Since being elected County Judge, I have doubled down on my commitment to deliver for the people of Bexar County. Below are a few of my most urgent policy priorities. They started as promises I made on the campaign trail, but now I'm beginning the work of making good on these promises. We're working hard to build you a bridge to a brighter Bexar County.
Bexar County is home to San Antonio. The seventh largest city in the country and the third largest in Texas. But when I’m in the community, I hear the frustration about being overlooked for other metros. Dallas, Houston, and Austin make up the supposed “Texas Triangle”, but in Bexar County, we have over 2 million residents with tens of thousands more who commute here for work. We have the untapped potential to be a major economic engine. By making serious investments in ourselves we will grow our economy and have the benefits be felt throughout South Texas.
I’ll be real blunt: Our justice system is too slow. After 26 years as a Judge, I know that fair and effective justice means administering justice quickly. Right now, cases are getting backlogged in our system for months and people are left sitting in jail waiting for their day in court. So as your County Judge, I’m working with our Judges to create “Rocket Dockets”. Rocket Dockets will quickly get cases through our courts. This means we’ll put more criminals in prison, and keep innocent people from sitting in jail. Importantly this will free up much-needed space in our jail to keep violent criminals off the streets.
County Government exists to provide the important services and infrastructure that it takes for our community to function. In the past, this has meant sewage and transportation, but in our digital age, an at-home internet connection is just as important. In Bexar County, one of our largest failures has been the digital divide. Nearly 1 in 5 Bexar County homes don't have an internet connection. This is why, as your County Judge, I'm working to create a Public Internet Utility available to all Bexar County residents. We know that every dollar we invest in closing the digital divide pays a $2.40 return in societal ROI. And between CPS Energy and the major private internet providers, the fiber optic infrastructure for this project is already in place. So by bringing together a public-private partnership, we will be able to offer every resident of our county high-speed internet access at a lower net cost.
When a crisis strikes our county, my number one priority will always be the health and safety of all our residents. But our county is projected to grow by one million people by 2040, and that growth is happening twice as fast in the unincorporated areas. This means that when it comes to an emergency in our county, Metro Health won't be able to serve a significant portion of residents who live outside of San Antonio. Thankfully, Bexar County has just created a Public Health Division that is purpose-built to serve our entire county. As the County Judge, I am preparing for the next emergency by layering this new Public Health Division into our existing Emergency Response Infrastructure. Nearly every emergency - be it a pandemic, a natural disaster, or a terrorist threat - requires swift and effective medical assistance. You deserve to be protected no matter where you live in Bexar County. Covid taught us a hard lesson, but now we know we must be prepared the next time we face a crisis.
Copyright © 2022 Judge Peter Sakai for County Judge - All Rights Reserved.
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