First and foremost, we must reduce the amount of crime occurring in Southwest Houston. According to our founding fathers, the government's number one mission must be to protect its citizens from all threats, foreign and domestic. No one understands this better than a person like me who came to this country fleeing violence. It is clear that our city government must combat crime and seek justice for victims. The southwest part of town contains some of the zip codes with the highest crime in the city. At City Hall, I'll tackle this issue head-on to ensure our neighbors and childen are safe. I'm also a huge supporter of our democracy and oppose the removal of our elected HISD Board. The HISD takeover is part of a clear pattern of attacks on democracy in Houston that includes ongoing lawsuits to overturn 2022 Harris County election results. I'll always fight for democracy and for fair elections for every resident of District J and the City of Houston.
Houston, we have a problem: we are one of the sex trafficking capitols of the United States of America. A significant portion of this activity is centralized along the Bissonnet triangle in Southwest Houston. It is imperative that we crack down on sex trafficking using all available means. We must work with local NGOs like The Landing, Elijah Rising, and The Houston Area Women's Center to ensure that those victimized by this horrendous industry have a pathway out. We will implement an organized "name and shame" campaign to ensure that any sex buyer arrested within our district will be outed to his family, partner, community, and employer. We will aggressively advocate for driver's license suspensions for all people convicted of soliciting prostitutes in our city. Additionally, we will fund increased patrols along Bissonett to ensure solicitation is caught. With over 300,000 women and girls trafficked through our streets, the time for action is now.
Our police need to have the resources and training necessary to effectively prevent and solve crime. Currently HPD spends 90% of its budget on staffing 5,200 officers, 880 civilian support personnel, and 140 cadets. Despite this, we still have 325+ fewer full time equivalent officers than we did 25 years ago. With 461 citizens being covered per officer and an average of 8 police officers per square mile, we clearly need to increase the number of full time officers in HPD. We must also ensure that our existing police resources are pre-positioned to respond near the areas with the highest crime levels. Additionally, we need to adequately train our police officers to respond to the diverse situations they will find themselves in. This can range from responding to mental health crises, homeless outreach, and responding to active shooter events.
Given our limited police resources, we must invest in effective technologies to help us increase the efficiency of our police force. By increasing the number of shotspotters, cameras, and license plate readers throughout our district we will provide HPD with the necessary information they need to solve and prevent crime. By partnering with local research institutions like the University of Houston, Rice University, and others, we can continuously evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions. We will ensure that we are not wasting resources for the sake of novelty. In short, with a commitment to innovation and monitoring, we can turn Houston into a leader in safety technology.
Young people, particularly young men, who have positive, community activities to engage in are less likely to become involved in criminal activity. As such we must invest in youth enrichment programs in our district. These include after-school programs, sports teams, and internships. My office will provide incentives for safe, family-friendly entertainment in our district. These programs will provide a positive outlet for youth and help them build important life skills. After all, we all know that idle hands are the devil's workshop.
When my family and I moved to southwest Houston in the 1980s, it was one of the most beautiful parts of town. The parks were clean and safe, providing a haven for both children and adults to enjoy. During the scorching summers, we sought refuge in the thriving Sharpstown Mall, creating cherished memories with friends. However, over the years, neglect has plagued our beloved part of town. The roads have crumbled, city services have deteriorated, and our once vibrant mall has become a perilous and rundown place.
I am dedicated to revitalizing Sharpstown Mall, also known as PlazaAmericas, restoring its former glory as a thriving centerpiece of Southwest Houston. Drawing from my experience as a former commercial real estate professional, I will relentlessly work towards transforming it into a bustling hub that serves the community, generates employment opportunities, supports local businesses, and fosters a safe and lively atmosphere for all. Together, let's revive the splendor of southwest Houston, creating a place where everyone can take pride in visiting!
One of our top priorities is the rehabilitation of Sharpstown Mall, a vital location in our district and once the shining gem of southwest Houston. We believe that by uniting the private and public sectors, we can transform this mall into a vibrant hub accessible to everyone, a space that will benefit both our local community and tourists alike.
Our plan is to bring major city services, like the Houston Police Department (HPD) and Houston Fire Department (HFD), right to the heart of the mall, creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. No longer will the parking lot be unsightly; we are determined to pave the way for a more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly space. With state-of-the-art LED lighting and brand-new signage, we will breathe new life into the mall, ensuring it shines brightly for years to come.
