We may be experiencing temperatures upwards of 90 degrees, but it's November in Texas and life isn't slowing down for any of us! In this month's Capitol Review, we'll be covering:
- Community activities in the last month
- The last day of early voting (it's today!)
- Election Day on November 8th
- Veterans Day on November 11th
- Update on child protection in Texas
- Our Austin office is hiring!
The Pearland Hometown Throwdown Pearland vs Dawson football game included an event hosted by the Lions Club. I served as the emcee at this fundraiser to help raise money for our students.
District 29 Happenings
We haven’t slowed down since the last edition of the Capitol Review! In the past month, we’ve attended Keep Pearland Beautiful's 13th Annual Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon, King's Oktoberfest, Republican Fun Fest 2016, Alvin-Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce's Monthly Luncheon with Mayor Horn and City Manager Sereniah Breland presenting, Pearland vs. Dawson Football Booster Fundraiser, ACC’s performance of The Haunted Hills, Pearland Area Republican Club meeting, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers - Houston Wildcatter Event, Shadowcreek High School Grand Opening, and the AMACC Coffee and Connections Networking Breakfast. We also attended the Pearland Alliance for Arts and Culture Debut Dinner and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) Review of Region's Legislative Agenda for the 85th Session.
The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership held an informational workshop to discuss the region’s Legislative Agenda for the 85th Legislative Session. Pictured with me are other legislators from the region, including Representatives Greg Bonnen, Wayne Faircloth, Gilbert Peña, and Dennis Paul, and Senators Sylvia Garcia and Larry Taylor, and a few of the committee chairs.
I spoke at the Country Place Men’s Group, Country Place Women’s Discussion Group, the Elected Official Meet and Greet at the Pearland Chamber, Alvin Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce Elected Officials & Candidates Reception, Office Depot Grand Re-Opening, participated in pre-game activities at the Pearland vs. Dawson football game, spoke at the Alvin Area Retired Teachers Meeting, and presented a Texas flag and resolution to Judge Pannell in honor of his retirement. Also on the agenda: the Houston Ship Channel Industry Luncheon, the Virgil Gant "Service Above Self" award ceremony, 14th Annual Trick or Treat Trail, 2016 Pearland Chamber Past-Chair Dinner, and a radio interview on KGBC 1540AM to promote the Kidz Harbor event next Friday.
I met with a number of constituents and had meetings with the Greater Houston Builders Association, Congressman Pete Olson’s office, and was in Austin to discuss hail litigation, push TCEQ to reach a decision on the odor issues in the northwest portion of the county, captive insurance issues, and met with the Texas Association of Community Colleges regarding dual credit and advanced placement issues. I somehow managed to watch the Aggies beat the Tennessee Vols and the Longhorns beat the Baylor Bears, too!
Mrs. Smith's English III class invited me to share as part of an innovative initiative called "Successful Men Read." Here, Juniors and Senior students of Alvin High School discuss an article from the Houston Chronicle.
A highlight of the month for me was being included in the Alvin High School English III classes as a part of their Successful Men Read program, as well as being on Alvin ISD's School Tour as an honorary Watch D.O.G.S. and Celebrity Reader at Rodeo Palms Junior High, Don Jeter Elementary, Red Duke Elementary, and Savannah Lakes Elementary.
Early Voting Ends Today!
Today, November 4th, is the last day of Early voting. This is your last chance to avoid long Election Day lines. In Brazoria County, visit any one of these early voting locations, and click here for a sample ballot:
- Alvin - Alvin Library, 105 S. Gordon
- Manvel - North Annex, 7313 Corporate Dr. (@ Hwy 6)
- Pearland - Tom Reid Library, 3522 Liberty Dr.
- Pearland - Westside Event Center, 2150 Countryplace Pkwy
- Pearland - Pearland Westside Library, 2803 Business Center Dr. #101
Election Day is November 8th - Calling all volunteers!
Tuesday is Election Day, and we need your help at the polls from 7AM to 7PM. There are 3 shifts available and multiple locations to cover. Help us keep House District 29 RED! Sign-up to volunteer by visiting this link today!
Freddie, Waffles, and I have enjoyed visiting with so many of you while out blockwalking and at so many events in the district!
