Derrick Broze is a freelance investigative journalist, author, and public speaker who has been a vocal activist in his hometown of Houston, Texas for many years. Broze’s most recent battle in Houston has been fighting against the state and local government’s plan to roll out new 5G internet technology throughout the city. He has been showing up at city council meetings all year to voice his concerns about the potential risk factors involved with the technology that the city might be overlooking.
Earlier this year, Broze announced his candidacy for Mayor. The 5G issue will be at the center of his campaign.
On Tuesday, June 25 Broze returned to the city council to once again raise his concerns with city officials.
As soon as he began speaking, Houston’s current mayor, Sylvester Turner, stood up and walked out of the room. At the meeting, city officials were told about the numerous local groups fighting against the installation of cell towers in their communities, including the neighborhood of Tanglewood, which has filed a lawsuit through their Home Owners Association to stop the 5G development in their area.
Surprisingly, some of the council members appeared to be taking the issue seriously. Council Member Greg Travis thanked Broze for his research and explained that, in many ways, the city council does not have jurisdiction over the issue and that the state legislature is in control of deciding whether or not the towers are installed. Travis also pointed to some legal technicalities that these companies are using to get around legal protections.
Broze responded by citing the specific statutes that were being referred to, showing that he had done his homework on the issue.
Council Member Mike Laster commented on how he thinks 5G towers are an eyesore in the community, and voiced his frustrations about how little say the local government and property owners have in the debate. Broze then took a moment to respond and point out that most of the people in Houston who are worried about 5G don’t actually care that the towers are unsightly, but are more concerned with the potential health risks.
Council Member Michael Kubosh spoke up saying that members of his district have spoken to him about the health risks of the technology.
Broze then clarified that he was not against technology, or of the idea of a smart city, but suggested that governments and tech companies are acting too hastily and experimenting with untested technology on an unsuspecting population.
It seemed that every member of the council who spoke up had some type of concern about 5G. Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum said that she recently reviewed a 5G application and was shocked with how many towers were scheduled to be spread throughout the city.
*Full Disclosure: I have written 3 books with Derrick Broze and we continue to work closely on many different projects.