Image & Perception

It all begins with working to change the image and perception of Southwest Houston. We wonder why business leaders are reluctant to invest serious capital in the district when our neighbors in Meyerland, The Galleria, Fort Bend County, and Memorial think we are a crime ridden, decaying, crumbling section of town. That view couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sure we have challenges like many metropolitan areas,  but we’re home  to top  tier schools like Strake Jesuit and St. Agnes Academy, St. Francis and Sugar Branch, and the new International High School. We enjoy three beautiful golf courses minutes apart, a world class Hospital and University…

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What's Missing?

A national retail grocery operator! Who else is tired of driving to westheimer or inside the loop, or past the beltway to shop at a large conventional store? As a community we must reach out to executives in the food industry and develop a plan to recruit a chain operator to re-establish a store inside the district. Sure we have many nice small, clean, ethnic grocery stores. We should continue to support them. But we should also realize the tremendous economic impact that a traditional grocer brings to the community. Smaller retailers follow, other large chains begin to evaluate the opportunity.  It changes the entire perception of an area.  This has to be at the top of the list.

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Accountability

It’s time we insist that groups like management districts, development corporations, tax reinvestment zones, and other quasi, public-private organizations become more responsive to taxpayers. We must demand greater transparency, efficiency, and accountability of these so-called shadow government entities. The rapid expansion of these groups of unelected boards, who in general have the authority to tax, borrow, and spend public money, may well threaten the flexibility and fairness of the allocation of city resources.  I’m disappointed that for many of these groups financial records and meeting minutes are not available online.

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