More than a third of our workforce is employed by small businesses here in Bexar County. Small business is the backbone of our economy. And we can address many of the challenges we’re facing by fostering the growth and development of our local small businesses. That’s why I’m proposing a Small Business Procurement Ordinance. This would allow the county to choose contractors based not only on the lowest bid, but also give preference to local small businesses. That means that the money we invest into our county’s facilities will be circulated back into our local economy. This is how we confront rising prices and stagnant wages at a local level. If our county puts a focus on small business procurement, we will resist inflation, create more high paying jobs, and protect against gentrification.
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 when I’m elected, I’ll work with our Judges to create “Rocket Dockets”. Rocket Dockets will quickly get cases through our courts. Which 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. In fact, Sheriff Salazar and I are already discussing how we can work together to keep you and your families safer. Which means making sure he has the funding to fully staff and operate the jail and all of our public safety programs.
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. Which is why as your next County Judge, I want to create a Public Internet Utility available to all Bexar County residents. We know that every dollar we invest on 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 would 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 your County Judge, I will prepare 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, and now we know we must be prepared for the next time we face a crisis.
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