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>> LINA HIDALGO: IT IS 10:01 AND I WOULD LIKE TO CALL THIS MEETING TO ORDER.

[00:00:08]

IT IS THE JULY 28TH MEETING OF COMMISSIONER'S COURT TO ORDER.

LET'S INTRODUCE OUR GUEST.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR, PASTOR JOHNNIE-MUSQUIZ IS GOING TO BE INTRODUCED BY HIS EMPLOYER, OUR OWN COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

AIDE >> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

GOOD MORNING, COLLEAGUES.

I THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF RECOGNIZING AND INTRODUCING PASTOR -- WELL, YEAH IN ALL MY ROLES AND DAYS WITH THE ANTI-GANG OFFICE AND CITY COUNCIL AND AS SHERIFF AND AS COMMISSIONER, I HAVE ALWAYS PURSUED THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY AND I HAVE STRIVED TO HAVE MINISTERIAL ADVISORIES IN EACH OF THE ROLES OF GUIDING OUR HEARTS, MINDS AND POLICIES.

AS I STARTED THIS NEW ENDEAVOR AS COMMISSIONER OF PRECINCT 2 I HAD MET PASTOR MUSQUIZ DURING MY JOB INTERVIEW FOR THIS ROLE AND FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM THE FIRST DAY I MET HIM.

WE HAD BREAKFAST AND WE TALKED A BIT.

YOU GOTTA LOVE A PASTOR THAT SITS DOWN AND SAYS, HEY, MAN, WHAT'S GOING ON? JUST TRYING TO BE VERY, VERY CLOSE TO THE GROUND.

PASTOR MUSQUIZ, JOHNNIE-MUSQUIZ IS A BUFFALO.

HE GRADUATED FROM MILBY HIGH SCHOOL IN 1968.

AND THEN HE JOINED THE HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT IN FEBRUARY OF 1970, BUT RECOGNIZING HE COULD DO MORE FOR HUMANITY AS A SOCIETY AND THROUGH THE MINISTRY LEFT AFTER FOUR YEARS TO STUDY FOR THE MINISTRY AND GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY IN 1977 WITH A BACHELOR'S IN THEOLOGY.

THIS MINISTERIAL CAREER STARTED AS PASTOR OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN PRECINCT 2 AS WELL.

IN 1978 HE FOUNDED A HISPANIC CONGREGATION.

HE WOULD PASTOR FOR THE LAST 22 YEARS.

HE WOULD ALSO PASTOR AT A BAPTIST CHURCH FOR 18 MORE AND HE CONTINUED TO PURSUE HIS EDUCATION WITH A MASTER'S IN THEOLOGY IN 1985 AND SUBSEQUENTLY A MASTER'S IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FROM SOUTHWESTERN SEMINARY IN 1991.

HE HAS ALSO SERVED ON THE BAPTIST GENERAL CONVENTION OF TEXAS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AND THE HISPANIC BAPTIST CONVENTION BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

PASTOR MUSQUIZ RETIRED AFTER 40 YEARS IN MINISTRY.

HE JOINED MY OFFICE AND MEETING RELATIONS TEAM EARLY LAST YEAR WHERE HE WORKS WITH THE CHURCHES IN PRECINCT 2.

I AM SO HONORED TO HAVE PASTOR MUSQUIZ LEAD US IN PRAYER.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: PASTOR, GO AHEAD.

>> HELLO?

>> LINA HIDALGO: PASTOR, CAN YOU HEAR US ALL RIGHT?

>> PASTOR?

>> LINA HIDALGO: WE MAY HAVE LOST HIM, LUCINDA.

>> WE'LL TRY TO CONNECT HIM RIGHT NOW.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET US KNOW.

IN THE MEANTIME LET'S GET GOING WITH ONE OF OUR RESOLUTIONS.

[I. Departments (Part 1 of 4 )]

THIS IS A RESOLUTION ON PAGE 21 UNDER COUNTY JUDGE.

TODAY IT IS ABOUT CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF BEN PRICE.

LET ME READ THIS RESOLUTION.

WHEREAS BEN WILSON PRICE WAS A DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT WHO SPENT 19 YEARS OF SERVICE AT THE HARRIS COUNTY LAW LIBRARY.

HE PROVIDED SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

[00:05:02]

DURING HIS CAREER HE REPRESENTED THOUSANDS OF SELF-LIT GANTS, ATTORNEYS RNTION JUDGES AND FELLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS.

HIS CURIOSITY LEAD TO KISS COVER RES AND MATERIALS IN THE LAW LIBRARY COLLECTION.

HE WAS BORN TO THE LATE PERRY PRIDE AND LOUIS WILSON PRIDE IN DEQUENN, ARKANSAS.

PASSED AWAY JUNE 25TH, 2020 NEAR HIS HOME AND SURVIVED BY HIS SISTER ELIZABETH LLOYD AND HER HUSBAND AND THEIR DAUGHTER.

AND WHEREAS MANY COUNTY EMPLOYEES AND PEOPLE ACROSS HARRIS COUNTY HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY BEN'S LOSS AND HE IS REMEMBERED AS A DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT, FRIEND AND SOMEONE WHO FELT DEEP SIM -- SYMPATHY FOR THOSE IN NEED, WHATEVER THEIR NEED MAY BE AND FELT DRIVEN TO HELP AND NOW BE IT RESOLVED HARRIS COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S COURT RECOGNIZES BEN WILSON PRIDE FOR HIS 19 YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO HARRIS COUNTY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SECOND.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND WE SEND CONDOLENCES TO FAMILY, FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, AND LET ME JUST SAY, YOU KNOW, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE PERSON AND INCREDIBLE PROFESSION.

I HAVE BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES OF LIBRARIES GROWING UP.

I KNOW HOW MUCH OUR LAW LIBRARY DOES AND IT IS SELF-LESS WORK.

IT IS TRULY PUBLIC SERVANT WORK.

IT GOES BEYOND BOOKS AND SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY WITH ALL KINDS OF NEEDS.

IT IS REALLY A SAD LOSS, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE AND THE BEAUTIFUL SERVICE THAT HE OFFERED TO OUR COMMUNITY AND THAT ALL OF OUR LIBRARY IS AND LIBRARY STAFF OFFER TO OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU TO ALL AND OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

>> WE DO HAVE THE PASTOR BACK ON THE LINE.

CAN I ASK YOU TO TURN UP YOUR MIC A LITTLE BIT, PLEASE.

HE IS A LITTLE HARD TO HEAR.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

I WILL DO THAT.

LET'S HEAR FROM THE PASTOR.

[Opening prayer by Pastor Johnnie Musquiz retired from Iglesia Bautista Houston SBC in Houston.]

>> GO AHEAD.

>> AS WE COME INTO YOUR HOLY PRESENCE TODAY, LORD, MAKE OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR WORD.

GIVE OUR CON COMMISSIONERS -- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WISDOM FROM ABOVE AS THEY ADVISE THEIR COMMUNITIES.

HELP THEM REACH OUT TO THE LEAST OF THESE AND CONCENTRATE NOT ON THEMSELVES, BUT THOSE THAT ARE THE LESS FORTUNATE AS THEY MAKE THE DECISIONS FOR TODAY.

MAY YOUR WORD GUIDE AND DIRECT THEM TOWARD FAITH.

YOU AS YOU HAVE DONE TO THE LEAST YOU HAVE DONE TO ME.

GUIDE THEIR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS THAT THEY MAKE DECISIONS ALWAYS AND THE FINAL DECISIONS WITH MERCY AND GRACE.

HELP THEM IN THE LORD'S PRAYER WHERE IT IS SAFE.

THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

USE THEM TO ENHANCE YOUR WORDS AND YOUR KINGDOM AS THEY MAKE DECISIONS FOR ALL.

MAY THEIR MOTIVES BE TRUE AND CLEAR AND ALWAYS SEEKING TO PROTECT THOSE EMBRACED IN THE PAST.

I WANT TO THANK YOU, GOD, WHILE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE.

LET MAY WE IN HARRIS COUNTY HELP THEM IN OFFICE AND WORK.

YOUR WORD SAYS WE NEED TO PRAY FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE AUTHORITY OVER US.

MAY WE NEVER DIMINISH OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND OUR DUTIES.

I WANT TO PRAY FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS.

WE PRAY FOR YOUR HEALING HAND UPON EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

GIVE THEM COURAGE AND GRACE AS THEY CONFRONT THIS DEADLY VIRUS.

OUR PRAYERS ALSO GO OUT TO THE FAMILIES AND THE LOVED ONES WHOSE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN EXPOSED AND ARE CAREGIVERS.

GIVE THEM STRENGTH AND GRACE TO CONTINUE TO GO FORWARD.

FOR THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND POLITICAL LEADERS AND I WANT TO PRAY FOR ALL OF OUR FIRST RESPONDERS WHETHER THEY BE POLICEMEN, POLICE WOMEN, FIREMEN, FIRE WOMEN, DOCTORS, NURSES AND OTHERS WHO MINISTER ON A DAILY BASIS AS THEY CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK YOU CALL THEM TO DO.

THEY NEED OUR PRAYERS AS WELL AS OUR PRAISE.

[00:10:01]

I WOULD LIKE TO FINISH THIS PRAYER BY SAYING WE HAVE NO BIGGER RESPONSIBILITY THAN TO PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, FOR WHEN WE DO WE ARE FULFILLING THE COMMAND TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, AND WE ASK ALL OF THIS IN YOUR NAME, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

AMEN.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: AMEN, THANK YOU, PASTOR.

>> R JACK CAGLE: AMEN.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH, PASTOR.

WE HAVE ANOTHER RESOLUTION, COMMISSIONER CAGLE, I BELIEVE THIS IS YOURS.

[I. Departments (Part 2 of 4)]

>> R JACK CAGLE: YES, YOUR HONOR.

THIS IS A SAD ONE, YOUR HONOR, AND IT IS IN HONOR OF DEPUTY CORNELIUS ANDERSON.

WHEREAS AT THE AGE OF 28 HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE CADET CORNELIUS ANDERSON PASSED AWAY AFTER A MEDICAL EMERGENCY DURING PHYSICAL TRAINING FOR A BASIC PEACE OFFICER'S CORP AT THE ACADEMY.

CORNELIUS ANDERSON GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON AND WORKED AS A DETENTION OFFICER FOR THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SINCE 2019 AND CADET CORNELIUS ANDERSON WAS WELL LOVED BY HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR BEING LOYAL, STRONG, KIND AND DEVOTED, CADET ANDERSON ALWAYS FOLLOWED HIS DREAMS. EVERYONE WHO KNEW HIM WELL KNEW IT WAS HIS LIFE'S DREAM TO BECOME A SHERIFF DEPUTY WITH THE LAST MEASURE OF HIS DEVOTION ACHIEVED HIS LIFE'S DREAM AS HE WAS NAMED AN HONORARY HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF DEPUTY AND NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THE HARRIS COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S COURT RECOGNIZES AND HONORS DEPUTY CORNELIUS ANDERSON FOR HIS DEDICATION TO PROTECTING AND SERVING THE RESIDENTS OF HARRIS COUNTY WITH THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF HIS DEVOTION IN LIFE.

IT IS HERE BY ORDERED WE INCLUDE THIS RESOLUTION ON THE MINUTES OF THE COURT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SECOND.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH, COMMISSIONER.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR THERE IS A NICE MESSAGE FROM SHARE -- SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ THAT WAS PUBLISHED THAT I ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO READ TO GIVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CADET.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> JUDGE, MS. ANDERSON IS ON THE LINE.

>> HELLO, CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> YES, MA'AM, WE CAN HEAR YOU.

>> WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

I MEAN, THE GENTLEMAN JUST SAID THINGS ABOUT CORNELIUS THAT HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A POLICE OFFICER, AND I JUST -- I MISS HIM SO MUCH.

HE IS THE YOUNGEST CHILD AND HE WANTED TO BE A SHERIFF.

HE SAID HE WAS GONNA LIVE HIS DREAM AND BE WITH THE HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.

I'M NOT UNDERSTANDING WHY HE WAS TAKEN FROM ME, YOU KNOW, BUT I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY.

>> R JACK CAGLE: THANK YOU, MS. ANDERSON.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU, JUDGE.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

MS. ANDERSON, JUST KNOW THAT OUR HEARTS ARE VERY HEAVY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, BUT AS IS OUR SYSTEM, CORNELIUS IS A MEMBER OF THE HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

ALTHOUGH HE LEFT AS YOU ALL TOO SOON, HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

I KNOW SHERIFF GONZALEZ AND MEMBERS OF THE HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE FEEL THIS LOSS ALMOST AS MUCH AS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DID.

AND SO I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU AND CORNELIUS WILL LIVE ON IN THE HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING HIM TO PURSUE HIS DREAM.

GOD BLESS YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU COMMISSIONER CAGLE FOR BRINGING IT FORWARD.

WE WANT TO SAY WE LOVE YOU AND WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

JUST KNOW WE CAN FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL.

WE WANT YOU TO KNOW WE CARE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND STAY IN TOUCH WITH US.

YOU ARE FAMILY AND WE LOVE YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, MS. ANDERSON AND OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

IF YOU -- THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER FOR THIS RESOLUTION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO I BELIEVE THAT IS ALL FOR THE RESOLUTIONS THIS MORNING.

TWO VERY, VERY SAD ONES, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER.

[00:15:04]

LET'S MOVE ON TO THE COVID ITEMS. THAT SECTION BEGINS ON PAGE 22.

IT IS SECTION 21, COVID-19.

THE FIRST IS A LEASE AGREEMENT FOR A BUILDING OF PUBLIC HEALTH, CONTACT TRACERS.

DO FOLKS HAVE QUESTIONS ON THIS?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I WOULD LIKE TO APPROVE THIS ITEM SUBJECT TO A QUICK CONVERSATION MAYBE I CAN HAVE WITH JOHN BLOUNT'S OFFICE.

I WAS CONTACTED BY SOMEONE WHO REALLY WANTS TO MAKE A VERY, VERY GENEROUS OFFER, I THINK IT IS.

IT IS ESSENTIALLY NEAR FREE LEASE SPACE TO AND APPARENTLY A SIGNIFICANT FOOTPRINT.

IT IS IN A VERY EFFECTIVE AREA OF THE COUNTY.

I THINK IT IS IN PRE -- PRECINCT 3.

I WOULD LIKE TO GET THEM IN TOUCH WITH MR. BLOUNT TO SEE IF THAT IS A RELATIONSHIP THAT CAN SAVE SOME MONEY, BUT ALLOW PUBLIC HEALTH TO HAVE SOME CAPACITY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, GO AHEAD, COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

>> R JACK CAGLE: FOR CLARIFICATION, ARE YOU REQUESTING THAT WE PULL THIS ITEM UNTIL I GUESS OUR AUGUST 6TH MEETING WHICH IS 10 DAYS FROM NOW?

>> I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM NOT UP AND I BELIEVE WE CAN WORK ON THESE ITEMS CONCURRENTLY.

IF THERE TURNS OUT TO BE A RELATIONSHIP THAT CAN BE CREATED AND IT WON'T COST US ANY MONEY, THEN I THINK WE CAN EFFECTIVELY JUST CANCEL THIS LEASE BEFORE WE TAKE USE OF IT.

WOULD THAT BE ACCURATE, ROBERT SU -- RONT -- ROBERT OR JOHN?

>> THIS IS JOHN.

I RECOMMEND WE APPROVE IT SUBJECT TO ME TRYING TO NEGOTIATE A BETTER DEAL WITH THIS OTHER ORGANIZATION.

THAT WAY IF FOR SOME REASON IT FALLS APART WE HAVEN'T SLOWED ANYTHING DOWN.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I WOULD AGREE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA, IF YOU CAN, JUST LET US ALL KNOW.

OBVIOUSLY IF YOU GET A BETTER DEAL LET US KNOW COLLECTIVELY.

I THINK THAT'S A GOOD MOVE.

WE DORCHT -- WE DON'T WANT TO DELAY IT IF IT IS A BETTER DEAL, ABSOLUTELY.

JUST LET US KNOW, JOHN BLOUNT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: JAMES, DID YOU GET THAT? IT IS SUBJECT TO JOHN BLOUNT REVIEWING IF THERE IS A BETTER OPTION WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION BY COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> APPROVED SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE COUNTY ENGINEER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

DOES THAT WORK, COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I THINK SO.

THAT'S IT.

ITEM B IS AN AGREEMENT WITH HOUSTON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, INC.

FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF A SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY FUND.

ANY QUESTIONS HERE? I BELIEVE THIS IS JUST THE DISPERSEMENT PROCESS.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: HOUSEKEEPING.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IF WE WANT TO MOVE IT DOWN WE CAN SEE IF ANYBODY HAS ANY PROBLEMS WITH THEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THAT IS WHAT WOULD BE EASIER, COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

UNLESS WE HAVE A PROBLEM WE WILL VOTE ON THEM ALTOGETHER.

NOT A PROBLEM, BUT A DISCUSSION.

ANYWAY, PAGE 23, ITEM 2 IS FUNDS TO BE ALLOCATED IN THE PICK FUND FOR COVID-RELATED EXPENSES TO CERTAIN COUNTY DEPARTMENTS.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR, I HAVE A BRIEF QUESTION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> R JACK CAGLE: MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THESE ARE EKDZ PENNED TOURS COME -- EXPENDITURES COMING OUT OF THE PIC FUND AND WILL ULTIMATELY BE REIMBURSED UNDER OUR CARES ACT OR OUT OF FEMA.

I JUST WANTED -- I THINK THIS PARTICULAR ALLOCATION IS AROUND TWO PRECINCTS AND I AM IN FAVOR OF THE PROCESS.

I WANT TO DO THE ME TOO.

I THINK WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF SUBMITTING OUR EXPENDITURES.

THEY DIDN'T GET IN ON TIME TO BE ON THIS PARTICULAR AGENDA BUT WE ARE ALL DOING THE SAME THING AND USING THE SAME PROTOCOL THEN I AM FINE WITH THIS APPROACH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IT IS A GOOD POINT.

[00:20:01]

WE STARTED THAT ONCE AND COMMISSIONER GAR SEE WANTED TO COME IN.

WE DON'T RESTRICT AND NOR DOES COMMISSIONER GARCIA WHERE IT COMES FROM.

I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO USE THE SAME PROTOCOL BECAUSE FOLKS DON'T KNOW WHERE THE LINES ARE.

I DON'T THINK FOLKS ARE FROM THAT NEIGHBORHOOD BECAUSE IT IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SO THAT IS GOOD.

WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE IN PAIN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHICH PRECINCT THEY LIVING IN.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: EXACTLY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I SAID IT SOUNDS LIKE WE ARE GOOD ON THIS ONE UNLESS WE HAVE FUTURE REQUESTS.

ITEM 3 IS AN ORDER TO EXTEND THE ADDITIONAL 80 HOURS OF PAID LEAVE TO ALL REGULAR EMPLOYEES.

I BELIEVE WE DISCUSSED THIS AT THE LAST COURT WHERE WE SAID START WITH PUBLIC HEALTH AND FIRST RESPONDERS, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EXTEND IT TO EVERYBODY.

THIS IS IT COMING BACK.

SHANE, IS THERE ANYTHING TO ADHERE? -- TO ADD HERE?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I WILL ADDRESS IT AS WELL UNDER BUDGET MANAGEMENT, BUT I JUST WANT TO COMMEND SHANE.

THIS IS AN ITEM THAT I HAVE LONG WANTED TO SEE BE A PART OF HARRIS COUNTY EMPLOYEE SUPPORT SYSTEM AND WANTED TO SEE SICK LEAVE PULLED, BUT THE ITEM COMMISSIONER CAGLE PUT FORWARD LENDS TO THAT.

IF WE ARE EVER GOING TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS, REGRETFULLY THIS IS A TIME TO HAVE IT.

THIS IS REALLY GOING TO CHANGE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH WHATEVER ILLNESS WHETHER IT IS COVID-19 TODAY, BUT IT WILL BE SOMETHING LITTLE TOMORROW.

AND AS WE JUST HEARD WITH BEN PRIDE WE HAVE A FAMILY HERE IN HARRIS COUNTY AND IT WILL ALLOW THIS FAMILY TO COME TOGETHER WHEN THEY HEAR THEIR FELLOW EMPLOYEES NEEDING THEIR HELP.

THIS IS ALL AN ITEM TO MOVE US IN THAT SAME DIRECTION.

JUST WANT TO COMMEND COMMISSIONER CAGLE FOR THIS AND SHANE FOR PUTTING THIS TOGETHER IN SHORT ORDER.

SHANE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> THANK YOU FOR THE COMPLIMENT.

ONE OTHER THING I ASK FOR IS THE COST ON THIS 80 HOURS HERE.

I THINK IT WILL BE MINIMAL.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL OF THEIR TIME.

I THINK IT IS $100,000, $200,000.

THIS SHOULD BRIDGE US UNTIL WE GET IT UP AND RUNNING.

THERE ARE PLANS AND PROCEDURES THAT HAVE TO BE WRITTEN, SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT LATER IF YOU WANT TO.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WONDERFUL.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND THEN COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

IT IS A GOOD IDEA, COMMISSIONERS.

SHANE, HOW DO WE LET THEM KNOW? DO YOU HAVE A PROCESS TO LET FOLKS KNOW ABOUT IT?

>> YES.

THIS WILL KICK IN ON SATURDAY AND SO WE WILL SEND THE COMMUNICATION OUT TO ALL OF THE DEPARTMENT HR REPRESENTATIVES AND SO THEY WILL ALL BE NOTIFIED OF THIS 80 HOURS, YES, SIR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: GOOD JOB.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER CAGLE?

>> R JACK CAGLE: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THE COMPANION PIECE TO THIS IS UNDER BUDGET MANAGEMENT AND SO I ALSO WANT TO ECHO, I FEEL LIKE IN TERMS OF THIS INSTANCE WHERE WE ARE TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF EMPLOYEES WE HAVE THE LEFT LINE AND THE RIGHT SIDE AND THE LEFT SIDE OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE WORKING TOGETHER TO GET THE BALL INTO THE TOUCHDOWN TO TAKE CARE OF OUR EMPLOYEES.

BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE POOL AND THIS TAKING CARE OF THE ADDITIONAL SICK LEAVE I THINK WE ARE GONNA DO RIGHT BY OUR EMPLOYEES.

AND SO I WANTED TO ALSO COMMEND NOT ONLY THE BUDGET OFFICERS, BUT COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOUR STAFF HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN WORKING WITH OUR STAFF IN GETTING ALL OF THESE DETAILS DONE.

SO I WANT TO COMMEND YOUR STAFF AND WORKING WITH US ON THIS TOO.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

LIKEWISE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

[00:25:02]

THE NEXT ONE IS AUTHORIZATION TO ACCEPT DONATIONS BY PUBLIC HEALTH.

ITEM D IS COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

HERE -- SO 21D3 IS ADDITIONAL FUNDING $2 MILLION TO HELP PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19.

AND THIS IS FOR THE ASSISTED ISOLATION PROGRAM OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND OTHERS WHO HAVE NOWHERE TO ISOLATE, BUT HAVE THE VIRUS CAN HAVE A PLACE TO STAY.

JOSH, IS THERE SOMETHING LITTLE -- SOMETHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY ABOUT THIS?

>> NO, MA'AM.

