City Councilwoman Ann Zadeh was dealt a blow Tuesday night in her efforts to see default speed limits lowered on residential streets in Fort Worth.
The City Council by an 8-1 vote approved a revised state legislative program that removes Fort Worth’s support of legislation coming out of Houston that calls for lowering the speed limit on neighborhood streets statewide to 25 mph from 30 mph where the speed is not posted.
It was one of two major changes the council made to its platform on matters members say are local control concerns. The city’s state legislative platform was initially approved by the council in October.
In the other, council members now say they don’t want to say they’re supporting legislation that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, transgender, gender identity or gender expression, consistent with city ordinances.
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Rather, they now “oppose legislation undermining local control to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, disability, age, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, transgender, gender identity or gender expression.”
Already, Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, has filed a bill aimed at overturning local ordinances that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, too, has said he wants to see a bill passed that would ban transgender people from using a restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
Zadeh lone no vote
Zadeh, who supports a lower speed limit for safety reasons, voted against the revised platform solely because the speed limit issue was eliminated. The council had a lengthy discussion during its earlier work session after Councilman Jungus Jordan said he didn’t think the council had enough information about the speed limit issue when it voted in October.
“In representing our citizens, we ought to have authority to adjust the speed limit,” Jordan said.
Zadeh attempted to revive the speed limit issue by offering language on local control, but her motion failed because no one seconded it. She expressed frustration, saying the council had plenty of time to understand the platform before the October vote.
I was taken aback when this was brought up as not being well-vetted, because I believe it has been. I understand the importance of local control and appreciate the opportunity to ensure that our agenda emphasizes that, but I’m a little concerned with making changes beyond what was posted specifically on the agenda.
Fort Worth Councilwoman Ann Zadeh
“I was taken aback when this was brought up as not being well-vetted, because I believe it has been,” Zadeh said. “I understand the importance of local control and appreciate the opportunity to ensure that our agenda emphasizes that, but I’m a little concerned with making changes beyond what was posted specifically on the agenda.”
The Texas Legislature convenes Jan. 10. A bill calling for the lower default speed limit didn’t make it out of committee two years ago.