Yesterday, the University of Texas system announced a plan to create a footprint for possible undergraduate, graduate, and research facilities in the Houston Area. Why now, why not 20 years ago? I have worked hard over the last 24 years in the legislature to elevate the University of Houston into a Tier 1 research university, secure more funding and capital projects for Texas Southern University, and get equalization grants for St. Thomas University. Houston is a great city that has developed excellent public and private universities. I believe there needs to be discussion and collaboration to determine what is best for the Houston area and Texas. I look forward to my first meeting with Chancellor William McRaven to discuss this.
Also, this week the House Speaker Joe Strauss released the interim charges for House committees. Interim charges are important because they help prepare the legislature for next session – by allowing the committees to study the issues and develop solutions before the next legislative session begins. As chair of County Affairs I will ensure the committee studies the charges with the maximum amount of public input along with the expertise and knowledge of all stakeholders. Our work will allow us to bring back a report that reflects the variety of views within the 254 counties in the state of Texas. To view the interim charges for County Affairs and all of the House committees, click here.
The interim charges will also build upon the work that the committee has already done this interim in our two committee meetings regarding county jail standards, inmate care, training, coordination among different local and state agencies, the Sandra Bland case and, other recent jail suicides that have occurred in the state.
Moving on to Tuesdays elections, I want to thank all of you in Houston who came out in record numbers to make your voices heard. I also want to congratulate Michael Kubosh (At-large 3), Brenda Stardig (District A), Jerry Davis (District B) Dwight Boykins(District D), Robert Gallegos (District I), Larry Green (District K), Jolanda Jones (HISD Trustee District IV) Adriana Tamez (HCC Trustee District I), and Eva Loredo (HCC Trustee District IV) on winning their elections this week. I am also glad that all the Harris County propositions passed – which will help make critical infrastructure improvements.
Unfortunately, Houston’s proposition 1 (Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance) failed to pass. It is disappointing that a smear campaign that played on people’s fears won out over protecting the rights of all Houstonians. But we who fight against discrimination will not be detoured; we will continue to work to ensure that all people have their rights protected.
Many important elections in Houston including the Mayor’s race will need to be decided in a runoff election that will be held in December. Below are my endorsements for the runoff elections which early voting begins December 2nd, and Election Day will be December 14th.
Sylvester Turner. I’ve served with Representative Turner throughout my entire 24 years in the Texas Legislature. No one is more qualified than Sylvester to lead our city. I have been proud to work with him on making the state better, and I am excited about the possibility of our future under his guidance. Click here to read the Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of Sylvester Turner.
For City Council
David Robinson, and Jack Christie have the experience and have done a fine job serving. I hope they are joined by Amanda Edwards. I am proud to endorse them.
2) David Robinson
4) Amanda Edwards
5) Jack Christie
District Council Recommendations
F) Richard Nguyen
J) Mike Laster
District II: Rhonda Skillern-Jones
“When I Come Around” by Green Day is the song of the week because, I hope people come around sooner rather than later on protecting the rights of all people.