YOU HIT IT RIGHT ON.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY IS GOING TO BE USED FOR.

THIS SHOULD GET US THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30TH, AND ALSO IT PROVIDES A LITTLE CUSHION IN THE EVENT WE HAVE TO OPEN UP ADDITIONAL SPACE FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION ISOLATION AND RECOVERY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

THE NEXT ONE IS ITEM E AND THAT IS THE REQUEST BY THE COUNTY CLERK FOR AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFEREE ELECTIONS OPERATIONS TO HALL D OF NRG.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

JADE >> ADRIAN GARCIA: NOT PARTICULARLY ON THIS ITEM, AND I SUPPORT THIS, BUT I WANTED TO COMMEND CHRIS HOLLINS FOR A PRETTY BORING ELECTION RUNOFF.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE HAD ONE OF THOSE? MR. HOLLINS, THANK YOU FOR STEPPING IN AND HELPING.

YOU MADE IT LOOK EASY.

MY COMPLIMENTS TO YOU AND I APPRECIATE YOUR WORK.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WANT TO ECHO COMMISSIONER GARCIA'S -- MR. HOLLIS HAS DONE A GREAT JOB OF THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX.

EVEN WITH JUMPING OUT AND MAKING A CASE TO THE GOVERNOR TO EXTEND EARLY VOTING.

I THINK THAT FORWARD THINKING WILL BE A REAL PLUS.

IT WILL BE A LARGE TURNOUT AND A DIFFICULT ELECTION, BUT I WANT TO SAY FROM JUMP STREET AND GETTING OUT THERE.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, GREAT NOMINATION AND COMMEND YOU AS WELL.

>> JUDGE, WE DO HAVE A SPEAKER ON THIS ITEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: ALL RIGHT.

LET'S HEAR FROM THEM.

THANK YOU.

>> YOU'RE WELCOME.

POLAY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

SIR? KENNETH POLAY.

SOUNDS LIKE THEY MIGHT HAVE DROPPED, JUDGE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: WE'LL BRING THEM BACK IF YOU GET BACK UH HOLD OF THEM, LUCINDA.

>> THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

SO THAT IS ITEM E.

ITEM F IS THE TRANSMITAL BY THE PURCHASING AGENT -- >> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, I'M SORRY.

I HAD A LITTLE QUICK COMMENT ON THE LAST ITEM AND I JUST DIDN'T GET MY LITTLE CARD UP FAST ENOUGH.

WE THINK WE ARE DOING SOMETHING NEW, BUT ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF NOT BEING HERE FOR AWHILE IS BACK IN THE DAY WHEN I WAS A PRECINCT CHAIR WE USED TO BRING OUR GEAR DOWN TO NRG.

IT WASN'T CALLED NRG AT THE TIME, BUT WE WOULD BRING IT DOWN TO THE COMPLEX DOWN THERE AT THE ASTROHALL.

IT IS SORT OF A FULL CIRCLE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: HOPEFULLY IT MEANS IT WILL WORK.

THAT BODES WELL.

ITEM G IS MY BROAD ITEM ON THE COVID-19 RESPONSE AND PANDEMIC.

DO FOLKS HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS HERE? YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE, I KNOW WE ALWAYS MAKE MENTION OF IT, BUT I TELL YOU MY STAFF AND I WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP YESTERDAY AND JUST WANT TO REALLY COMMEND YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AND YOUR STRENGTH AND YOUR COURAGE.

THANK YOU FOR -- I DON'T NECESSARILY GET HERE EARLY, BUT I LEAVE LATE.

GENERALLY WHEN I GET HERE, YOUR TRUCK IS ALREADY HERE.

WHEN I AM LEAVING, YOUR TRUCK IS STILL HERE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK.

IT IS BEYOND WORDS OF ADMIRATION FOR ALL OF -- ALL YOU ARE DOING.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER, FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND THIS IS NOWHERE NEAR OVER.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, I WANT TO ECHO, HEY, KEEP DOING IT.

STICK WITH THE SCIENCE OVER SIMPLICITY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THERE YOU GO.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

WORRY ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY AND NOT WHAT THE POLLING DATA SAYS.

AT THE END OF THE DAY IT WILL BE JUST FINE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

>> JUDGE, WE DO HAVE THE SPEAKER BACK ON FROM THE PREVIOUS ITEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HEAR FROM HIM.

[00:30:04]

>> KENNETH POLAY AND -- WITH POLAY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

>> YES.

>> GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>>

>> LINA HIDALGO: THE CONNECTION IS NOT GOOD, LUCINDA.

>> SIR, IF WE CAN GIVE UH CALL RIGHT BACK, SIR.

YOUR CONNECTION IS PRETTY BAD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DO WE HAVE SPEAKERS ON THIS CURRENT ITEM, LUCINDA?

>> YES, MA'AM, WE DO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HEAR FROM THEM AS WE GET MR. POLAY BACK ON THE LINE.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAS A QUESTION.

>> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, IF THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS ON THIS ITEM I WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT I HAVE A BACK UP TO YOUR ITEM TO WHERE WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE I WANTED TO ASK ROBERT, I THINK HE SENT OUT A MEMO TO US ON OUR COVID GUIDELINES WITH REGARD TO YOUR UPCOMING TAX RATE, GROUP RATE.

AND SO WHEN THE TIME IS APPROPRIATE I WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT I DO WANT TO DISCUSS THAT.

WE'VE GOT A PAGE OR TWO OF SPEAKERS AND IT MAY BE BEST TO TAKE IT UP AFTER WE HEAR FROM OUR SPEAKERS.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE, I'M NOT SURE IF IT IS UNIVERSAL SERVICES, BUT WHEN THE SPEAKER WAS TRYING TO COME ON, WE ALL HEARD HOW BAD THE CONNECTION IS.

THEN WHEN COMMISSIONER CAGLE WAS SPEAKING I WAS HEARING SOME OF THE SAME FEEDBACK.

I HOPE SOMEBODY IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS AND TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT TO MAKE SURE OUR CONNECTION STAYS CLEAN SO WE CAN HEAR FROM THEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, AND COMMISSIONER CAGLE, I THINK THERE IS A TAX RATE ITEM FROM ROBERT ON THE TAX ASSESSOR, CORRECT? IS THAT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT?

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR, THERE IS, BUT I DID A BACK UP TO YOUR ITEM AS IT RELATED TO COVID AND COVID HAS CHANGED OUR DEADLINES.

I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS A FORMAL POSTING, BUT I ACTUALLY POSTED THAT AND SUBMITTED IT AS AN ITEM UNDER YOUR ITEM HERE.

THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE COVID IMPACT.

I DON'T MIND DISCUSSING IT HERE OR OVER TAX ASSESSOR COLLECTOR.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THE COUNTY ATTORNEY WALK US THROUGH TOGETHER WHAT THE RULES ARE SO WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE RULES ARE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

SOUNDS GOOD.

EITHER WAY.

LET'S -- LUCINDA, YOU SAID THERE ARE SPEAKERS ALREADY, RIGHT?

>> YES.

AND I DO HAVE THE SPEAKER BACK ON THE LINE.

WE CAN TRY IT AGAIN.

AND I ALSO GOT A MESSAGE THAT UNIVERSAL SERVICES IS WORKING TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN FIX ON THE ISSUES.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY.

DID YOU CHECK THE SPEAKERS -- THE SPEAKER'S CONNECTION?

>> YES, HE JUST DISCONNECTED JUST NOW.

I'M ASSUMING IT HAS TO DO WITH THE WEATHER.

I DON'T KNOW.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HAVE THE OTHER SPEAKERS THEN.

>> YES, MA'AM.

JOETA STEVENSON WITH FIFTH WARD SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> YES.

THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING, COMMISSIONERS.

I WAS -- MY FLAME -- MY NAME IS JOETTA STEVENSON AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIFTH WARD SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

I'M HERE TO ASK THE COUNTY TO HAVE A PRESENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY WHEN IT COMES TO COVID-19 TESTING.

I AM ASKING FOR A PERMANENT TEST SITE IN MY COMMUNITY, IN MY HISTORIC COMMUNITY THAT SO MANY OF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH AND LOVE TO QUOTE AND KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOME VERY IMPORTANT AND VERY HISTORIC AMERICANS THAT CAME OUT OF MY COMMUNITY, BUT WE CAN'T SAY THE COUNTY IS INVOLVED IN MY COMMUNITY WHEN IT COMES TO TESTING.

IT IS IN THIS URBAN SEN -- CENTER.

WE ARE HIGH RISK.

WE ARE MIDDLE TO LOW INCOME AND WE HAVE HAD BASICALLY EVERY NO I -- EVERY NOW AND THEN A COVID TEST SITE TO APPEAR -- WELL, THE MAJORITY OF ONES THAT APPEAR, ONE ON JUNE 27TH AND THAT WAS ONE DAY A DRIVE-THRU.

WE ADD ONE DAY -- THE CONGRESSWOMAN, SHE WAS SETTING UP ONE ON JENSEN DRIVE FOR ONE DAY.

THANK GOODNESS THAT WAS NOT ONLY A DRIVE-THRU, BUT IT ALLOWED FOR SOME WALK UPS.

AND NOW ON THE 18TH OF JULY WE ADD ONE-DAY AT DOGIN ELEMENTARY THAT OF COURSE SHE STAYED ON TASK IN TERMS OF THE WALK UPS.

[00:35:02]

IT WOULD BE OUR POOREST RESIDENTS, PEOPLE ON BUSS AND PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY DON'T HAVE CARS.

I REALIZE WE DO HAVE A LOT OF -- WELL NOT A LOT, BUT SOME COVID SITES AND MOST OF THEM ARE DRIVE-THRU.

I HAVE BEEN YELLING, SCREAMING AND CRYING ABOUT THE FACT THAT A LOT OF POOR PEOPLE DON'T HAVE CARS AND THEREFORE WHY ARE THEY BEING LEFT OUT OF THE COVID TESTING SITES? THE SITE AT DOGIN, EVEN THOUGH WE DID HAVE ONE DAY ON THE 18TH, IT WAS GOOD AND A LOT OF PEOPLE CAME AND THEN THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK.

I GUESS THERE WERE PHONE CALLS AND WHATEVER MADE AND THEY WERE ABLE TO BRING IT BACK FOR FIVE DAYS.

IT STARTED ON SATURDAY AND THEN ON THE 25TH AND IT WAS A DAY THAT STARTED AND IT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE 30TH.

AND THE PRIDE IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT IS THE DRIVE-THRUS AND THE WALK UPS.

IT IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR THAT DON'T HAVE CARS.

BUT THE TIMING IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY OF THAT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THE COUNTY -- THE COUNTY IS JUST NOT THERE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I HAVE TO STOP YOU, BUT THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

THANK YOU.

AND COMMISSIONER ELLIS, YES.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, MISTY IS A GOOD FRIEND AND RAISES A VALID POINT.

I WOULD LIKE TO GET DR. SHAW IF HE IS AVAILABLE TO COME ON THE LINE.

I KNOW I CHATTED WITH HIM YESTERDAY AND I CALLED THE CITY HEALTH CARE DIRECTOR AS WELL BECAUSE I SAW ABOUT 10 PEOPLE.

IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA IF WE CAN GET HIM.

I KNOW WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE CITY AS AN EXAMPLE ON THE COVID RELIEF FUND AND EVEN RENDERS ASSISTANCE.

IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE ONLY ONE ON THE RENTER'S ASSISTANCE WHERE I MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR FOLKS WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS AS WELL AS PEOPLE UNINCORPORATED TO IMPLY THAT WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE IN UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY AND NOT IN THE CITY AT ALL.

WITH THAT SAID WE WANT TO TEST AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN.

I KNOW YOU AND THE MAYOR HAVE DIVIDED IT WHERE THE CITY DOES IT IN THE CITY.

WE ARE DOING IT IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA.

OBVIOUSLY WE DON'T ASK PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE FROM.

I WORK WITH THE CONGRESSWOMAN WHERE ONE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN KIND ENOUGH TO DO IT ON THEIR OWN DIME AND DO IT THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

I WAS AT HESTER HOUSE THIS MORNING.

IF DR. SHAW AT SOME POINT CAN COME ON THE LINE.

I KNOW 10 PEOPLE ARE GOING TO CITY HALL TOMORROW AS WELL, AND I DID ASK STEVEN WILLIAMS TO COME ON THE LINE WHICH I GUESS IS A LITTLE AWKWARD BECAUSE FOLKS CERTAINLY HAVE A RIGHT TO APPROACH US AS WELL AS THE CITY AND I DON'T BLAME THEM.

I WANT TO LET DR. SHAW COME IN.

>> LINA HIDALGO: BEFORE DR. SHAW COMES ON I APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS.

YES, THE CHALLENGES ARE DIVIDED BETWEEN CITY AND COUNTY.

ONE THING I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOUR COMMUNITY KNOWS IS EVEN IN PLACES THAT ARE WITHIN THE CITY, YOU GUYS ARE ABLE TO CALL US UP AND FOR FOLKS WHO CANNOT GET TO A TESTING SITE, WE DO GO TO PEOPLE'S HOMES WHEN THEY CAN'T MAKE IT TO A SITE FOR WHATEVER REASON.

FOLKS CAN SIGN UP THROUGH OUR PHONE LINE WHICH IS 832-927-7575.

OR THEY CAN GO ON READY HARRIS.ORG.

THAT MIGHT BE SOMETHING.

I WILL LET DR. SHAW WALK US THROUGH THE REST OF THE -- DR. SHAW ARE YOU ON?

>> I AM.

CAN YOU HEAR ME, JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, GO AHEAD.

>> THANK YOU, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS.

COMMISSIONER ELLIS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS AS WELL.

YEAH, THIS IS A COMPLICATED ISSUE BECAUSE WE ABSOLUTELY AGREE THAT TESTING IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE COVID-19 RESPONSE.

I KNOW BOTH HEALTH DEPARTMENTS ARE DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO INCREASE THE TESTING AND MAKE SURE THE TESTING IS AVAILABLE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.

AS WE KNOW THIS HAS BEEN A CONCERN ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND ACROSS TEXAS, AND CERTAINLY IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY.

WE ALSO TOUCH BASE WITH -- COMMISSIONER THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT YOU SPOKE WITH DIRECTOR WILLIAMS. I ALSO SPOKE WITH HIM YESTERDAY AND WAS IN TOUCH WITH DR. PURSE, THE HEALTH AUTHORITY IN HOUSTON.

YES, THERE ARE ACCORDING TO WHAT HOUSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS TOLD US AND

[00:40:06]

THEY SHARED INFORMATION, BUT THERE ARE A COUPLE OF SITES THAT ARE WITHIN THIS GREATER FIFTH WARD NEIGHBORHOOD OR THIS LOCATION.

IT DOES APPEAR THERE ARE A FEW SITES AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS INTENDING TO INCREASE THE ATTENTION IN THIS AREA.

I DID ALSO INVITE OUR HOUSTON HEALTH COLLEAGUES TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SOME ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS AND WHAT THEY WANTED US -- THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO JOIN, BUT WHAT THEY WANTED US TO SAY WAS THEY ARE LOOKING AT THIS ISSUE AND REALLY CONTINUING TO EVOLVE THEIR TESTING AND TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TESTING THEY CAN DO THROUGHOUT THE CITY, BUT CERTAINLY THEY ARE SENSITIVE TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE FIFTH WARD.

SO WE ARE CONNECTED WITH THEM AND OBVIOUSLY AS COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND JUDGE YOU JUST MENTIONED, THIS IS WITHIN THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND THEY ARE AWARE OF THE ISSUE AND THEY ARE WORKING TOWARD WHAT ARE POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS MOVING FORWARD.

AT THIS POINT I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD, BUT HAPPY TO TAKE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, IF I MIGHT, HOW MUCH MONEY IS THE CITY SPENDING ON TESTING AND HOW MUCH ARE WE SPENDING? I'M ASSUMING SINCE UNINCORPORATED IS SLIGHTLY MORE, BUT CHANNELLY THE SAME SIZE -- BUT ESSENTIALLY THE SAME SIZE.

ARE THE DOLLAR AMOUNTS EVEN?

>> I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT, COMMISSIONER, EXACTLY WHAT THE CITY IS SPENDING.

WE CAN GET SOME SPECIFIC NUMBERS FOR YOU FROM A COMPARATIVE STANDPOINT.

I DO KNOW IT IS COMPLICATED BECAUSE OF THE FEDERAL AND THE STATE SUPPORT FROM FEMA AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

THE ADDITIONAL DOLLARS THAT ARE COMING OR THE SUPPORT THAT IS COMING FROM THE STATE LEVEL AND THEN CERTAINLY THE DOLLARS THAT WE ARE PUTTING IN FROM THE LOCAL LEVEL.

AND AS YOU KNOW POTENTIAL FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE CARES ACT IS ALSO IN THE MIX.

IT IS A COMPLEX EQUATION, BUT WE CAN WORK TOWARD GETTING THAT FOR YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS, TO PUT IT OUT PUBLICLY SO THEY CAN MONITOR.

I THINK I READ 25 PEOPLE WERE TESTED AND IT WAS -- 25% OF PEOPLE TESTED WERE POSITIVE.

IS THAT ACCURATE?

>> YES, THAT IS THE POSITIVITY RATE.

THAT'S THE TEST POSITIVITY RATE.

PREVIOUSLY IT WAS ONE IN EIGHT TESTS OR ONE IN 10 TESTS COMING BACK POSITIVE AND THIS IS THROUGHOUT HARRIS COUNTY.

THAT'S 10% TO 12 AND A HALF% COMING BACK POSITIVE.

NOW WE ARE SEEING THAT HAS JUMPED UP SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE 25% MARK.

IT IS ONE IN FOUR TESTS.

IT DOES FLUCTUATE.

AT TIMES IT IS ABOVE 26% AND SOMETIMES IT DROPS DOWN TO 21, 22%.

THE LAST I SAW WAS 24.5% WAS THE TEST POSITIVITY RATE IN HARRIS COUNTY.

AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, NOW IT IS ONE IN FOUR AND THAT IS THE REASON THAT JUDGE HIDALGO AND HER TEAM AS WELL AS OUR TEAM AND CERTAINLY OUR PARTNERS AT THE CITY ARE CONCERNED BEL -- ABOUT THE UNCONTROLLED TRANSMISSION IN HARRIS COUNTY.

IT IS NOT THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TESTING, BUT THE PROPORTION OF THE TESTS COMING BACK POSITIVE WHICH IS A CONCERN TO ALL OF US.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: DR. SHAW, JUDGE, THE REASON FOR MY ASKING WHAT IS BEING SPENT, IS THERE SOMEWAY WE CAN CAT TAU LOG HOW MANY TESTS ARE BEING DONE NOT BY THE PROFIT COMMUNITY, THE COUNTY, THE CITY.

WITH THE ALARMING RATE AMONG HISPANICS AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS I WOULD MAKE THE CASE IF WE SHARE THE TERMS OF TESTING RATES BY COMMUNITY AND DOLLARS BEING SPENT BECAUSE WE COULD USE CARES MONEY.

IT IS LIMPED -- LIMITED.

THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TO GO AROUND, BUT AT LEAST PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW.

DR. SHAW, I THINK THAT WOULD BE GOOD.

SOME PEOPLE WHO DO IT, SOME OF OUR FEDERAL CLINICS, COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE THAT PROBLEM IN SOME OF YOUR AREAS AS WELL.

THAT MIGHT MAKE US PROGRAM DIFFERENTLY HOW WE SPEND THE MONEY.

AT LEAST PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNOW IT.

MAYBE LATER AFTER YOU SPEAK -- I WAS TALKING WITH ONE DEPARTMENT YESTERDAY ABOUT IF YOU GET A TEST AND IT TAKES SO LONG TO GET IT AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE HAS BEEN EXPOSED AT YOUR HOUSE AND YOU HAVE TO QUARANTINE -- WHETHER IT TAKES YOU 14 OR 16 DAYS TO GET.

IT I MEAN, HOW DO YOU -- I MEAN YOUR JOB WILL LET YOU -- WE WANT TO FIGURE THAT

[00:45:05]

OUT AND MAKE SURE, BUT I'M NOT ABOVE MAKING THE CASE TO REALLOCATE SOME MONEY, BUT I WANT TO SEE WHAT THE CITY IS SPENDING AND WHAT WE ARE SPENDING.

I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE DONE WITH THIS CARES MONEY, BY THE WAY, IT IS A PRETTY EXHAUSTIVE AND IN MY JUDGMENT THOUGHTFUL AND PROGRESSIVE LIST OF THINGS WE HAVE DONE.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOU GOT OUT FIRST ON A SMALL BUSINESS FUND.

I GET -- I GUESS WE HAVE DONE, IF MY MATH IS RIGHT, 15 AND THEN 30 AND IS THAT 45? AND THEN DIRECT ASSISTANCE IS 30 AND RENTAL ASSISTANCE IS 15.

I AM NOT TIEING THE TWO TOGETHER, BUT IT WOULD BE GOOD IF PEOPLE HOLD US ALTOGETHER.

I THINK WE ARE SPENDING THIS MONEY AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE DIGITAL DIVIDE TO PUT MONEY IN ON THE HOMELESS, BUT AS THESE FOLKS GO TO CITY HALL TOMORROW IF MY MEMORY SERVES ME RIGHT, COMMISSIONER GARCIA, IS THAT RIGHT? IT IS EASY TO DO IT VIRTUALLY NOW.

I WOULD MAKE THE CASE, AND FIRST I WANT TO SEE WHAT THE CITY PARTNERS ARE DOING.

EVEN OUR STATE PARTNERS TO MAKE THE CASE.

WHERE IS THAT MONEY? IT IS A SEPARATE SUBJECT I BROUGHT UP A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.

I THINK THE FOLKS OF GUIDE HOUSE WERE INFORMING ME ON IT.

THERE ARE SOME BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

YOU CAN GET SOME ACCOUNTABILITY ON WHERE IS THE MONEY.

THAT IS NOT IT THOUGH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET ME CLARIFY A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT I THINK ARE REALLY IMPORTANT AND DR. SHAW FOR YOU GUYS TO TABULATE THAT BEFORE WE ARE DONE WITH COURT AND MAYBE WE WILL KNOW.

EX -- EXPENDITURES WHEN IT COMES TO TESTING.

THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT WERE HELPFUL TO ME THAT I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU GUYS.

FIRST IS NUMBER ONE ON THE TEST TURN AROUND TIME.

THE SITES THAT ARE REPORTING THIS 14, 15-DAY TURN AROUND TIME ARE THE FEDERAL SITES.

CREDIT GOES TO DR. SHAW EATS -- SHAW'S TEAM.

THEY HAVE BEEN SHOPPING FOR LABS THAT CAN TURN THINGS AROUND QUICKLY.

MOST OF OUR MOBILE SITES HAVE A TWO-DAY TURN AROUND TIMES.

IT IS ONLY THOSE USING THE FEDERAL CONTRACTS.

THAT'S THE DILEMMA.

DO WE SAY WE DON'T WANT THEM LIKE DALLAS DID? A TEST IS A TEST.

NOT ONLY IS IT PERHAPS NOT SO USEFUL FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS SYMPTOMS OR THINKS THEY MAY HAVE THE VIRUS, BUT IT IS A PROBLEM FOR US BECAUSE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO REACH THE PERSON, THE CASE WITHIN 24 AND 48 HOURS.

