In the last year, on Commissioners Court, we’ve gone from being one of the most regressive counties in the country to dedicating ourselves to positive change, focusing on issues that matter to working class people.
We’re not done yet, and neither am I. That’s why I’m running for a second term.
The 2020 election for President is the most important in our lifetime. In the primary, voters will turn out to select who will represent the Democratic Party and who will go on to beat Donald Trump. All voters must make their voices heard in this primary, and I am committed to putting my time, energy and resources into running a campaign to help turn out a record number of people in Precinct One.
But it’s about more than Donald Trump, who we elect up and down the ballot will make the difference between whether the Republicans undermine our hard-won progress or we continue to advance meaningful, progressive change for hard-working Harris County families.
Throughout my 30 years as your public servant on Houston City Council, the Texas Senate and now on Commissioners Court, I have always fought for progressive change and championed working families and everyday people who deserve good jobs, access to health care and the resources they need to thrive. We have an unprecedented opportunity to change people’s lives and realize a vision for a more fair and just Harris County. I am dedicated to running this campaign in a way that lifts up every resident of Precinct One and Harris County and gives voters a progressive choice in the primary.
As your commissioner, I’ve worked hard to advance a strong progressive agenda that promotes economic, social and environmental justice for all residents and neighborhoods. Since taking office, I have focused on creating economic opportunity for working families, increasing equitable flood protection and recovery resources for all communities, expanding access to affordable and quality healthcare, and advancing criminal justice reforms that uphold our rights and protect our communities. I will run my campaign on those issues. (Read More Below)
As a Democratic leader, I have helped mentor and organize a new generation of community leaders and worked hard to elect a record number of Democrats to Harris County offices to fight back against the Republicans’ agenda that benefits corporate interests and the very wealthy at the expense of working families. More than ever before, we need Democratic leaders who are willing to fight and stand up to the Republicans’ regressive agenda to roll back hard-won rights and undo the progress we’ve made.
I’ve dedicated my life to public service and fighting for communities like the one I grew up in, because everyone, no matter where they come from, deserves elected officials that work hard for all of our families. That’s why I’ve taken on the fights that I have in my career even when they haven’t been popular or easy – and that’s why I am officially announcing my campaign for re-election to the Harris County Commissioners Court and asking for your support in the Democratic Primary on March 3.
In Harris County, too many working families are struggling to make ends meet even when they work hard every day because Republicans have rigged the system against working families. It’s unacceptable that so many families struggle in this region of prosperity. Economic opportunity for every community is a top priority; we must address the crippling economic inequality in our region. That’s why I led the effort to open Harris County’s new Department of Economic Opportunity and Equity, which will help bridge the wealth gap in our communities that have been shut off from good jobs and other opportunities. This work will expand job training and career pathway programs, empower minority- and women-owned businesses and increase access to quality housing, healthcare and education. As we rebuild our infrastructure after Harvey, I have also worked to enact policies that protect local workers hired for local infrastructure repair projects and pay strong wages so more people have the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Every Harris County community deserves flood protection and access to recovery resources. For decades, Harris County did not fairly and adequately invest in local flood control projects. Making matters worse, federal funding for flood control projects has been based on a formula that weights property value over people when determining what projects will be funded. Areas with higher property values and fewer people have been prioritized over areas with more people living in less expensive homes, even if there is a dangerous, higher risk of flooding. All of this created gross disparities in our infrastructure. This became painfully clear in Harvey’s aftermath, especially for people living in underserved, flood-vulnerable areas that have been passed over repeatedly for flood mitigation funding
That’s why, after Hurricane Harvey, I led the fight to secure funding for urgent local projects using an equity formula that prioritizes flood-vulnerable, neglected neighborhoods and helped establish stronger regulations for unincorporated development to better protect families from flooding across Harris County. While it will take time, I remain committed to ensuring every community is better protected from future flooding as we work to rebuild after Harvey.
Criminal Justice Reform
Criminal justice reform is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time. As commissioner, I have advanced criminal justice reform at the local level that protects our rights and our communities. For decades, our justice system has privileged the wealthy while punishing the poor and driven high rates of mass incarceration. I’m proud to have led the effort to end the county’s misdemeanor cash bail practices that unfairly and disproportionately locked up poor people of color charged with nonviolent, low-level offenses and undermined public safety. The fight over bail reform is about establishing a safer, more fair, constitutional system based on equal justice instead of how much money someone has in their pocket so that we can focus on justice reforms that make our communities safer and stronger.
Healthcare is a fundamental human right, and I have always worked to increase access to the healthcare system that poor and working families are too often denied. One of the most important obligations a local government has to its residents is to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care services, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.
In Harris County, there are over 1 million people without insurance and affordable access to care. As Commissioner I have fought for expanded access to services and funding at the Harris County Hospital District and worked to expand access to life-saving critical care and improve services for preventative care, women’s healthcare and mental health services.