Environmental Justice

Why It Matters... 

My training over the years, in the field of Geography, has made me particularly qualified for being on City Council in San Marcos, Texas. My Master's Degree is in Environmental Geography, with a concentration in Environmental Justice.  This phrase does not just mean that I am interested in the natural environment alone. It is also an indicator of the human impact upon that environment as well as the built environments we humans create and live in from day to day. 

Environmental Justice has also been called Environmental Equity and Environmental Racism. It is primarily concerned with alleviating the effects of negative environmental externalities upon American sub-cultures relegated to those limited and stress-inducing environments for economic and racial reasons. 

Therefore, Environmental Justice has a lot to do with criminal justice reform, as well as securing the environmental future for our posterity. 

To that end, I have been and will continue to work hard to make sure the City of San Marcos embarks firmly upon a path toward environmental sustainability.  I am proud to say that with the continual support and assistance of city staff, we have been able to make a real impact upon meeting our current and future sustainability measures. These include shifting our energetic balance between fossil fuels and renewables and looking forward to the future by continuing to seek better ways to store power and fit our newest buildings with sustainability features that assure their compliance with some of the highest standards in the industry. We continue to fit the built environment in San Marcos with flood mitigating berms, as well as updating the sewage systems, using federal funding to prevent future disasters from having such heavy tolls upon our people and property.

My work with the Board of Directors of the Alliance Regional Water Authority (ARWA) in securing the water future for San Marcos and some of the surrounding entities has assured us a steady source of fresh water coming from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer well into the future. For a region turning from semi-arid to arid under the threat of Global Warming, this is a particularly relevant source of security. This process has been in motion for some years now and it has been my honor to have been present for the current stages, as we have broken ground on the primary pumping station and roads and are currently securing the land to run the pipelines here to San Marcos and surrounding areas. 

As the Chair of the Criminal Justice Reform committee - made up of myself and 2 other city council members - I have been able to guide the process toward intrinsic reform as we have all been further educated and appalled by incidents at the national level during this passing Summer of Discontent across our country. We were able to pass an ordinance for Cite and Release, which reduces the chance for minor offenders (Class C, some class B and A) to be taken to jail and be cited instead, then having to appear before a Magistrate to satisfy their original offense. 

We continue to move forward. As the County works to actualize a Cite and Diversion prosecutorial process, we support them in this endeavor and seek to punctuate their efforts with our own at the city level. Moving toward a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) model of policing - where counselors are made available to offenders at the point of initial contact with Law Enforcement - is part of the work that needs to continue. 

With the support of the citizens of the City of San Marcos, I will be able to return to Place 4 and complete the job that I started.

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