The two Republican Harris County Commissioners, Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsey, have refused to attend county meetings for over a month. Under current Texas law, county governments require a super quorum of four members present in order to vote on tax or budget issues, effectively giving any two members a veto if they choose not to show up.
This political stunt has severe consequences for Harris County residents that affect everything from accessing healthcare in a timely manner, protecting their homes from severe weather (such as floods), providing access to libraries, and keeping outdoor spaces clean and safe for all.
The following is a statement from Michelle Tremillo, Texas Organizing Project (TOP) Co-Executive Director, calling on Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey to do their jobs:
“Enough is enough, Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey. Stop the political games with Harris County residents’ lives, and show up to commissioner’s court tomorrow and do your job. Your absence and refusal to pass a tax rate is putting all county programs and services at risk of insufficient funding for people who are already struggling with higher prices. Tuesday’s meeting is Harris County’s last chance to pass a tax rate before reverting to an austere budget. We’re calling on Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey to step up and work to help improve our community, not make it suffer over partisanship.”
Mattie Jackson, TOP Harris County Community Leader, echoed Tremillo’s calls for action:
“Harris County residents, myself included, deserve officials who show up to work and do the job they were elected to do. It is unconscionable that our literal health – including potential delays in lifesaving screenings like colonoscopies and other screenings – is being put on the line by partisan games. Commissioners Cage and Ramsey, show up and pass a tax rate – now.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.
This statement was sent out October 24, 2022.