I HAVE BEEN IN CONVERSATIONS WITH THE STATE AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABOUT THAT, AND WE ARE TRYING TO SEE AS THAT PHASES US OUT AND EXTENDING TO THE END OF THE MONTH IS TO PERHAPS GIVE US AN OPTION THAT WILL BE A FASTER TURN AROUND TIME OR WE ARE ALSO TRYING TO SEE HOW ELSE CAN WE EXPAND TO WHERE WE ARE NOT REDUCING THE VOLUME.

THAT'S ONE THING.

THE SECOND POINT IS CAN WE JUST DO MORE TESTING? THIS IS A CONSTANT DISCUSSION I HAVE WITH DR. SHAW.

LET US KNOW IF THERE IS SOMETHING TO ADD.

THERE AREN'T MORE LABS AND MORE REAGENTS.

THEY CAN DO THE TEST AND THEN TELL THEM IF IT IS POSITIVE OR NOT.

IT IS NOT A FUNDING LIMITATION, BUT IT IS A CAPACITY LIMITATION.

AND MY INSTRUCTION HAS BEEN LET'S BRING IT TO COURT.

IF YOU NEED MORE MONEY, LET'S COME AND ASK FOR MORE MONEY.

THERE HAS NOT BEEN THAT ADDITIONAL OFFER OF VALID LARGE SCALE TESTING WHERE IT IS NOT, YOU KNOW, PREDATORY, AND IT EXISTS AND IT CAN DO THE QUICK TURN AROUND TIMES.

IT IS NOT BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR MORE.

WE DON'T REALLY HAVE ACCESS TO A WHOLE LOT MORE.

THAT'S NUMBER TWO.

WE ARE MEETING THE DEMANDS FOR TESTS.

IT IS NOT LIKE WE ARE HAVING TO TURN PEOPLE AWAY OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

THE THIRD AND FINAL QUICK POINT ON THE POSITIVITY RATE IS I KNOW A LOT OF FOLKS ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS AND WE HAVE DUG INTO IT WITH THE RESEARCH TEAM.

IT IS TOUGH BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE DENOMINATOR IS, RIGHT? A POSITIVITY RATE IS A PERCENT POSITIVE OF PEOPLE WHO GET TESTED.

IF THE PEOPLE WHO GET TESTED ARE ALL OF THE FOLKS WHO THINK THEY HAVE THE VIRUS IT MAY BE HIGHER.

IF YOU RECALL WHEN THE REOPENING STARTED, THE DEMAND FOR TESTING WENT DOWN.

THEN IT WOULD BE AN UNDER COUNT IF PEOPLE AREN'T GETTING TESTED BECAUSE THEY

[00:50:04]

THINK THE TURN AROUND TIME IS SLOWER.

ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE MARCHING ON AND I THINK IT WILL GO OUT IN THE NEXT COURT IS FOR SOME SORT OF SURVEILLANCE TESTING.

WE ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW DO YOU GET A RANDOM SAMPLE SO YOU CAN HAVE A VALID NUMBER.

WE ARE STILL LOOKING AT HOSPITALIZATIONS.

POSITIVITY IS HIGH.

YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.

RIGHT NOW WE HAVE CROSSING 20% AND THE WHO SAYS IT SHOULD BE ABOUT 5%.

WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO TO WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

EVEN IF IT WERE AT 5, WE HAVE TO THINK WHAT IS THE DENOMINATOR.

THAT'S WHY WE ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO DO RANDOM SAMPLING.

IT IS HARD BECAUSE YOU CAN'T FORCE SOMEONE TO GET A TEST.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT IT IS JUST WANTED TO SHARE.

YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

AIDE AIDE >> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU, JUDGE.

THANK THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR ALL OF THEIR WORK IN THIS REGARD.

I THINK I HAVE PROVEN WHEN THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT NEEDS MONEY I -- IT REMINDS ME AFTER 9/11 ONE OF THE THINGS THE CITY OF NEW YORK DID AND NYPD WAS THAT THEY DEPLOYED SOME OF THEIR HEALTH PEOPLE USING SNIFFERS.

IT WAS TO DETERMINE IF THERE WERE CHEMICAL AGENTS IN THE AIR.

THEY DECENTRALIZED THE OPERATIONS AND THEY GUIDED TO THE COMMUNITY AND I THINK THIS IS JUST ONE AREA AND I SAID IT AT THE LAST MEETING AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN.

AND IN CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER FOLKS, I DO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE EXERCISE CAUTION ON THE APPROACH.

I THINK THEY ARE TRYING TO REOPEN THE ECONOMY TOO SOON AND THAT WAS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS WHY THE TESTING RATE WENT DOWN.

PEOPLE SAID, I FEEL BAD, BUT I CAN PUSH THROUGH THIS.

I NEED TO MAKE SOME MONEY.

I REALLY WANT TO SAY AGAIN THAT MY VOTE WILL BE CONTINGENT ON ENSURING THAT WORKING IN THE COMMUNITIES AND WE ARE GOING TO THOSE COMMUNITY LEVEL ECONOMIC SECTORS WHERE THE POPULATIONS ARE IN THE CHURCHES SO THAT WE CAN ENSURE COMPETENCY IN OUR APPROACH.

I DON'T WANT TO WRITE A BLANK CHECK AND ASSUME WE WILL GET A DIFFERENT OUTCOME.

I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT IN ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE WORK THAT'S BEING DONE AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE GREATER COLLABORATION IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND ENSURING THAT WE ARE DOING A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO GETTING TO THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE TESTED.

ASSUMING THEY WILL GET IN LINE AND GO TO OUR TESTING SITES AND THEY ARE WATCHING THE NEWS AND THEY ARE -- THAT THEY DO HAVE ACCESS.

I STILL BELIEVE WE ARE MISSING A VERY BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL COMMUNITY APPROACH TO ENSURING THAT WE ARE TESTING ALL PEOPLE.

>> DR. SHAW, ARE YOU STILL THERE?

>> CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER RADACK, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE -- YOUR SYSTEM FROZE THERE.

HOPEFULLY HE WILL COME BACK IN A MINUTE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WHILE WE ARE WAITING FOR COMMISSIONER RADACK TO COME BACK SINCE HE FROZE UP, IT WOULD BE HELPFUL IF BY THE END OF THE DAY IF YOU CAN'T COME BACK AND GIVE US SOME PRELIMINARY IDEA OF HOW MUCH THE CITY IS SPENDING ON TESTING, IF THE CITY OF PASADENA AND OTHER CITIES ARE SPENDING ON TESTING, WHAT WE ARE SPENDING ON TESTING.

I WOULD MAKE THE CASE THAT THERE OUGHT TO BE SOME LEVELING THERE SO WE ARE

[00:55:07]

MAKING SURE WE ARE FAIR WITH ALL COMMUNITIES OR AT LEAST THESE FOLKS WILL KNOW WHERE TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON.

YOU GOT ME? JUDGE, WE CANNOT DO IT ALL.

THAT'S WHY I WAS LAYING OUT 3* WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN TERMS OF DIRECT ASSISTANCE AND SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE.

AND MOST OF THOSE, ALL BUT ONE WE WERE DOING IT IN THE CITY AND -- >> ADRIAN GARCIA: AND UNINCORPORATED.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE MAY PUT THAT OUT ON THE DASHBOARD.

WITH ALL OF THE NATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE ABOUT A RELUCTANCE TO TEST AND SOME IS EMANATING FROM THE BIG HOUSE, FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

I DID GET TESTED THE OTHER DAY.

I TOLD DR. SHAW -- YOU KNOW AS A COMMISSIONER YOU WAKE UP SWEATING AND THOUGHT I HAD SOMETHING.

I THREW UP FROM EATING TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD.

I GOOGLED IT, WUHAN, AND SOME PEOPLE HAD THAT PROBLEM.

I THOUGHT I BETTER GET TESTED SO I CAN GO BACK TO MY OFFICE.

HE HAD ME GO TO BAYLOR AND I DID FIND OUT IN ABOUT THREE OR FOUR DAYS.

I ONLY HAD THREE OF US TESTED IN THE HOUSEHOLD.

I WON'T LET ANY OF THEM COME BACK.

THE CHANCES ARE ONE OUT OF FOUR MAKES ME ASSUME THAT ONE OF THE OTHER TWO DAUGHTERS OR THE SON SHOW UP AND THEY WILL BRING IT.

IF YOU CAN, DR. SHAW, GIVE US SOMETHING LATER ON TODAY AND WHEN YOU GET IT WE WANT TO MAKE IT PUBLIC BECAUSE I WOULD MAKE THE CASE FOR -- AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA HAS A VALID POINT.

WHETHER THEY DO IT OR WE DO IT.

I KNOW COMMISSIONER GARCIA HAS THE PODS WHERE SOME IS GOING ON.

WE HAVE TO GET OUT AND TELL THE CITY.

I KNOW WILLIAMS, WE DID A SOCIALLY DISTANCED BIKE RIDE ON SATURDAY MORNING.

HE WILL MAKE ANY COUNTY FACILITIES AVAILABLE, BUT WE HAVE TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE SPENDING.

WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY GO TO CITY HALL.

>> COMMISSIONER ELLIS, THIS IS DR. SHAW.

I AM STILL ON.

I WANTED TO SAY A COUPLE OF THINGS.

FIRST OF ALL FROM THE START OF TESTING WE SPENT APPROXIMATELY $20 MILLION ON OUR TESTING PRAIGHTS -- OPERATIONS.

THIS IS INCLUSIVE OF MOBILE AND STATIONARY SITE OPERATIONS.

OBVIOUSLY IT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE CONGRESS GRAW -- THE CONGRETAE TESTING.

IT IS $20 MILLION OF WHAT YOU WOULD CALL COMMUNITY TESTING.

I DO NOT HAVE A CITY NUMBER, BUT I HAVE COMMUNICATED BACK WITH STEVEN WILLIAMS TO ASK IF THEY CAN GET THAT NUMBER AND I CAN SHARE THAT WITH YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND FOLKS ARE SPEAKING TODAY AND WHEN THEY GO TO CITY HALL TOMORROW THEY WILL KNOW.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

AND THE OWE -- THE OTHER THING, THANK YOU, COMIG -- COMMISSIONER GARCIA, FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

WE HAVE BEEN MAKING SOME ATTEMPTS OVER THE LAST -- SINCE LAST COURT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE SHARING MORE INFORMATION AS WELL.

OVER THE WEEKEND THERE IS SOME INFORMATION WE SHARED THAT WAS MORE OF AN UPDATE AND IT PROVIDED SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO ALL OF THE COMMISSIONERS.

I HOPE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THAT.

IT REALLY DESCRIBED A LOT OF THE LANDSCAPE OF THE WORK THAT WE ARE DOING ACROSS THE COMMUNITY.

AND I APPRECIATE YOU MENTIONING OUR TEAM AS WELL AS THE JUDGE AND COMMISSIONER ELLIS HERE THAT OUR TOOSM -- OUR TEAM IS FANTASTIC AND THEY HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB OF FIGHTING THIS PANDEMIC.

AND WHILE WE KNOW THAT WE -- WHILE WE KNOW WE ARE OUT OF THIS AND ONLY SIX MONTHS IN, WE ALSO KNOW THAT WE'VE GOT SOME REAL ISSUES IN OUR HISPANIC COMMUNITY, OUR AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR, AND WE ALSO JUST THIS LAST WEEK -- WE HAD A RESILIENCE AND INEQUITY BRANCH IN MARCH.

WE PUT A TASK FORCE TOGETHER AND WE SHARED SOME OF THE -- ACTUALLY THE INITIAL REPORT WITH ALL OF YOUR STAFF MEMBERS YESTERDAY AND IT IS CALLED THE RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COVID HEALTH.

IT IS A REACH TASK FORCE.

WE DON'T HAVE IT ALL WORKED OUT IS I GUESS THE BOTTOM LINE THAT I WANTED YOU TO BE AWARE OF, BUT YOU'RE RIGHT.

WE NEED TO WORK WITH ALL PARTNERS AND ALL CITIES, AND WE DO THE TESTING FOR ALL OF THE OTHER CITIES.

NOT JUST THE CITY OF HOUSTON, BUT PASADENA AND BAY TOWN AND OUR OPERATIONS WHETHER THEY ARE FIXED SITES OR MOBILE SITES ARE THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

WE JUST LET THE CITY OBVIOUSLY DO THE CITY TESTING BECAUSE OF HOW LARGE

[01:00:02]

AN OPERATION THAT IS.

AND THE OTHER THING, I DID WANT TO MAKE MENTION WAS THAT WE HAVE THESE FIX SITES AND WE ARE LOOKING AND HAVE SPOKEN WITH JUDGE HIDALGO AND HER TEAM ABOUT WHAT IS THE PATH FORWARD AND THE FEDS WILL BE PULLING OUT ESSENTIALLY JULY 31ST.

AND WE WERE LOOKING AT ONE LARGE SITE, BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE REALLY, REALLY -- THE REASON THAT WE ARE GOING FROM POTENTIALLY TWO TO ONE IS NOT BECAUSE WE FEEL THAT TRANSPORTATION OR GETTING TO OUR SITES IS NOT AN ISSUE.

WE ABSOLUTELY DO.

IN FACT, WE WANT TO FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE MOBILE TESTING.

SOMETIMES WHEN WE SAY MOBILE TESTING A LOT OF FOLKS GET CONFUSED BECAUSE THEY THINK IT MEANS YOU ARE COMING IN FOR THREE OR FOUR HOURS AND YOU ARE DONE.

WE ARE SETTING UP SHOP FOR THREE TO FIVE DAYS IN ONE PART OF THE COMMUNITY AND IT GETS TO WHERE WE MAY HAVE THIS DISPROPORTIONAL IMPACT BY TESTING OR BY OTHER MEANS FROM A DATA STANDPOINT OR AN INCREASE OF CAGES.

I DO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THESE TWO DOCUMENTS, THE UPDATE AS WELL AS THE REACH TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOUR COMMENT ABOUT DE CENTRALIZATION IS REALLY CRITICAL.

WE DON'T WANT TO JUST BE MAKING PHONE CALLS AND SITTING IN AN OFFICE.

WE WANT TO BE ON THE GROUND.

OUR TEAMS HAVE BEEN DOING THAT AS WELL.

THAT'S BEEN SOMETHING THAT OBVIOUSLY HAS TO CONTINUE TO BE EVEN MORE SO.

WE ARE HIRING PEOPLE TO HAVE MORE ON THE GROUND OUT REACH TO THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY AND WE HAVE WORKED ON GETTING MORE CASEWORKERS AND SOCIAL WORKERS TO ALSO HELP WITH SOME OF THE DIFFERENT ISSUES COMING UP.

WE ARE FINDING IT IS NOT JUST HEALTH, BUT SOCIAL ISSUES PEOPLE ARE COMING BACK WITH.

IT IS A VERY COMPLEX OPERATION.

AS YOU KNOW WITH ALL OF THE DIFFERENT NUMBERS OF PEOPLE THAT WE'VE GOT AS PART OF THE OPERATION THAT IS THAT.

I WANT TO MAKE THAT COMMENT TO YOU, SPECIFICALLY, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

AND COMMISSIONER ELLIS I WANT TO ADDRESS ONE THING ON THE TESTING INFORMATION BY ZIP CODE.

THE ONE THING WE HAVE TO REMEMBER IS THAT OUR INFORMATION ABOUT LABORATORY TESTING RESULTS, IT IS REALLY BASED A LOT ON -- IT IS BASED ON WHERE THAT INDIVIDUAL RESIDES.

THERE IS HOME, BUT THAT IS NOT NECESSARILY WHERE THEY MAY HAVE GOT INFECTED.

THEY MAY HAVE GOTTEN IN-- GOTTEN INFECTED AT WORK OR AT ANOTHER PART OF THE COMMUNITY.

THAT'S ANOTHER PIECE THAT MAKES A VERY COMPLICATED -- DR. PURSE AND I SPOKE MANY TIMES ABOUT THIS.

WE ARE VERY CONCERNED THAT IF YOU SHARE SOME OF THE RATES IN CERTAIN COMMUNITIES AND SAY THAT THOSE RATES ARE LOW, THAT PEOPLE IN THAT COMMUNITY WILL ASSUME THAT THEY ARE SAFE.

I THINK WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL EVERYBODY AROUND THE COMMUNITY IS THAT EVERYBODY HAS TO BE WEARING MASKS AND DOING ALL OF THE SOCIAL DISTANCING BECAUSE IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE ARE YOU IN OUR COMMUNITY, UNFORTUNATELY.

YOU ARE AT RISK.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: DR. > RODNEY ELLIS: DR. SHAW, APPRECIATE THAT.

WHEN THIS STARTED THERE WAS RACIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AND THERE IS A RELUCTANCE TO PUT IT OUT.

YOU HAVE TO PUT IT OUT, I THINK, AND EDUCATE PEOPLE AND LET THEM DECIDE.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE BY THE END OF THE DAY, OR AT LEAST BEFORE THESE 10 FOLKS GO TO THE CITY TOMORROW, WE SPEND $20 MILLION AND I HEARD YOU SAY IF WE HANDLE IT UNINCORPORATED AND THE OTHER CITIES, PASADENA AND OTHERS, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE CITY HAS SPENT AND WHAT ABOUT THE STATE MONEY? I WANT TO SEE WHAT IS THE -- IS THE STATE PENDING -- SPENDING ITS MONEY ON TESTING AND IF SO, WHERE? IF YOU CAN'T FIND OUT TODAY FROM THE HEALTH SIDE, I JUST THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW.

LET'S JUST ALWAYS PUT THE DATA OUT AND THEN JUST TELL PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, LOOK, DON'T TAKE THAT TO MEAN YOU ARE SAFE BECAUSE YOUR ZIP CODE MAY INDICATE THAT, BUT YOU GOTTA PUT IT OUT.

THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS WE CAN LEARN FROM IT.

IF 77033 HAS A LOW PERCENTAGE IN TESTING COMPARED TO OTHER PLACES, WE WANT TO KNOW THAT SO THEY CAN MAKE THAT CASE.

>> YEAH, AND COMMISSIONER -- >> RODNEY ELLIS: MAKE SURE YOUR STAFF LETS THESE PEOPLE KNOW, AND IF YOU DON'T MIND I WILL TASK YOUR TEAM WITH THE NUMBERS.

LET ONE OF THEM KNOW.

MS. STEVENSON IS A GOOD ONE TO GET THE WORD OUT.

>> WE CAN MAKE CONTACT, AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, COMMISSIONER, MR. WILLIAMS

[01:05:04]

DID RESPOND BACK TO ME AND SAID HE WASN'T CERTAIN OF THE EXACT NUMBER OF DOLLARS SPENT TO DATE, BUT THEY HAVE BUDGETED $30 MILLION.

I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS AN APPLE-APPLE COMPARISON, BUT WE WILL TRY TO GET MORE SPECIFIC NUMBERS BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT MEANS WE MAY GO UNTIL 10.

>> IF WE SPENT 20 TO DATE, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE NUMBER IS EXACTLY SO MAYBE IT IS AN ORANGE-APPLE COMPARISON.

WE WILL TRY TO GET THAT.

THEY MAY BE LOOKING AT ADDITIONAL DOLLARS SPENT MOVING FORWARD.

REMEMBER, COMIGGER -- COMMISSIONER IS THE FEDERAL AND STATE ASPECT OF THIS.

AS YOU MAKE PLANS ON A LOCAL LEVEL WE ARE HAVING SOME REAL CURVE BALLS THAT ARE BEING THROWN INTO THE MIX AND THEN WE ARE TRYING TO MANEUVER AROUND WHAT IS HAPPENING FROM THAT FEDERAL AND STATE LEVEL AS WELL.

SO IT IS A MOVING NUMBER, BUT WE WILL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO AND THEN WE WILL FOLLOW-UP WITH ONE OF THE SPEAKERS SO WE CAN ALSO GET THAT INFORMATION TO THEM.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I DON'T SEE COMMISSIONER RADACK.

I DON'T KNOW IF WE LOST HIM OR NOT, JUDGE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I THINK HE IS BACK AND COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAD A A QUESTION AS WELL, IS THAT RIGHT?

>> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, IT IS A JUMP OFF OF ONE OF THE POINTS YOU RAISED ABOUT THE WORK THAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO TO GET FASTER TESTING.

I KNOW WE DID HAVE AN ITEM ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA THAT WAS GOING TO BE SUPPLEMENTAL NUMBER TWO WHICH I THINK IS GOING TO BE TAKEN WITH NO ACTION AT THIS TIME.

I WANTED TO ASK DR. SHAW, WHERE ARE WE ON GETTING THE FASTER TESTS, DOC?

>> THANKS, COMMISSIONER AND I KNOW YOU ADVOCATED FOR US A NUMBER OF TIMES AS YOU HAVE GONE OUT TO THE DIFFERENT TESTING SITES IN PRECINCT 4.

I WANTED TO THANK YOU FOR THAT.

JUDGE MENTIONED THIS, BUT I WILL MAKE SURE TO UNDER SCORE THIS WHICH IS WE ARE LOOKING FOR LOCAL SOLUTIONS AS BEST WE CAN AND AGAIN IN THE MIX OF WHAT IS HAPPENING FROM A STATE OR FEDERAL LEVEL.

AND ONE OF THE LOCAL SOLUTIONS IS -- AND KUDOS GOES OUT TO BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE.

BAYLOR HAS REALLY STEPPED UP AND THEY ARE NOW HAVING A TURN AROUND TIME THAT IS ESSENTIALLY ABOUT 48 HOURS.

SO AS COMMISSIONER ELLIS MENTIONED WHEN HE WAS GETTING TESTED, WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS -- IT ISN'T ALWAYS -- THEIR LAB TURN AROUND, SOMETIMES IT TAKES 72 HOURS, BUT IT IS REALLY A TWO TO THREE-DAY PROCESS OF GETTING THAT INFORMATION.

JUDGE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY THE FEDERAL SITES AND THE FEMA SITES, THIS IS A NATIONAL PHO NOM -- PHENOMENON.

THE TWO FEDERAL SITES, THE TURN AROUND AND WE HAVE SAID THIS TO THE STATE AND TO THE FEDS AND TO EVERYONE ELSE IS REALLY TWO WEEKS.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE THAT IF YOU ARE WAITING TWO WEEKS FOR A TEST RESULT, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, NOT TO BE BLUNT, BUT IT IS HONESTLY VERY -- IT IS WORTHLESS.

I WILL BE VERY HONEST.

TWO WEEKS OUT, THREE WEEKS OUT, IF YOU GET A TEST RESULT, IT IS TOO LATE IN THE PROCESS FROM A COVID-19 -- EITHER FROM THE INDIVIDUAL OR FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO DO CONTACT TRACING OR CASE INVESTIGATION.

THAT'S A BIG ISSUE.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE, THIS ITEM THAT WAS FOR THE LAB THAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING, WE WANT TO TAKE NO ACTION ON IT BECAUSE THERE WERE SOME ADDITIONAL THINGS WE NEEDED TO DO WITH PURCHASING ON IT AND WE WILL -- THE PLAN IS TO PLACE IT BACK ON THE AGENDA, THE NEXT COMMISSIONER'S COURT AGENDA.

WHAT THIS DOES IS PROVIDES US WITH AN ADDITIONAL LABORATORY AND NOT JUST BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE.

