My name is Derrick Broze and I am anarchist. I am also running for Mayor of Houston for the 2nd time. I’d like to take a moment to explain this apparent contradiction for my supporters who might be confused, disappointed, or even angry.
First, let me share some background information on why I even feel this essay is necessary. As noted above, I have been identifying as an anarchist or voluntaryist for the last 12-13 years. This means that I reject all forms of imposed authority and seek to create a world where all relationships are voluntary and consensual. This does NOT mean that I advocate violent insurrection or want to watch the world burn. In fact, quite the opposite.
I am a voluntaryist because I know that you are powerful, beautiful, free, and capable of making your own choices and organizing your own life. I recognize that using the force of government to impose my will on others is absolutely morally wrong. This means that I also believe that when a majority of a population votes on something, and then forces the minority to live with it, it is also wrong.
Frankly, if it’s wrong for individuals to use force, violence, fraud, and coercion against each other, it’s also wrong when a group of individuals get together, call themselves government, and then use force, violence, fraud or coercion. Wrong is wrong.
Over the last decade-plus I have also written several essays and produced videos dedicating to spreading the message of non-voting. I have encouraged my friends, family, and broader community to reflect on whether or not voting is actually an effective means of expressing yourself, and if politics is the way we should seek to change the world. Instead of voting, I have encouraged people to learn about the strategy of Agorism, Counter-Economics, and building parallel systems as the solution.
Check out this sample from my essay Here’s Why I Don’t Vote:
“I choose not to vote because it is immoral to use force (under the guise of government) to enact my particular vision for the rest of society.
Even if I didn’t have a philosophical problem with voting I don’t see a single candidate that represents my values or goals. Why should I be forced to participate or be shamed when the available options are extremely lacking?
I choose not to vote because the time (however minuscule) it takes to research candidates and vote is better spent elsewhere, namely in my own community. I find value and results when I apply my energy and passion into my local community and create solutions that empower myself and those closest to me.”
I still agree with these statements above, especially regarding applying my energy to my local community and focusing on solutions for those closest to me. In fact, this is why I am running for Mayor of Houston.
I am not running because I believe I have a chance at winning – the other candidates are establishment politicians who have raised over $1 million and have deep ties to the Democratic Party – or even because I want to be Mayor.
At the most basic level, I am running because ever since I first “woke up” my goal has been to educate and empower as many people as possible in the hopes of actually fixing the world. I care about this goal especially when it comes to my local community.
Allow me to elaborate on why I am running, starting with the most practical.
For the last 14 years I have been working as an activist, journalist, radio show host, and thorn in the side of local politicians and law enforcement. In that time I have been able to help stop the TSA from groping people on Houston buses, expose the Houston Police Department’s use of Stingray technology before most even knew what it was, built community gardens in various parts of Houston, and called out the failed and dangerous COVID19 policies enacted by the city, among many other things.
During that time I have been able to effect change WITHOUT running for office by using my voice as an activist and a journalist. I am eternally grateful for those experiences as examples for how to change the world without elections.
I have also spent much of the last 14 years as an activist banging my head up against a wall. That wall is, of course, entrenched political corruption carried out by the local politicians, as well as their friends in corporations and mainstream media.
I have been to Houston City Council raising awareness about homelessness issues, police violence, water fluoridation, concerns around 5g networks, and other forms of local tyranny and abuse. Throughout these attempts at justice I have seen over and over again that the people of Houston’s voices are ignored. I am not simply speaking about the usual ways that the people’s voices are ignored by political creatures, but a very specific form of disenfranchisement that exists in the City of Houston.
Houston has the strongest Mayoral position in the United States. The Mayor is able to craft the city’s budget, as well as the weekly City Council Agenda. These two things grant the Mayor an immense amount of power that is unprecedented in most cities and towns.
For example, when I attended City Council to speak about any of the issues listed above, myself and other speakers were always listed at the very end of the meeting because our topic was not on the official agenda. This means that if a Mayor does not like your issue – perhaps because they have been paid handsomely to look the other way – they can put you at the end of the council meeting where very few people will hear you, and most of the council members have gone home for the day.
Not only that, but the Mayor of Houston gets to decide what issues are on the agenda, and thus, what issues have a chance to be debated and potentially voted on. Even if the city’s 16 council members – who ostensibly represent the people of their district – all support a single issue being discussed or added to the official agenda, the Mayor ultimately has the power to say yes or no. This creates a system where council members have to play political games to curry favor with the Mayor.
