AUSTIN – June 15, 2017, Governor Abbott signed SB 1849, known as the Sandra Bland Act into law. SB 1849 by Senator Whitmire is the Senate companion to HB 2702 that Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) wrote in the House. Rep. Coleman released the following statement:

Today the Sandra Bland Act was signed into law by Governor Abbott. It is time that we make progress in criminal justice reform that will keep both law enforcement and the public safe and prevent future tragedies like Sandra Bland’s. The Sandra Bland Act came about during an interim study by the House Committee on County Affairs that I chair. I applaud Governor Abbott for signing the Sandra Bland Act into law. The Sandra Bland Act will act as a building block to build upon in the future.

The Sandra Bland Act has many important measures that will make everyone safer. To name just a few the Sandra Bland Act will prevent traffic stops from escalating by ensuring that all law enforcement officers receive de-escalation training for all situations as part of their basic training and continuing education. The Sandra Bland Act will also ensure that cell checks are properly done by providing funding for automated electronic sensors. Furthermore, the Sandra Bland Act requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency instead of the agency in charge of the jail where the death occurred.”

To read a two-pager on the Sandra Bland Act please click here.


This weekend, join Representative Coleman for the Emancipation Park Rededication Ceremony on Saturday, June 17th and the  ribbon cutting ceremony for Emancipation Avenue, Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration, and a Gulf Coast Junettenth on Monday, June 19th. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.


Emancipation Park Rededication Celebration

Saturday, June 17, 2017

– 10 AM to 5 PM *Rededication Ceremony at 11 AM*



Ribbon Cutting Ceremony For Emancipation Avenue

Monday, June 19, 2017

– 8:30 AM

Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration

Monday, June 19, 2017

– 10 AM to 5 PM

A Gulf Coast Juneteenth

– Monday, June 19, 2017

– 7 PM

– Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030


All events will take place at Houston’s Emancipation Park, at 3018 Emancipation Avenue, at the corner of Elgin and Emancipation Avenue (formerly Dowling Street). Unless otherwise noted.


Part of the Governor’s special session call is to have the Maternal Mortality Task Force’s authority extended to study the factors that disproportionately affect the most at risk population of Mothers in Texas. During the regular session this issue was championed by Senator Kolkhorst and freshman Representative Thierry from Houston.

I was a joint author on HB 2403 by Representative Thierry which would have the Maternal Mortality Task Force specifically look into why Black women are disproportionately having poor outcomes. Unfortunately, this great bill did not pass. I will continue to support this issue during the special session and into the future. Representative Walle was also a joint author on HB 2403 and was the author of the original bill in 2013 which created the Maternal Mortality Task Force.

Next week I will go more in-depth the other parts of the Governor’s call that will restrict access quality reproductive healthcare and abortion in Texas.

Save the Date: Grand Finale of In My Own Community (IMOC) 2017

Join Houston Southeast and ARVO Realty Advisors TOMORROW for a unique program featuring expert speakers with extensive knowledge on how to create generational wealth through community involvement and commercial real estate. This final session will discuss commercial leasing strategies, market and feasibility analysis, investment decision analysis, and retailers site selection process.

WHAT: IMOC Program Session V

WHEN: Tomorrow, Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 8:00am-11:30am

WHERE: Palm Center

5330 Griggs Road

Houston, TX 77021

Click here to reserve your seat or call (713) 952-5066.

 Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation

June is Homeownership Month and Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) is spreading the word about the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program they offer to first-time home buyers and the savings first-time home buyers can receive if they have an MCC.  The MCC program is a tax credit that gives eligible first-time home buyers the ability to save up to $2,000 each year on their income taxes.

Click here for more information.

The song of the week is “Fight” by Mavis Staples, who you can come see play, as well as Milton Hopkins & the Hit City Blues Band, and J. Paul Jr. & the Zydeco Nubreedz at A Gulf Coast Juneteenth this Monday at the Miller Outdoor Theatre at 7pm for FREE.

Categories: archived