REMEMBER, IT IS ONE THING TO SAY, HEY, DOC, LET'S HAVE BAYLOR DO ALL YOUR TESTING.

THAT'S GREAT, BUT BAYLOR HAS A CAPACITY ISSUE.

THEY CAN'T TEST ALL OF THE -- THEY HAVE A LAB CAPACITY LIMITATION.

THAT'S WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO IS ADD THIS ADDITIONAL GROUP THAT COULD NOW BE BAYLOR PLUS AN ADDITIONAL GROUP THAT ALLOWS FOR A 48-HOUR TURN AROUND.

WE NEEDED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES TO THAT AND REVIEW IT WITH PURCHASING.

I SPOKE WITH DWIGHT LAST NIGHT AS WELL ON THIS.

WE ARE CONNECTED ON THIS, AND HE HAS BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE AS HAS BEEN THE COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.

I SPOKE WITH ROBERT AS WELL ON THIS YESTERDAY.

WE ARE VERY COMMITTED TO THIS.

I DO WANT TO MAKE THE COMMENT AND VERY SPECIFICALLY THAT TESTING HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

WE ARE DEALING AT OUR LOCAL LEVEL WITH THIS NATIONAL PHENOMENON OF TESTING.

[01:10:03]

IT IS NOT JUST THE NUMBER OF TESTS.

IT IS THE QUALITY OF TESTS AND IT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME OF THOSE TESTS.

THAT'S THE KEY ISSUE HERE.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT THE COMPONENTS OF THEY -- OF THE EQUATION AS WE LOOK INTO TESTING.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS MORE FOR YOU, JUDGE, AND MAYBE TO THE ANALYST OFFICE.

LOOK, OUR ECONOMY IS GOING TO BE ON THREE LEGS HERE VERY SOON AND MAYBE EVEN TWO.

THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF JOB THAT'S ARE NOT GOING TO COME BACK.

AND SO THERE ARE -- I KNOW THAT THERE IS A TESTING LAB IN THE WOODLANDS I PUT IN TOUCH WITH PUBLIC HEALTH TO SEE WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP THAT CAN BECOME, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT THIS AS MUCH FROM THE PUBLIC HEALTH STANDPOINT AND I THINK THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE LOOKING AT IT AS CREATING JOBS AND STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY.

THERE ARE AREA LABS IN OUR REGION THAT WE SHOULD BE TALKING TO BECAUSE THEY CAN BECOME ANOTHER EMPLOYMENT SECTOR FOR US IN THE VERY FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

THEY JUST NEED TO BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT VERSUS OUR INCLINATION TO WORK WITH THE NATIONAL LAB EXCLUSIVELY.

I WILL TAKE YOUR LEAD ON WHO SHOULD HAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITH THESE FOLKS, BUT WHETHER IT IS THE BIG PHARMA AND PHARMACEUTICAL THAT'S ARE MOSTLY IN THE NORTHEAST, WE OUGHT TO BE THINKING ABOUT HOW TO BRING IN MORE OF THOSE RELATIONSHIPS TO CREATE JOBS THAT ARE GOING TO BE SO DESPERATELY NEEDED IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER IF GUIDE HOUSE IS ON THE LINE I WANT TO ASK THEM.

I KNOW ALL THESE FOLKS, VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO SIGNED UP ON THIS ISSUE.

WE WILL BE HERE FOR AWHILE, BUT I WANT TO ASK GUIDE HOUSE, IF THEY ARE AROUND, ABOUT THE STATE MONEY.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND COMMISSIONER CAGLE I DID TWO OF THOSE QUICKIE TEST, THE PRICK YOUR FINGER THING AND I HAD THE CHECKUPS AND THE CHECK OF MY BLOOD.

THE JUDGE SAID SHE WAS TESTED TWICE AND IT WAS NO FUN.

I THOUGHT THE MACHO SIDE OF ME, I WANT YOU TO KNOW I DIDN'T CRY WHEN THEY DID IT, BUT I CRIED BEFORE THEY DID.

IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER WAS WATCHING.

IT WASN'T AS BAD AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE, BUT IF GUIDE HOUSE IS AROUND, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE STATE HAS DONE IN TERMS OF RESOURCES JUST BECAUSE THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE MR. BROODER AND MR. GLEN WOULD KNOW THE NUMBERS.

>> I AM HERE.

I THINK WE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, BUT WE KNOW THE STATE THROUGH THE CDC RECEIVED ROUGHLY 4,070,000,000 -- 470 MILLION AND CHANGE FOR TESTING AND POCKET FUNDS FOR CONTRACT TRACING.

I THINK OUR RECOMMENDATION WAS FOR THE COUNTY AND FOR PUBLIC HEALTH TO COORDINATE WITH THE STATE TO SEE HOW THOSE FUNDS ARE BEING SPENT AND HOW DO WE ACTUALLY TIE IN ALL OF THE EFFORTS FOR TESTING CONTRACTORS AND QUARANTINEING AND SHELTERING AND ISOLATION WITH THE STATE SO -- ONE, HOW TO UNIFY THE RESPONSE AND HOW THE COUNTY CAN ALLOCATE THE FUNDS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I JUST WANTED TO ASK THAT.

I KNOW WE WANT TO HEAR FROM FOLKS WHO SIGNED UP.

I HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL FOR THEM.

I AM CERTAINLY GOING TO CALL MY FORMER COLLEAGUES, AND THEY SHOULD AS WELL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

$470 MILLION AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS GOING.

WE HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY TRANSPARENT FROM MY SIDE, AND JUST WANTED TO ARM THEM WITH THAT.

THAT'S VERY HELPFUL.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

LUCINDA, WE HAVE MORE SPEAKERS, I TAKE IT.

>> YES, MA'AM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HEAR FROM THEM, PLEASE.

>> ERNESTINE WARD WITH CIVIC CLUB.

GO AHEAD.

>> CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> YES, GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> YES, THIS IS ERNESTINE LLOYD, THE FIFTH WARD -- THE GREATER FIFTH WARD

[01:15:02]

NEIGHBORHOOD CIVIC CLUB AND I REALLY JUST WANTED TO EXPRESS WHAT JOETTA HAS ALREADY SAID.

WE NEED TESTING IN OUR AREA AND THAT WE NEED TO MAKE MORE SITES AVAILABLE AND MORE SITES IN A KNOWN LOCATION THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT THEY CAN GO TO.

I HAVEN'T TAKEN A TEST YET.

EVEN THOUGH I WAS OVER THERE WITH THE CONGRESSWOMAN, SHEILA JACKSON LEE.

I HBT -- I HADN'T BEEN EXPOSED TO ANYONE AND I AM SOCIAL DISTANCING THE HECK OUT OF IT.

I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE THE TEST.

I AM JUST SCARED.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I APPRECIATE THE TESTING SITE THAT'S WE HAVE NOW.

WE JUST FEED MORE OF THEM AND THAT WE NEED THEM TO BE IN A LOCATION OF A STEADY AND CON SIS ASSISTANCE SO WE CAN GET TESTED WHEN THE NEED ARISES.

THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> GILETTE MCCULLOUGH WITH THE LEARNING ACADEMY.

>> GOOD MORNING.

HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING TODAY? JUST FOR A LITTLE CLARITY AND UNDERSTANDING IN SOME THINGS, THE GREATER FIFTH WARD WAS CLASSIFIED AS A GREATER AREA.

YOU CALL IT THE MUA FOR HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH IN YOUR 2019 HEALTH UH SISMENT -- ASSESSMENT PUBLICATION.

HOWEVER HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DOES NOT PLACE COVID-19 RESOURCES THAT WAS IDENTIFIED BY YOUR ORGANIZATION AS AN UNDER SERVED AREA MEDICALLY AND THEY ARE NOT PUTTING IT THERE BECAUSE LOGISTICAL BEARINGS.

I AM HEARING YOU ALL TALK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER AREAS AND ALL OF THE OTHER CITIES AND ALL OF THE OTHER COUNTY, ET CETERA.

I DON'T HEAR ANYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE UNDER SERVED COMMUNITY.

ADDITIONALLY THE FLOODS PROJECT IS BASED ON COST AND RATIO AND PROPERTY VALUE, A PROCESS THAT IS NOT EQUITABLE SO VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES LIKE WE THE GREATER FIFTH WARD COMMUNITY IS BEING LEFT OUT OF THE COVID-19 TESTING STUFF.

THEREFORE WE LOSE OUT ON BOTH.

THEREFORE AS WE TALK ABOUT INCREASING COVID-19 TESTING, WE ALSO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AND PROTECT THE WORST FIRST.

OUR COMMUNITY IS VULNERABLE AND YOU ALL DON'T SEEM TO PUT OUT A FOCUS ON VULNERABLE COMMUNITY.

YOU PUT MORE FOCUS ON THE COMMUNITIES THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES.

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THE TIME.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> MARCUS GLEN.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> GOOD MORNING.

THANK YOU, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS, FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK ABOUT THE CONCERN OF THE LACK OF TESTING IN THE GREATER FIFTH WARD AREA.

WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH COMMISSIONER ELLIS' OFFICE SINCE MARCH TO TRY TO GET SOME TYPE OF TESTING IN THE FIFTH WARD DUE TO THE CITY COUNCIL RACE THAT IS STILL UP IN THE AIR AND NOT HAVING REPRESENTATION IN THAT WAY, WE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE ELSE TO GO.

WE KNOW OUR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WOULD STILL HAVE OVERSIGHT OF THE FIFTH WARD AREA.

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF FACILITIES IN THE FIFTH WARD, THE CITY AND PARKS AND THE HESTER HOUSE, BOTH WHICH COULD BE UTILIZED TO PROVIDE TESTING TO THIS VULNERABLE POPULATION.

AS MR. MCCULLOUGH JUST SAID, THE ONLY TESTING HAS BEEN DONE BY CONGRESS -- CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE AND THAT WAS WITH A PRIVATE ENTITY.

SINCE THEN THE CONGRESSWOMAN ALONG WITH HISD TRUSTY DANIELS THEY ARE PROVIDING TESTING AT DOGIT ELEMENTARY.

BUT WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLY SICK AND CONTINUING THE SPREAD, BUT WE DIDN'T HAVE TESTING AVAILABLE IN THIS VULNERABLE POPULATION.

WE KNOW THE FIFTH WARD FOR THE MOST PART WAS OVER LOOKED.

AS FAR AS THE HEALTH DISPARITIES AND THE OTHER THINGS WE REALLY NEED TO GO AHEAD AND PROVIDE TESTING TO THIS AREA.

[01:20:04]

I KNOW THAT IT COMES DOWN TO DOLLARS BEING SPENT AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE, BUT WE ARE ALL TAX PAY -- PAYING CITIZENS AT THE END OF THE DAY.

WE ARE NOT JUST TAXPAYERS, BUT VOTERS.

WE VOTED TO HAVE YOU REPRESENT US.

WE ASK YOU YOU REPRESENT US WITH DIGNITY AND HEAR OUR VOICES AND HEAR OUR CONCERNS AND ADDRESS THEM.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR TIME.

HAVE A GOOD DAY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> IRMA MARSHALL WITH FIFTH WARD SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> GOOD MORNING.

THANK YOU, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS.

I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE SAID THIS MORNING, AND IT IS VERY ENLIGHTENING WHAT YOU SAID.

MY CONCERN IS FIFTH WARD REALLY NEEDS MORE MOBILE SITES HERE, MOBILE UNITS IN THE COMMUNITY.

WHAT I SEE IS THAT THERE ARE MANY WARDS THAT DON'T HAVE TRANSPORTATION TO GET OUT TO THE UNITS YOU ALL PUT OUT THERE.

THE MOBILE UNITS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL TO THEM.

EVEN LIKE IN FITON PARK -- FINTON PARK, THERE ARE COMPLEXES THERE THAT OLDER PEOPLE THAT HAS GRANDCHILDREN, I SERVE FOOD TO THEM AND I QUESTION THEM HAVE THEY BEEN TESTED.

NO, I CAN'T BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TRANSPORTATION.

IF THERE WAS A UNIT THERE, IT WOULD MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE TO THEM TO BE TESTED.

I AM ASKING YOU TO PUT A UNIT THERE TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THEM.

I HAVE BEEN TESTED.

I DIDN'T GET MY TEST BACK.

SO I HAD TO GO AND BE TESTED AGAIN.

THEY DIDN'T SEND MY TEST.

TO ME THAT'S A PROBLEM.

I THANK YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND I HOPE YOU GET THE TESTS SPEEDILY TO THE ONES THAT ARE TESTED.

THANK YOU AND MAY YOU STAY SAFE AND GOD BLESS YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

IT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND -- OR TO HEAR THE DIFFICULTY THAT ALL OF THE SPEAKERS ARE GOING THROUGH WITH NO SITE THAT YOU CAN EASILY ACCESS.

IT HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE, BUT I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE AND BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS IS I'M THE LAST PERSON TO PASS THE BUCK.

THE ISSUE WITH THIS IS THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH FUNDING FOR THIS, AND THERE IS ONLY SO MANY SITES, ONLY SO MANY LABS.

IF WE WERE GOING TO TURNOVER OPERATIONS IN THE CITY WE WOULD NEED THEIR FUNDING AND THEIR LABS.

THEY HAVE CERTAIN FUNDING AND CERTAIN LABS AND CERTAIN FEDERAL SITES THEY ARE ALLOCATING IN THE CITY.

WE HAVE OURS THAT ARE ALLOCATED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY.

AND SO THAT'S HOW THE DIVISION OF LABOR HAS BEEN SET OUT.

IT IS A BIT OF A ZERO SUM, YOU KNOW? WE CAN AND I WILL COMMIT TO CONTINUE ADVOCATING WITH THE CITY.

THIS IS FAR FROM A PASS THE BUCK THING, BUT I DO REALLY WANT TO BE CLEAR THE WAY WE DIVIDED UP THE RESPONSE BECAUSE THERE ARE TWO LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES, THE CITY AND THE COUNTY, AND WE EACH HAVE LIMITED FUNDS AND EACH HAVE LIMITED SITES.

IF THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CITY, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE OUTSIDE THE CITY.

AND WE CAN'T TAKE A SITE FROM OUTSIDE THE CITY AND PUT IT IN THE CITY BECAUSE THE CITY IS NOT GOING TO REPLACE THAT ONE WITH ONE OF THEIRS.

THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR AND WHY THIS IS TAKING PLACE AND WHY IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU GUYS COMMUNICATE WITH THE CITY ABOUT THIS.

SHORT OF SAYING WE'LL ADMINISTER THE CITY FUNDING, THE CITY'S SITES AND THE CITIES -- THE CITY'S PROGRAMS, WE CAN'T GO IN THERE WITH OURS.

WE DON'T HAVE THE CAPACITY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, I WANT TO REITERATE THAT AGAIN.

IF THERE ARE MORE SPEAKERS I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, I HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL FOR THEM.

MOST PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT WHEN I WAS IN STATE SENATE 5 MILLION PEOPLE, 2.2 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON.

MORE PEOPLE IN UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY AND NOT IN THE CITY AT ALL THAN YOU HAVE IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON.

JUST WHEN YOU GRASP THAT, THE LARGEST CITY IN TEXAS WHEN THE CENSUS COMES OUT,

[01:25:03]

WILL BE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT A CITY.

IT IS SOMETHING CALLED UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY.

I WOULD VENTURE TO SAY, AND I HAD THIS CONVERSATION WITH JOSH THE OTHER DAY.

THE CITY GETS THREE OR FOUR TIMES AS MUCH CDGB MONEY THAT WE GET AND MAYBE THAT'S ONE WAY TO INDEX IT AND SAY THERE IS FAR MORE INEQUALITY, FAR MORE PEOPLE WHO QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL MONEY IN THE CITY THAN OUTSIDE THE CITY.

I THINK ON YOUR WATCH, COMMISSIONER GARCIA HERE, WE HAVE DONE MORE IN TERMS OF EQUITY.

WE ARE GONNA GET TO THAT DISCUSSION LATER ON TODAY.

I HOPE THESE FOLKS WHO FEEL PAIN AND I GET IT.

WHEN PEOPLE ARE HURT THEY GO TO WHOEVER THEY CAN GET TO.

IF IT IS THE SCHOOL BOARD, IT IS THE CITY, IF IT IS THE COUNTY.

I DON'T BLAME THEM.

AND WE ALL WELCOME THEM.

I HOPE BY POINTING OUT TO YOU THAT IF THE NUMBERS ARE RIGHT, THE COUNTY HAS SPENT 20 MILLION AND THE CITY HAS SPENT 30 MILLION AND THAT'S 400 AND SOMETHING MILLION, CAN'T FIND MY NOTES, THAT THE STATE HAS IN FEDERAL MONEY FOR TESTING.

SO I'M CERTAINLY GOING TO CALL MY SUCCESSOR IN THE STATE SENATE AND MY FRIENDS IN THE LEGISLATURE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, AND YOU ALL SHOULD.

THEY ARE NOT HAVING HEARINGS RIGHT NOW, BUT ASK WHERE IS THAT MONEY? NATIONALLY THERE IS A PROBLEM AND THERE ARE SOME FOLK IN THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT WHO DON'T WANT THE TESTING BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT US TO KNOW HOW BAD IT IS.

WE ARE DOING ALL WE CAN, BUT WE CANNOT -- I MENTIONED EARLIER ON THE MONEY WE DISTRIBUTED AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND A SMALL BUSINESS FUND AND $15 MILLION.

WE DID IT IN THE CITY AND UNINCORPORATED.

IT WAS ON A DIRECTORY LEAVE PROGRAM THAT I CAME UP WITH.

I TOOK THE LEAD ON IT.

IT WAS 30 MILLION AND WE DID IT IN THE CITY AND OUTSIDE THE CITY.

THE ONLY TIME WE HAVEN'T WAS ON THE SECOND BUSINESS LINE I DID SAY I WANT THE FOLKS IN THE CITY TO APPLY.

I MIGHT HAVE ARGUED THAT I WILL GIVE A FEW POINTS MORE TO PEOPLE IN UN -- UNINCORPORATED.

IF YOU ARE UNINCORPORATED YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO ASK FOR BOTH.

I WILL MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE GETTING IT AND MY STAFF CALLS THEM.

I WANT TO ARM THEM SO THEY CAN GO TO CITY HALL AS WELL AND CALL OUR STATE PARTNERS AS WELL BECAUSE THERE IS 400 MILLION OUT THERE, AND I WILL MAKE -- I WAS THERE THIS MORNING AND I AM TAKING COUNTY FEDERAL MONEY, CARES MONEY FOR THE FOOD BANK TO DISTRIBUTE FOOD TO 500 FAMILIES AT HESTER HOUSE EVERY TUESDAY AT FIFTH WARD.

THERE ARE THREE COUNTY FACILITIES THERE BY THE WAY.

THE MICKEY LEYLAND PROJECT OVER THERE, THAT OFFICE, FINNIGAN AND HESTOR HOUSE.

I KNOW WE HAVE FIVE MORE SPEAKERS, BUT I HOPE THIS HELPS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LUCINDA, LET'S CONTINUE WITH THE SPEAKERS.

>> ALL RIGHT.

DOLORES MCGRUDER WITH FIFTH WARD SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> YES, HELLO.

COMMISSIONER'S COURT, I WAS CALLING BECAUSE I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WE NEED A COVID 19 TESTING SITE.

IF IT IS NOT PERMANENT IT NEEDS TO BE MOBILE.

WE HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE FIFTH WARD AREA THAT DOES NOT HAVE TRANSPORTATION.

THEY CAN'T WALK TO THE SITE.

THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO GET TESTED.

IF SO MANY PEOPLE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS ARE SPREADING THE DISEASE -- OR I MEAN THE VIRUS AND NO ONE SEEMS TO COME UP WITH NO INTER VEN TIFF AND NEW IDEAS IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

WE NEED A MOBILE SITE OR A PERMANENT TESTING SITE AND YOU WOULD THINK THEY CAN GET IT UNDER CONTROL IN THE FIFTH WARD AND IN THE HOUSTON AREA, PERIOD AND HARRIS COUNTY.

WE ALSO NEED FLIERS TO LET THE PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS.

THE ONLY THING YOU HEAR ABOUT THE VIRUS IS ON TELEVISION OR SOCIAL MEDIA.

A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE, THEY CANNOT COMPREHEND AND A LOT OF THEM CAN'T EVEN READ.

WE NEED TO MEET THE MASSES.

WE NEED THAT SITE.

IT CAN BE FOR OTHER AREAS AND THEY CAN COME THERE.

THE SITE WE HAVE IS A TENT AND A HALF MILE AWAY FROM THE FIFTH WARD AREA.

WE NEED TO GET TOGETHER TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC.

[01:30:01]

YOU KNOW, LET'S DO OUT REACH INTO OUR COMMUNITY.

YOU DON'T BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING.

I APPRECIATE -- APPRECIATE COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

HE GOT THE GANG UNDER CONTROL.

I KNOW HE CAN WORK TO GET THIS UNDER CONTROL.

THE WHOLE COMMISSIONER'S COURT CAN DO THAT WITH THE COMMUNITIES.

WE NEED TO BE INVOLVED.

JUST SITTING AT HOME NOT DOING ANYTHING.

YOU HAVE TO INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY.

THE PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO WORK TO GET THIS UNDER CONTROL.

I'M WITH THE FIFTH WARD.

SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

THANK YOU.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING THAT WORK.

WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER.

I JUST WANTED TO SHARE COMMISSIONER ELLIS' COMMITMENT AS WELL AS THE JUDGE'S POINT THAT WE ARE APT TO DO MORE IF THE RULES WOULD ALLOW US, BUT RIGHT NOW THAT IS A BIT OF THE COMPLICATION.

BUT YOU HAVEN'T BEEN FORGOTTEN.

I KNOW WE ARE ALL USING OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO GET YOU THE SUPPORT YOU NEED.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> EASTER HENDERSON WITH FIFTH WARD SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> YES, MA'AM.

COMMISSIONER'S COURT, THIS IS EASTER HENDERSON AND I JUST LIKE TO VOICE MY OPINION ABOUT A TESTING SITE.

WE NEED A STATIONARY TESTING SITE IF POSSIBLE, IF NOT MAYBE A MOBILE TESTING SITE SO WE CAN REALLY GET THE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY NEED TO BE TESTED FOR THIS COVID VIRUS.

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WALKING AROUND AND HAVE IT AND DON'T EVEN KNOW THEY HAVE IT.

AND THEN THEY CAN SPREAD IT TO SOME OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.

THEY COULD BE IN THE HOME WITH THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS AND SPREADING IT TO THEM, AND WE REALLY NEED THAT TESTING SITE A STATIONARY TESTING SITE WHERE WE ARE ABLE TO WALK TO IT BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TRANSPORTATION.

A LOT OF PEOPLE AIN'T ABLE TO GET AROUND AND GET TO THOSE TESTING SITES.

I THINK THAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL AND HELP CONTROL THE VIRUS IF WE WERE ABLE TO GET A STATIONARY TESTING SITE IN THE FIFTH WARD COMMUNITY.

WE DEFINITELY NEED IT.

I THINK THAT WOULD BE A BIG HELP TO HELP TO CONTROL THIS VIRUS.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU, MA'AM.

RICK

>> HELLO.

>> GO AHEAD, POLICE.

