Community Impact Voter Guide
(Published during SWHouston2000 Forum)
James “Joe” Joseph
Occupation/experience: I put people to work every day as an independent contractor and have over 20 years in management and my contributions to communities underscore my commitment to excellence, leadership. I am associate pastor of Lyons Unity MBC, and author of two books published internationally.
I established a strategic working partnership with Rice University Center for Civic Leadership through my non-profit, Neighborhood Enrichment Xchange, and serve on the Blue Ribbon Committee for Houston Community College NorthEast, am president of SuperNeighborhood #55, 5th Ward Civic Club, and Blocks Organizing Neighborhood Defense, established by former Houston Police Chief and Mayor, Lee Brown.
Learn more at: http://JosephforHouston.com
What issues do you want to be a lead advocate on?
Transit-oriented development at Houston’s High-Speed-Rail Hub is a key component to Houston future. Houston’s roads are the nation’s deadliest and out-of-control traffic will intensify without smart, transformative, mobility solutions. I have 15 years of METRO management experience.
Infrastructure, Economic Development, Minority Contracting. Houston enable more people to participate in Houston’s prosperity and make Houston an incubator for investment and innovation.
Clean, safe, complete neighborhoods. More responsive service delivery, deed restriction enforcement, and more police protection is needed so our seniors and children can feel safe. I led crime prevention efforts to get over 300 street lights turned on.
What role will you play in improving Houston’s budgeting and fiscal planning?
Because Houston’s has had a structural budget deficit of at least $100 million for many years and the most significant financial hurdle still looms large, my strategic role will include:
*Proposing a statutory requirement for a financially sustainable, structurally-balanced, budget oversight where recurring revenues match or exceed recurring expenditures and to replenish reserves to address emergencies and periodic economic downturns.
*Protecting reforms to continue reduction of unfunded pension liabilities.
*Economic planning to grow a healthy fund balance, deliver high-quality services, makes vital investments in Houston’s infrastructure.
What is your take on improving mobility in the city?
METRONext’s bond package doubles ridership, increases access without tax increases, and favors much-needed transit improvements than obsolete-prone rail.
Without faster, safer, above-grade crossings, rail suffers as a vanity project from decreased ridership and risks employers exiting Houston’s congested core. I support METRONext Plan’s principal feature, Bus Rapid Transit, at one-third the cost/mile.
*Transit-oriented development; Strategic partnerships boost Houston’s High-Speed-Rail Hub’s role in a $1 trillion Super-economy with millions of people traveling between Houston and Dallas via 90-minute bullet train.
*Faster commutes from activity centers beyond 610.
*Fare elimination; increases mobility, ridership, and reduces congestion even for non-riders.