Q&A: Democratic candidates for state District 126 representative discuss flooding, public education

Undrai Fizer and Natali Hurtado are running in the Democratic primary March 3 for state representative District 126.
Undrai Fizer and Natali Hurtado are running in the Democratic primary March 3 for state representative District 126.

Undrai Fizer and Natali Hurtado are running in the Democratic primary March 3 for state representative District 126.

Two candidates have filed to run in the Democratic primary for state representative for District 126. The winner will face Republican candidate E. Sam Harless, the incumbent, in November. Q&A responses may have been edited for length.

Natali Hurtado

Years lived in district:
5

If elected, I would change: the landscape of [FM 1960] ensuring we're reinvesting in our community ... a decrease in graffiti [and] litter, and exponential growth.

www.natalifortexas.com


Why are you running to represent District 126?

I strongly believe we need representation that is reflective of the dynamic district we live in. We need to be capitalizing on the assets our community possesses, and I believe utilizing economic development initiatives is the key to doing so. I have a passion for public service and have both the educational and career experience to be an effective advocate and legislator. Additionally, I'm a woman of my word—when I make commitments I follow through no matter the challenge.

What is the most pressing issue facing the district, and how do you plan to address it?

As I stated, I have witnessed an increase in graffiti, litter and the relocation of businesses. In order for our community to maintain the beauty it has shown throughout the years, we need to make sure we're reinvesting in our community. With my executive experience in working with economic development projects and initiatives, I know exactly how to push this forward without skipping a beat. I have the relationships needed within the varying levels of government and within the community to ensure we prosper and prevent future blight.

If elected, what efforts would you take to address and fund flood mitigation?

I would work with the existing organizations that have been on the ground working on policy initiatives so there's no time wasted. My relationships with the city, county, state and federal government are critical to ensuring we are getting the attention and, more importantly, the funding required for flood mitigation projects.

What legislation would you look to file or support regarding the state’s public education system?

We need to really analyze the charter school structure and what it is doing to our neighborhood schools. Are our neighborhood public schools getting their fair share of taxpayer dollars? I would argue no. I would work on filing legislation that puts more priority in funding our neighborhood public schools.

Undrai F. Fizer


Years lived in district: 20

If elected, I would change: the way true representation and advocacy toward our constituents' life issues are being addressed

www.fizer4texas.org

Why are you running to represent District 126?

I seek this office to serve as an advocate for the issues of our constituents, especially as it relates to total health care and social services. The issues aren’t if we can have health care, but if health care will do its part in providing premium service for premiums paid. Many lives have been tragically altered, simply because of nonauthorizations to medicines and services that needed to be rendered—totally unfair to anyone, regardless of who you are or where you’re from.

What is the most pressing issue facing the district, and how do you plan to address it?

Outside of night lights that are desperately needed off of [Hwy.] 249 and Bammel, how we are treated as people by various industr[ies] of service needs to be looked at—especially by government, health care and Social Services. We also are a very well-balanced community, which make[s] the personal and emotional issues that our youth face daily sort of an obsolete thing. We can do so much better as people concerning this.

If elected, what efforts would you take to address and fund flood mitigation?

If elected, as it relates to addressing the flood problem, I would first desire to partner with those who have significantly addressed it before my arrival to the Capital. Seeing that legislation and propositions have already been established concerning flood plans, I would like to see what significant priority has been placed upon this legislation as it relates to being funded and realized. The safety and welfare of our constituents should carry the highest alert. They should no longer fear when it rains.

What legislation would you look to file or support regarding the state’s public education system?

I would continue to support educational advocates who seek to protect the integrity of our public school system, especially from gentrification and district take over. I believe that we have the genius to take our educational system to a unique level, especially those districts and students who seem to have fallen off course. I have established an ambassadorship, if you will, of various educators who continue to keep me in the know of their [present] needs as it relates to this reality. Proper legislation will be established as I continue to be involved in this process.

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By Anna Lotz

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.


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