>> THIS IS MS. ELMORE.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

I JUST WANT TO SAY THE SAME THING.

I AM A FIFTH WARD RESIDENT AS WELL AND PART OF THE FIFTH SUPER NEIGHBORHOOD.

WE REALLY DO NEED A TESTING CENTER.

I WAS ABLE TO GET TESTED AND I HAD TO WAIT THREE WEEKS ON MY RESULTS.

AND IT WASN'T HERE.

I HAD TO GO TO THE -- I THINK IT WAS OVER AT THE OLD FOREST BROOKS HIGH SCHOOL AND I WAS TESTED THERE.

LIKE I SAID, IT WAS THREE WEEKS WAITING.

AND LIKE WHAT THE OTHERS ARE SAYING, THE PEOPLE -- A LOT OF THE PEOPLE OUT HERE ARE ILLITERATE AND THEY ARE SPREADING THE VIRUS BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE BASE TO UNDERSTAND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE DISEASE.

ALSO A BUSINESS DOWN THE STREET FROM ME, A MAN, HE HAD THE COVID VIRUS AND NOW BACK TO WORK AS SOON AS THEY RELEASED HIM.

THAT TO MY UNDERSTANDING IS SOMEBODY THAT DON'T UNDERSTAND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE DISEASE, AND THAT'S HOW THE SPREAD IS CONTINUING.

UNFORTUNATELY A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY IS NOT TAKING THIS VIRUS SERIOUS.

THEY ARE GETTING SICK.

THEY ARE BEING EXPOSED TO OTHERS, AND THEN THEY ARE COMING BACK HOME AND GIVING IT TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK IT IS SERIOUS.

I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU GUYS ARE DOING, BUT IF WE CAN GET A UNIT OR ANY KIND OF HELP OUT HERE, PERIOD, I WOULD BE SO GRATEFUL AND APPRECIATE ALL OF THAT AND I THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

JUDGE MOLLY COOK WITH DOCTORS FOR CHANGE IS SPEAKING ON TWO ITEMS, 21G

[01:35:04]

AND 20A2.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> I'M SORRY JUST TO CLARIFY DO I GET THREE MINUTES ON EACH OR JUST THREE MINUTES TOTAL? CAN Y'ALL HEAR ME?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

YOU GET THREE MINUTES TOTAL.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YES, MA'AM, WE CAN HEAR YOU.

>> GREAT.

I AM A THURSDAY AND HAVE A PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE AND WORK DIRECTLY WITH CO VIVE POSITIVE -- COVID POSITIVE PATIENTS ON THE FRONT LINE.

I WANT TO THANK JUDGE HIDALGO AND GARCIA FOR THEIR NO VOTE AND WE SUPPORT THE COUNTY FUNDING THE CONTINUED PHO SILL STATION GROUP.

BACK TO COVID UNDER TESTING IN AN AREA YOU KNOW FACES CHALLENGES AND LACK OF HEALTH CARE IS BAD PUBLIC HEALTH AND BAD DATA.

LOW INCOME AND NON-WHITE COMMUNITIES ARE HISTORICALLY UNDER REPRESENTED IN STUDIES.

IT SHOULDN'T MATTER WHO LIVES IN THE CITY VERSUS THE COUNTY.

THEY SHOULD IDENTIFY AREA THAT'S NEED PUBLIC RESOURCES THE MOST AND DIRECTING THE MAYOR -- FROM THERE COORDINATION.

PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTY WHO HAVE THE MEANS ARE GETTING TESTED.

I KNOW BECAUSE I AM SWABBING THEM.

THOSE THAT DON'T HAVE THE MEANS TO BE COUNTED DESERVE TO BE COUNTED.

PUT THE FUNDS WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED THE MOST.

WE ARE LOOKING IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND COMMISSIONER YOUR QUESTIONS OBVIOUSLY DEMONSTRATE YOU ARE TRYING TO DO COMMISSIONER ELLIS AS LITTLE AS YOU CAN IN THE FIFTH WARD.

WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS.

WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE SPENDING COMPETITION.

THE FACT THAT YOU AND THE CITY ARE SEPARATE IS NOT A VALID REASON NOT TO TEST THESE PEOPLE.

THEY ALL PAY COUNTY TAXES.

IT IS A FAILING ON Y'ALL'S PART.

YOU GO TO CITY HALL TOMORROW.

YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO WORK WITH THE CITY.

I DON'T HEAR ANY MENTION OF DOLLARS THAT ARE GOING DIRECTLY TO PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE COUNTY, AND IT IS A PANDEMIC.

YOU ARE OUR COMMISSIONERS.

STOP AVOIDING THIS PROBLEM.

EVEN BRINGING DR. SHAW AND OTHERS ON TO THE CALL BEFORE SPEAKERS IS DISRESPECTFUL.

IT IS DIFFICULT TO MAKE TIME AND LESS LIKELY TO STAY ON THE CALL IF THEY HAVE TO WAIT.

I AM A NURSE ON THE FRONT LINE AND THIS COMMUNITY IS ON THE FRONT LINE SO STEP UP.

IT IS MY JOB TO SHOW UP TO WORK AND ACCEPT PATIENTS.

IT IS YOUR JOB TO FIND THE MONEY AND MAKE STRIKE THAT JEEZ.

WE DON'T NEED MORE PLANS OR DATA.

WE HAVE ALL OF THE DATA WE NEED AND THE DATA IS TALKING TO YOU RIGHT NOW.

THEY NEED A TESTING SITE.

I LOVE MY JOB, BUT THERE IS NOTHING THAT MAKES IT HARDER THAN KNOWING THE SYSTEM IN PLACE CONTINUES TO BENEFIT PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE MEANS AND PUNISH THOSE WHO DO NOT.

ACKNOWLEDGE THE RESIDENTS OF GREATER FIFTH WARD TOWARD AND AGREE TO COUNT THEM.

PUT THE PUBLIC RESOURCES WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED.

PLACE A PERMANENT COVID-19 TESTING SITE IN GREATER FIFTH WARD IN COORDINATION WITH RESIDENT ORGANIZATIONS THAT ACCOMMODATE LOCK UP AND IS WELL ADVERTISED BOTH OFF LINE.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR TIME.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> CANDICE KEPPER.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> YES.

I LIVED IN HARRIS COUNTY SINCE 1986.

I HAVE 33 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS AN EDUCATOR.

IT IS IN ALL LEVELS AND MOSTLY EARLY CHILDHOOD.

I AM OBJECTING STRONGLY TO THE ORDER BY A NON-ELECTED OFFICIAL TO CLOSE SCHOOLS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 8TH.

IT SOUNDS LIKE THAT IS GOING TO BE EXTENDED.

I AM INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT THE CRITERIA IS TO CHANGE THAT ORDER AND TO RESCIND THAT ORDER IF COME SEPTEMBER 8TH THE CASE LEVEL IS LOWER.

HONESTLY, THE ONLY STAT THAT MATTERS IS HOSPITAL -- HOSPITALIZATIONS.

IN MY MIND THE HOSPITALS IN HARRIS COUNTY ARE NOT OVERWHELMED.

I JUST LOOKED TODAY AND THE CASE POSITIVITY RATE IS DEFINITELY DOWN RNTION -- ADMISSIONS ARE DOWN.

THE KIDS NEED SCHOOL.

THERE ARE MANY PARENTS WHO CANNOT GO TO WORK.

YOU ARE GOING TO HURT THE KIDS WHO NEED IT THE MOST, THE LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC WHOSE PARENTS, SOME ONLY HAVE ONE PARENT THAT WORKS OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

SOME HAVE MULTIPLE KIDS IN THEIR FAMILY AND MAYBE THEY CAN GET A TABLET, BUT DO THEY HAVE GOOD INTERNET? BESIDES THE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL THIS IS DREF SAYS STATING -- DEVASTATING TO KIDS AND IT WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE KIDS AND DON'T REALIZE WHAT THE SHUTDOWN HAS DONE TO CHILDREN.

I AM SERIOUSLY WORRIED ABOUT DEPRESSION RATES AND THE ISOLATION THAT KIDS ARE EXPERIENCING NOT TO MENTION THAT THE ACADEMIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES ARE GOING TO BE SQUANDERED.

THEY ARE GOING TO MISS SO MUCH TIME AND BE SO FAR BEHIND.

MY QUESTION IS WHAT IS THE CRITERIA? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO USE TO BE ABLE TO SAY SCHOOLS CAN OPEN? AND WHY CAN'T WE HAVE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS DECIDE THIS? THE HOSPITALS ARE NOT OVERWHELMED.

I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO RECONSIDER WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO THIS -- TO THE KIDS OF HARRIS COUNTY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

[01:40:02]

THANK YOU.

>> WELL, OBVIOUSLY ARE YOU NOT GOING TO RESPOND, BUT I THINK YOU NEED TO SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT THIS.

THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> ZEP-CAPO.

>> YES.

THANK YOU.

I AM CALLING TODAY TO GIVE MY THANKS TO DR. SHAW ARE AND TO THE JUDGE AND TO THE COMMISSIONER'S COURT.

I AM THE PRESIDENT OF THE HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS.

WE APPRECIATE THAT THE COUNTY IS USING SOLID SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AS A BASIS TO MAKE DECISIONS ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

MATTERS THAT NOT ONLY AFFECT EVERY SINGLE STUDENT AND EDUCATOR WITHIN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, BUT REMEMBERING OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS ARE NOT PART OF THE ECO-SYSTEM.

WE DO NOT EDUCATE KIDS ALONE.

THEY ARE PART OF COMMUNITIES.

OPENING SCHOOLS UP TOO EARLY WHEN WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY SPREAD STILL IN OUR AREA WILL LIKELY INCREASE THE LEVEL OF COVID AND PUT MANY OF OUR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT UNNECESSARY RISK.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT VIRTUAL EDUCATION IS NOT PARAMOUNT, AND WE WANT TO GET BACK TO LIVE AND IN PERSON INSTRUCTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT WE ALL WANT TO DO IT SAFELY.

WE BELIEVE THAT LISTENING TO MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND FOLLOWING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND ADVICE IS THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT.

OUR KIDS SPENT EVERY YEAR SINCE THE DAYS OF THE BEGINNING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION HAVE BEEN OUT FOR 10 WEEKS IN THE SUMMER.

WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IS EXPANDING THIS IN SOME CASES BY A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THERE IS TIME FOR LEADERS IN THE STATE AND OTHERS TO GET THIS VIRUS UNDER CONTROL.

TO DO THE TESTING AND TO DO THE ISOLATION THAT IS NECESSARY SO THAT WE CAN SAFELY GO BACK TO SCHOOL.

WE ARE DOING OUR JOB AS EDUCATORS TO IMPROVE THE VIRTUAL PRACTICE AND TO MAKE SURE KIDS HAVE HOTSPOTS AND CONNECTION DEVICES TO DO IT.

THE LAST THING ANY OF OUR TEACHERS WANT IS A KID THAT IS HURT IF THEIR QUARE OR HAVE -- IN THEIR CARE OR EXPERIENCE A TEACHER BEING SICK AND DYING WHILE COMING BACK TO SCHOOL.

THIS IS NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC.

WE HAVE HAD OUR STUDENTS -- WE HAVE HAD OPERATORS PASS AWAY DURING THE SUMMER WHILE SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED.

WE HAD TEACHERS HOSPITALIZED FOR WEEKS THAT ARE STILL GOING THROUGH TREATMENT FOR COVID.

IMAGINE IF WE WERE BACK IN SCHOOL WITH KIDS AND ALL OF THE OTHER EMPLOYEES.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DECISION AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU FOR CALLING IN TO WEIGH IN ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE.

OBVIOUSLY THE JUDGE HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR ON HER POSITION AND HER VIEW ON THIS MATTER.

IT IS IN SUPPORT OF THE POSITION TAKEN.

AND THIS IS ALL JUST TO -- TOO REMINISCENT TO OPENING THE ECONOMY TOO SOON.

YOU KNOW, THE CHALLENGE OF THE INFECTION SOME OF OUR CHILDREN COULD FACE, MEANING IN A CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT AND THE HARM TEACHERS COULD BE PUT IN THE WAY OF, AND NOT TO FORGET THAT THE DANGER IT COULD PUT THE FAMILIES OF THOSE CHILDREN IN HARM'S WAY AS WELL.

THIS IS NOT A GOOD POSITION FOR ANY OF US, BUT I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR WEIGHING IN.

WE HEARD YOU EARLY AND WE HAVE MADE OUR POSITION KNOWN AND HOPE PEOPLE WILL TAKE NOTICE ESPECIALLY IF I THINK THE LAST REPORTS ARE ACCURATE THAT THE INFECTION SOME CHILDREN ARE SEEING -- WE ALREADY DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT COVID-19 ITSELF, BUT SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS THAT CHILDREN ARE EXPERIENCING ARE FURTHER INTO THE UNKNOWN CATEGORY.

SO ZACH AND ALL OF THE OTHER SPEAKERS ON THIS ITEM, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING OUT.

I AM VERY, VERY CONCERNED AS WELL.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

>> SAMANTHA PIZARSKI-MAY.

>> HI, I WANTED TO START OFF BY SAYING THAT I VERY MUCH SUPPORT THE ORDER TO HAVE

[01:45:09]

HARRIS COUNTY SCHOOLS BEGIN VIRTUALLY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 8TH.

I DO SO AS A VET -- VETERAN EDUCATOR.

I TEACH MUSIC AND I HAVE DONE SO FOR THE PAST 11 YEARS.

AND I ALSO HAVE STUDIED QUITE AUSTENSIBLY.

I SEE A LOT OF CHILDREN WHO EXPERIENCE TRAUMA IN MY SCHOOL BUILDING.

I WANT TO SAY THAT KEEPING -- STARTING SCHOOL VIRTUALLY WILL SAVE OUR CHILDREN FROM EXPERIENCING UNTOLD AMOUNTS OF TRAUMA.

THAT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE SAVING THEM FROM BEING SICK AND POSSIBLY DEBILITATING CONSIDERING THAT CHILDREN WHO ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19 OFTEN END UP HAVING AN INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE THAT MIMICS KAWASAKI'S DISEASE AND IT GOES TO MULTI-ORGAN SYSTEM FAILURE.

CHILDREN ARE NOT IMMUNE TO KEY -- COVID-19.

THAT IDEA IS INCORRECT THAT CHILDREN AREN'T GETTING IT BECAUSE THEY ARE.

IN FACT, FLORIDA HAS SEEN A 23% INCREASE IN CHILD INFECTION RATES IN THE PAST MONTH.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE FOR TEXAS, BUT I AM WILLING TO BET IT IS SIMILAR.

IF CHILDREN WERE TO GO TO FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION AND THEY BECOME SICK, THEIR CLASSMATES BECOME SICK, THEIR TEACHERS BECOME SICK, THEIR CLASSMATES DIE, THEIR TEACHERS DIE, THAT WILL CREATE A TRAUMATIC SPERN -- EXPERIENCE THAT THEY WILL THOUGHT BE ABLE TO RECOVER FROM.

THERE WILL BE A GUILT THERE IF THEY FEEL THEY WERE THE REASON WHY THEIR TEACHER OR THEIR CLASSMATE GOT SICK AND DIE.

THAT IS NOT OKAY.

I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE BENEFITS GOING FACE-TO-FACE.

TRUST ME.

I AM A MUSIC TEACHER AND MY CLASS NEEDS TO BE THERE TO PLAY, BUT WE NEED TO KEEP CHILDREN ALIVE.

WE NEED TO KEEP EDUCATORS ALIVE.

NEARLY HALF OF ALL EDUCATORS IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE AT LEAST ONE COVID-19 RISK FACTOR.

I MYSELF HAVE THREE OF THEM.

I WROTE MY WILL THIS SUMMER BECAUSE IF I WERE TO GO TO SCHOOL FACE-TO-FACE AND TEACH EVERY CHILD IN MY SCHOOL BUILDING, I WOULD GET SICK AND LIKELY DIE.

I WANTED TO SAY I VERY MUCH SUPPORT THE ORDER TO START VIRTUALLY AND VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THAT THE COURT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING IN HARRIS COUNTY AS THEY MAKE THEIR DECISION.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> JACKIE ANDERSON WITH HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS.

JACKIE ANDERSON.

HAYLEY KALILE WITH TEXAS AREA GULF COAST.

>> GOOD MORNING.

DIRECTOR OF TEXAS AREA GULF COAST LABOR FEDERATION.

I THINK YOU KNOW THE FEDERATION IS 95 UNIONS AND 60,000 UNION MEMBERS AND WE HAVE BEEN VERY ACTIVE SINCE MARCH WORKING WITH THE CITY, COUNTY AND FEDERAL LEVEL ADVOCATING FOR MEASURES TO PROTECT THE PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL HEALTH OF WORKING PEOPLE DURING THIS PANDEMIC.

I TAUGHT SOCIAL STUDIES IN SCHOOLS FOR 9 YEARS.

I AM HERE TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR THE COUNTY AND THE CITY'S PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER FOR REQUIRING SCHOOLS TO START WITH ONLINE LEARNING AND ASK YOU TO KEEP THAT ORDER IN PLACE UNTIL HEALTH CONDITIONS IMPROVE.

WE STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WORKERS' HEALTH MUST BE PUBLIC POLICY NUMBER ONE CONCERN.

AND POLICY MAKING MUST REFLECT THE GUIDANCE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS AND THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF WORKERS IN THOSE INDUSTRIES.

IN THIS CASE TEACHERS AND SCHOOL SUPPORT PERSONNEL.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS ORDER REFLECTS.

THE INFECTION RATE IN HARRIS COUNTY IS GROWING AND WE ARE SEEING MORE HOSPITALIZATIONS, MANY MORE.

OPENING SCHOOLS FOR IN PERSON LEARNING BEFORE THE PANDEMIC HAS BEEN TAMED WOULD BE THE HYPE OF YOU ARE RESPONSIBILITY.

IT WOULD BE SENDING STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF INTO A PETRI DISH.

IT WOULD TURN SCHOOLS INTO INCUBATORS OF COMMUNITY SPREAD.

THE SCHOOL YEAR MUST BEGIN WITH REMOTE LEARNING TO PREVENT HOSPITALS FROM BEING MOREOVER WELL MED THAN THEY ALREADY ARE.

KEEPING SCHOOLS CLOSED IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

SOME W DON'T THINK THE -- SOME WHO DON'T THINK THE HEALTH OF STUDENTS AND STAFF ARE A PRIORITY ARE PUSHING COMMISSIONER'S COURT TO IGNORE PUBLIC HEALTH

[01:50:04]

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROMOTE IN CLASS LEARNING.

WE CANNOT TREAT OUR EDUCATORS AND OUR STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES LIKE GUINEA PIGS IN A RECKLESS EXPERIMENT.

YES OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES HAVE OPENED FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING BUT ALL TAMED THE VIRUS BEFORE DOING THAT.

ALL OF THEM.

THAT'S NOT THE CASE IN HARRIS COUNTY RIGHT NOW.

IN THE PAST WEEK TEXAS AVERAGES NEW CASES PER 100,000 RESIDENTS IS 27 TIMES HIGHER THAN MOST COUNTRIES THAT HAVE REOPENED SCHOOLS.

27 TIMES.

THOSE GOVERNMENTS WENT ON TO SET MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS FOR SCHOOLS, MANDATING MASK AND FUNDING FOR SAFE REOPENING.

YET SENATE REPUBLICANS CONTINUE TO BLOCK A VOTE ON THE HERO'S ACT THAT WOULD DO JUST THAT.

SO THE PRESIDENT'S AND THE GOVERNOR'S RUSH TO REOPEN WITHOUT ESTABLISHING SAFETY STANDARDS HAVE GIVEN THE PANDEMIC NEW LIFE IN TEXAS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITIES SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO TRAVEL DOWN THE SAME ROAD.

THANK YOU FOR PUTTING THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS FIRST BY POSTPONING IN CLASS LEARNING.

THANK YOU FOR GUIDING YOUR ZIGS -- YOUR DECISIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE AND LISTENING TO THOSE WORKING IN SCHOOLS.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

>> THANK YOU.

JACKIE ANDERSON WITH HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS?

>> DISBORNG -- GOOD MORNING.

I STAND WITH MY COLLEAGUES, THE PRESIDENT OF TEXAS AFT AS AN OFFICER REPRESENTING THE LARGEST TEACHER'S UNION IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

WE SUPPORT JUDGE HIDALGO'S DECISION TO DELAY THE START OF FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS.

ON JULY 24TH, JUDGE HIDALGO ALONG WITH THE CITY HEALTH OFFICIAL ANNOUNCED A PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER THAT PROTECTS CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND EDUCATORS FROM COVID-19.

THE ORDER WOULD DELAY ANY SCHOOL REOPENING UNTIL AT LEAST SEPTEMBER THE 8TH.

HARRIS COUNTY'S INFECTION RATES CONTINUE TO RISE AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE INCREASING.

JUDGE HIDALGO'S ACTIONS ARE THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

EDUCATORS ACROSS HARRIS COUNTY ARE SPEAKING OUT TO PROTECT THEIR STUDENTS AND OUR COMMUNITIES.

EDUCATORS ACROSS THE AREA APPLAUD HER ACTIONS AND THE ACTIONS OF THE COURT.

THERE ARE SO MANY UNKNOWNS AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

SCHOOLS ARE A PETRI DISH OF BACTERIA.

THAT WE DO KNOW.

OUR STUDENTS REPRESENT MANY MULTI GENERATIONAL FAMILIES.

THERE SHOULD BE NO RUSH TO SEND OUR EDUCATORS OR OUR STUDENTS TO WHAT COULD BE THEIR DEATH OR THE DEATH OF THEIR LOVED ONES.

THE NUMBER OF HOUSTON AREA CORONA CASES IS OVER 100,000 AND OVER 1100 DEATHS AT COUNT.

THE SURGE OF COVID-19 HAS STRAINED THE ABILITY OF HOUSTON AND HARRIS COUNTY'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO INVESTIGATE INFECTED RESIDENTS AND FIND EACH PERSON WHO COULD BE EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS.

DELAYS UP TO SEVERAL WEEKS IN RECEIVING LAB RESULTS THAT SOMEHOW CONTAIN INACCURATE CONTACT INFORMATION MEANS THAT TRACERS MISS CRITICAL WINDOWS TO WARN OF SYSTEMATIC COVID CARRIERS TO ISOLATE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

THIS IS A CRUCIAL STEP IN LIMITING THE VIRUS.

JUDGE HUH TALL GO IS -- JUDGE HIDALGO IS CORRECT.

EDUCATORS KNOW THAT WE CAN CATCH A -- CATCH UP A LIVING CHILD ACADEMICALLY, BUT WE CANNOT CATCH UP A DEAD ONE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I JUST WANT TO MENTION SOMETHING BEFORE THE SPEAKERS CONTINUE.

OBVIOUSLY THIS IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT, AND IT IS SO SAD THAT THE KIDS AREN'T THERE IN PERSON.

AS COMMISSIONER GARCIA MENTIONED, EVERYBODY HAD MEMORIAL DAY AND PROTESTS.

OTHER STATES AND COUNTRIES AND COMMUNITIES WERE ABLE TO OPEN BECAUSE THEY BROUGHT THE CURVE DOWN.

WE NEED TO BRING THOSE CASES WAY DOWN.

