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The Aftermath Of Our Votes Locally & What It Means [OPINION]

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We finally made it. After months of political ads, mail, and signs, we finally made it to the end of the 2012 election season. With the election behind us, our newly elected officials will begin to take office and the local bond initiatives will begin to be rolled out in the coming months.

What do these things mean to those who voted for or against a particular candidate or initiative? What do they mean to the future of our community? Let’s take a look.

Bond Initiatives

City Propositions A-E all passed by the voters on Election Day. These initiatives will help Houston become the city that we all envision it to be some day.

  • Proposition A will give $144 million in Public Safety Improvement to the city.
  • Proposition B diverts $166 million in city Park and Green Space improvements.
  • Proposition C generates $57 million towards the improvement of city facilities.
  • Proposition D will give our city libraries $28 million for library renovations and replacements.
  • Proposition E contributes $15 million for the demolition of run-down buildings and the construction of improved buildings and housing.

METRO

METRO’s successful bond initiative will give much-needed funds to the rebuilding and repair of the city’s streets, roads and vital infrastructure. It will also allow for the purchasing of new buses and will lead to the expansion of Houston’s Park and Ride program.

Houston Independent School District & Houston Community College

A great victory for the futures of our children and our communities, the HISD bond passed by an overwhelming margin. This bond will generate $1.8 billion of funding for Houston’s largest public school district. This will go to the repair and renovations of the majority of HISD’s schools.

The Houston Community College system will receive $425 in additional revenue that will go to the improvement of facilities and school infrastructure.

With our vote for these referenda, Houston gave the rest of the country a clear sign that we are investing in the futures of our children and our city. As Houston’s reputation continues to flourish, the success of these measures will ensure the prosperity of our city for generations to come.

Local Races

State Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr.

Local politics suffered a huge loss last month with the passing of Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. The late Senator received a posthumous victory on Election Day – an undeniable nod to the Senator by the city’s voting public. Stay tuned, as now the seat must be filled through special election this December.

Harris County Sheriff

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia saw his reelection bid end successfully, edging out Louis Guthrie by seven points. Sheriff Garcia has done an outstanding job during his time in office, cutting crime rates, better involving the community with the Sheriff’s office, and reforming the office for the better. His reelection is well deserved and I have no doubt that the Sheriff will continue to effectively serve our city.

District Judges

Some of the city’s most contentious races were had in the fight for the judicial bench. Several seats held by Democrats went to Republicans, and several were held by mere fractions of a point. The results of these races will have a huge impact on our local justice system; I just hope that they’re for the better. Just to illustrate how close these races were, here are a some of the numbers:

-       50.38% – 49.62%

-       50.52% – 49.48%

-       50.12% – 49.88%

-       50.92% – 49.08%

Well, there you have it. Whether your candidate or referendum won or lost, these results aren’t about the view or voice of one individual. The results of this election are about the collective voice of our country, our city, and our neighborhood. Win or lose, all we can do now is sit back and wait. Wait for the aftermath of our vote and the impact it will have on our future.

Dallas S. Jones is the President/CEO of Elite Change, Inc. a public affairs and political consulting firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Washington, DC. He resides in the 3rd Ward community with his wife Angela Lopez Jones.

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