide!

While local action on state laws is preempted, we hope to understand candidates’ views on these issues as completely as possible, in case state laws change. Potential laws and policies are potentially actionable at the local level.

You can read through each question below. Or you can read each candidate’s full responses here.

Ready to vote? Find your city council district here, and your polling location here.

Legality of Abortion

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree 

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

Policies That Affect Access to Abortion

State Laws and Policies

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Comments: I support abortions being covered by government health insurance if the pregnancy/abortions is due to the person being raped or the mother is at risk of death. Otherwise-I believe personal insurance should cover the cost of abortions.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Insurance policies, whether government-provided or not, should not be able to discriminate against women by denying or restricting abortion services.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Abortion services are healthcare and should be insured and funded as such. Additionally, we need to find a way to make healthcare more affordable for all.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is sound public policy.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: Health insurance should not discriminate against women.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Indigent residents should have the same access to abortion services as everyone else. I have also taken a very vocal position against SB22, which further strong arms local governments to prevent them from partnering with health care safety net providers.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is an overreach by state government.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Criminalizing health care is a dangerous public policy.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose We need to focus on the real science as opposed to claims that have no merit in evidence.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Comments: The information should be supported by medical and scientific evidence.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Politicians should get out of the way and let women make health care decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctors.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: Government entities should not support the dissemination of information that is not credible or scientifically based.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: We need to support the medical and scientific evidence.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should stay out of women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Comments: no law should make a wait period mandatory If the waiting period is unnecessary. Unless the waited period is being imposed to give patients time think about whether they want to move forward with the abortion.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Politicians should get out of the way and let women make health care decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctors.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: This practice is not required for other healthcare services and abortion services should not be the exception.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is just harassment.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should stay out of women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

Comments: We know that some minors may have difficulty accessing abortion serivces because of these barriors.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Legislators pushing these bills have an agenda that is much different than protecting pregnant minors. I do believe, however, we need to make sure there are supports in place for these minors, depending on their age and maturity. Like with any medical procedure, parents should normally play a role and provide support for their child. I do believe a well-designed judicial bypass option for minors is appropriate.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: I think this is important for situations where a minor may feel their life is at risk by having to tell a parent of family member about their pregnancy status. Either because the family member may be sexually abusing the minor, or for other religious or cultural reasons. However, I do hope the minor would be provided with appropriate wrap around services to help counsel them on other abuse or mental health services and shelter/housing options if they felt their homes was not a safe place for them.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is not necessary.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: I appreciate the argument that parents should be involved in the health care decisions of their children. But these laws are not created to help parents. They are created to advance a political agenda that is harmful to women.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: This fits squarely within our city’s obligation to protect the health of the public.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Much like “conversion therapy” for LGBTQIA+ individuals, we do not as a City need to support misleading or dangerous “services”.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is good public policy.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I am not aware that the city has jurisdiction here. But I am willing to learn more.

 

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Incarceration does not disqualify people from access to health care.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Healthcare is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of your incarceration status.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: Incarceration should not prevent one from receiving reproductive health care.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: Incarcerated people deserve access to quality health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: I support this, budget permitting.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: I support access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This should be a decision made by local authorities.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I support but only in principle. We face an ongoing funding crisis in the city and I do not want to make promises I cannot keep.

Policies That Affect Access to Abortion

Potential State Laws and Policies

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Public safety is the highest priority of city government. Harassment, and even violence, is a very real threat at reproductive health clinics. I have previously worked on issues surrounding this and want to do everything possible to protect women and their families, and health care providers.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: No one should face harassment or violence because in their workplace.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: We need to make sure patients and staff are safe.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: We work with law enforcement to keep clinics and their staffs safe.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: This fits squarely within our city’s obligation to protect the health of the public.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Much like “conversion therapy” for LGBTQIA+ individuals, we do not as a City need to support misleading or dangerous “services”.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is good public policy.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I am not aware that the city has jurisdiction here. But I am willing to learn more.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: I support this, budget permitting.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: I support access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This should be a decision made by local authorities.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I support but only in principle. We face an ongoing funding crisis in the city and I do not want to make promises I cannot keep.

