Though NASA and the Census dominated most of our activity during April, we did not lose sight of the work for the people of Precinct 2 and Harris County. Here are a few highlights:
PRECINCT TOWN HALL
Once again, we had a packed house for our Town Hall meeting in Highlands for Baytown Annex service areas of Baytown, Coady, Crosby, Linus, Barrett Station, McNair, Highlands & Lynchburg. While the usual issues of flooding, drainage and traffic were high on everyone’s list, the work with EPA on the San Jacinto Waste Pits Super Fund captured everyone’s attention. Working with Congressman Gene Green and the Harris County attorney’s office, we’ve succeeded in getting the EPA to fence the area and add signage warning that the fish are not safe to eat.
SAN JACINTO DAY
This year I celebrated San Jacinto day by first addressing the Texas State Society Annual meeting in Washington, DC. I spoke on our Project Stars initiative to establish positive identity for eastern Harris County, through a broad communications program highlighting the historical significance of the east side's rich historical heritage around the San Jacinto Battleground. Then I came home to host the San Jacinto Day Festival & Battle Reenactment and join in on the celebrations with entertainment, food, games and fun. It was a good day to be a Texan.
SYLVAN BEACH PARADE & FESTIVAL
Serving as Grand Marshal, the La Porte Festival & Parade was well attended with families & children enjoying arts, crafts, a carnival & our brand new Beach. It was good to see the weather cooperate as many enjoyed the beach.
COURT APPROVES PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE
In July 2009, Commissioners Court approved the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (HCCJCC) to oversee all issues impacting the criminal justice system especially the reduction of jail overcrowding. The Council is comprised of the Sheriff, the District Attorney, a representative of the Constables' offices, District Clerk, County Attorney, Administrative Judge of the District Courts and Criminal Trial Division and the Presiding Judges of both the County Criminal Courts and the 16 Justices of the Peace. Commissioner Lee is the Chair and I am the vice-chair. One of the most critical tasks was evaluating the need for a public defender’s office. Commissioners Court approved the submission of a grant to the Office of the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense for the establishment of a public Defender Pilot Program in Harris County. This is the first step in the creation of a Public Defenders office in Harris County.
COMMISSIONER’S COURT HIGHLIGHTS
• Approved Dynamo stadium interlocal agreement with the City of Houston.
• Passed resolution in support of full funding for NASA’s Human Space Exploration.
• Received Moody’s Aaa Credit Rating.
Precinct 2 is keeping pace with the Nation in the Census response rate. The Nation is at 72%, Precinct 2 is at 72%! Harris County as a whole is at 69%, the City of Houston is at 67%. Enumerators are knocking on doors – open the door and be counted!
Check out ""Census 2010", HOUSTON 8 SPECIAL PRESENTATION" on Houston 8.
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I joined Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Congressman John Culberson, Congressman Gene Green, Congressman Pete Olson, Mayor Annise Parker, and Council member Mike Sullivan at a press conference at NASA Johnson Space Center. We are all part of the unified Team Texas to fight for full funding for human space flight exploration at Johnson Space Center. Recently, while in DC, Congressman Green and I hosted a successful coffee for the members of the budget and appropriations committees reviewing NASA’s budget.
Our Pct2gether Program’s success is in large part due to the foundation laid by the original Senior’s Program created by Commissioner Fonteno. We are now serving 15,000 senior citizens from 300 senior groups and every day we are working to ensure a good quality of life for our seniors. The White House’s recent proclamation for Older Americans Month, "Age Strong, Live Long," recognizes the efforts of people of all ages to promote the well-being, community involvement, and independence of senior citizens.
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