As part of our commitment to environmental stewardship, we plan to surround the mall with beautiful trees and flowers, creating a lush and inviting landscape that complements the surrounding community. Our mission is to attract anchor tenants to the mall, enhancing its appeal and bringing exciting new offerings to the area.
But our ambition doesn't stop there; we are eager to explore alternative uses for the space within the mall. Our goal is to reimagine this space, making it a hub of innovation, culture, and community engagement. Together, we will transform Sharpstown Mall into a dynamic and thriving destination, enriching the lives of residents and visitors alike.
The World Cup is coming to Houston. Our vision is to seize the opportunities presented by this global event, tapping into the $1.6 billion that will flow into our city, and channeling it to enhance the very foundation of southwest Houston.
To begin with, we will implement regular quarterly road inspections, proactively identifying potential issues before they become significant problems. Our commitment extends beyond inspection; we will repaint roads and fix sidewalks, ensuring safe and aesthetically pleasing pathways for our residents.
Recognizing the importance of accessibility, we will prioritize the creation of more public parking. As one of the densest districts in the city, we understand the frustration of residents when the lack of public parking leads to overcrowded streets. Our mission is to alleviate this concern and restore a sense of ease to our community.
Safety is paramount, which is why we will increase speed bumps and improve street lighting upon resident requests. Your voice matters, and we are dedicated to responding to your needs promptly and effectively.
Moreover, as we prepare for potential weather challenges, we will regularly clean and inspect our drainages both before and after hurricane season. Our goal is to mitigate flooding risks and safeguard our district against adverse weather conditions.
In addition to infrastructure improvements, we are committed to securing additional funding for capital improvement projects, aiming to enhance the overall landscape of District J.
Unlocking the true potential of Houston's economic growth requires a bold and innovative approach to the permitting process. For far too long, this vital process has hindered progress, slowing down economy-improving projects and stifling innovation. It's time to break free from the shackles of bureaucracy and embrace a new era of efficiency and effectiveness.
Our visionary plan includes three transformative steps to revolutionize the permitting center and usher in a business-friendly environment that fosters innovation and drives progress.
Together, these innovative proposals will revolutionize the permitting center, unleashing the full potential of our economic growth. We will say goodbye to delays and roadblocks and welcome a new era of progress and prosperity. Let's create a city where innovation thrives, businesses flourish, and Houston becomes a shining example of efficient and forward-looking governance. Join us on this transformative journey, and together, we will build a better future for all.
We understand the importance of adapting to changing market dynamics and embracing technological advancements. That's why we will actively support local businesses in modernizing their operations, making the transition from cash-only transactions to accepting digital payments, and establishing a robust online presence.
To achieve this, we will create a dedicated Small Business Digitalization Program. Through this program, we will offer financial incentives and resources to assist businesses in adopting digital payment systems, setting up e-commerce platforms, and implementing effective online marketing strategies. By doing so, we will unlock new opportunities for our businesses to cater to a wider customer base, reaching beyond our district's borders and into global markets.
In addition to supporting digitalization efforts, we recognize the vital role that secure business environments play in fostering prosperity. That's why we will champion Business Security Grants, providing financial assistance for businesses to enhance both their online and in-person security measures. With state-of-the-art security solutions, our businesses can safeguard their operations, protecting their assets and customer data while contributing to a safer community.
Furthermore, we understand that small businesses often require capital for expansion and improvement projects. As a result, we will diligently seek and secure additional funding for capital improvement initiatives. By investing in the enhancement of our district's infrastructure, we create an environment where businesses can thrive and succeed.
Our commitment to supporting small businesses extends to creating targeted Small Business Grants for District J. Through these grants, we aim to empower local entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small enterprises, providing them with the financial support they need to drive growth, innovation, and job creation. These grants will be designed to be easily accessible and tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of each business, ensuring that no opportunity for growth goes untapped.
Innovation lies at the heart of our vision for Houston's future, and we are committed to fostering a thriving ecosystem of innovators that will power our city's innovation district. Our dedication to innovation starts from the earliest ages, as we aim to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in our young minds, shaping a generation of trailblazers, not just employees.