WE NEED TO BRING THE HOSPITALIZATIONS WAY DOWN AND THAT'S ALL IN OUR HANDS TO BE ABLE TO SEND THE KIDS BACK.

SO RIGHT NOW IT IS JUST IMPOSSIBLE.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR RIGHT NOW IS TRY AND SUPPORT THE REMOTE WORK AS MUCH AS WE CAN.

IT IS NOT IDEAL, BUT WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO BE ABLE TO DO IN PERSON.

I KNOW THE COUNTY HAS BEEN WORKING TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CLOSE THAT DIGITAL DIVIDE THROUGH HOTSPOTS AND COMPUTERS AND MAKE SURE WE ARE UNTANGLING WHAT THE COUNTY CAN PROVIDE AND THE STATE AS WELL AS THE DIFFERENT CITIES IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

THE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN WORKING ON THAT EFFORT HAS TO GO AT NOON, AT 12:15 SO I

[01:55:06]

THOUGHT WE WOULD HEAR FROM HIM IN CASE THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE QUESTIONS AND THEN WE WILL HEAR FROM THE REST OF THE SPEAKERS AND HOPEFULLY THIS WILL BE USEFUL TO THE SPEAKERS AS WELL.

THERE WAS A PERSON WHO HAD A QUESTION ABOUT SORT OF HOW DO WE FIGURE OUT WHEN WE WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO REOPEN.

THAT'S SOMETHING PUBLIC HEALTH IS WORKING ON RIGHT NOW WITH THE RESEARCHERS AND MY TEAM AS WELL.

WHAT ARE SOME THRESHOLDS? WE ARE FAR FROM IT, VERY FAR FROM IT.

THE QUESTION IS WHAT HOSPITALIZATION RATE AND WHAT TESTING TURN AROUND TIME AND WHEN YOU DO BRING KIDS BACK HOW DO YOU DO IT AND WHO GOES FIRST? WE HAVE SPOKEN A LOT WITH THE DIFFERENT SUPERINTENDENTS AND THERE IS A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING THAT SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS AND PERHAPS ESL KIDS AND KIDS WHO CAN'T GET ANY OTHER ACCESS.

MAYBE THERE IS NO CELL TOWER NEARBY.

WHEN WE DO GET TO IT, AND IT WILL BE AWHILE UNLESS WE BUCKLE DOWN AND IT WILL BE PHASED.

IT CAN'T JUST BE EVERYONE IF ONE DAY.

IT WANT BE HALF THE PEOPLE ONE DAY AND THE OTHER DAY IS 100%.

WE HAVE ALMOST A MILLION KIDS IN SCHOOL IN HARRIS COUNTY SO THAT'S A LOT OF CONTACT.

IF THAT'S ALL RIGHT, COMMISSIONERS I WILL CALL UP THE PERSON FROM GUIDE HOUSE WHO HAS BEEN WORKING ON THE DIGITAL DIVIDE ISSUE BEFORE HE HAS TO HOP OFF.

GO AHEAD.

I DON'T KNOW WHO IT IS.

I JUST I JUST KNOW YOU HAVE TO LEAVE.

>> IS IT TODD? GO AHEAD, TODD.

>> YEAH, IT IS TODD.

CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> YES, THANK YOU.

>> JUDGE, HOW ARE YOU DOING? JUDGE, IF YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD WITH THE SPEAKERS, WE LOST THE OTHER PERSON THAT WAS GOING TO DO WITH -- DO THIS WITH ME.

I CAN DO IT WHEN IT IS UP ON THE AGENDA.

IF YOU DON'T MIND, PLEASE CONTINUE AND THEN I WILL BE READY WHEN YOU ARE READY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

SOUNDS GOOD.

BETTER YET.

MR. GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YES, JUDGE.

FOR THE SPEAKERS CALLING IN REGARDING SCHOOL CLOSURES, I JUST GOTTA ADD THIS.

I'M SEEING A TWEET THAT REFERENCES THAT LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES CANNOT ORDER SCHOOLS CLOSED, QUOTE, FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING FUTURE COVID-19 INFECTIONS.

GO FIGURE.

I AM NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT.

ANYWAY, WE HAVE SOME WORK TO DO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND IT SOUNDS LIKE AN ADVISORY AND NOT AN OPINION.

WE'LL SEE WHAT COMES WITH THAT.

THAT'S HOW WE ENDED UP WHERE WE ARE.

WE CAN'T DO THAT ANYMORE.

LUCINDA, WILL YOU CALL UP THE REST OF THE SPEAKERS, PLEASE?

>> YES, MA'AM.

JEREMY EUGENE, GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> HELLO.

I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO JUDGE HUH DOLL -- JUDGE HUH DOLL -- JUDGE HIDALGO AND DR. SHAW.

I WANT TO SHARE THAT IN ADDITION TO THINKING ABOUT WHAT THE COUNTY LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THE DISTRICTS THEMSELVES ARE READY FOR AND I WANT TO SHARE THAT THE DISTRICTS ARE NOT READY TO OPEN.

WE WANT TO ISSUE ANOTHER DELAY IF NEEDED.

I SHARE THIS AS A HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER.

I FOLLOWED THE ANNOUNCEMENTS OF MY DISTRICT VERY CLOSELY, BUT THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT STILL HAVEN'T BEEN SHARED.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW WE CAN REPORT VIOLATIONS OF SAFETY RULES IF WE SEE THEM ON CAMPUS.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW CONTACT TRACING WILL WORK.

THE DISTRICT SAYS THESE THINGS ARE COMING, BUT IT DOESN'T SHOW HOW OR WHEN.

I KNOW JUST AS IN THE CASE OF MY DISTRICT AND THROUGHOUT HARRIS COUNTY, MY DISTRICT IN PARTICULAR HAS CLAIMED REPEATEDLY ON ITS WEBSITE THAT IT IS WORKING ALONG WITH COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS, BUT IT IS STILL OPENING ON SEPTEMBER 8TH INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING DR. SHAW'S RECOMMENDATION TO OPEN NO SOONER THAN OCTOBER.

I ASKED ABOUT THE DISCREPANCY, BUT IT HASN'T BEEN EXPLAINED.

WE NEED MORE TIME TO DEMAND TRANSPARENCY FROM THE DISTRICTS AND TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE ADEQUATE POLICIES.

ONE POLICY THAT ALSO NEEDS TO CHANGE IS THAT IT WILL NOT CLOSE THE SCHOOL IF THERE IS A POSITIVE TEST.

IT WILL ONLY CLOSE -- IT CAN ONLY GUARANTEE IT WILL CLOSE ONE CLASSROOM.

THAT IS INSUFFICIENT BECAUSE THE DISTRICT ENSURED -- HAS NOT ENSURED PASSING PERIODS AND THAT IT WILL REQUIRE SIX FEET OF SPACE AND WEARING MASKS.

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE MANY OF MY STUDENTS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS.

THEY WILL LEAD FROM THE SCHOOL, A HIGHLY POPULATED AREA, AND THEY WILL GO TO

[02:00:01]

ANOTHER HIGHLY POPULATED AREAS LIKE GROCERY STORES, AUTO SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS WHERE THEY WORK.

SOME CAN'T AFFORD A DAY OFF SO THAT MEANS THEY ARE DOING THIS FIVE DAYS A WEEK, EVERY WEEK, AS SOON AS WE OPEN FOR DAY-TO-DAY INSTRUCTION.

AND IF IT HAPPENS AT A SCHOOL WHERE WE DON'T CATCH A SICK STUDENT OR IF WE DON'T WIPE DOWN AN AREA PROPERLY, THAT COULD SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SCHOOL AND THEN THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

ONCE AGAIN I THANK YOU FOR THE DELAY, BUT WE NEED YOUR CONTINUED HELP TO MAKE SURE THE DISTRICTS GET READY BEFORE WE OPEN THE SCHOOLS AND THAT MEANS REQUIRING MORE DELAYS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

[II. Emergency/supplemental items (Part 1 of 2)]

[I. Departments (Part 3 of 4)]

[II. Emergency/supplemental items (Part 2 of 2)]

[III. Public Hearings]

[I. Departments (Part 4 of 4)]

[IV. Executive Session]

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>> KAW RETE -- CORETTA BROWN.

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CORETTA BROWN?

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>> YES, HELLO?

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THANK YOU, JUDGE HIDALGO, AND THANK YOU COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

[12:23:00]

I AM CORETTA BROWN AND A PRECINCT CHAIR OF 638 AND I AM A MOTHER OF A 12-YEAR-OLD

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SON WHO WILL BE GOING TO SCHOOL 100% ONLINE WHEN SCHOOL STARTS.

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I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL AND AS A MOTHER I HAVE BEEN WORRIED AND CONCERNED ABOUT

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THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF MY FAMILY DURING CORONAVIRUS.

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HAVE I BEEN WORRIED ABOUT MY SON'S HEALTH WITH COVID-19 AND IN THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR.

[12:23:10]

LAST WEEK WHEN I WAS ABLE TO SIGN UP FOR MY SON UP FOR 100% ONLINE LEARNING WITH

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THE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL I WAS THANKFUL AND HAPPY FOR THAT, RIGHT?

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AND IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF COVID-19, BUT I WAS THANKFUL FOR THAT BECAUSE MY SON HAS

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A HISTORY OF HAVING PROBLEMS WHERE HE WOULD BE BULLIED OR GET IN FIGHTS AND THINGS

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LIKE THAT.

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SO WHEN THE CLASS ACTUALLY WENT TO BEING 100% VIRTUAL, HE WAS ABLE TO FOCUS AND

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CONCENTRATE, AND HE BECAME -- HE FINISHED THE SCHOOL IN THE TOP FIVE STUDENTS.

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THAT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IF HE HADN'T BEEN LEARNING VIRTUALLY.

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I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR THAT, BUT ALSO I WOULD LIKE FOR THE COUNTY TO CONSIDER

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POSSIBLY IN THE FUTURE LEAVING IT AS, YOU KNOW, PART VIRTUAL LEARNING AND

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PART -- YOU KNOW, GIVING PARENTS A CHOICE.

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I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IS TO BE ABLE TO GIVE US A CHOICE

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TO HOW OUR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED AND HOW OUR CHILDREN LEARN.

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NOT ALL OF OUR CHILDREN LEARN THE SAME, AND IT IS NOT A COOKIE CUTER PROCESS.

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SO THANK YOU ALL.

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I HOPE WE CAN KEEP THE SCHOOL CLOSED UNTIL WE CAN GET SOME VACCINES AND GET

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SOME DATA, SOME SCIENTIFIC DATA PROVEN WHEN IT IS TIME TO OPEN THE SCHOOL.

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>> THANK YOU, MA'AM.

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>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

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>> ALTA-SIDRAHAN, COMMUNITY VOICES OF PUBLIC EDUCATION.

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>> GOOD MORNING.

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I AM CALLING TO VOICE MY APPRECIATION FOR DR. SHAW AND PURSE AND COUNTY

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OFFICIALS FOR THEIR JOINT PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER TO KEEP STUDENTS AND SCHOOL

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COMMUNITIES SAFE.

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IT IS NOW PRACTICED WITHOUT COMPETENT TRACE PROCEDURES.

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THE COMMUNITY NEEDS PLANS AND TIME FOR PARENTS, TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND

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COMMUNITIES TO DIGEST AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK.

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I THINK EVERYONE IN THE HOUSTON GREATER COMMUNITY WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR BLACK

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STUDENTS, LATINO STUDENTS AND SPECIAL ED STUDENTS AND ALL STUDENTS IN THEIR

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COMMUNITY.

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HOW WE GET THERE IS THE QUESTION.

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WE KNOW THAT SCHOOLHOUSING, HEALTH CARE, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ARE ALL TIED TO

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STUDENT LEARNING AND WELL BEING.

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AND WE KNOW SCHOOLS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO EQUALIZE THAT PLAYING FIELD.

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ROUGHLY 80% OF KIDS RECEIVE A FREE LUNCH.

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25 TO 30% HAVE A TECHNOLOGY GAP AND 5% ARE ACCOUNTED FOR.

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WE SHOULD STRIVE TO MEET STUDENTS' NEEDS FOR SURVIVAL.

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WE NEED TO OFFER FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO THE CITY AND THE COUNTY AND CITY AND

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COUNTY RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGY GAPS THROUGH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

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SPONSORSHIP AND WE NEED TO OFFER HOUSING AND ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO THE 5% WHO ARE

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NOT COMING BACK.

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MY 20 YEARS IN EDUCATION TELLS ME THAT THEY ARE EITHER IN BETWEEN HOUSING OR

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WORKING TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY.

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THAT'S WHY THEY ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR.

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ONCE WE DO HAVE A GOOD STABLE EYE -- STABLIZATION WE NEED COUNTY BY COUNTY AND

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BY LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT TO DEVELOP PLANS FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO

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MINIMIZE THE NUMBERS DYING AND SICK.

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AND WE MUST WORK DELIBERATELY AND SLOWLY TO DO IT RIGHT.

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STUDENTS LEARN EVERYWHERE AND NOT JUST AT SCHOOL.

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WE NEED TO TAKE THE REST OF THE YEAR TO IMAGINE AND PLAN PROPERLY FOR 2021.

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PLEASE OFFER HOUSING AND A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO GO.

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PHYSICAL DISTANCE, NONE-CONTACT -- NONCONTACT PE AND FOOD AND ART.

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THAT WOULD DO MUCH MORE TO NARROW THE INEQUITY THAN RUSHING BACK TO STAR AND

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STANDARDIZED TESTING AND THE PIPELINE.

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THANK YOU AND STAY SAFE.

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>> THANK YOU.

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KENDRA YARBOROUGH CAMARENA.

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GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

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>> GOOD DAY.

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I WANT TO THANK EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR WORK AND I AM HERE TO SPEAK AND SUPPORT THE

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RECENT DECISION TO DELAY THE CLOSE OF SCHOOLS.

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I AM A TEACHER AND A MOTHER.

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I WILL BE FRANK THAT I WAS EXTREMELY CONCERNED AND NERVOUS ABOUT THE WELFARE OF

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MY CHILDREN AND THE SAFETY OF THEIR HEALTH AS WELL AS FOR MYSELF AND SO I WANT TO

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THANK JUDGE HIDALGO AND HER TEAM FOR MAKING THE DECISION ACROSS THE COUNTY.

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SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND I APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO.

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>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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KAW RETE -- CORETTA-FANTANO, FEDERATION OF TEACHERS.

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>> GOOD AFTERNOON.

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I AM CORETTA-FONTANO A RESIDENT OF PRECINCT 1.

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I WANT TO THANK JUDGE HUH DOLL GO -- HIDALGO AND DR. SHAW FOR STARTING SCALL

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VIRTUALLY.

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I AM ASKING SCHOOLS HELP FOR VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION BY EMPLOYING THE STAY HOME AND

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STAY SAFE ADVISEMENT UNTIL THE SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL DATA INDICATE THAT IT IS

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SAFE FOR SCHOOLS TO OPEN FOR FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION.

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CURRENTLY MOST CLASSES HAVE OVER 30 PLUS STUDENTS PER CLASS PERIOD.

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SOME CLASSES EVEN HAVE OVER 40 STUDENTS PER CLASS.

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THIS OFTEN FORCES STUDENTS TO WORK TOGETHER CLOSELY.

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ME AND MY COLLEAGUES AND THE STUDENTS HAVE UNDERLING HEALTH CONDITIONS WHICH

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COULD BE AGGRAVATED BY COVID-19.

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THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY HARD HIT

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AND NEED MORE RESOURCES FOR FASTER TURN AROUND TESTING AND MORE EFFECTIVE CONTACT

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TRACING AND ISOLATION ROOMS.

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THE VAST MAJORITY OF STUDENTS I SERVE LIVE IN MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOMES

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WHICH MEANS THEY CAN POSSIBLY CARRY COVID-19 HOME TO THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR

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GRANDPARENTS.

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WILL -- SCHOOLS ARE A MICRO-COSEM IN THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE.

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

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THERE ARE TOO MANY LIVES AT STAKE.

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I AGREE WITH JUDGE HUH DOLL GO -- JUDGE HUH DAHL -- JUDGE HIDALGO THAT WE NEED

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TO MAKE SOUND DECISIONS TO KEEP THE HARRIS COUNTY AREA SAFE UNTIL A VACCINE IS

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READY -- READILY AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

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>> THANK YOU.

[12:25:56]

CHRISTINA QUINTERO IS SPEAKING ON 21G AND SUPPLEMENTAL 11.

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>> HELLO AND GOOD MORNING.

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THIS IS CHRISTINA QUINTERO.

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FIRST AND FOREMOST I AM A PARENT IN HOUSTON, AND I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU

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COMMISSIONERS AND JUDGE FOR CONSIDERING DELAYING THE SCHOOL OPENING.

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THE REASON BEING IS BECAUSE IT IS DANGEROUS, FIRST OF ALL AND I FEEL THAT IT IS

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THE RESPONSIBLE THING FOR US TO DO.

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AS A PARENT I FEEL IT IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO NOT JUST FOR MY KIDS, BUT MY

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NEIGHBOR'S KIDS AND NIECES AND NEPHEWS AND MY FRIENDS' KIDS.

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I WILL STRESS SOMETHING I FEEL TO THE CORE.

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THE SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF IS NOT EXPENDABLE.

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OUR TEACHERS WORK HARD AND THEY ARE NOT EXPENNED -- EXPENDABLE.

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OUR KIDS ARE NOT EXPENDABLE.

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I KNOW THESE ARE TRYING TIMES AND IT IS SOMETHING WE ARE VENTURING INTO THE

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UNKNOWN, BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO STICK TO THE SCIENCE AND STICK TO THE

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MEDICAL ADVICE AND REALIZE THAT IF WE OPEN TOO SOON IT COULD BE VERY DANGEROUS.

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MY CHILD IS A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD AND I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF IN SCHOOL

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LEARNING.

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IT WORKS FOR HIM AND THEE THRIVES ON THAT.

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THIS IS NOT THE IDEAL THING I WANT FOR MY CHILDREN, BUT I CAN SEE IT IS THE MOST

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REASONABLE THING THAT WILL WORK FOR THEM AND WILL WORK FOR OTHER CHILDREN AS WELL.

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I COMMEND YOU AND I THANK YOU.

I GENUINELY THANK YOU FORESEEING THAT WE HAVE THIS NEED -- FOR SEEING THAT WE HAVE A NEED AND ARE CONTINUING THAT.

WE ARE PROTECTING OUR STUDENTS AND PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES AND PRO -- PROTECTING THE TEACHERS AND THE STAFF.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO.

YOU KNOW, ASIDE FROM THAT I WANTED TO DISCUSS THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID.

I KNOW THAT WITH ALL OF THIS COVID GOING ON WE HAVE THE ONE TO FOUR RATIO THAT PEOPLE CAN GET -- CONTRACT THE INFECTION.

I LIVE IN A HOME WHERE THERE IS AN 82-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER AND MY KIDS ARE SPECIAL NEEDS.

MY HUSBAND WORKS AND HE IS AN ESSENTIAL WORKER AND DOES NOT HAVE MEDICAID.

MY FATHER WORKS IS AN ESSENTIAL WORKER AND DOESN'T HAVE MEDICAID.

WE WENT TO GET TESTED THIS MORNING FOR COVID SO WE ARE VERY SCARED.

WITH SO MUCH DIVISION AND -- IN THE LATINO AND BLACK COMMUNITIES, WE NEED TO GO AHEAD AND EXPAND THE MEDICAID AND HAVE THE SUPPORT THERE SO THAT MORE OF THESE FAMILIES CAN GET TESTED SO THAT THERE IS MORE PREVENTATIVE CARE.

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN AFTER THEY CONTRACT THE DISEASE THAT WE ARE NOT EVEN SURE WE ARE READY A FEW YEARS FROM NOW.

SO THIS IS WHY AS A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY WITH TEXAS ORGANIZING PROJECT I FEEL WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE HARRIS COUNTY RESOLUTION -- TO URGE THE GOVERNOR TO USE THE EMERGENCY POWER AT THIS TIME OF COVID.

I ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT AS WELL.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

JOANNA-BERFECT.

>> HI.

I JUST WANTED TO CALL AND SAY I SUPPORT THE COMMISSIONER'S COURT ORDER TO POSTPONE FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS UNTIL AFTER 78TH.

AFTER SEPTEMBER 8TH.

HOSPITALIZATIONS OF CHILDREN FROM COVID-19 ARE SURGING IN FLORIDA.

YOU ARE ALSO PUTTING TEACHERS AT RISK MANY OF WHOM ARE HIGH RISK.

RATES OF IMMUNE DISORDERS ARE HIGH IN COMPARE -- COMPARISON TO OTHER PROFESSIONS.

WE NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR OUR TEACHERS AND THEY ARE AT RISK IF THEY HAVE TO TEACH IN THE CLASSROOM.

YOU ARE ALSO PROTECTING PEOPLE LIKE ME.

I AM IMMUNOCOMPROMISED AND IF THE SCHOOL IS OPEN EARLY I AM MORE AT RISK OF COVID AND SEVERE CONSEQUENCES JUST BY BEING A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY.

I ALSO ASK THAT YOU USE FUNDING FOR THE HARRIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO CREATE NEIGHBORHOOD HOTSPOTS FOR COMMUNITIES THAT LACK INTERNET OR WHO ARE RECOVERED AND THEY PROVIDE INTERNET CAPABLE DEVICES TO THE FAMILIES THAT NEED THEM.

THIS HAS BEEN A VERY DIFFICULT THING FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE SPOTTY INTERNET OR WHO ARE TRYING TO SIT IN A MCDONALD'S PARKING LOT AND ASKING FOR FREE WI-FI AND USING A CELL PHONE OR TABLET BETWEEN AN ENTIRE FAMILY TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN.

I THINK THIS IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT WE CAN PROVIDE.

>> THANK YOU.

CARMEN NUNCIO, COMMUNITY MEMBER.

>> HELLO.

MY NAME IS CARMEN NUNCIO AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK COMMISSIONER'S COURT, THE JUDGE HIDALGO FOR WAITING TO OPEN THE SCHOOLS.

I APPRECIATE Y'ALL CARING ABOUT OUR KIDS.

I AM ABOUT -- I HAVE BEEN A VOLUNTEER PARENT WITH HIC FOR 40 YEARS.

I HAVE BEEN A JUDGE FOR 26 YEARS AND I CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND I CARE ABOUT OUR KIDS.

I MOSTLY CARE ABOUT OUR TEACHERS.

OUR TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW THEY ARE APPRECIATED.

I APPRECIATE Y'ALL CARING ABOUT OUR KIDS AND OUR TEACHERS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR DECISION.

WE SUPPORT YOU ALL THE WAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HAVE A GOOD DAY.

>> THANK YOU, MA'AM.

FRED BOILS WITH -- FRED BOYLES WITH INDIVIDUALS OF HOUSTON.

>> THANK YOU, JUDGE HIDALGO AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT AND HARRIS HEALTH ESPECIALLY DR. SHAW.

MY NAME IS GREG BOYLES AND A RESIDENT IN THE 7709 ZIP CODE IN PRECINCT 1.

I AM A BOARD MEMBER OF INDIVISIBLE HOUSTON AND AIRLINE HOUSTON, BUT MY WORDS DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THOSE ORGANIZATIONS.

