HOUSTON (KIAH) — Multiple organizations and residents banded together on Tuesday to protest in response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s “Takeover Tour” visit to Houston.
The press conference took place on Broadway Street — across the street from Reflections of Christ’s Kingdom World Outreach International, where Abbott spoke at a “Parent Empowerment Night” event.
The governor was joined by Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale and two-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist George Foreman.
“The time for school choice is now in the great state of Texas,” Abbott said. “Texas wants to see all of our children well-educated — and the best way to do it is by empowering parents to choose the best education option for their child. We can have the best of both worlds by fully funding public education and school choice — and in the best of both worlds, mom and dad are in charge of their kids.”
Abbott’s visit comes as an array of bills targeting Houston and Harris County continue to make their way through the state legislature, along with the state’s takeover of Houston ISD.
During the press conference, parents, teachers, and local leaders expressed strong opposition to efforts they believe are working to disenfranchise millions of Houstonians. Some of the groups involved in the protest included Indivisible Houston, ACLU Texas, Black Lives Matter and Mothers Against Greg Abbott.
As Abbott began to speak, a protestor interrupted him, screaming, “Grounded in Jesus, rooted in justice: Abbott’s gotta go! Abbott’s a traitor!” Police officers removed several protestors from the event.
Abbott has been pushing for a school choice plan for Texas parents, but it has gotten criticism not only from those in big cities, but also from rural areas, who believe that the plan would not only drain resources at small public schools, but also promote Christianity in schools.
The Texas Legislature is also passing bills that could affect Harris County’s ability to self-govern. On Tuesday, The Texas House passed a bill that would eliminate the county’s elections administrator position and transfer its duties to the county clerk and tax assessor-collector.