On Saturday, May 7th, over fifty District 137 residents attended our Open House to discuss issues that are important for Southwest Houston and the state of Texas. We received a great deal of feedback from the event that will help guide us in the next legislative session. We thank everyone who was able to attend, and are grateful to have had some exceptional speakers as we focused on the following policy areas:
District 137 includes parts of Houston ISD and Alief ISD, both of which are characterized by the diversity of their student populations. Alief Superintendent H.D. Chambers has been a leader in transforming public education to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow. Chambers offered his insight on the challenges we have as a state to educate 5.2 million children and also spoke about the significant reforms enacted during the 2013 legislative session.
Freddy Warner, System Executive for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and Januari Leo, Government Relations for Legacy Community Health Services both discussed issues surrounding public health. Memorial Hermann is the largest health care provider in the region and Legacy has three clinics in District 137 that provide a full range of services for the uninsured and underinsured in our community.
Warner discussed the cost of health care and the burden on hospitals in providing indigent care for Texas’ large uninsured population and gave an overview of the funding battles over how the state pays for our health care systems. Leo talked about the different programs and services offered by Legacy. Both Warner and Leo discussed the impact of Texas’ refusal to expand Medicaid and the overwhelming strain it puts on our hospitals, clinics and healthcare system as a whole.
Celena Vinson, Assistant County Attorney discussed nuisance abatement through civil lawsuits and the different tools that can be used to fight illegal game rooms, gang activity, human trafficking, and other related crimes. Houston Police Lieutenant H. H. Conn talked about law enforcement efforts to build relationships in the community and the support her officers receive in return.