Vision for the Future
- Finish the downtown architectural survey and apply for historic designations in that area.
- Continue to support downtown development in order to continue to attract people to live, work and play in the area.
- I would like to see a county wide historical survey done in order to take inventory of all of our historical assets
- I would like to see areas like Hart’s Mill, the Oñate Crossing, Casa Ronquillo and the Mission Trail become more of an attraction for tourists, we need to work to promote our history and heritage more heavily.
- Continue to work on and tweak our economic development policies as we learn what works and what doesn’t.
- I would like to see UMC providing primary care services within our jail. It makes sense to me to have the County owned hospital district working in the County owned jail.
- I would like to see the creation of Stand Alone Emergency Departments at our neighborhood clinics around the County. This is a trend that has popped up recently, and in order to provide our residents with better access, it is something I believe is needed.
- We are also working on EHN having a presence in those neighborhood clinics, so, again, we can increase co-location of mental health services and primary care.
- I have begun looking into the issue of food insecurity and hope to continue that work. We need to create a County-Wide master plan to eradicate food insecurity, working together with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the City, and other organizations.As a part of this issue, I want to look at Healthy Food Financing Initiatives, which is a program aimed at reducing food deserts and incentivizing grocery stores to, not only open up shop in areas considered as food desert, but to provide more healthy options and to promote those options more heavily.
Quality of Life
- Continue our work to create a Community ID.
- Work to bring more to Ascarate in the way of investment and other opportunities. I believe there are a number of ways we can make this crown jewel of the county even better.
- Continue to advocate for raising the minimum wage even further and making sure we are paying all of our employees the wages they deserve.
- Work with the elections department to increase the number of people that vote in the area, I have worked on a number of initiatives in the past, including the Student Voter Initiative, and plan to continue to do so.
As you all know, we have undergone some serious reforms in the criminal justice arena, including creating a criminal justice coordination department, bringing on 24 hour magistration, creating judicial metrics and posting them for the public to see, and working with our mental health authority to provide care within the jail, but also re-entry programs. The goal of all of this is to reduce jail populations and recidivism, which in-turn, saves the tax payer millions of dollars.Though we have come very far, there is more work to be done:
- I think we need to expand the judicial metrics to include the Justice of the Peace courts. We need to monitor and make sure we are using our resources in those departments as efficiently as possible.
- I also think we should expand our judicial metrics to look at recidivism rates. This would give us a good idea as to what is working and what isn’t when it comes to how we are dealing with folks in our criminal justice system.
- We need an analysis of outcomes of surety bonds vs. PR bonds and to measure appearance rates related to the two.
- We also need to work with the judges to look at whether or not supervision for certain people on PR bonds is needed. Of the 3500 people we have on these bonds that are being supervised, it is possible that up to 40 percent may not need to be. This could save us resources and money.
I am working on a project to create a Binational Roundtable in order for governments in New Mexico, Texas and Chihuahua to have stronger communication. I envision this roundtable consisting of elected officials and staff from governmental agencies, as well as the chambers of commerce, Borderplex Alliance, transportation officials, law enforcement and healthcare leaders. The goal is to have quarterly meetings in order to discuss issues we can work on together such as transportation, economic development, healthcare, environmental, and more. There is a strong model for this roundtable in San Diego/Tijuana, and I have seen how they work to really be considered as one region, which makes their voice stronger. I hope we can do the same.