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Posts published in November 2020

140 million votes nationwide, Biden wins

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters went to the polls in record numbers for both early voting, and election day votes. In the county over 1,610,000 votes were recorded, and in the nation over 140,000,000 votes were cast.

Unofficial results have now been tabulated with Joe Biden winning 280 seats in the Electoral College. Donald Trump has filed lawsuits challenging the results.

In Harris County, Biden received 56% of the vote, or 911,913 while Trump received 43% or 699,771 votes. However, statewide in Texas Trump had the lead, as did most Republicans seeking office.

FLOODING RELIEF: Precinct 2 cleans 1 million feet of ditches

Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia explains that cleaning ditches prevents future flooding, and is his priority. He credits the public works crews in the background for their hard work, even through the Pandemic.

Harris County PCT. 2 — Since being elected into office, Commissioner Adrian Garcia has made drainage maintenance a major priority. This week, he celebrated the completion of 1 million linear feet of ditching in Precinct 2.

Roadside ditching and drainage maintenance improves water conveyance to drainage outfalls, which helps in the reduction of potential flooding for residents and businesses. Without proper maintenance, standing water can penetrate and seep under road surfaces causing deterioration, which in turn, requires more frequent, costly road repairs, and neighborhood flooding. Many neighborhoods that have not been serviced in years now have clean, excavated ditches.

Applause for our Voters and Poll Workers

Harris County, you never fail to impress. Across the country, people are buzzing about the incredible numbers of voters we have had during our early vote period. By the time early voting shut down last Friday after 18 days,1,435,221 (or 57.85% of registered voters) had cast their ballots. That is well beyond the total number of voters for each of the entire 2016 and 2018 elections! You have come through this election season by volunteering to help folks register, working the polls, and generally offering one another the support and encouragement we all need to believe that we can make a difference. We are a strong, resilient, and driven community and we are determined to have our voices heard, both within Texas and across the country. I have never been more proud of our residents and our tireless poll workers who are making this incredible movement of civic participation happen.

And while you all are showing up for this election like never before, Harris County government has been working harder than ever before to make your voting experience what you need it to be.

Caravan brings Halloween treats to East Aldine community

Dozens of cars and vans joined in the parade, some driven by individuals, others by organizations and civic clubs. The East Aldine District provided lots of sweets and treats that were handed out along the way

East Aldine District sponsored a community Halloween “Spook-tacular” that safely brought treats and costumes to neighborhoods and kids around the Aldine area.

The Candy & Costume Caravan started 10 a.m. at the East Aldine Town Center, and for four hours wound its way through the residential neighborhoods, where families lined the streets waiting for the fun and decorated autos and vans to pass by. The Caravan ended the trip at James Drive Park on Bentley.

Early Voting: Harris County exceeds 2016 Voting Numbers

1.15 million voted in first two weeks

In the second full week of early voting in Texas, Harris County residents continued to set turnout records. As of Tuesday morning, 1.15 million Harris County residents had voted early, a record that eclipsed 2016 levels, when 977,000 voters voted early during the entire 12-day early voting period. With four days of early voting left in addition to Election Day, Harris County has already achieved 88 percent of its total 2016 total turnout (1.3 million).

Joint efforts by civic organizations like members of Houston in Action in partnership with local officials to expand voter registration, education and equitable voting access have helped ensure Harris County’s election infrastructure was prepared to handle the enormous turnout.

Top-line numbers:

• Overall, 1,149,047 million Harris County residents have voted during the first two full weeks of early voting – an 18 percent increase over 2016 levels, in which 977,279 Texans in Harris County voted early during the 12 days of early voting (this year, early voting was extended due to the pandemic).

Residents protest Pollution from Concrete Plant on Hartwick

Resident took this photo of dust clouding the street.

ALDINE – Residents on Hartwick Street, who live near a busy Concrete Batch plant, are complaining that the neighborhood is filled with pollution, causing health problems for the families. The plant also works all hours of the day and night, neighbors said, causing unbearable noise.

Erick Garcia, who lives across the street from the plant, said the previous owner had only a few trucks, and kept the area clean. But in 2014 Integrity Ready Mix, owned by Manuel Malupa, took over the plant. Since then TCEQ have issued four violations about the plant’s operations, including “failure to prevent visible emissions from the dust collection system.”

State Representative Walle explains the limit of regulation, but agrees neighbors should be upset.

State Representative Armando Walle was at the site recently, listening to the complaints of the residents. He said that part of the problem is lack of regulatory authority. Walle said “I want to change state law to five local counties authority to regulate these facilities.”

$1,200 in COVID-19 relief money available

HARRIS COUNTY — Harris County has issued a new $40 million COVID19 relief fund to help residents in need during the pandemic that will be administered by Houston Catholic Charities.

It’s set to open on Monday, Nov. 2, and will accept applications through Friday, Nov. 6. The program will provide one-time payments of $1,200 to up to 33,333 families struggling with financial hardships related to COVID-19.

The payments will be distributed in two rounds. The first round is already underway and is assisting families who applied, but did not receive help from the county’s coronavirus relief program launched earlier this summer.

The second “public” round begins on Monday when anyone can apply.

The money can be used for any type of emergency expense, such as housing, food, utilities, healthcare, childcare and transportation. Families can apply on their own without cooperation from a landlord or anyone else.

“Thousands of families across Harris County have struggled to overcome the financial damage from COVID-19,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “While this relief will not reach everyone who needs it, we must do everything in our power to help those who are vulnerable pull through.”

Statement on State Voter Suppression Efforts

Harris County Judge

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued the following statement in response to Governor Abbott’s executive order closing down 11 mail-in ballot drop-off locations in Harris County 33 days before the general election. Governor Abbott’s proclamation reverses previous state guidance allowing counties to provide voters with multiple official ballot drop off locations and leaves Harris County with only one ballot drop-off site.

“The strength of our democracy and our county is only as strong as our ability to support free, fair, and open elections. Geographically, Harris County is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. Our population rivals that of the entire state of Colorado. To propose only a single, secure drop-off location for a county of our size during a pandemic is ludicrous. Simply put, mail ballot voters should not be forced to drive 30 miles to drop off their ballot, or be limited to relying primarily on a mail system that’s facing cutbacks. Governor Abbott’s move is transparently about suppression, not security. It is also part of a broader effort by the Trump Administration to confuse voters, discourage voter participation and degrade public confidence in our elections.

“We are working with our attorneys to assess any legal options we have, but in the meantime we want to be very clear: Regardless of who you want to vote for, your vote matters. Do not let the forces of voter intimidation prevent or discourage you from making your voice heard.