To achieve this, we will establish robust high school internship programs, forging partnerships with the city's vast array of Fortune 500 companies. By providing our students with hands-on professional experiences, we equip them with the skills and insights necessary to excel in our modern economy.
As a city renowned for leading in fields like medical research and engineering, we recognize the importance of investing in research and providing opportunities for our students to engage in the research process. By connecting our high-achieving students to these cutting-edge opportunities, we instill a culture of innovation and intellectual rigor that will shape Houston's future as a beacon of progress.
To incubate the ideas and ventures of our budding entrepreneurs, we will create a Pre-Incubator program. This platform will allow potential entrepreneurs to embark on their business journey with the support and guidance needed to thrive. As they gain momentum, we will help them transition to the incubators located in Houston's innovation district, providing the necessary resources and connections to propel their ventures forward.
Realizing the immense potential of early childhood education, we will fund evidence-based programs that prepare our children for a future of innovation and leadership. By investing in early childhood education and parent education interventions, we not only prevent personal and social issues but also equip our young minds with all the advantages necessary to become not just local workers but national leaders.
With a robust pipeline of innovators, empowered by hands-on experiences, cutting-edge research, and a strong foundation of early education, we envision a Houston that shines as a global hub of innovation. Together, we will build a city that embraces creativity, fosters entrepreneurship, and leads the way towards a future where innovation thrives in every aspect of our society.
Houston, we refuse to accept our current reputation as one of the dirtiest cities in the United States. We are ready to rise above and showcase our determination to create a city that is clean, beautiful, and envied by all.
We will plant at least 10,000 trees in our district. This will not only to enhance our urban landscape but also improve air quality and combat climate change. Our streets and bayous will be transformed into havens of natural beauty and tranquility.
We will no longer tolerate illegal dumping: we will harness the power of technology to fight back and hold offenders accountable, My office will create a District J Decontamination Unit, and we will monitor and eradicate this problem. There is no room for environmental negligence in our district.
The night will come alive as we light up our highways and iconic buildings with energy-efficient LED technology. Our city will glow with pride, showcasing our commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Houston is the energy capital of the world, and we will solidify that position with a bold leap into the future. We will forge partnerships with energy companies, secure federal grants, and revolutionize our city with solar panels and charging stations. Houston will become a beacon of clean energy, inspiring other cities to follow suit.
Our parks will become vibrant gathering places, infused with energy and life. We will invest in state-of-the-art amenities to create spaces that inspire creativity, foster community engagement, and offer respite from the urban hustle.
Our community deserves reliable city services. Whether it is trash, heavy trash, or recycling, we will no longer tolerate extended delays in service.
Houston, a city known for its vibrant energy and thriving economy, has faced an immense challenge in recent years - flooding. The devastating impact of flooding on our city's finances, infrastructure, and lives cannot be ignored. It is time for decisive action to combat this recurring menace and build a sustainable future for Houston. At the heart of our commitment lies the recognition that stopping flooding goes hand in hand with embracing environmentally conscious practices. We envision a more resilient and livable Houston, where innovative flood mitigation systems, robust infrastructure, and responsible development work hand in hand to protect our communities and instill a sense of security in our residents. As we embark on this journey towards a sustainable future, we must also ensure that our energy grid is robust and reliable, providing the foundation for our city's prosperity. Through education and community engagement, we will empower our citizens with the knowledge to become environmental stewards, fostering a collective commitment to a greener, more sustainable Houston. Together, we will forge partnerships, drive innovation, and implement bold initiatives that lead us towards a future where our city shines as a model of environmental resilience and energy reliability.
Flooding has taken a tremendous toll on Houston. Since 2010, flooding has cost Houston over 100 billion dollars in damages and dozens of lives. Its devastating impact not only affects our finances, but also disrupts our peace of mind and erodes our sense of stability. It is imperative that we take decisive action to combat this recurring menace and build a sustainable future for our city.
One of our priorities is to invest in robust infrastructure and innovative flood mitigation systems. By enhancing our drainage systems, improving reservoirs, and implementing cutting-edge technologies, we can better manage excessive rainfall and significantly reduce the risk of catastrophic flooding. This approach ensures the long-term protection of our communities and instills a sense of security in our residents.