Policies That Support Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care and Support Healthy Communities

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: SB 22 is both absurd and dangerous and needs to be overturned. I have been outspoken on this issue and you can read more about it here: https://www.abbiekamin.com/issues/sb22

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: I do not think it is in the interest of any municipal entity to be prevented with working with credible healthcare partners for the greater good of the community.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: Again, this should be a decision made by local officials.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should not be interfering in women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: As the Committee Director for the State House Human Services Committee during the 85th Legislative Session, I combated one of the first, if not the first, iteration of a “sincerely held religious beliefs” exemption to anti-discrimination laws at the state legislature, that a committee member attempted to attach to an omnibus bill as a direct attack on the rights of the community to become foster parents. I continued this fight at the state legislature through my work for the Anti-Defamation League.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: As a lesbian I have experienced first hand this kind of harmful behavior in a healthcare setting. I do believe we tread a fine line on this topic regarding speech and religion issues, but overall I understand we need enact protections in government and healthcare settings to protect individuals from discrimination and undue harm.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is just a backdoor attempt to refuse to provide reproductive health services.

Mayor

Comments: Republican legislators should not be interfering in women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: This is a commonsense health care position.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: All healthcare options should be readily available to those in need.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: This is just good policy.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

 

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I support this in principle, subject to the city’s budget constraints and state laws prohibiting cities from setting their own minimum wages. The existing minimum wage – the federal standard of $7.25/hour – is wholly insufficient to support a family. Texas law does not permit cities to raise the minimum wage for private sector employees, a restriction that should be overturned. Fortunately, the city pays its employees more. The minimum hourly wage for a city worker is $13.55. Budget permitting, I would be open to an increase to $15.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: Yes! To the point it is one of the major items I am advocating for on my campaign.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: We can’t enjoy the benefits of a growing economy if we are not paying a livable wage.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I support this in principle, but we must acknowledge the obstacles, from state law prohibitions on cities setting minimum wages to the city’s severe budget constraints. That said, we are making progress at the city. We’ve gotten to $12/hour with janitors and security guards and are on a path to $15/hour. We are engaged in discussions with United Airlines and other contractors to find a path to $15 for all workers.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: The City of Houston should provide paid family and medical leave and I’m open to supporting paid leave for private employers with broad stakeholder support. I will be following closely the outcomes of pending litigation over other cities’ paid leave ordinances.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I would support an election by the voters and would campaign in favor of the measure.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: It is the right thing to do.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I support paid sick leave. Regulating private businesses in this way, however, would be a big step for the City of Houston. I am open to a voter initiative on this issue.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments:

Comments: An employee’s pregnancy is no excuse for discrimination by employers.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

Comments: Of course, and my understanding is that this is the law. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: This is a matter of common sense and fairness.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: This is a perfect example of why we need to pass a local equal rights ordinance.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: The right thing to do.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I am opposed to all forms of discrimination.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

Comments: We must ensure that all students are receiving this information, and our Council Members should advocate for this.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

Comments: Through its health department

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I agree in principle but want to learn more about how the city could play a role here.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: While I do not know how influential the City itself can be in setting education policy for the independence school districts, I do support sexual health education in public schools.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: Again, good public policy.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Disagree

 

