Houston firefighters have been fighting for Prop B to make it onto the November ballot. Mayor Sylvester Turner strongly opposed the proposition despite Houston firefighters obtaining more than enough signatures to get it on the ballot per the city’s election laws. With the help of Feldman & Feldman, Prop B successfully made it onto the ballot, so voters get to decide whether or not firefighters deserve pay parity with police officers. This long fought battle took a somber tone when an Anti-Prop B sign was placed just 25 yards from the site of the deadly Southwest Inn fire that claimed the lives of five firefighters and injured dozens more.
The Southwest Inn fire occurred in May 2013 when a fire at a restaurant spread to the adjoining Southwest Inn. The fire spread and quickly became a five-alarm fire. Firefighters bravely rushed into the hotel to evacuate remaining guests, but shortly thereafter the roof collapsed, killing four firefighters and injuring 15 more, one of which eventually succumbed to his injuries.
This site is still considered hallowed ground for firefighters who have not forgotten the ultimate price their comrades paid in the line of duty. Now, all that remains of the site is a concrete slab, crosses for those who lost their lives, and overgrown grass. There is also a chain link fence approximately 25 yards from the site where a political poster advocating against Prop B was placed.
The sign was made by a political action committee called Protect Houston, which is funded by Mayor Sylvester Turner. Protect Houston claimed the placement of the sign was inadvertent and promptly removed it; however, many supporters of Houston firefighters found the placement disheartening.
Since 2011, Houston police officers have had a 37% increase in their salaries, but Houston firefighters have only received a 3% pay increase during this same timeframe. Because firefighters face great danger in the line of duty, they are pushing for a well deserved and longer overdue raise.
Feldman & Feldman Supports Our Firefighters
Feldman & Feldman was proud to help Houston firefighters get Prop B on the ballot. As experienced election law lawyers, we advised them on the best course of action and eventually succeeded in getting Prop B on the ballot. If your organization needs advice on election laws, don’t wait to contact us today.