This is not representation of the people in any form or fashion. This also means that despite my successes as an activist and a journalist I will continue to run up against this roadblock until it changes.
This is why, in 2019, I ran for Mayor on a platform calling for changing the City Charter to take away the power of the Mayor, and make it so that if 1/3 of the council supports an issue being added to the agenda and discussed, it will happen whether the Mayor likes it or not.
Guess what? People resonated with the idea and supported it! In fact, even the other political hacks began taking my talking points and calling for reducing the power of the Mayor. The idea caught on so well that after the 2019 race ended local activist organizations came together to form a coalition to change the city charter to take away the power of the Mayor! And, they succeeded!
Now, in November 2023, in addition to voting on the next Mayor, Houstonians will have the opportunity to vote to take away the power of the strongest Mayoral position in the United States!
Even though I generally don’t support the idea of voting – because even if it’s for a positive win like reducing the power of the Mayor it still requires forcing the minority to go along with the results – I do see how this is objectively a win for liberty. In a perfect world where people are actively engaged in their local communities, taking away the power of the Mayor would ensure that Houstonians voices are heard. Maybe such an idea would even be picked up by smaller towns and cities.
Another reason I am running is to use the platform to spread the EXACT SAME MESSAGE I have been sharing for the last decade.
While I am proud of my work as a journo and activist, I had to fight for every bit of air time and media reporting I ever received. Often, the media would interview me with a smile only to turn around and bad mouth me on the local TV and radio.
The fact is that “Derrick Broze, local journalist” doesn’t get the same opportunities to speak to the people of Houston as “Derrick Broze, candidate for Mayor”. I hate it. I despise the fact that people want to speak to me simply because I filled out some government paperwork and I am playing the political game for 8 months. But, it is what it is.
As a candidate for Mayor in 2019, I was invited to speak to retirement homes, high schools, rich and poor neighborhoods, Republican and Democrat groups, activist organizations, TV shows, radio programs, newspapers, and so on. This gave me the chance to speak about decentralization, localization, and taking away the power of the Mayor to an audience who doesn’t know me or my work, and will not find my on Odysee or Bitchute.
Simply put, this is one of the best ways to reach “normal”, “average” people who are not already paying attention to the issues that I write about.
Additionally, as crazy as it might sound, I believe that running for office in 2019 actually helped me become a better anarchist/agorist. This is because it challenged me to think of solutions that do not involve new taxes, or more government bureaucracy, and instead focus on innovative ways to reduce government, and give the people a voice.
I am not running a joke campaign. I want to be taken seriously so that I do get the invites to speak to groups and local media. To do this I have to have answers beyond simply shouting “Fuck the government!”, or “Taxation is Theft!”. I have to be able to answer Houstonians when they ask, “How are you going to address flooding?”, or, “What’s your plan for reducing crime?”. And I want to be able to do so while staying in line with my values and principles. This is sometimes a challenge but its one that I have enjoyed so far.
Take a look at my campaign issues and you will see only attempts to end wasteful, harmful government programs, and to give the people a say in the many issues that affect them.
To recap: I am running for Mayor of Houston because (1) there are roadblocks that I cannot surpass as an activist/journalist (2) it opens up doors for me to reach new hearts and minds, (3) I am capable of running intellectual circles around the other candidates and poking holes in their illusion of authority, and (4) there’s never been a more important time to wake people up.
I don’t expect all of you to understand, or care. That’s fine. You can ignore the campaign and after November pretend like it never happened. Either way, running for office will not prevent me from producing investigative journalism or documentaries, interviewing inspiring people, or calling out corruption where I see it.
This is simply my latest attempt at fulfilling my mission to reach as many people as possible, especially at our most crucial juncture where Agenda 2030 and The Great Reset are looming on the horizon. I am doing everything I can to carve out an alternative path for humanity. I am doing this with my journalism, my activism, my public speaking, and, now I am doing it again as a candidate for Mayor of Houston.
I am running because I am the only one in this race willing to throw away the ring of power. I am doing this because I believe spreading the message of Agorism and Voluntaryism is so important that I am even willing to spend my time and energy going into the cesspool of politics to reach new people.
Read more from Derrick: 5 Tips for Voters from a Non-Voter
Source: The Conscious Resistance