Comments: I agree that school districts should provide this education, but I do not know what the city’s jurisdiction would be here.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: I would need to understand the full budgetary impact of municipal identification as the city has tight fiscal constraints. I am open to supporting municipal identification with broad stakeholder support.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I have worked with local immigration advocacy groups, civil rights groups, business community groups and HPD on a variety of matters over the past several years, related to healthcare, safety and family separation issues.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: This is critical in the intersection of immigration and reproductive justice policies. Undocumented individuals should not risk their health or life in not seeking certain services for fear of retribution.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: I would say we need to be careful on municipal IDs. We don’t want to create a database of individuals that could be accessed by anti-immigrant groups.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: Undocumented people should be allowed access to all health care, including reproductive health care. I support municipal ID cards, but was asked by immigration advocates to hold off, out of a concern that ICE would be able to access the database.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: Community service and indigent courts are better options.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I agree that the municipal courts should be subject to the same bail reform rules that have been imposed on our district courts by Federal Judge Lee Rosenthal.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: It is not right to further criminalize individuals for being too poor to post bail. Bonds should be used only as a limited tool to hold individuals who truly would pose a danger to the community, not as a procedural matter to secure more funds for the court system.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: We should not  be incarcerating people for being poor.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: If I interpret your question correctly, I agree that municipal courts should find alternatives to incarceration for those too poor to post bond.

Getting to Know the Candidate and How They View Reproductive Freedom

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: I believe that access to vital healthcare services such as reproductive health care is essential and therefore we should not create obstacles to accessing these services. I believe we need to increase access to reproductive healthcare so individuals can get the healthcare they need; those seeking reproductive health care should be able to get all of their needs met without restriction.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson:

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I believe these are all fundamental elements of healthcare.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: I support full access to reproductive health care, including family planning, contraception, and access to abortion.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I believe everyone should have access to reproductive health care and wrap around services. When elected I plan to work with prochoice advocates to create programs to support these type of services

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: I have been a strong and vocal supporter of access to reproductive health care. I’ve marched, I’ve raised money, I’ve advocated in multiple forums.

Shelley Kennedy: I fully support a woman’s right to choose and believe access to reproductive health care, family planning and abortion is a fundamental human right. All women should have access to safe and legal abortion services free of governmental interference and impediments.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I believe that all women should have access to reproductive health car, Including family planning, contraception, and access to abortion

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: I believe abortion services, as part of reproductive healthcare, should be easily accessible and affordable to all individuals. We need to as a community stigmatize access to reproductive health by standardizing science-based sex education in schools, providing affordable contraception regardless of health insurance access, and allowing individuals to make the best decisions for their health as informed by trained medical professionals. Reproductive healthcare is healthcare and should be treated as such.

Karla Cisneros: I have been outspoken on this my entire life.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: I support access to reproductive health care in all these instances.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: The health of Houstonians is of utmost importance to me. I will fight for every Houstonian’s access to healthcare and their right to choose.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: High, yet generally outside the authority of Houston City Council.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: It will be in the top 5 priorities as an elected official

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: The city has had the benefit of progressive leadership in recent years, so access to reproductive health care has not been a contentious issue on city council. I will be supportive of measures to promote full access.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: District B has historically been forgotten by the city. So we’ve got a lot of issues which they are all high priority.  When elected I commit to working with

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Reproductive freedom is a very high priority for me. I believe it should be a city priority as well.

Shelley Kennedy: I have spent a lifetime fighting for women’s rights and gender equality and those rights, including access to reproductive health care, are very high on my list of prioritie.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: This is a high priority as women should be able to make decisions about their bodies and health care is a right.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: My top priorities are affordable housing, increasing the minimum wage, and equality issues. Closely following those top priorities is reproductive healthcare justice. We cannot thrive as a society unless we provide for the health of our communities.

Karla Cisneros: It is one of my ongoing concerns.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: This is a high priority.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Yes, there is a connection between reproductive rights and other issues. For example, black women have the highest abortion rate, meaning that cutting access to reproductive services disproportionately affects them more than their white counterparts. Moreover, we also know that folks of color and lower income folks have higher rates of maternal mortality. I believe that one’s racial, economic, or migrant background should not impact their ability to receive healthcare, especially in a city as diverse as Houston. Therefore, we should do everything in our power to expand access.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Yes. POC/low-income families are treated negatively for expanding their families. Families/individuals who prioritized other life goals before or instead of children, are treated as selfish. Migrant families are treated as if they use their children as access to US, and once arrived, neither parent nor child is treated with humanity.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes , denial of reproductive care is denial of general health care to marginalized communities – people of color, poor, immigrants.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Yes, I see that there is a connection between reproductive rights and other issue.  Black and Brown economically disadvantaged women are often neglected when needing reproductive wrap around services. Although my years of advocacy have been around the criminal justice system, I do understand how these issues are connected.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Absolutely. Denying reproductive rights is an age-old tool – and an insidious one – to maintain oppression.