HAVE I A MASTER'S IN PUBLIC HEALTH FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

A BIG PART OF GAINING THAT DEGREE IS LEARNING TO EVALUATE MEDICAL LITERATURE.

WE ARE ALL GETTING QUICKLY EDUCATED ABOUT EPIDEMIOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH.

I WON'T GO INTO ALL OF THE WAYS COVID IS HARMING POPULATIONS DIFFERENTLY AND OFTEN INEBBING HUA TAU BELLY.

THERE ARE TOO MANY UNKNOWNS WITH DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR FAR TOO MANY.

WE DON'T GET A DO OVER WITH THIS DISEASE.

THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING LEADERSHIP AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENTS WITH CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT'S ARE NOT EVIDENCE BASED.

I SUPPORT THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AND LABOR GROUPS SEEKING TO PROTECT TEACHERS AND SCHOOL STAFF.

I SUPPORT CONCERNED PARENTS ESPECIALLY FROM NON-WHITE COMMUNITIES WHO ARE SUFFERERS OF CHRONIC ILLNESS AND IMMUNOCOMPROMISED TO CONTINUE TO BEAR THE WORST IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC.

I HOPE YOU WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO DELAY HIGH RISK IN -- INDOOR CLASSROOM EXPOSURE UNTIL WE HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND MORE CONTROL AND SPREAD OF THE TERRIBLE DISEASE.

JUDGE HIDALGO, HAVE YOU BEEN AHEAD OF THE CURVE AND YOU DE -- DE -- DESERVE CREDIT FOR THE HANDLING OF THIS.

THANK YOU FOR CONDUCTING A PUBLIC FORUM.

>> SARA CASTILLO.

>> HI, I JUST -- I'LL MAKE THIS QUICK.

I WANTED TO GIVE A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO JUDGE HIDALGO FOR THE REMOTE LEARNING ORDER.

LAST YEAR MY KIDS GOT THE FLU, HEAD LICE, HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE AMONG COUNTLESS OTHER VIRUSES AND THAT WAS JUST LAST YEAR ALONE.

IF WE HAVE KIDS RETURNING WITH THIS VIRUS RUNNING RAMPANT OUT IN PUBLIC THEY WILL GET IT.

SCHOOLS CANNOT CONTROL THESE KINDS OF THINGS.

WHEN THEY GET IT THEY WILL TAKE IT HOME TO THEIR VULNERABLE RELATIVES AND TEACHERS WILL ALSO BE INFECTED.

WE ARE PUTTING EVERYONE AT RISK AS WE OPEN UP SCHOOLS.

I WORK FULL TIME.

I AM A STUDENT TAKING CLASSES AT U OF H.

I HAVE TWO KIDS WHO WILL BE LEARNING AT HOME.

I KNOW IT IS GOING TO BE HARD.

I KNOW IT WILL REQUIRE LOTS OF MY TIME AND MY EFFORT, BUT I AM WILLING TO DO THAT AND THEY ARE WILLING TO DO THAT TO BE SAFE.

THEY MISS THEIR FRIENDS.

THEY WANT TO GET BACK TO FACE TO FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION AS SOON AS THEY CAN, BUT THEY RECOGNIZE -- MY KIDS ALSO RECOGNIZE IT NEEDS TO BE DONE SAFELY.

I WANT TO THANK YOU.

THIS IS A TEMPORARY ORDER.

IT IS NOT FOR THE LONG HAUL.

AND WE CAN DEAL FOR A LITTLE WHILE.

IY CO THE CALL -- I ECHO THE CALL TO KEEP THIS IN PLACE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO STAND UP AND DO THIS RIGHT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> SISTER MAMASANIA, THREE SISTERS IN AND A SPIRIT THEATER.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> YES.

I WANT TO THANK COMMISSIONER ELLIS FOR ATTENDING THE ZOOM MEETING WE HAD FOR THE

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VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND JUDGE HIDALGO, I HAVE TO SAY THIS, WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU.

YOU STOOD TALL NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAY.

JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU GOT SOME SISTERS WHO ARE BEHIND YOU 150,000 PERCENT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: AMEN.

>> AND I WANT TO SAY THAT WE ARE TOTALLY IN AGREEMENT WITH THE ORDER TO HALT THE BEGINNING OF SCHOOL.

I HOPE THAT IS NEGOTIATABLE AND IF NEED BE WE GO TO OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, WHATEVER IT TAKES.

I KNOW A LOT OF TEACHERS WHO DON'T WANT TO GO AND I KNOW A LOT OF PARENTS WHO WILL NOT SEND THEIR CHILDREN.

TEACHERS WON'T HAVE ANYBODY TO TEACH.

STUDENTS WON'T HAVE ANYBODY TO TEACH THEM.

I JUST HOPE THAT THIS ORDER STAYS IN PLACE BECAUSE IF THEY HAD JUST LISTENED TO YOU WAY BACK WHEN WHEN YOU PUT THE MASK -- YOU KNOW, THE MASK ORDER WAY BACK WHEN, IF THEY LISTENED TO YOU THEN WE WOULDN'T BE IN THIS PREDICAMENT NOW.

I WANT TO SAY WE THANK YOU, AND WE -- I MEAN, YOU JUST DON'T KNOW HOW PROUD WE ARE OF YOU TO HAVE A SISTER RUNNING THIS THING.

WE THANK ALL OF THE OTHER COMMISSIONERS, BUT THIS IS A WONDERFUL THING.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: VERY NICE.

JUDGE, OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE LEADING US IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

I CAN SPEAK FOR MYSELF THAT I SUPPORT THE POSITION YOU HAVE TAKEN.

THIS OPINION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS INCREDIBLY CONCERNING AND I AM CURIOUS WHETHER WE SHOULD BE PRO ACTIVE AND I AM NOT SURE IF SUING IS THE RIGHT WORD OR THE RIGHT APPROACH, BUT WE NEED TO CHALLENGE THIS.

I WANT TO MAKE A MOTION IN THAT REGARD.

YOU CAN GUIDE US AND WE TAKE THIS POSITION ON WELL BEFORE WE PUT CHILDREN IN HARM'S WAY.

WE CAN'T HAVE THE PROOF THAT CHILDREN WILL GET SICK IN ORDER TO TAKE ACTION.

AND SCIENCE IS INDICATING THAT CHILDREN WILL GET SICK AND TEACHERS WILL GET SICK AND THE FAMILIES WILL GET SICK FROM CREATING THIS ENVIRONMENT AGAIN.

WHAT IS THE AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY TO TAKE A LEGAL POSITION ON THIS OPINION THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL JUST RELEASED.

SCOTT AND I HAVE BEEN CREATING -- I HAD TO GET OFF LINE AND I THINK WE GOT THE NOTICE ABOUT THE SAME TIME YOU FOLKS DID.

WE ARE WORKING WITH OTHER MAJOR COUNTIES AND IT IS TIME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE PROPER STEPS ARE GOING FORWARD.

IT IS MY VIEW THAT WE NEED TO SPEAK WITH A STRONGER VOICE AND THAT THERE IS MORE THAN JUST ONE COUNTY SPEAKING.

PERHAPS LATER IN THE DAY WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT AND WE FEEL LIKE WE NEED AN ACTUAL MOTION.

SEW -- SO MUCH OF THIS IS THE COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY THAT I DON'T KNOW IF WE NEED A STRAIGHT UP MOTION FROM THE COURT.

I I GUESS I AM ASKING FOR A LITTLE MORE TIME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON.

>> IF YOU CAN COME BACK AS THE MEETING GOES ALONG.

I AM READY TO MAKE A MOTION.

>> YES, SIR, AND I WILL ASK SCOTT AND OTHERS TO REMIND ME TO BE READY WHEN IT COMES UP LATER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER CAGLE AND THEN COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE, YOU ARE MUTED.

>> R JACK CAGLE: HOW IS THAT, JUDGE? YOUR HONOR, I HAVE IN MY HAND IS THE LETTER OR THE GUIDANCE THAT HAS BEEN REFERRED TO AND WHAT IT HERE IS THAT THE ROLE IS LIMITED BY STATUTE OUT TO ADDRESSING SPECIFIC OUTBREAKS OF DISEASE.

IT IS TO DECIDE WHETHER, WHEN AND HOW TO OPEN A SCHOOL.

WE HAVE BEEN WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND SOMETIMES I AGREE WITH HIM AND SOMETIMES I DON'T, BUT ROBERT IS IN MY -- AM I MISSING IT THAT HE IS BASICALLY SAYING THAT HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE STATUTE OUTS WHICH THAT WOULD BE AN ENDER QUESTION R -- IS THAT THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IS UP TO EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT AND IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC OUTBREAK THAT THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO INTERVENE ON SPECIFIC INSTANCES.

>> THAT'S A VERY GOOD SUMMARY, BUT YOU WILL NOTE THAT EVEN IN THE BEGINNING IT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT DOES APPEAR TO BE OTHER AUTHORITIES IN THE EXPRESS WORDS OF THE STATUTE OUT.

TO SUPPORT WHAT HAS BEEN DONE.

AND THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO WORK THROUGH AND FIGURE OUT THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE.

THE FIRST RESPONSE IS NOT LITIGATION.

THE FIRST RESPONSE IS TALK TO PEOPLE AND SEE WHAT CAN BE WORKED OUT.

WE WILL WORK WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND OTHERS TO SEE IF WE CAN ACHIEVE THAT.

YOU ARE CORRECT, COMMISSIONER.

SOMETIMES WE DISAGREE WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE THE COURT TELL US WHAT THE LAW IS.

>> R JACK CAGLE: OR AS MY COLLEAGUE FROM PRECINCT 1 OFTEN TALKS ABOUT, OPINIONS.

>> YES, SIR.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

I OLOGIST ENJOY -- I ALWAYS ENJOY IT.

HE SAID IT WAS AN OPINION AND NOT A DRAFT OF A DECISION THAT I WAS WRITING.

IT WAS HIS OPINION.

TO THE EXTENT OF THE AG'S OPINION IT IS AN ADVISORY.

IF YOUR OPINION IS DIFFERENT WHICH WOULD WE TAKE?

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

AND WE HAVE A LITTLE DIFFERENCE HERE BECAUSE AS I RECALL IT IS NOT AS MUCH AN OPINION BUT AN ADVISORY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT IS LESS THAN A FORMAL OPINION.

>> WE ARE WORKING ON THAT AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IT MEANS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ROBERT, IF YOU CAN, AS YOU STATED EARLIER, RIGHT NOW THERE IS MORE OF A -- OF AN ATTACK ON THE JUDGE AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

JUDGE, AS WE GO THROUGH -- ASSUMING WE FINISH TODAY OR TONIGHT OR TOMORROW I AM IN SUPPORT OF WHAT YOU DID AND IT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR YOU TO DO.

I CALLED YOU AND TOLD YOU THAT.

I THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING A RESOLUTION ON THE AGENDA, BUT WE DIDN'T GET THE DETAILS UNTIL LATE.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOW SUPPORT FROM THE COURT, I THINK FROM THE COMMENTS THAT I HEARD IT WOULD BE THERE.

THINK ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK SOMETHING UP, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

SINCE YOU RAISED IT, YOU CAN DO IT.

THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL SO IT IS NOT JUST THE JUDGE OUT THERE.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: COMMISSIONER ELLIS, THANK YOU FOR THE IDEA.

I THINK WE SHOULD, YOU KNOW, HAVE MY STAFF WORK WITH YOURS TO DRAFT IT AS WE SPEAK.

THE OTHER SIDE OF IT IS IT IS ONE OF THOSE CRITICAL SITUATIONS THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS OBVIOUSLY HAVE A STRONG LINE TO THE STATE.

MY CONCERN IS THAT IF WE DON'T REALLY WORK TO CHALLENGE THE THINKING IN THE WORDS OF THAT ADVISORY AND THAT LETTER AND THAT OPINION, I THINK THE SCHOOL WOULD WANT TO TAKE THE MOST RESPONSIBLE ROUTE.

UNLESS IT IS TAKEN TO -- UNLESS THERE IS A CHALLENGE TO IT, I THINK THAT WE WILL HAVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS SOME GO THIS WAY AND SOME GO THAT WAY.

I THINK WE HAVE TO AT LEAST EXERCISE THE EFFORT OF DEFINING WHAT IS THE AUTHORITY.

AND WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR COUNTY JUDGES' AUTHORITY IN BEING ABLE TO TAKE THOSE NECESSARY POSITIONS IN THESE TIMES.

I WILL DO THE RESOLUTION.

I AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT.

I STILL WANT TO TAKE THIS TO THE FURTHEST POINT WE CAN.

THE LIVES OF CHILDREN ARE RIDING ON THIS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, I THINK IT IS AN IMPORTANT POINT IN -- LOOK.

I TALKED TO SOME SUPERINTENDENTS AND I KNOW SOME OF THEM, AND I WON'T CALL THE NAMES, BUT THEY WANT SOME COVER.

THEY WANT TO DO IT.

I'M ASSUMING THAT MAYBE THE MAYOR MAY HAVE WANTED COVER TO TAKE OPPOSITE PERMISSION.

THAT'S WHO APPARENTLY ASKED FOR THE ADVISORY LETTER, BUT I THINK IT IS JUST TOO MUCH AT RISK AND IT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE, AND I'M GLAD THE MAYOR, JUDGE, THE MAYOR OF HOUSTON IS AT LEAST IN SYNC WITH YOU ON THAT.

I THINK HAVE YOU SHOWN OWNERSHIP ON IT.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, ANY HELP YOU NEED, MY FOLKS WILL REACH OUT.

IF THERE IS A LEGAL ROUTE WE OUGHT TO TAKE AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME, OR YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT GIVING THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT, MR. SOARD, THE LATITUDE.

YOU CAN COME BACK SAYING IF THEY NEED IT YOU CAN ASK FOR A VOTE.

>> YES, SIR, WE COULD DO THAT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I PROMISED A BREAK EVERY TWO HOURS.

I PROPOSE WE BREAK FOR 10 MINUTES AND THEN WE COME BACK AND FINISH THIS BROAD COVID ITEM.

WE HAVE A LOT OF SPEAKERS LEFT AND I KNOW COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAD HIS BACK UP ITEM AND THEN WE CAN TAKE LUNCH.

BUT RIGHT NOW I PROPOSE WE BREAK 10 MINUTES AND FINISH THIS ITEM BEFORE LUNCH.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S BREAK UNTIL 12:40.

IT IS 12:30.

>> JUDGE YOU ARE MUTED.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DO I HAVE -- HI, COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

>> R JACK CAGLE: HELLO, JUDGE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: HOW ARE YOU?

>> R JACK CAGLE: I'M DOING OKAY.

HOW ARE YOU DOING?

>> LINA HIDALGO: I'M GOOD.

ALL RIGHT.

IT IS 12:45 AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT IS BACK IN SESSION.

SO WE WERE HEARING FROM SPEAKERS ON THE SCHOOL ISSUE AND WE WERE GONNA CONTINUE CALLING THEM UP.

LUCINDA?

>> DIANA ALEXANDER.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> HELLO, THIS IS DIANA ALEXANDER AND I AM REACHING OUT TO DISCUSS THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND SPECIFICALLY FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION TO WHICH I STAND UTTERLY OPPOSED.

LET ME PREF PHYSICIAN WITH -- PREFACE, WITH THIS, THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF PERMISSIBLE CASUALTIES FROM STUDENTS, TEACHERS, SUPPORT STAFF, CUSTODIANS OR BUS DRIVERS.

I SUPPORT A POSTPONE MEANT OF ANY FACE-TO-FACE AT SUCH TIME THE DATA INDICATES NO NEW CASES IN HARRIS COUNTY FOR 14 DAYS.

I KNOW THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS SPOKEN TODAY TO DISCOUNT AND UNDERMINE LOCAL AUTHORITIES, BUT PAXTON IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG HERE.

UNTIL WE HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR BASELINE TESTING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR EACH STUDENT, EACH STAFF MEMBER AND TRACKING OF COHORTS TO MONITOR THE SPREAD WE CANNOT OPEN.

HERE IN HARRIS COUNTY AS I'M SURE YOU ARE AWARE WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A SIGNIFICANT OUTBREAK WITH 43,833 ACTIVE CASES REPORTED AS OF YESTERDAY.

WE CANNOT PLACE THE BURDEN OF THE PLAGUE ON THE EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND LEAVE STUDENTS WITH THE MENTAL ANGUISH OF CAUSING POTENTIAL HARM TO FELLOW STUDENTS, STAFF AND FAMILY MEMBERS BY SPREADING THE VIRUS.

AS FAR AS PRACTICAL MATTERS, THE SHARED SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND THE PHYSICAL SPACES

[12:35:02]

ALONE IS A HUGE ENDEAVOR PLACED ON EDUCATORS.

WORKING PEOPLE MAY FEEL FORCED TO SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL.

THOSE UNAFFECTED BY COVID-19 AS SOME ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE CLOUDS THE ISSUE.

AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM THAT'S COULD ADDRESS THE SPREAD IN SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE COST PROHIBITIVE AND OUT OF REACH FOR ALREADY CASH-STRAPPED SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

LOCALLY SOME DISTRICTS DO NOT HAVE A UNIFORM OR CLEAR POLICY ON SCHOOL CLOSURES IF THERE IS A POSITIVE CASE.

ALL OF THIS ADDS TO EMPLOYEES AND CHILDREN AND THE WORKERS IN THE SCHOOL SETTING CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO REPORT TO WORK IN PERSON UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.

IN THE END THE FACTS ARE CLEAR.

IN PERSON INSTRUCTION IS NOT THE BEST SOLUTION FOR ALL TIME, BUT IT IS THE BEST SOLUTION FOR THIS TIME.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED EFFORTS TO KEEP THE COMMUNITY HEALTHY.

I APPRECIATE IT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> SANTIAGO ROSALES.

>> HELLO.

I'M SANTIAGO AND I AM ALSO SPEAKING IN OPPOSITION TO FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION AT THIS MOMENT.

I HAVE YOUNGER SIBLINGS AND COUSINS WHO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND MY FAMILY IS CONCERNED WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR A COVID-19 OUTBREAK IF WE WERE TO RETURN TO HAVING STUDENTS, PHAK GASH GASH FACULTY AND -- STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF RETURNING TO IN SCHOOL.

I AGREE THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES AMONG TEACHERS, STUDENTS, CUSTODIANS, BUS DRIVERS AND ANYBODY ELSE WHO IS PRESENT AT SCHOOL AND THEIR FAMILIES.

IN ADDITION BLACK AND BROWN FAMILIES WHO HAVE STUDENTS OR FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE AT SCHOOLS FACE DANGERS IF WE HAPHAZARDLY OPEN SCHOOLS.

I ASK WE DELAY THE START OF IN PERSON INSTRUCTION UNTIL WE ACTUALLY SEE DATA THAT SHOWS THE VIRUS IS ACTUALLY ON THE DECLINE.

AND I ASK THAT WE ENSURE WE ARE PROVIDING THE PROPER SUPPORT FOR WORKING FAMILIES TO HAVE ACCESS TO VIRTUAL EDUCATION IN THIS MOMENT AND TO ENSURE THAT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY ALSO RECEIVE PARTICULAR CONSIDERATION IN THIS MOMENT TO ENSURE THEY CAN ACCESS VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES THEY NORMALLY RECEIVE ON CAMPUS DURING THIS MOMENT.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE LEADERSHIP TO ANY COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND I HOPE YOU ALL MAINTAIN THE POLICY.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

SOOL -- SALVADOR GUERRA, GO AHEAD PLEASE.

>> THANK YOU.

I STAND IN OPPOSITION TO FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION AS WELL.

AS WE ALL KNOW THIS IS A PANDEMIC THAT HAS BT HAPPENED -- HASN'T HAPPENED IN A CENTURY.

IT IS BEING COME PAISHED TO -- COMPARED TO THE SPAN -- SPANISH FLU.

WE CAN'T THINK WE CAN CONGREGATE AND HAVE FACE TO FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION.

PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF IT.

I STAND OPPOSED TO IT.

I STAND WITH VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE LOWER INCOME AND MAY HAVE A HARD TIME WITH RESOURCES WE CAN DETERMINE ASSESSING THE DELAY AND NOT JUST FOR STUDENTS, BUT FOR THE FAMILIES AND FOR COMMUNITIES AS WE ALL KNOW THESE STUDENTS ARE NOT JUST STUDENTS.

THESE PARENTS ARE NOT JUST PARENTS.

THEY ARE PART OF A COMMUNITY AND WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THE SCHOOLS WILL EVENTUALLY GO OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY AND COULD SPARK CHAOS.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE STUDENTS AND FOR THE SAKE OF THE COMMUNITY WE NEED TO DELAY THE INSTRUCTION AND PROVIDE THE RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS TO HAVE THE BEST LEARNING CAPABILITIES, THE BEST LEARNING PROCESSES THEY CAN AT THE MOMENT DESPITE THE SITUATION.

THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MEGAN BRANDON REECE.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> OKAY, THANK YOU.

YES, I AM JUST GOING TO CONTINUE TO ECHO THE THANKS TO JUDGE HIDALGO AND THE COURT THAT THEY HAVE CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN THE SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITY ABOVE OTHER PRIORITIES.

I AM ALSO IN OPPOSITION TO HAVING FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION.

I AM A PARENT AND I AM A TEACHER.

I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 15 YEARS.

THE DISTRICT WHERE I AM HAS SOME OF THE HIGHEST NUMBERS OF CASES IN THE ENTIRE COUNTY.

I WORRY ABOUT ALL OF THE SAME POPULATIONS THE PREVIOUS SPEAKERS HAVE MENTIONED IN TERMS OF KEEPING THEM SAFE AND HEALTHY.

I KNOW THAT TEACHERS ARE HAVING TO MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS TO RESIGN, TO RETIRE AND THAT IS GOING TO PUT AN ADDITIONAL STRAIN ON THE EDUCATION SYSTEM WHEN WE ARE BACK UP AND RUNNING, AND I THINK THE TIDE ON THAT COULD BE STEMMED A BIT IF WE COULD KEEP FACE-TO-FACE FROM HAPPENING UNTIL THE VIRUS CASE COUNT AND THE HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE DOWN.

PEOPLE DON'T REALLY WANT TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS, BUT THEY FEEL FORCED TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS.

I STAND WITH THE COMMUNITY AND I STAND WITH THE JUDGE IN OPPOSITION OF HAVING FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION AT THIS TIME.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

JUDGE, THOSE ARE ALL OF THE SPEAKERS ON THIS ITEM.

THE OTHERS HAVE EITHER CANCELED OR THEY ARE NOT ANSWERING ANY LONGER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH, LUCINDA.

LET'S -- I KNOW ROBERT IS GOING TO BRING BACK IF THERE IS ANYTHING FOR US TO DISCUSS IN TERMS OF THE AG GUIDANCE OR THE ADVISORY.

WE WERE GOING TO DISCUSS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AFTER THIS.

TODD HAD SOME COMMENTS ON THAT FROM GUIDE HOUSE.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS.

THIS IS TODD HOFFMAN, PARTNER WITH GUIDE HOUSE.

I WANTED TO SPEND A COUPLE OF MOMENTS GIVEN -- GIVING YOU SOME BACKGROUND ON THE WHITE PAPER THAT WAS CIRCULATED OVER THE WEEKEND AND ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND.