Additionally, we must adopt sustainable land-use practices and prioritize responsible development. Effective storm water management and the preservation of natural wetlands and green spaces all play vital roles in reducing flood risks and preserving our environment. By embracing sustainable growth, we can create a harmonious balance between urban development and nature, fostering a healthier and more resilient Houston.
As stewards of our environment and guardians of our community's well-being, we take full responsibility for safeguarding our shared spaces. Illegal dumping has become a pressing issue that poses significant threats to our health, clogs up vital drainage systems, and tarnishes the beauty of our beloved city. This is a challenge we can no longer ignore, and it demands a swift and uncompromising response.
To combat illegal dumping head-on, we pledge to take bold actions that send a clear message of zero tolerance. We will implement a "name and shame" campaign to expose and hold illegal dumpers accountable for their actions. By publicly identifying those who violate our environmental laws, we aim to deter future incidents and protect the sanctity of our community.
In addition to naming and shaming, we recognize that meaningful consequences are essential. We will impose hefty fines on businesses that pollute our community through illegal dumping practices. These penalties will act as a strong deterrent and ensure that businesses prioritize responsible waste disposal, thereby preserving the well-being of our neighborhoods.
To create lasting change, we understand the importance of community education. We will launch comprehensive initiatives that inform and empower residents to properly dispose of refuse in the city. By educating the public on best practices for waste disposal and reporting illegal dumping incidents, we will mobilize a united front against this environmental threat.
Education and community engagement lie at the heart of our transformative approach. By fostering a sense of collective responsibility and environmental consciousness, we will inspire lasting change. Together, we will build a community that takes pride in its surroundings, protects its environment, and serves as a shining example of responsible citizenship for future generations.
District J is not just a place on the map; it's our home, a vibrant community we cherish. As residents, we cannot idly stand by while our beloved district bears the burden of pollution. It is time for us to take charge and make a lasting impact on our environment, ensuring that future generations can thrive in a cleaner and healthier community.
Recognizing that District J faces both density and pollution challenges, we are resolved to lead the charge for change. As such, we will lead the creation of the District J Decontamination Unit: a formidable group of dedicated individuals committed to rejuvenating our district and fostering an environment where prosperity and well-being flourish.
D.J.D.U's mission is to reclaim the beauty of District J and enhance the quality of life for all its residents. With unwavering dedication, we will roll up our sleeves and engage in targeted clean-up initiatives, ensuring that every corner of our district is free from pollution and litter.
The state of our roads in Southwest Houston is nothing short of alarming. Pot holes, cracks, and hazardous intersections plague our district, causing substantial damage and inconvenience to our residents year after year. It is disheartening to know that despite our contributions in road taxes, we are not witnessing the results we deserve.
As a dedicated representative of District J, I am wholeheartedly committed to reversing this concerning trend. My mission is to prioritize the urgent repair of our roads and ensure the safety and convenience of our community members. Together, we will address these road issues head-on, taking concrete steps towards a smoother and safer transportation network.
To achieve this, I pledge to increase the reporting of road conditions to the Department of Public Works. By ensuring that the road repair funds allocated to each city councilor are put to the most efficient use, we will tackle the most egregious road problems in our district. Regular quarterly road inspections will be conducted to catch road issues early and prevent them from escalating into bigger problems.
Moreover, I will actively advocate for direct pot hole reporting to the Department of Public Works, followed by vigorous follow-up procedures to expedite the repair process. By streamlining the reporting and repair system, we will ensure that our residents' concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.
I am committed to obtaining federal green grants for Southwest Houston. These grants, offered by various federal agencies such as the Department of Energy and Labor, present an extraordinary opportunity to drive positive change in our district. By harnessing these funds, we can propel transformative green projects that will revolutionize our community and pave the way for a more sustainable future.
With federal green grants at our disposal, we can undertake a myriad of projects that will elevate Southwest Houston to new heights. From creating pristine and enhanced parks to establishing state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging stations, our district will become a shining example of environmental responsibility and progress.
These grants are more than just financial resources; they are a gateway to economic prosperity and environmental well-being. By successfully securing federal green grants, we will infuse new life into our local economy, generating employment opportunities and boosting business growth.
Moreover, the positive impact on our environment cannot be overstated. With these grants, we can address ecological challenges, revitalize green spaces, and promote sustainable practices that will benefit both current and future generations.
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