June was a busy month for me with our final Town Hall meeting dominating my June activities. Here are a few highlights from June:
AROUND THE PRECINCT
Continued our fight to keep human space
flight exploration fully funded and save
jobs in the Harris County Region.
Communidad Latina interview about
Held a mini Town Hall meeting in
Barrett Station to raise community
awareness and unveil plans for
FM 2100 road enhancements.
Launched our Sea Scouts pilot
program with partners – Houston
Pilots, and off to a great start.
Once again, we had a packed house for our Town Hall meeting for constituents in Channelview, Cloverleaf, Sheldon, Galena Park, Jacinto City and surrounding unincorporated areas. While the usual issues of flooding, drainage and traffic were high on everyone’s list, a number of residents came to share concerns about Freeport road enhancements. Phase I involves Freeport from I-10 to Woodforest. Phase 2 will cover Woodforest to Uvalde. Work will proceed with Phase I until further traffic study is done for Phase 2.
JUNETEENTH PRAYER BREAKFAST
Precinct Two residents gathered for our 8th Annual Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast. The event recognizes the date 145 years ago (June 19, 1865) that slaves in Texas found out they were free as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln. Guest speaker, State Representative Sylvester Turner, engaged the crowd of more than 250 with an inspiring speech based on his roots and upbringing in Harris County. Click here to view speech.
This was my first National Association of Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) Annual Conference as President. NALEO represents 6000 plus Latino Leaders from every level of government across the United States. Educational workshops focusing on education, sustainability, energy and empowerment were well attended. Speakers, which included, Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano and Secretary of Labor Solis, kept participants busy throughout the three day conference. Click here for more photos.
JUVENILE JUSTICE PROGRAM
Progress continues to be made in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) for Harris County. As co-chair, I attended our final site visit in Scotts Valley, California to see first-hand what are the best practices in monitoring our youth to ensure that they show up to court and more importantly that they do not re-offend.
COMMISSIONER’S COURT HIGHLIGHTS
Approved moving forward on 22 priority projects totaling $84 million. Key projects included upgrades for the Harris County Sheriff's office and a weatherization project for the Juvenile Justice Center.
Approved extending the hiring freeze for all county departments through September 2010.
Received notification of our third AAA bond rating by Fitch. This makes us one of few local governments to receive AAA rating from all three rating agencies.
SAVE THE DOME
Recently the Harris County Sports Corporation unveiled several options for the future of the Astrodome – the 8th Wonder of the World. While no decision has been made yet, this was a first step in taking a serious look at the potential use of this architectural icon. A recent online survey resulted in "overwhelming" support for saving the Astrodome. For more information join the Facebook group Save the Astrodome today.
PCT2GETHER - ENDING HUNGER
A new addition to our family of Pct2gether programs is "ending hunger". The program began in response to increased calls from constituents asking for food. As the economy worsened and joblessness increased, more and more calls were received.
Working with the Houston Food Bank and the North Channel Ministries, mobile units visit our community centers once a month delivering food focusing on veterans and seniors. Meals are also delivered to homebound seniors and veterans.
Additionally, we facilitated a meeting with hunger and food pantry stakeholders in our precinct to discuss delays in food stamp certification. Attending the meeting were representatives of the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid who are representing food stamp applicants wrongfully delayed or denied food stamps in Texas.
In Harris County, 650,000 people live at or below national poverty level and 230,000 are hungry daily, many of those children.
Contact Gina Hinojosa at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid for more information on food stamp delays 512-426-8361.
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