Veterans Day is November 11
The men and women who have bravely served and sacrificed in the U.S. Armed Forces deserve our humble gratitude. One of the ways we show this gratitude is honoring them on Veterans Day, November 11th. I will be at the Alvin Community College and Alvin ISD Veterans Day Ceremonies, and there are many other events throughout our district. On Saturday, Pearland Parks and Recreation is teaming up with HIKE for Mental Health to host a Veterans Walk and BBQ. The walk is from 9:30am – 11:00am, with lunch immediately after from 11:00am – 3:00pm. More information on location and registration can be foundhere.
My Capitol and District offices will be closed in observance of this day, but we will be back on Monday morning to serve you.
I recently received an encouraging update from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission: they will soon be providing up to $10 million in grants this year to help Texas veterans and their families manage mental health issues. Fourteen community groups across the state will receive the grants. The funds, awarded as part of HHSC's Texas Veterans + Family Alliance grant program, help improve quality of life for Texas veterans and their families by increasing access to mental health treatment and services.
Senate Bill 55 from the 2015 Session, which I voted for, established the program, which provides up to $20 million in state funds over the 2016-2017 biennium to be matched with local and private funds by the grantees. This is the first of two anticipated rounds of up to $10 million in grants expected to be announced as part of the program. A $1 million state-funded pilot effort, with community match, began this summer in five locations in Texas.
For more information about the grant program, click here. For more information about behavioral health services in Texas, visit here. For more information about services for Texas veterans, families and their survivors, click here. For immediate assistance, dial 2-1-1 or (800) 252-VETS.
A Savannah Lakes Elementary student compares his height to mine after our visit as an Honorary Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) during Red Ribbon Week.
Child Protection in Texas
As you may already know, Texas leadership has noted that child protection and reforming our foster care system will be a big priority during the next Legislative Session. They have called on Hank Whitman, the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, to take immediate action to protect our most vulnerable children, and I fully support their efforts. It has recently come to light that children at risk for abuse are not being seen in a timely manner by CPS due to a lack of resources. The Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker are calling on the DFPS Commissioner to immediately begin hiring and training additional investigators, particularly in the most critical regions of the state, while reinforcing a level of accountability within the agency. Their order also encourages DFPS to continue to build upon vital partnerships with our faith-based communities in making Texas children our greatest priority. I agree that we cannot wait until the Texas Legislature convenes in January – action must be taken now. State leaders called on Whitman to develop an innovative plan to address a shortage of foster homes and residential providers, and instructed him to:
- Develop a plan to hire and train more special investigators.
- Develop a plan to ensure that DFPS has the caseworkers to handle the increase in cases and to prioritize hires in the most critical regions of the state.
- Reinforce a culture of accountability within CPS.
- Build upon ongoing efforts to enhance partnerships with faith-based communities.
How Can You Help Our Children?
My office recently attended the 2016 Faith Leader Summit, where over 300 attendees representing over 100 faith organizations across the state came together to learn the many ways that we can support children and families and hear from those who are already doing this important work. Would you like to get involved through your church? DFPS has faith-based specialists in every region of the State. You can reach out to Leslie Labarre (979-864-1428 and
), and you can also contact the DFPS Faith Based Manager Felicia Mason Edwards at 512-438-3412 and
to see how you can help.
For a list of 28 ways you and your church can help, please click here. No one can do everything, but we can all do something! You can work to help make a difference in people's lives. Texas children and families need your help, and we all know that no government system can solve every problem: it takes the work of individuals, families, and congregations to help those most in need.
Lastly, November is National Adoption Month! Visit this site to learn about the 6,000+ children who are waiting to be adopted in Texas.
Our Austin Office is Hiring!
We are hiring for the positions of Legislative Intern and Legislative Aide in my Capitol Office. If you know of anyone interested, please forward this email, or direct them to the linked job descriptions above. I take great pride in the men and women who work to help the constituents of House District 29, and am looking forward to assembling our team for the 85th Legislative Session.
Can we help you? Please email me at
, call my District Office at 281-485-6565, or my Capitol Office at 512-463-0707. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube to stay in touch.
God Bless Texas!
P.S. Would you take a moment and contribute to my campaign for re-election? There are only 4 days left until Election Day! Click the red contribute button below to pay by credit card, or mail a check payable to Friends of Ed Thompson and send it to P.O. Box 3453, Pearland, Texas 77588. Thank you for your support!