By Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia
When I first took office, my goal was to build a Community Relations team featuring liaisons who would represent the various areas of Precinct 2, act as a direct line to our office, and whenever needed, assist our residents in getting help. Considering the massive geographic size of Precinct 2, and the varied concerns that come from all corners, I rely on these liaisons to be my eyes, ears, and action on the ground.
The East Aldine community is one of my highest priorities because previously it was an area that had been forgotten by those in charge of serving it. That’s why when I found Selina Valdez to be our Aldine community liaison, I was thrilled to have her on our team. Selina’s connection to Aldine runs deep. Even if not on my staff, she would still be advocating and serving the people Aldine, as this is the area she has called home from birth.
Selina’s Aldine roots are deep: she attended Johnson Elementary when the campus was off Hamill Rd, went to Hambrick Jr. High and MacArthur High School, and she’s lived here ever since.
In speaking with her, Selina says she views her community liaison role as being a direct extension from my office to the community. With her ears to the ground, she has a handle on all that’s going on in the area. She shines a light on issues and helps our local neighborhoods know they’re being heard. Selina will tell you without a pause, that she’s proud that her community has embraced the improvements my team has implemented, like repaved roads, new sidewalks built, ditches dug, stormwater detention basins excavated and even the striping on Sellers Road.
In a moment she’ll rattle off a list of important improvements brought about by Precinct 2 including: Lauder Rd., Aldine Westfield, Hopper Rd. and Little York Stormwater Detention Basins, the Kowis Street Improvement Project, new sidewalks on JFK and E Mt Houston Rd, and of course, newly repaved streets. Selina’s especially proud to have assisted the effort in stopping another concrete batch plant from opening in one of our neighborhoods near James Driver Park.
Long-time East Aldine resident Shirley Ronquillo told us it was a breath of fresh air when for the first time in ages Precinct 2 representatives began asking residents, “How can we help?” She described how Precinct 2 responds to make things happen, with Selina helping her research and file a formal complaint about water boil notices not being made available in Spanish, which needed to change, and quickly it did. Shirley exclaimed, “Selina was my researcher and navigator, to bring about important changes!”
Marina Flores Sugg, an East Aldine resident since 1975, told us Selina Valdez is “the best thing ever, at the very top,” describing how she takes the reins to resolve issues. In particular, Marina loves that our projects, such as bayou and culvert cleaning, pothole repairs, ACCESS2HEALTH SmartPods, and street light improvements truly make a difference in the community. Marina added, “We actually never had someone who listens like (you) do!”
When Guadalupe Jimenez first saw new local detention basin, she could’ve sworn she heard music, saying, “It makes you feel secure and safe. You need to let people know how appreciative you are and that you’ve noticed improvements. We need to convey to people that they need to vote for improvements…like these, it’s your tax dollars at work.”
It’s critical to understand though, this good work would not happen without folks like Selina Valdez. Her understanding of the community’s needs is how our office knows what projects will make a difference.
Don’t hesitate to contact Selina or my office. Selina can be reached via email at Selina.Valdez@pct2.hctx.net. When she hears from you, she takes those concerns to our team, and then I bring that to Commissioners Court as I push for more resources for Aldine.
We’re helping our neighborhoods become resilient to flooding, more walkable, and better to raise a family, now and in the future, and folks like Selina are critical in these efforts. Join me in thanking Selina for all she does you and your neighbors!