We have compiled a list of what we believe to be the Top 10 Texas local officials who showed extraordinary leadership in the month of January.
#1 Jalen McKee-Rodriguez
Councilmember of San Antonio | San Antonio, TX
Councilmember Jalen McKee-Rodriguez announced a series of policy proposals aimed at tackling a variety of issues including crime and public safety, food deserts and gentrification. One proposal would establish a new city department to rethink policing and proactively address public safety. His proposal has the support of several council members. He hopes the new office will work collaboratively with the police department, Metro Health and other community partners.
Read more about Councilmember Mckee-Rodriguez’ accomplishments here.
#2 Rebecca Boxall
Councilmember of Arlington | Arlington, TX
Councilmember Rebecca Boxall changed her position to vote to deny a permit request to build a gas well near an daycare center. Months prior, Councilmember Boxall had voted in favor of the permit. The council’s initial approval was met with outcry from the daycare, local nonprofits and Arlington residents. In explaining her decision, Councilmember Boxall recalled her own negative experience growing up near oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.
#3 Gretchen Vance
Councilmember of Lakeway | Lakeway, TX
Councilmember Gretchen Vance voiced frustration with those opposed to constructing a new residential zone. During a council meeting, Councilmember Vance criticized the hypocrisy of residents and fellow council members who claim to support law enforcement and teachers but are opposed to workforce housing within the city. As the city has grown, the cost of housing has increased exponentially making it difficult for residents to buy homes or pay rent.
#4 Daniel Aléman Jr.
Mayor of Mesquite | Mesquite, TX
After learning about the tragic murder of 16-year-old Key’Mydre Palmer Anderson, Mayor Daniel Alemán Jr. organized a prayer vigil for the victim’s family as an act of solidarity. The Mesquite community gathered at the Cornerstone Baptist Church to offer comfort to and prayers for Kry’Mydre’s mother and family. Mayor Alemán said that as a father, and grandfather, he knew he had to do something to help the family.
#5 Tom Ramsey
Harris County Commissioner | Houston, TX
County Commissioner Tom Ramsey launched a task force in response to increased crime citing more than 600 homicides countywide in 2021. Commissioner Ramsey created the task force after meeting with representatives from several local law enforcement agencies to discuss crime reduction strategies. Commissioner Ramsey plans to host regular task force meetings to develop effective solutions for the commissioners court to consider.
Read more about Commissioner Ramsey’s accomplishments here.
#6 Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston | Houston, TX
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a $100 million initiative to end homelessness in Houston – the largest amount of funding ever allocated for the problem in Houston or Harris County. Mayor Turner worked with several Harris County officials and agencies that help the homeless to create the Joint COVID-19 Housing the Homeless Initiative. Phase One of the program has already housed more than 7,000 individuals experiencing homelessness. Mayor Turner said the city’s goal in the next phase is to help house thousands more people experiencing homelessness and offer effective solutions to eventually end homelessness in the city.
Read more about Mayor Turner’s accomplishments here.
#7 Kathryn Pantalion-Parker
Councilmember of Leander | Leander, TX
Councilmember Kathryn Pantalion-Parker spoke out in favor of allowing Leander citizens to vote on whether to continue the city’s partnership with Capital Metro, the regional transit authority. CapMetro has provided Leander’s bus and commuter rail services since 1986. Half of the city’s local sales tax is used to fund the public transit program with nearly $10 million being paid to CapMetro the past year. Councilmember Pantalion-Parker believes residents’ needs can be better met by investing that money in the city’s infrastructure.
#8 Mattie Parker
Mayor of Fort Worth | Fort Worth, TX
Mayor Mattie Parker secured over $400 million from the Army Corps of Engineers to fund flood control measures around Panther Island, a redevelopment project along the Trinity River. She is hopeful that within the next six years the area will be an extension of downtown Fort Worth where people can live, play, eat and shop and create economic growth.
Read more about Mayor Parker’s accomplishments here.
#9 Paulette M. Guajardo
Mayor of Corpus Christi | Corpus Christi, TX
Mayor Paulette Guajardo launched the Saving Our Streets initiative to address major infrastructure issues within Corpus Christi. Working in collaboration with the Public Works Department and two private companies, the program dedicated $1.2 million to repair potholes and clear a backlog of unaddressed complaints made by residents over the years.
#10 Eddie Cantu
Hidalgo County Commissioner | Edinburg, TX
Commissioner Eddie Cantu worked with Hidalgo city leaders to develop more hike and bike trails within Precinct 2. The Precinct 2 Inclusive Hike and Bike Trail that opened in January links to existing hiking trails in San Juan, Pharr and McAllen. Four tunnels were built under roads and intersections to ensure hikers’ and bicyclists’ safety when using the path.