When I first spoke to Ashton P. Woods three years ago, I wrote, “Houston-based activist and blogger Ashton P. Woods is gay, atheist, HIV-positive and “unapologetically black.” While none of these things completely define Woods, they highlight his multiple identities and, hopefully, remind others that being black is not monolithic. In Woods’ view, justice must be intersectional and nowhere is this walk the talk more evident than his involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement.”
In the intervening years Woods has continued the good fight and is now looking to change the system from within by running for Houston’s City Council-At-Large 5, which will give him oversight of much of the city’s politics.
Towleroad spoke to Woods about his campaign.
TLRD: What led you to run for office?
There are several factors that got me to this point… I have spent years working with elected officials and candidates for political office to shape their platforms and advise on a path to ethical and equitable policies. This has yielded mixed results and in the process people are left out on the fringes, in many cases criminalized for being the working poor.
How long should we wait to get every Houstonian on a stable footing and out of poverty? We shouldn’t and I feel that I will represent the people closest to the problems that our city has to contend with.
When is the election?
The election takes place in Houston, TX on November 5, 2019. This also happens to be my 35th birthday.
How has you activism played a role in you’re campaign?
My activism plays a major role in how I shape my platform to reflect ALL Houstonians, with special focus on those who have been relegated to the fringes. I often work with folks who don’t have means to show up like they would want to because of barriers to entry like lack of transit, low wages and thus means their voices are not heard. I am running to open the door for their voices to be heard.
What are the primary objectives you hope to accomplish?
My objectives are interconnected and the intended goal is to increase the life chances of all Houstonians. We do that by moving to provide healthcare for all, addressing climate change, Justice reform (decriminalize Houstonians), Increase the minimum wage to 16.50, Job training programs and a host of other options that will boost the people of Houston from equality to equity.