Shelley Kennedy: Yes. Governmental regulation that restricts reproductive rights or imposes barriers to access of services disproportionately impacts people of color, immigrants and economically challenged and under served communities.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Certainly, humans have a right ot make decisions about their own bodies and to preclude them from doing so is a violation of our human rights.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. We know Texas has the highest rate of Black individuals dying during childbirth, which is rooted in the biases of race in the healthcare system. We know LGBTQIA+ individuals face stigma in accessing reproductive healthcare if they do not present as a feminine women, which can cause severe mental and physical health issues. We know that indigent individuals who may not be able to access abortion services (because of state imposed wait or travel times) may feel it necessary to chose dangerous alternatives or face providing for a family past their current means. Reproductive justice is the acknowledgement that reproductive healthcare is healthcare, as must be made available to all as such.

Karla Cisneros: Yes.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Yes. People facing discrimination in the areas you identify are often least able to access reproductive health care (or any health care, for that matter).

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: As a city council member, I will use my platform to support reproductive rights. I am open to any opportunity to champion reproductive rights and health and will work with organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Planned Parenthood to create legislation for the benefit of reproductive health.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes, especially as our Houston City Council agenda provides the opportunity to do so.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I look forward to supporting measures that advance access to repro care for all cis/LGBTQIA Houstonians, regardless of socio-economic status.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes, I will support expanded access to health care and supporting equal rights ordinances.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I understand that there are too many barriers to reproductive health. I will work to support reproductive justice because everyone deserves access to reproductive healthcare.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Yes. I have been following the actions by the City of Austin in response to SB 22. Whether or not they are ultimately successful, it is important to test the boundaries of this dangerous law until we can overturn it.

Shelley Kennedy: I plan to continue to advocate for women’s rights and equality in Houston and beyond. I have lobbied on the state and federal level for equality and will continue to do so. I will fight for an equality ordinance that provides protection for all Houstonians including based on gender and pregnancy status.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I will always be a champion for reproductive rights, gender equity and access to health care period.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. I am running as a Progressive Democrat because I understand the important of being proactive in our support for reproductive justice issues. I was proud to have championed these issues when working for Representative Jessica Farrar and Senator Sylvia Garcia and will continue to do so as a Councilmember.

Karla Cisneros: I always have.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: Yes. We have worked at the city to support reproductive rights and health, even in the face of a hostile state and federal government.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: I believe that Houstonians should govern Houston, not politicians in Austin. I will work for issues I believe to be in the best interests of Houstonians, including opposing legislative overreach. I will also advocate in Austin to ensure that we can oppose and repeal any local preemption laws.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Absolutely.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes, the state is increasingly trying to deny local control. I will advocate at the state level, appearing in person, and also signing support letters.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: For nearly 20s years I’ve fought for fairness and equality for all people. I will support legislation that protects access to reproductive health care and oppose anti-abortion legislation.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Yes, absolutely. As a civil rights attorney, I am well versed in legal strategies to get around or ultimately invalidate discriminatory legislation. I am all in on this.

Shelley Kennedy: I am willing to champion legislation that furthers progressive causes for equality and human rights. In Texas, pre-emption is to be expected which is why I have been fighting since the 90s to turn Texas blue. I would welcome your support in fighting the legislature’s continual overreach and oppressive policies.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Yes

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. We can’t hold ourselves doing what is right because of what actions may or may not happen in the future. Additionally, laws that are preempted now may not be in the future. So we need to work towards and plan for the community we envision, not the short-term political realities that may prohibit us from certain actions.

