IAPAC Holds Reception for Judges Lina Hidalgo and KP George

By Jawahar Malhotra & Pranav Rao

IAPAC members with Gene Wu (far left) and Judges Lina Hidalgo and KP George

HOUSTON: In its continuing efforts to educate the South Asian community about the political process in the Greater Houston area, the Indo American PAC held another reception on Thursday, September 22 evening for Harris County Commissioners Court Judge Lina Hidalgo and for KP George, her equivalent in Ft Bend County. Both are Democrats running for re-election in November. The reception was held at India House after refreshments and drew about 60 people. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner regrettably was not able to attend due to a prior commitment.

Hidalgo spoke about her background as an immigrant who was born in Columbia, raised during the drug wars and left with her family leaving to seek safety in the US. She talked with admiration about KP George saying “immigrants come to the US for opportunity. People who oppose immigration miss this point”.

Hidalgo talked about her goals for the county. She wants to invest in early childhood education and has made responding to climate change a key priority. She supports a strong public transit system, wants to invest in broadband infrastructure and reduce homelessness by 20 percent. She even wants to make the ballot available in Indian languages.

Referring to her Republican opponent who accuses her of defunding the police, Hidalgo responded that her goal is to “invest in policies that are just and work”. She said her opponent denied that Trump lost the 2020 election and wants to purge voter rolls while Republican County officials did not want to certify the elections.

Hidalgo stressed the need to keep stable individuals in office and keep government accountable. In that regard, she refuses to take contributions from people who do business with the County. On the subject of guns, she wants common sense gun reform at the state level and start a gun violence interruption program on the county level; youth programs to prevent gun crimes, a gun buyback program; systems put in place to confiscate guns from perpetrators of domestic violence and to stop NRG stadium from holding gun shows.

KP George began by emphasizing that Fort Bend was the third fastest growing county in Texas, 13th in the US and most ethnically diverse in the US. He spoke about his biggest achievement in establishing and expanding the Ft Bend Office of Emergency Management the need for which was illustrated by the experience of, and lack of, emergency directions during Hurricane Harvey. It is a state-of-the-art building opened on June 3, and has made Fort Bend a regional leader in emergency management.

George emphasized that he was the first person of any color to become FB county judge and before him, people didn’t know what a county judge was. He said he has invested in youth internship program in FB and wants to empower young people to get politically involved. He also announced that last Tuesday, $18 million was approved to make law enforcement pay more competitive.

He spoke about Ft Bend’s vaccination efforts, rent assistance, relief funds for small businesses during COVID and that the biggest problem during pandemic was Greg Abbot.

George said that his strong immigrant background gives him the resiliency to preserve through criticism. He added that it was important to speak out about injustice and racism when asked what Indo-American’s should do to get more involved in politics.