Lina Hidalgo has been hard at work preparing to take office on January 1, 2019 and has announced plans for a public-facing engagement campaign, “Talking Transition: Harris County,” that will engage Harris county residents, as well as civic, community, and business leaders in conversations about the future of Harris County over the coming months.
If you are interested in helping the transition, please complete this form.
If you are interested in working in the Office of the Harris County Judge, please visit the Jobs page.
About Talking Transition: Harris County
Talking Transition: Harris County is a initiative of the newly-elected Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo that will bring together thousands of Harris County residents from all walks of life to have our voices heard about issues that matter to us--from our flood control priorities to the fairness of our justice system---to share ideas, and to collectively inform the Judge’s priorities for her first year.
We all know that there is no shortage of good ideas in our communities that can help improve our hospitals, our resilience, our courts, and the rest of the the ways that county government affects people’s lives. The goal of this initiative is to make sure that all of us who want to improve our communities understand how county government works--and how we can change it.
It’s not an accident that most people don’t understand the workings of government--it’s not easy or accessible because that’s how those who have traditionally been in power have maintained it. But that’s not how it should be. We want to make county government more open and more accessible to every single one of us that has the desire to participate. In other words, we want to make Harris County live up to the idea that democracy is government by us, for us.
How It Works
A plan for this initiative is in the works that includes a variety of ways to learn from residents and to better inform residents.
-Survey: Teams of canvassers will be spread out throughout the County to ask residents what needs to be improved among county services, what would help them engage more with county government, and what needs to be prioritized when it comes to prioritizing the county budget.
-Transparency Project: Announcements throughout the County will provide easily-digestible information about how county government works along with eye-opening statistics intended to make people eager to learn more.
-Civic Saturdays - A series of full-day public events happening on consecutive Saturdays throughout the County. Each Civic Saturday will consist of:
*a large gathering organized around a specific theme (examples include education, health, and transportation) that will give people a chance to share new ideas for improving their communities and to hear from others;
*smaller working groups for people who have devoted time to specific issues to focus on how to best realize community-driven ideas through county government;
*classroom style lessons on the workings of county government.
-Final Roundtable- The most impactful insights and ideas coming out of each of the Civic Saturdays will inform a final event that invite residents to refine the best of those ideas and ultimately recommend which should be the highest priorities for the new County Judge.
How to Get Involved
We are building a network of people that are interested in supporting the effort.
We have put together a questionnaire for people to share with us how they might want to be involved. There are ways to participate in the planning and once we kick off the first series of activities.
Who Supports This
Talking Transition: Harris County is an initiative of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo with support from Houston Endowment and Ford Foundation. HR&A Advisors is providing technical assistance.
Partnerships with non-profit groups that will help to shape and execute different aspects of the program will be announced soon.