Onward to 2013!

Dec. 21, 2012Council Member Ellen Cohen

Just a quick post today to say thank you.

Because of your support, communication, and participation – and that of other District C residents and supporters – 2012 was marked with great achievement for our community and for the City of Houston as a whole.

I knew, when I was sworn in as a first-year city council member in January, that a fruitful partnership with District C constituents would be crucial to our success. Our working relationship resulted in 3000 constituent cases closed, helping to address neighborhood issues from water main leaks to potholes to missed trash pick-up.

At the outset of 2012, I committed to make District C priorities, my priorities. To that end, we distributed a constituent survey so that I knew what the varying concerns were in each neighborhood throughout the District. The participation was amazing. Almost 1000 submissions were received! Top issues of concern were Capital Improvement Projects, Street Repair, and Public Safety. The feedback determined our course for the rest of the year.

We immediately went to work and, as a result, by year’s end, passed two major city ordinances. Most recently, we passed the Washington Avenue Parking Benefit District, a pilot program that seeks to bring order to the congested parking situation on Washington Avenue by incorporating multiple solutions uniquely tailored to the Washington area. In the process, a dedicated revenue source is established for neighborhood projects, such as walkable sidewalks, improved lighting, and better security, to the benefit of all stakeholders in the community.

In an effort to improve public safety, we also passed an ordinance to address the City of Houston’s backlog of 4,000-6,000 rape kits. These kits, which have not been tested due to lack of resources, contain vital pieces of evidence that can be used to apprehend violent criminals.

After reflecting on 2012, it’s become evident to me that, together, we can do great things for District C and beyond. Over the past year, our office attended over 60 civic club meetings each month and, with the help of our Cohen Ambassadors, we now have more eyes and ears throughout the District. Please stay in touch with us in 2013. Your input and support ensures more successes to come.

Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year.