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 April.
#1 Ambrosio Hernandez
Mayor of Pharr | Pharr, TX
Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez received the Education Champion Award from Teach for America – Rio Grande Valley for his prompt response to educational needs during the pandemic. Mayor Hernandez rolled out an affordable broadband network throughout the city to ensure that all residents of Pharr would have high-speed internet access.
#2 Parnell McNamara
Sheriff of McLennan County | Waco, TX
Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s Human Trafficking Unit was invited to assist Polish officials in combatting human trafficking. The unit will work alongside Waco-based Unbound, an anti-human trafficking organization already in Poland trying
to thwart the trafficking of vulnerable war refugees from Ukraine. The McLennan County Sheriff’s Department representative will train Polish border patrol and law enforcement personnel on detecting and halting human trafficking.
#3 Richard Cortez
Hidalgo County Judge | Edinburg, TX
County Judge Richard Cortez launched the Explore Hidalgo County initiative on Earth Day in collaboration with local, state, and national parks and wildlife refuges to encourage residents to explore the Rio Grande Valley region. Judge
Cortez also announced the launch of the Hidalgo County Economic Development website to promote the region’s eco-tourism industry. The website includes information on nine nationally recognized state and national parks and advocates for protecting the natural beauty of South Texas.
Read more about Judge Cortez’s accomplishments here.
#4 Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston | Houston, TX
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced approval of the transformation of an infamous 240-acre landfill into a 50-megawatt solar project named Sunnyside Solar Farm. The landfill has been closed for over 50 years and contributed to
economic and health problems in nearby Black and brown communities. The project will be the largest urban solar farm in the nation and will generate enough energy to power more than 5,000 homes, offset more than 120 million pounds of
carbon released into the air and provide more than 300 jobs.
Read more about Mayor Turner’s accomplishments here.
#5 Ricardo Samaniego
El Paso County Judge | El Paso, TX
Judge Ricardo Samaniego pushed back against Gov. Greg Abbot’s claims that lifting a federal public health order will cause a flood of immigrants to strain public safety resources. Judge Samaniego also criticized Gov. Abbot’s lack of communication with leaders of border towns. He said regional cooperation between local governments, Border Patrol, nonprofits, other state agencies, and Mexican officials have made the number of immigrants manageable. Judge Samaniego, who said he hasn’t been called by Gov. Abbott to discuss El Paso County’s needs, invited the governor to have a conversation to discuss solutions to the immigration issue.
Read more about Judge Samaniego’s accomplishments here.
#6 KP George
Fort Bend County Judge | Richmond, TX
County Judge KP George gained national attention for inviting Twitter and the Walt Disney Corporation to relocate to Fort Bend County in response to controversial Florida legislation. Judge George touted the county’s diversity, low land prices, a highly educated and skilled workforce, and business-friendly practices to attract large corporations to the area. Judge George had previously employed these outreach strategies with other companies, including Amazon, Tesla, and Samsung. His efforts paid off with Amazon locating one of its largest fulfillment centers in Fort Bend County.
Read more about Judge George’s accomplishments here.
#7 Mattie Parker
Mayor of Fort Worth | Fort Worth, TX
Mayor Mattie Parker announced Fort Worth will become the first U.S. city government to mine its own Bitcoin through a new pilot program. The pilot program uses three mining machines donated to the city by the Texas Blockchain Council. The pilot project’s success over the six months will allow the city to determine whether to expand the program. Mayor Parker’s vision to bring cryptocurrency to her city began during her campaign and is a move to put Fort Worth at the forefront of entrepreneurship and technology.
Read more about Mayor Parker’s accomplishments here.
#8 Ron Nirenberg
Mayor of San Antonio | San Antonio, TX
Mayor Ron Nirenberg assured residents that tax relief is coming for San Antonio property owners during his annual State of the City Address. The promise comes after property values spiked at decade highs. Mayor Nirenberg said the city council would evaluate the most effective way to reduce taxes so residents can continue to afford to live in the city.
Read more about Mayor Nirenberg’s accomplishments here.
#9 John Driver
Bell County Commissioner | Belton, TX
Commissioner John Driver attempted to revive a resident-driven effort to remove a confederate statue from in front of the Bell County Courthouse. He said residents who pay property taxes are paying for the statue’s maintenance and should be able to voice their opinions to the court. The commissioners decided two years ago to let the state decide whether to move the statue. Despite not getting a second to his motion to reopen talks on the statue’s relocation, Commissioner Driver said he was not disappointed by the court’s decision.
#10 George Fuller
Mayor of McKinney | McKinney, TX
Mayor George Fuller called Texas’ book banning efforts “partisan pandering.” McKinney ISD is one of only two school districts in Texas House District 106 that did not sign a pledge not to do business with book distributors selling controversial books. Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) sent letters to districts asking them to ban specific books. Mayor Fuller said he supports McKinney ISD’s decision to not participate in the book banning. He said the school district has a process for removing such books and any efforts outside that process have more to do with politics than protecting children.