November 2020 election Q&A: Texas House of Representatives District 129 candidates Dennis Paul, Kayla Alix

Kayla Alix is vying for the District 129 seat against incumbent Dennis Paul. (Community Impact staff)
Kayla Alix is vying for the District 129 seat against incumbent Dennis Paul. (Community Impact staff)

Kayla Alix is vying for the District 129 seat against incumbent Dennis Paul. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Texas House of Representatives, District 129









*indicates incumbent







Kayla Alix



D



Occupation: IT business analyst


Experience: 12 years of residency in the Bay Area; mother; grandmother; spouse of a disabled veteran; STEM professional; dedicated advocate for veterans






What work can be done to mitigate flooding in the district?



KA: Flood mitigation should be a joint effort. Facing it head-on with short-term and long-term solutions is the best route. Placing a Band-Aid or impacting other districts adversely is not the solution. For example, installing a retention pond behind Ash Automotive will alleviate flooding on Highway 3. Also, looking at the research Rice University, Exploration Green and other independent groups have done is a step in the right direction. All communities deserve clean air and water. Industry and communities can coexist! It is unacceptable to knowingly place communities at risk. Those that do will have to make impacted communities whole. Lastly, looking at stakeholders as partners in the solution is important as well. Government, business and other stakeholders working together to solve the issue is my suggestion. Implementing best practices from around the state and country is my solution.



What would you prioritize, if re-elected, to help constituents both protect themselves from COVID-19 and recover from the pandemic's economic effects?



KA: We know masks, social distancing and washing hands works in combating the spread of COVID-19. As your representative, I would like to expand health care coverage for Texans to have access to testing and recovery medical treatment. [I would] communicate facts to the public on preventative measures.



In light of recent social justice movements, what can representatives do to ensure their constituents from all backgrounds have equitable access to the resources they need for success?



KA: Representatives can work on legislation at the state level [to pass] laws to have mental health professionals or social volunteers go on welfare calls with officers. In Idaho, trained volunteer veterans go out with police officers to help with veterans who are distressed and suffering from PTSD. Also, as state [representative], [I would] create mandatory requirements for police officers to do community policing. This will bridge the gap between police and the community. Currently, the climate is an "us vs. them" mentality, and we must change that perception with community engagement from our officers. I would create an emergency contact guide for constituents to help alleviate the amount of calls our officers receive.









Dennis Paul*



R



Occupation: engineer


Experience: area resident for 33 years; local small-business owner for 18 years; state representative since 2014; served on the Structural Engineers Association of Texas State Board of Directors and Legislative Affairs Committee from 2004-14; served as a precinct chair for 16 years and as a state Republican executive committee members for eight years






What work can be done to mitigate flooding in the district?



DP: Last session, the Legislature passed Senate Bills 7 [and] 8 and House Joint Resolution 4. These three pieces of legislation created the Flood Infrastructure Fund and State Flood Plan, which is going to dramatically change how the state funds, plans and mitigates for future flood events across Texas. The Texas Flood Infrastructure Fund will fund regional flood planning and flood mitigation projects. This was funded by an appropriation of $840 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund, or "Rainy Day Fund." Of the $840 million appropriated, $47 million is specifically directed towards updating flood risk maps. The remaining $793 million will be used as grant funding for flood mitigation projects across the state. Further, this legislation will direct the Texas Water Development Board to create a coordinated and collaborative state flood plan. This plan will be based on regional flood plans that will bring all stakeholders together to plan for and mitigate future flood events. Further, my top legislative priority is the construction of the Coastal Barrier in Galveston Bay. This completion of this project will mitigate the impact of storm surge for Texans all across the Galveston Bay region.



What would you prioritize, if re-elected, to help constituents both protect themselves from COVID-19 and recover from the pandemic's economic effects?



DP: Creating and maintaining a stock of PPE will be crucial in being better prepared for another wave of COVID-19 or another pandemic outbreak. We have learned a lot these past several months on what to do and what not to do. My staff and I will continue to push for and research the best ways to safely open Texas' economy. I understand the importance of putting Texans back to work so that they can provide for themselves and their families, and it is a top priority.



In light of recent social justice movements, what can representatives do to ensure their constituents from all backgrounds have equitable access to the resources they need for success?



DP: My office is always open to hear from and visit with constituents, period. Regardless of their race or ethnicity or even political party, it is my duty to hear them out and make decisions that best represent the will of the district as a whole. I will always work to ensure that all state agencies treat everyone evenly and fairly.


By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

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