The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Full Disclosure: Kip Billups Addresses His Past

By Kip Billups, candidate for Amarillo mayor

I am sure that Amarillo Matters is already investigating myself and other candidates now that I have announced my candidacy. Last local election cycle, they spent thousands of dollars on "investigations," as they tried to deflect from Ginger Nelson's horrible record. Since I know Amarillo Matters and Mayor Nelson's campaign will try to smear their opponents, I wanted you to hear my past from me.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, I became a homeless in Los Angeles from 2003 until 2009, living on Skid Row. I am a person in long term recovery (sober) for over six years. I got back on my feet in Los Angeles, and I chose to come back to Amarillo to spend time with my 99 year old grandmother. After coming back to Amarillo, I decided to take fifty peanut butter sandwiches to feed the homeless in Amarillo. From that point forward, the fifty sandwiches grew to thousands of meals served, and I founded Amarillo Brown Bag Runs. I have spent my time in Amarillo giving back to the community that means so much to me, and I have loved every minute.

In the coming weeks, I am sure that you will hear Amarillo Matters try and attack me over my past. Just so you know the whole truth, here are the charges:

  • Two driving under the influence charges (last one in 1997)

  • A 2009 shoplifting charge (charge was dropped)

  • A 2009 possession of drug paraphernalia charge (charge was dropped)

I had a clean record until March 2018, when I was arrested at City Hall for protesting the criminalization and maltreatment of the homeless in Amarillo. I was then arrested again in April 2018, after I clapped in a City Council meeting. I was not the only person clapping, and was singled out by Mayor Ginger Nelson, likely due to my status as the Mayor's chief political opponent.

Some of you are probably wondering if I am embarrassed about this. I am not.

I have literally told thousands of people over the past 5 years exactly this. Anything that has happened to me or that I have done that can help another human being, I freely admit and have been doing so since 2012.

I am a better person as a result of my past.

Billups/Photo by Campaign

Billups/Photo by Campaign

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