• Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
page background3.png

We need to create a society where people do not merely support progressive change, but fight for it. 

MY PRIORITIES

hero image.png

NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES

Potholes, broken sidewalks, and littering in many neighborhoods have gotten out of hand. The failure to fix these basic infrastructure needs is a policy choice of neglect.

 

Harris County must be a partner with the City of Houston to address these concerns. Every neighborhood deserves safe parks and community centers where every person from children to seniors can study, exercise, and play.

 

In making budgetary decisions, a lens based on equity will be applied to determine the greatest need. As County Commissioner, Ben will get to work on day 1 to ensure our neighborhoods are the vibrant communities we deserve.

FLOODING & CLIMATE CHANGE

Harris County has had 4 major flooding incidents in the past 5 years: 2016’s Tax Day flood and Memorial Day flood, 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, and 2019’s Tropical Storm Imelda. Today, every time there’s a rainstorm, we reflexively worry about whether there will be another catastrophic flood.

 

Our government must take care of our people in times of disasters while also working to mitigate future disasters. First steps include creating a comprehensive plan to check in on our most vulnerable residents, preparing all public buildings to be ready to serve as temporary shelters when needed, and delivering groceries and water to those in need. To mitigate flooding, we must start with fully funding all flood bond projects in Precinct 4, updating our outdated 100 and 500 year flood maps, regularly clearing debris clogging sewers, removing concrete from bayous, banning construction on floodways, supporting the construction of the Ike dike, and demanding greater transparency for buyers and renters to know the likelihood of flooding in their new homes.

 

We must also not forget to address the biggest threat of all - climate change. As hurricanes and floods worsen, we must prioritize the creation and implementation of a comprehensive climate action plan that leads to a carbon neutrality by 2040. As Commissioner, Ben will fight to ensure our children and grandchildren get to live the same quality of life, if not better, in this city that we cherish deeply. 

PUBLIC SAFETY, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, & THE FIGHT TO END GUN VIOLENCE

Our criminal justice system does not always serve justice nor does it maximize law enforcement’s attention on stopping the most violent crimes.

 

The current model of mass incarceration uses the criminal justice system to address poverty, public health, substance use, homelessness, mental health, and many other societal problems that cannot and should not be solved by putting people behind bars.

 

First steps include reducing the backlog of violent crime cases, mandating police accountability both on the streets and in the jail, supporting the public defender’s office, addressing overcrowding in the jail, ending all contact between law enforcement and ICE, supporting jail voting, and utilizing every tool to combat gun violence.

 

As Commissioner, Ben will work to re-imagine and rebuild our existing systems so that they keep our community safe and dismantle old ways of doing things that unfairly punish those who are marginalized.

DEMOCRACY & VOTING RIGHTS

During the 2020 Presidential election, Ben served as the Director of Innovation for the Harris County Clerk’s Office, leading the team that created drive thru voting, a bold change that made voting more accessible for tens of thousands of people.

 

The innovative measures put in place to expand voter access, while popular among voters, were made illegal by Republicans in Austin. But Ben believes our right to vote is sacred, which is why this past July, he marched 27 miles in the scorching summer heat, from Georgetown to Austin, to protest Republican voter suppression efforts.

 

First steps include requiring all Precinct 4 staff to register as Deputy Voter Registrars and bringing on a full-time staff dedicated to registering voters in the Precinct. There should also be serious consideration of holding elected officials in contempt for those attempting to overturn elections despite lack of legal proof. We must send a signal that we will not tolerate such attempts. As County Commissioner, Ben will take every measure to bring the fight to the Republicans by supporting the Elections Administrator’s office in its efforts to maximize voter registration and turnout in every election including local ones. 

CHILD CARE & EDUCATION

Ben admires the work our educators have done, and the real progress they are making in ensuring every student graduates ready for college, the military, and the job market. It is not the County’s role to write the curriculum, program, or community engagement plan. It is, however, to speak up and speak out about opportunities for collaboration and improvement.

 

First steps include creating a year-round after school jobs program for youth and expanding library and community center hours so students have a place to study and print their homework. Long-term goals include offering universal pre-K for all 3 and 4 year olds and universal wifi throughout Precinct 4. As County Commissioner, Ben will work together with area school districts, teachers, and childcare providers to help them dig out of a pandemic-related crisis that compounded the difficulties in overcoming social and economic conditions.