Graduate of the Harris County Sheriff's Department Academy - Peace Officer
I am a 32 year Deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office with 20 years as commander. I also started and run a successful local business. This sets me a part because of my success, my leadership, and my long career of service to Harris County.
Member of the Forgery Investigators Association of TX, Harris County Deputies' Organization, and served as a director of the HCDO - Assist the Deputies Fund, a charity.10 year Houston Rodeo - Coordinator and member Saint Martha's Catholic Church.
First, flood control and facing the realities of climate change must be a priority. A flood control plan must look to the future but also partner with regional agencies. Smart flood control infrastructure must be put into place that account for first responders and equally serve all areas of the county. Second, the local economy needs a boost. We need to use infrastructure projects to attract new businesses and to create jobs. Harris County is known as a hub for oil and gas but it should transition into a hub for all energy technology. I would seek to create jobs in Harris County for clean energy.Third, the safety and security of Harris County residents must be a priority. First responders need the technology for rescues and equipment like body mics that allow for transparency and trust. Harris County should lead in the use of technology to make all residents safer and the Commissioners should work with law enforcement. Safe neighborhoods so businesses and services can be equal.
We must move forward with a plan to remove budget drains such as the Astrodome that take money away from the residents of Harris County. I will conduct an audit of the budget to eliminate waste, duplicative spending, and to ensure that bond money has been used as efficiently as possible. I believe the budget should be transparent and open to the people. It is a priority to make sure the people hired by the county work for the people and not for a payout. I do not believe now is the time to raise property taxes but I am open to a raise in tourist taxes. Harris County can no longer loose money on special events like a Superbowl and we need to be smart with how we attract such events. Harris County must advocate for funding and grants for county services and to build infrastructure that can hold flood water away from vulnerable neighborhoods like parks.I will focus on getting the money we are owed from the state and federal government and advocate that residents get what they are owed.
Harris County suffers because of its dependence on cars and it is not a sustainable model for future growth. Public transportation needs to be addressed. I am an advocate for a regional commuter rail system to help get people in and out of business cores safely and quickly. The rail system should be a combination of commuter rails and light rails. I believe a comprehensive public transportation system will help attract large businesses and I would work with these businesses to meet these needs. We need to have economic and business growth throughout to avoid disparity and to lift suffering neighborhoods from systemic issues like health disparity, economic deserts, and lack of jobs. People must have options to get to work, to clinics, and to county services. It should not take people hours to commute within the county. I know the endless cycle of maintenance costs, legal fees, and fines add up when people must drive but ultimately can not afford the cost. There must be alternatives.
Attorney and Senior Partner-Owner Law Office of Penny Shaw, Texas
Attorney and Senior Partner-Owner Law Office of Penny R. Shaw, Florida
Business Owner of LP Master Sales, Florida
U.S. Congressional legislative advocate 2006-2012
NAACP Legal Redress Committee 2000-2002
Anti-Trafficking Legal Counsel 2011-2016
League of Women Voters 2011-2018
Texas Democratic Women Legislative Chair 2017
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association
FLOOD MANAGEMENT AND DISASTER RESISTANCE
Our county lacks a comprehensive disaster preparedness and disaster resistance county-wide plan to protect and safeguard every person in Harris County. I am committed to rapidly developing and implementing a comprehensive flood plan model to serve and safeguard the residents of Harris County.
TRANSPARENCY OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Commissioner court operates behind closed doors and the public has limited interaction with commissioners. I promise to have an open-door policy and to seek out your opinion. I believe that open communications between the Commissioner Court and the people of Harris County will lead to transparency of Commissioner Court spending, decisions and policies.
GROWING POPULATION, QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Protecting the environment and development are not mutually exclusive. I will ensure that growth and economic development does not come at the expense of a safe and healthy environment for the people of Harris County.
As a Commissioner, I will use any resources and leverage at my disposal along with my personal experience and abilities, to seek out and secure resources, monetary and otherwise, that are available to Harris County from the State and Federal Governments. I will build consensus, advocate and persist to find and ensure that any sources of funding that can be gained by our county to rebuild are sought after.
I will rely on expert analysis of budgetary issues to craft solutions that best serve the residents of Harris County and that do not create onerous tax burdens for the Harris County community. I believe in saving money, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our community. Expenditures that can be streamlined or altogether avoided, such as tapping into existing expertise and resources and avoiding duplication of work and effort, should be first explored, as well as, any other means that will maximize and capitalize the use of your hard-earned county tax dollars.
Most of the recent growth and expansion in Harris County has occurred in the unincorporated areas. It is vital that urban development, including mobility expansion plans, expand with the needs of the community while also considering the effect of development on flood control; existing neighborhoods; and ease of access and traffic flow for residents in each area. Further, constituents have expressed concern about preserving adequate space for communities to enjoy the outdoors, like space for biking lanes, walking paths, pet parks, waterways, and other green spaces-improvements in mobility should accommodate those quality of life concerns. Other states and even countries have designed and implemented successful mobility improvement and expansion models that are available to Harris County to use as planning models. As a Commissioner, I will consider all of the impacts of mobility expansion, best practices and models, and also work to meet the unique needs and interests of each community.