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 September.
#1 Tano Tijerina
Webb County Judge | Webb County, TX
County Judge Tano Tijerina invited President Joe Biden to Webb County after tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants arrived at the U.S. border fleeing natural disasters and political instability. The influx of immigrants has created significant financial costs to communities at the border and spurred the creation of large immigrant camps. Judge Tijerina called for President Biden to take responsibility and act on behalf of affected border communities to better control the immigration crisis and prioritize the safety of Webb County residents
#2 Mark Keough
Montgomery County Judge | Montgomery County, TX
County Judge Mark Keough testified against the Texas Legislature’s proposed census redistricting of Montgomery County. The proposed redistricting would split the county’s conservative base between two neighboring liberal counties. Judge Keough asked the Senate to keep Montgomery County in one district, warning that his residents will lose representation under the proposed plan.
#3 Elba Garcia
Dallas County Commissioner | Dallas County, TX
Commissioner Elba Garcia voted against increasing wages for commissioners in the face of opposition from members on the court. Before finalizing the 2022 budget and tax rate, Dallas County Commissioners Court members discussed which elected officials would qualify for raises. Commissioner Garcia argued that raises should first go to county employees who make less than an annual salary of $60,000.
#4 Javier Salazar
Bexar County Sheriff | Bexar County, TX
Sheriff Javier Salazar made a road trip to Houston’s NRG Stadium to view Harris County’s new and faster jury selection process. The Bexar County Jail is overpopulated because of the length of time it is taking to go to trial. Sheriff Salazar was exploring options to safely speed up jury selections and reduce the amount of time inmates are spending in jail. Sheriff Salazar expressed concern for Bexar County’s jail population from both a human rights and taxpayer perspective. He said the jail should only be used for violent individuals who need to be removed from society and not as a facility for long-term incarceration.
#5 Rebecca Clay-Flores
Bexar County Commissioner | Bexar County, TX
Commissioner Rebecca Clay-Flores supported University Health’s purchase of a $10.4 million property in south San Antonio to build a hospital. Commissioner Clay-Flores emphasized the need for a hospital due to the growing Bexar County population and the strain on resources from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building a hospital on the south side of the county aligns with Commissioner Clay-Flores’ missions to strengthen the health of communities in Bexar County and allow residents to receive easily accessible routine services and not just COVID-19-related services.
#6 Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston | Houston , TX
Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order requiring City of Houston employees to be tested twice a month until they provide the city with proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Mayor Turner signed the order on Oct. 8 after two city employees died of COVID-19. Mayor Turner hopes the order will protect city workers and encourage those eligible to get vaccinated.
#7 KP George
Fort Bend County Judge | Fort Bend County, TX
County Judge KP George worked with West Houston Assistance Ministries to help distribute food and supplies to people affected by Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas. The event provided food and supplies to about 300 hurricane survivors. Judge George’s participation is the latest chapter in his long history of helping communities in need.
#8 Mellisa Brown
Councilmember of Killeen | Killeen, TX
Councilwoman Mellisa Brown stood alone in advocating for a citizen-led committee to assess salary changes in the Killeen City Charter. Councilmember Brown said she believes it is essential to have citizens’ input for the proposed charter changes. Even without council support for a citizen charter review committee, Councilmember Brown said she would host town halls in her district to inform voters about the proposed charter amendments that will be on a future election ballot.
#9 David Plyler
Mayor of Sherman | Sherman, TX
Mayor David Plyler announced the creation of a citizen committee to explore the creation of a historical marker to acknowledge the 1930 Sherman Riots. A mob set fire to the Grayson County courthouse during the trial of a Black man accused of raping a white woman. The mob later hung and set fire to the corpse of the man in the Black business district of Sherman. In the following days, Sherman’s Black district was destroyed by looting and fires. The formation of the committee follows calls from an outside group for a historic accounting of the racist attack.
#10 Ann Howard
Travis County Commissioner | Travis County, TX
After Commissioner Ann Howard toured rental apartments damaged by the February winter storm that have still not been repaired, she promised she would not ignore the tenants’ concerns. She implored landlords to take action so tenants could return to their homes. Commissioner Howard’s promise is one of several housing-related actions she has taken, including her role as a leading advocate for the $110 million Travis County rehousing bill.