Harris County Judge Linda Hidalgo launches Civic Engagement Plan

Harris County Judge Hidalgo
Harris County Judge

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Last weekend Judge Linda Hidalgo kicked off the first Civic Saturday event as part of “Talking Transition: Harris County,” a program designed to promote the public’s involvement in shaping the county’s future.

Talking Transition: Harris County

This initiative of the newly-elect Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will bring together thousands of Harris County residents from all walks of life to have our voices heard about issues that matter to us—from the education of our children to the fairness of our justice system—to share ideas, and to collectively inform the Judge’s priorities for her first year.

We all know that there are no shortage of good ideas in our communities that can help improve our schools, our hospitals, our courts, and the rest of the the ways that county government affects people’s lives. The goal of this initiative is to make sure that all of us who want to improve our communities understand how county government works—and how we can change it.

It’s not an accident that most people don’t understand the workings of government—it’s not easy or accessible because that’s how those who have traditionally been in power have maintained it. But that’s not how it should be. We want to make county government more open and more accessible to every single one of us that has the desire to participate. In other words, we want to make Harris County live up to the idea that democracy is government by us, for us. –Harris County Judge Office

Upcoming Civic Saturdays

A series of full-day public events will take place on several consecutive Saturdays throughout the County. Each Civic Saturday will consist of:

1. A large gathering organized around a specific theme (examples include education, health, and transportation) that will give people a chance to share new ideas for improving their communities and to hear from others;

2. Smaller working groups for people who have devoted time to specific issues to focus on how to best realize community-driven ideas through county government; and

3. Classroom style lessons on the workings of county government.

Civic Saturday # 2

This event is free and open to the public. Let us know that you’re coming by registering here!

Topic: Transportation, Infrastructure, and Safety

Date: Saturday, February 16

Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: BakerRipley Gulfton Sharpstown 6500 Rookin St, Houston, TX 77074

Opening Town Hall – What makes a well-connected, safe, accessible, and affordable transportation network so that all Harris County residents can access opportunities?

This assembly-style session will include the entirety of the participants present and ask us to think creatively about our transportation network and what is needed to make our communities well-connected through multiple transportation options.

Breakout Session – Accessibility How does the quality of infrastructure affect mobility? What role does the county play in addressing the ability of all people – regardless of size, age, or disability – to navigate and use transportation-related infrastructure?

Breakout Session – Affordable Transportation Options: Walking, Biking, and Transit What affordable transportation options are available to me? What role does the county play in investing and building such infrastructure?

Breakout Session – Hike and Bike trails What long-distance trail options are available to me to hike and bike throughout Harris County? What are the opportunities for the county to expand this type of infrastructure?

Breakout Session – Road Safety for All How can different county departments work together to make the road safer for everyone – rollers, walkers, bikers, commercial vehicle drivers, and personal vehicle drivers?

Breakout Session – County Civics: Transportation EditionThis session will provide information around transportation initiatives, including road safety, that the county is responsible for. Participants will get a better idea of funding streams, policy initiatives, and opportunities for civic engagement and participation in those programs and departments.


Civic Saturday # 3

This event is free and open to the public. Let us know that you’re coming by registering here!

Topic: Resilience & Flood Mitigation

Date: Saturday, February 23 Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: Baytown Community Center 2407 Market St, Baytown, TX 77520

Civic Saturday # 4

This event is free and open to the public. Let us know that you’re coming by registering here!

Topic: Children & Early Education

Date: Saturday, March 2 Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: Julia C. Hester House 2020 Solo St, Houston, TX 77020

Civic Saturday # 5

Topic: Economic Opportunity & Housing

Date: Saturday, March 9 Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: BakerRipley East Aldine 3000 Aldine Mail Rte Rd, Houston, TX 77039

Civic Saturday # 6

Topic: Criminal Justice Date: Saturday, March 16

Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: Emancipation Center 3018 Emancipation Ave, Houston, TX 77004

Civic Saturday # 7

Topic: Resilience & Flood Mitigation

Date: Saturday, March 23 Time: 9:30AM – 1PM (Doors open 9AM)

Location: MagnumHowell Center 2500 Frick Rd, Houston, TX 77038.