Karla Cisneros: Absolutely.

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: I am opposed to state preemption of local government actions. In my view, our current state government has become hostile to local control for political reasons, not legitimate policy reasons.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Raj Salhotra: Quite frankly, I have not published an opinion piece or publicly been outspoken about reproductive rights; however, I have attended Planned Parenthood events and recently visited with the Planned Parenthood office in Houston and learned more about the issue and how best I can advocate for the issue.

As a teacher, I had high school students who accessed Planned Parenthood’s services, and I supported them and advocated for them to do so.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes, I am proud of my record in support of progressive issues, including a number of local activities in Houston as well as with trips to both Austin and Washington, D.C. for advocacy.  Particular to reproductive rights and issues of discrimination, I remain proud of my stance in support of the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) that I voted for along with a majority of my colleagues under the leadership of Mayor Annise Parker during the last term of her administration.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I have not spoken publicly regarding reproductive justice issues, but have personally supported expansive access in personal and organizational settings.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: I attend Planned Parenthood events and was a strong proponent of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance when it first passed in 2014.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I believe everyone should have the right to chose without government interferance. when elected,  I commit to protect anyone seeking reproductive care regardless of race, gender, citizenship status or income; I will support increased community education about family planning and reproductive health.

City Council District C

Abbie Kamin: Standing up for these values is at the heart of everything I do. I have marched, spoken out at rallies, and helped organize Houston’s Roe v. Wade luncheon. I’ve also served on public panels discussing these issues. Examples include a panel on maternal mortality and another on the nexus between Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance (H.E.R.O.) and reproductive justice.

Shelley Kennedy: As a lifelong activist, I have been fighting for equality and women’s rights since the 90s. I marched at rally’s with Cecile Richards in Houston and Austin. I participated in all the Women’s Marches since Trump’s inauguration. I have financially supported Planned Parenthood and other organizations that fight for reproductive rights. On February 14th of this year I attended a Roe V. Wade Luncheon and fundraiser celebrating the 46th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision. I volunteer and  financially support candidates on the state, local and federal level that support gender equality and reproductive rights. You can count on me to continue to advocate for these rights as a city council member.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I was a vocal supporter of Proposition 1 and stood with the NAACP at the City Council Board meeting.  I abhor discrimination in any form.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: During my first legislative session in 2011 in the Texas Houston I served as Director of the Women’s Caucus under Chair Jessica Farrar’s leadership. Tea Party Republicans had just swept the elections and the Texas Legislature began passing a series of incredible conservative bills limiting reproductive healthcare access. I wrote talking points, researched topics, and helped our reproductive justice partners and other elected officials with strategy and other resources. I was proud to stand up for reproductive justice then and throughout my three session at the Texas Legislature under a conservative Republican reign. I will continue for the rest of my life to steadfastly support reproductive justice issues with my donations, volunteer time, professional experience, and personal conviction.

Karla Cisneros: I had the honor of introducing Beto O’Roark at a campaign rally at White Oak Music Hall that was attended by over 3,000 people. It was the largest and most public event that I’ve had the opportunity to address before. Before I introduced him, I spoke about gender equity and women’s rights and how we needed to say yes to candidates who support and value the contributions of women. The crowd roared!

Mayor

Sylvester Turner: My answer would span my entire career as an elected official. The El Paso Times described Turner as a “lion of pro-abortion rights.” I have consistently fought state efforts to restrict abortion, including the state bill to ban cities from entering into legal contracts with Planned Parenthood and other private organizations that provide abortion services. With respect to gender equity, I was a strong supporter of the HERO ordinance in 2015, helping then Mayor Annise Parker to win support among conservative clergy. My support for a HERO ordinance has not wavered.

Read Each Candidate's Response