Candidates for Harris County Precinct 1 commissioner discuss flooding, mobility, population growth

March 3 is the Election Day for the primaries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
March 3 is the election day for the primaries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

March 3 is the election day for the primaries. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Image description
(Courtesy Rodney Ellis)
Image description
(Courtesy Maria T. Jackson)
Two candidates are vying for a place as the Democratic candidate for Harris County Precinct 1 commissioner in the March 3 primary election, including incumbent Rodney Ellis and Maria T. Jackson. There is not a Republican candidate in the running, so the winner of the Democratic primary election will win the position.

*indicates incumbent


Rodney Ellis*

Years in district: more than 25

Website: www.rodneyellis.com


If elected, I would: continue advocating for increased economic opportunity, improved quality of life, and greater investments in Harris County families and neighborhoods.

1. What do you see as the most critical project or initiative in your precinct, and how do you plan to address it?

I helped lead the effort to get the $2.5 billion bond initiative passed to ensure better flood protection in Harris County and I will continue advocating for making greater investment in flood control projects and services and equitably prioritizing long-overdue investments in flood prevention and protection.

2. Both city of Houston and Harris County officials have said they want to work more closely together on flood and road projects. What steps will you take to help make that happen?

Flood waters and climate change don’t make a distinction between the city and county and neither should we as leaders. We need to work together to ensure new development and infrastructure is done in an equitable manner so everyone has access to flood prevention and protection, not just those in certain zip codes.

3. How should the precinct and county address expected population growth and its accompanying needs?

Harris County needs to continue making critical investments to serve our community and ensure we stay competitive. This means making smart investments in infrastructure, including more bike lanes and better access to sidewalks and walking paths.

Maria T. Jackson

Years in district: 11

Website: www.mariatjacksonforcommissioner.com

If elected, I would: ... bring the needed, mature leadership to the position and thoughtfully and unbiasedly tackle every problem that faces the precinct. I am committed to listening and to advocating for all the people of Precinct 1. We deserve better and we can do better.

1. What do you see as the most critical project or initiative in your precinct, and how do you plan to address it?

Flood mitigation and infrastructure: We still have too many citizens in Precinct 1 that have been displaced from Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda who have not received relief. The county has received $1.3 million dollars, and not one dime has been used for the residents of Precinct 1. ... We must mitigate the impact of future flooding and we can use simple solutions such as increased maintenance of the existing drainage systems while also investing in transformative drainage projects that serve all communities and promote green solutions. As county commissioner, I will reach out to work hand in hand with all the stakeholders in the county to include the flood control district, the state, municipalities, MUDs and surrounding counties.

2. Both city of Houston and Harris County officials have said they want to work more closely together on flood and road projects. What steps will you take to help make that happen?

Harris County not only needs to work more closely with the municipalities and districts within the county, but it must also create flooding mitigation plans that involve upstream partners and work with the state in recognizing the regional causes of flooding, not only the local ones. The county must work closely with the city to make sure the drainage infrastructure is maintained to flow into the bayous and we need to work together to improve chronically affected areas.

3. How should the precinct and county address expected population growth and its accompanying needs?

The county has experienced record growth in the last decade, and it is not expected to slow. Harris County can become the city of the future by anticipating growth and infrastructure needs, creating desirable public spaces, and by attracting businesses and start up innovation. We must make sure that people are not left behind as we launch into our bright futures, particularly when looking at all the historic neighborhoods of Precinct 1. We must make sure programs are in place to create the workforce of tomorrow and make sure people are gaining the skills they need to thrive.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



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