AS A RESULT OF COVID-19 THE DIGITAL ACCESS GAP FOR UNDER RESOURCED COMMUNITIES AND THE NEED FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER.

WITH THE 2020, 2021 SCHOOL DISTRICT SLATED TO BEGIN WITH VIRTUAL OFFERINGS, THE NEED TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH CURRENT GENERATIONAL KEYBOARD AND CAMERA ENABLED DEVICES AND THE HIGH QUALITY INTERNET HAS INCREASED EXPONENTIALLY.

IT IS A STATEWIDE INITIATIVE TO DELIVER INTERNET CONNECTIVE TEE AND DEVICE SOLUTIONS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS, FAMILIES AND STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE.

$200 MILLION OF STATES CARES FUND ARE ADDRESSING THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.

THROUGH THE PROGRAM THE STATE IS PREPARING CLOSE TO A MILLION DEVICES AND 500,000 OF HOTSPOTS WITH ONE YEAR OF UNLIMITED DATA.

THIS BULK ORDER APPROACH FROM A PROCUREMENT PERSPECTIVE HAS THREE -- IT PROVIDES THREE POSITIVES.

NUMBER ONE, FAVORABLE PRICING FOR TWO LEVELS.

THE PLAYING FIELD AND IT PROVIDES TRANSPARENT AND CONSISTENT PRICING FOR ALL DISTRICTS BOTH LARGE AND SMALL AND FROM A SUPPLY CHAIN'S PERSPECTIVE, THEY HAVE MOVED THE STATE TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE, IF YOU WILL.

WE EXPECT THEM TO BE AVAILABLE WITHIN FOUR TO 12 WEEKS OF ORDERING.

THESE DEVICES THAT WILL BE PURCHASED THROUGH THE PROGRAM WILL BE THE PROPERTY OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND NOT THE STUDENTS TO WHOM THEY ARE PROVIDED.

IT WILL ALLOW THE FLEXIBILITY AROUND USAGE AND POSSESSION.

THEY ARE PREPARING 100% OF THE COST AND WILL PURCHASE THESE DEVICES ON BEHALF OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS WILL REIMBURSE 50% OF THE COST OF ITS ALLOTMENT.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS CAN SEEK FUNDING FROM LOCAL, CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

SO FOR EVERY $2 A COUNTY CONTRIBUTES, TA WILL CONTRIBUTE A DOLLAR AND UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 10% OF THE TOTAL ALLOTMENT.

THEY WILL PAY THE DISTRICTS DIRECTLY.

SO BASED ON THE PRELIMINARY SURVEY RESPONSES, AND THERE WAS AN ATTACHMENT IN THE DOCUMENT, IT APPEARS FOR HARRIS COUNTY THAT THE STATE WILL MEET 70 PLUS MILLION OF THE HARRIS COUNTY NEED BASED ON THE RESULTS FROM THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HARRIS COUNTY.

THE GAP REMAINING IS ESTIMATED TO BE SOMEWHERE AROUND 20 PLUS MILLION DOLLARS.

THE FINAL NUMBER WILL BE AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK.

WE ARE PROPOSING HARRIS COUNTY USE THE CRF FUNDS TO FUND THIS PROGRAM.

THE NEXT STEPS IF THE COURT AGREES IS TO MEET WITH EACH OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HARRIS COUNTY AND UNDERSTAND THE DETAILS OF THOSE HARRIS COUNTY STUDENT NEEDS.

FOR THOSE WHO WILL NOT BE RECEIVING A DEVICE THROUGH THE CONNECTIVE TEE PROGRAM.

AND THEN COME BACK TO COURT ON 8/11 WITH THE AMOUNT TO CLOSE THE GAP FROM A HARRIS COUNTY PERSPECTIVE.

WE WILL ALSO COME BACK WITH THE COMPLIANCE STEPS THAT THE COUNTY SHOULD TAKE TO ENSURE THERE IS NO DUPLICATION OF BENEFITS THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.

I WILL PAUSE FOR QUESTIONS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND THEN COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IF THE GAP IS 20 MILLION ARE WE TALKING TO OUR OTHER LOCAL PARTNERS? I GUESS IT WOULD ONLY BE THE CITY OF HOUSTON WHO WOULD HAVE -- WE USE CARES MONEY, RIGHT?

>> YES, SIR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THE OTHER CITIES DON'T GET ANY OTHER THAN WHAT WE GIVE THEM.

WHAT WILL THE CITY PUT UP? WE CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE ANY MONEY ON THE TABLE.

I AM HOPING THAT BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE COUNTY WE WILL DRAW DOWN ALL OF THE STATE MONEY WE CAN GET.

IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO?

>> YES, SIR.

AND THERE IS A MEETING THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY WITH MAYOR TURNER AND HIS TEAM.

IT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN THIS WEEK I THINK EITHER TOMORROW OR THURSDAY IF I RECALL WHERE REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE TA AS WELL AS THE PERSON WE ARE DEALING WITH IS GOING TO BE ON THE CALL WITH ME AND WE WILL BE MEETING WITH THEM TO TALK TO THEM MORE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND TO UNDERSTAND THEIR INTERESTS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IT WILL BE THE BRIDGE TO DIVIDE, RIGHT? WE WILL USE IT WHERE IT IS NEEDED?

>> YES, SIR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I'M ASSURE THAT THE BULK OF THE NEED WILL BE OUR LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICT.

>> WE WILL FIND OUT WHERE THE NEED IS, COMMISSIONER.

THIS IS IN HARRIS COUNTY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THERE IS PART OF THE TRAGIC PANDEMIC ON THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND WE SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING A LONGTIME AGO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND THEN COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK ON THIS.

I THINK THE REPRESENTATIVE IS ON THE CALL AND WE HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH AND I RECORDED

[12:40:01]

ONE OF THOSE AND THE COUNTY COMMISSIONER I AM ALSO HOLDING AND DEER PARK AND PASADENA.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COUNTY THAT IS SO OFTEN SHORTCHANGED IN ATTENTION AND SUPPORT.

IT IS NOT SHORTCHANGED IN THIS REGARD.

THIS IS HUGE.

AND I APPLAUD YOU FOR HELPING US TO THIS POINT AS WELL.

WHITE AND MOORE HELPED TO CRAFT AN AGREEMENT WITH EARTH LINK TO DO THE WI-FI CONNECTIVE TEE -- CONNECTIVE TEE THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

WHEN THE NEW CEO GOT IN, HE JUST PAID THE CITY $10 MILLION TO GET OUT OF THE AGREEMENT BECAUSE EARTH LINK WAS JUST NOT GOING TO HAVE THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO MAKE THAT PROJECT HAPPEN.

SO THIS IS STILL IMPORTANT TO PURSUE AND TO THAT -- ON THAT NOTE I DON'T KNOW IF UNIVERSAL SERVICES IS ON THE LINE.

AS 8 -- AS A CITY COUNCILMEMBER I ADVOCATED FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY BROADBAND -- I THINK IT IS VERSE NET NOW AND IT WAS TO GIVE FIRST RESPONDERS SOME CAPACITY.

I WANT TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN DURING THE PANDEMIC LEVERAGE THAT BROADBAND CAPACITY TO HELP CREATE THE CONNECTIVE TEE AS WELL.

I DON'T KNOW IF BRUCE IS ON THE LINE, BUT I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEVERAGE THE FIRST NET TO HELP US REACH OUT TO CERTAIN AREAS IN THE COUNTY.

>> YES, SIR.

I AM ON THE LINE.

CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YEAH, BRUCE.

WHAT IS OUR CAPACITY?

>> THE CAPACITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY IS THERE.

WE PARTNERED WITH THE VERIZON AND AT&T FOR THE MOST PART.

THEY HAVE TAKEN OVER -- >> ADRIAN GARCIA: BUT CAN WE DO IT WITH SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW?

>> THERE NEEDS TO BE A CHANGE IN LEGISLATION TO OPEN THAT UP.

I HAVE LOOKED INTO IT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND THERE ARE SOME CONSIDERATIONS GOING ON THERE, BUT THEY DON'T CONSIDER IT A PUBLIC SAFETY MEETING AT THIS TIME.

>> THEY WON'T CONTINUE THE OPPORTUNITY, JUST THE DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY?

>> THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE PRESENTED AND ARE WAITING TO HEAR BACK.

IT WOULD BE A HUGE DEAL.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: CAN I ASK YOU TO VISIT WITH ROBERT SOARD? I WANT TO RUN ALL OF THE TRACKS ON THIS TO SEE IF THIS IS ANOTHER AREA OF CAPACITY THAT WE CAN OFFER OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

THANK YOU, JUDGE.

>> WHEN WE IMPLEMENTED THIS, IT WAS OUR OWN.

AND THEN THIS BASICALLY GOT TAKEN OVER BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THAT'S WHEN AT&T HAD THE CONTRACT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER RADACK.

>> THANK YOU -- >> STEVE RADACK: THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO ASSIST THE KIDS.

IT IS GREAT THAT EVERYONE CAN GET IN ON -- TO BE IN THE CLASSROOM.

I KNOW THAT I AM VERY NEAR AND DEAR TO A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER WHO AGONIZES OVER THAT DIVIDE AND OVER THAT ISSUE.

SO I AM FAMILIAR WITH THAT.

I ALSO IN PARTICULAR WOULD REFERENCE TO COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND I WANT TO THANK TODD AND HIS TEAM.

AFTER LAST WEEK AND COMMISSIONER ELLIS HAD THE GOOD IDEA OF OFFERING SOME 6 -- SOME OF OUR PROGRAMS TO OUR CITIES WHO MAY HAVE TROUBLE COMPLYING WITH THEIR ALLOCATION UNDER THE CARES ACT.

WE WERE ABLE TO HAVE A VIRTUAL SORT OF LITERALLY TOWN HALL MEETING WHERE IT WAS PRECINCT 4 AND TO BE WALKED THROUGH THE PROGRAM BY TODD AND HIS TEAM AND TO THE EXTENT MY COLLEAGUES HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE PRESENTATION AND HAVE IT WALK THROUGH WITH THEIR PARTNERS WOULD BE A GOOD THING.

I THINK THE SMALL CITIES IS HOW WE REFER THEM.

IF THEY WEREN'T CLOSE TO THE CITY OF HOUSTON THEY WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE LARGE CITIES IF THEY WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF TEXAS SOMEWHERE.

IT WAS VERY BENEFICIAL AND GOOD AND I THANK GUIDE HOUSE FOR PROVIDING THE MATERIALS SO THAT OUR CITIES COULD PARTICIPATE IN THAT PROGRAM AS WELL.

>> THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER RADACK.

>> STEVE RADACK: TODAY, ARE YOU THERE?

>> YES, SIR.

>> STEVE RADACK: OUR HARRIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, I WANT TO SAY HAS IN RESERVE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN $20 MILLION AND $30 MILLION.

I THINK THAT WOULD BE A PERFECT GROUP TO GO TO AS WE ARE OUTLOOKING FOR THIS MONEY AND THEY COULD BE REIMBURSED, I WOULD IMAGINE, UNDER THE LAW.

CORRECT?

>> MY UNDERSTANDING IS WE HAVE HAD SOME CONVERSATIONS WITH THEM AT THIS POINT, COMMISSIONER.

>> STEVE RADACK: WELL, SOMETIMES THEY CAN BE HAHN -- HAHN REAR -- HOR -- OHRNERY PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH.

I DON'T THINK YOU CAN FIND A BIGGER NEED AND I BELIEVE THEY DO HAVE MONEY IN RESERVE.

YMG THAT IS SOMETHING THEY NEED TO PURSUIT.

>> AND WE WILL PUT THAT ON OUR LIST TO HAVE DISCUSSIONS BEFORE WE COME BACK TO COURT ON THE 11TH.

>> STEVE RADACK: THANK YOU.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I WOULD SAY THAT IS A GOOD IDEA.

TODD, I WOULD FOLLOW-UP ON COMMISSIONER RADACK'S POINT.

THERE HAS BEEN SOME CHANGE OVER THERE.

THEY HAVE GONE FROM OHRNER TO PRACTICAL.

>> LINA HIDALGO: A QUESTION ABOUT THE DISTRIBUTION.

I GATHER THAT YOU WILL WORK -- YOU WILL GET THE FUNDING AND YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENTS.

I KNOW YOU SENT SURVEYS AND THAT'S GREAT.

BUT THERE IS A BIT OF A TIME CRUNCH HERE.

WHO IS MAKING SURE THAT THESE DEVICES ARE GETTING TO THE KIDS ON TIME.

IT HAS TO LEAN ON THE STATE, BUT ARE YOU MAKING SURE THERE IS -- I DON'T WANT THEM TO GET THE MATERIALS AND THEN SAY THE STATE NEVER GOT IT TO THEM.

I WANT TO CONFIRM THAT THERE IS SOMEONE FROM YOUR TEAM WHO THEY INTEND THAT EVERY CHILD NEEDS A DEVICE OR HOTSPOT HAS ONE BY THE TIME INSTRUCTION BEGINS OR WOULD BEGIN.

WE NEED FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.

>> JUDGE, BASED ON THIS DISCUSSION WE WILL GO BACK -- YOU KNOW, THE TA IS ALREADY LOOKING TO PROCURE THESE DEVICES.

WE WILL GO BACK AND MEET WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

WE HAVE HAD SOME DISCUSSIONS WITH THEM.

THE SURVEY DATA IS IN.

SO WE KNOW WHAT THE GAP IS, IF YOU WILL, ACROSS THE STATE.

I'M SORRY, WITHIN HARRIS COUNTY.

WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS FIND OUT BASED ON THE 70 PLUS MILLION ON THE WHITE PAPER WHAT IS THE ADDITIONAL GAP THAT IS NEEDED AND THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO OUR WORK ON IN THE NEXT WEEK TO DOM -- TO COME BACK.

IN THE MEANTIME, THEY ARE PROCURING THE MILLION PLUS DEVICES, AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE PUTTING THEIR A LOT METS -- ALLOTMENTS IN AS WE SPEAK.

IT IS JUST CONNECTING THERE AND MAKING SURE ENOUGH HAS BEEN ORDERED TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE AND THEN AGREE ON THE FUNDING FROM HARRIS COUNTY AS WELL.

>> AND HOW DO WE GET IT TO THEM.

IN SPEAKING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENTS THEY ARE AT VARYING DEGREES.

SOME SAY THEY HAVE TAKEN CARE OF IT.

AND THEN THE OTHER ONES SAY THEY NEED OUR HELP.

LIKE EVERYTHING WE NEED CONSISTENCY HERE.

TO THE EXTENT WE CAN STEP IN AND IF IT LOOKS TO YOU THAT THE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS ARE NOT IN PLACE AND THE PROCUREMENT SYSTEMS ARE TAKING TOO LONG, THAT THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WILL PREVENT THESE -- THIS GOAL FROM BEING MET OR FROM EACH CHILD HAVING WHAT HE OR SHE NEEDS WHEN THE SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS, PLEASE FLAG THAT FOR US.

IT IS ALREADY AWFUL ENOUGH THE KIDS CAN'T BE IN PERSON, AND SO WE NEED TO MAKE SURE ON THIS ONE AND IT MAY MEAN STEPPING UP A LITTLE BIT MORE FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS OR WHERE THE STATE IS DELAYED AND RUNNING INTO HER DELS -- HURDLES.

>> I ABSOLUTELY -- ABSOLUTELY, JUDGE.

WE WOULD TAKE THE FIRST STEP AND HAVE THE DISCUSSION IN MORE DETAIL FRVMENT A REPORTING AND MONITORING PERSPECTIVE WE WOULD COME BACK TO THE COURT IF AGREED ON THE DOLLAR AMOUNT -- OR IF WHAT IS AGREED ON A DOLLAR AMOUNT AND WE WOULD TRACK TO ENSURE THOSE DEVICES WERE DELIVERED, AND THEY ARE IN THE HARRIS COUNTY STUDENTS' HANDS.

THAT WOULD BE THE FOLLOW-UP FROM THAT THAT WE WOULD THEN COME AND REPORT TO THE COURT ON AS THE PROGRAM CONTINUES.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE ISD'S BEING IN CHARGE OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE DEVICES?

>> AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, THE TAY THAT IS -- THE TA THAT IS HANDLING THE PROCUREMENT OF THE MANUFACTURERS AND THEY WILL ASSET TAG THESE AND THEN DELIVER THEM DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

BASED ON WHAT I WAS ABLE TO GLEAN THROUGH THE DISCUSSIONS THIS IS THE FASTEST WAY TO GET THE DEVICES IN THE PEOPLE'S HANDS.

>> I'M SORRY.

I WAS GOING TO ADD THAT IT IS ALSO THE PREFERRED DISTRIBUTION METHOD BECAUSE THEN THE MAINTENANCE AND ADDING THE SOFTWARE THAT IS REQUIRED FOR EACH OF THE INDIVIDUALS IS TAKEN CARE OF BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

IT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT METHOD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: TWO QUICK POINTS.

I ASSUME THERE ARE SOME INNER LOCAL TO MAKE SURE IF THEY DON'T GET IN THE RIGHT HANDS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE TO GET THEM OUT PROPERLY, RIGHT?

>> YES, COMMISSIONER.

WE WOULD HAVE AGREEMENTS, HARRIS COUNTY, WITH EACH OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHERE THEY WOULD SELF-CERTIFY AND THERE WOULD BE DOCUMENT TAKES IN THERE TO ADDRESS WHAT YOU JUST SAID.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND A QUICK QUESTION ON THE TIMETABLE.

$20 MILLION TO DRAW DOWN ALL OF THE STATE MONEY FOR THE COUNTY.

WHAT'S OUR TIMETABLE JUST SO THAT I AM HOPING THERE CAN BE A 10/10 SPLIT.

IF NOT, WHAT IS OUR TIMELINE SO WE KNOW WE ARE LEAVING SOMETHING ON THE TABLE IF WE DON'T DRAW IT ALL DOWN.

>> THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS THE PROCUREMENT ORDER WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND I CAN CLARIFY THIS WITH GABBY IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO.

STATEWIDE.

AND AS IT RELATES TO THE CITY OF HOUSTON THEY NEED TO DETERMINE WHAT DECISION THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE.

I WOULD SAY THAT DECISIONS WOULD NEED TO BE MADE AS OF THE AUGUST 11TH COURT.

WE WOULD HAVE THE DOLLAR AMOUNT NEEDED AND THEN WE WOULD LET THE TEA AND OTHERS KNOW ABOUT THAT BEFORE COURT AND IF APPROVED WE CAN MOVE PRETTY QUICKLY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, I JUST WANT TO SUGGEST TO COMMISSIONER GARCIA'S POINT, AND I THINK COMMISSIONERS RADACK AND CAGLE RAISED THIS AS WELL OR SENSITIVE TO IT.

[12:45:01]

I HAVE 12 SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IF THERE IS SOME REASON WHY WE NEED TO MEET, IT IS VIRTUAL, BEFORE THE NEXT COURT, AT LEAST WE DON'T WANT TO LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE BECAUSE WE ASSUME IT IS A 50/50 SPLIT AND THE CITY CAN'T COME UP WITH ITS 10 OR WHATEVER.

AT LEAST I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE NOT DOING AND MAKE A JUDGMENT CALL.

I DON'T WANT IT TO BE DECIDED BY DEFAULT.

I AM JUST SUGGESTING IF FOR SOME REASON WE HAVE TO MEET.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE, JUDGE? IT IS WHAT IT IS, BUT WE DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE, IF I COULD, TO COMMISSIONER ELLIS' POINT, WE DO HAVE THE TRUTH IN TAX -- TAXATION MEETING IN EXWEEK.

WOULD IT BE APPROPRIATE TO POTENTIALLY ADD THIS TO THAT AGENDA?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AT LEAST FOR AN UPDATE, COMMISSIONER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I WILL MAKE SURE THAT GETS IN THERE.

I AGREE, BUT THIS TIMELINE IS VERY QUICK, AND I DON'T WANT TO RISK NOT MAKING IT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT SOME COVID ITEM, NOT THAT I WANT A HUNDRED OTHER DISCUSSIONS, BUT IF SOMETHING DOES COME UP AND IF WE MEET IN ANYWAY, DON'T PLAN ON IT BEING A SHORT DAY.

IT IS WHAT IT IS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU GUYS.

ALL RIGHT.

DWIGHT, DID YOU HAVE A COMMENT?

>> YES, THANK YOU.

JUST REALLY QUICK, EARLIER IN THE PANDEMIC, THE COURT GAVE US AUTHORIZATION TO USE THE PIC FUND ON THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS FOR PPE AND OTHER NEEDS BY THE DEPARTMENT.

EVERYTHING HAS SLOWED DOWN FROM THE PROCUREMENT STANDPOINT.

WE ARE WORKING THROUGH THE DEPARTMENTS.

OCCASIONALLY WE WILL HAVE A NEED HERE AND THERE.

ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM WORKING WITH THE LARGER CITIES, AUSTIN, HOUSTON, WE ARE TRYING TO LOCATE THE 3M AND N95 MASKS WHICH IS SPECIFIC FOR THE MEDICAL NEEDS FOR THE COUNTY.

I JUST WANT TO CLARIFY THAT THAT OPTION IS STILL AVAILABLE AND COURT AUTHORIZED US TO CONTINUE DOING THAT.

JUST SO BUDGET FEELS COMFORTABLE THAT IF WE REQUEST A LARGER AMOUNT THAT THEY ARE AWARE OF IT, AND I WILL KEEP THE COURT INFORMED OF IT.

AT THIS POINT IT WILL BE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: DO YOU NEED A MOTION?

>> IF THE MOTION STILL STANDS OR THE ACTUAL ORDER STILL STANDS FROM MARCH WE ARE OKAY.

I JUST WANT TO BRING IT TO THE COURT'S ATTENTION WE ARE NOT SPENDING THE PIC FUND.

IF A NEED COMES UP I WANT TO BE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO THE COURT MEMBER STAFF OR HOWEVER YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION TO MAKE THE PROCUREMENT QUICKLY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THE ORDER SHOULD STAND.

I MADE IT AND IT WAS TO GIVE YOU THE LEEWAY DURING THE DECLARED EMERGENCY.

>> I WILL PASS THAT ON.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IS THAT SUFFICIENT, MR. SOARD, OR DOES MR. GARCIA NEED TO MAKE A MOTION?

>> I THINK MR. GARCIA IS CORRECT.

THE ORDER WAS MADE AND IT WILL LAST THROUGH THE EMERGENCY, AND WE ARE STILL IN THE MIDST OF THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

APPRECIATE IT.

>> DWIGHT.

DWIGHT, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT PICTURE BEHIND YOU?

>> MY WIFE FOUND IT SOMEWHERE.

I AM NOT SURE WHERE SHE BOUGHT IT AT.

>> STEVE RADACK: THAT IS THE J.HERSHEY BRIDGE.

>> I DON'T KNOW.

SHE DECORATED IT.

MY APOLOGIES.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

THE NEXT CHINNING COMMISSIONER -- THE NEXT THING COMIGHTS -- COMMISSIONER CAGLE YOU HAD A BACK UP ON THE BROAD COVID ITEM.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YES.

WITH THE AUGUST 6TH DATE WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING AND THE TIMELINES THAT ARE DL -- THAT ARE THERE, I WANTED TO HAVE THE COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE AND I HAVE GIVEN ROBERT A HEADS UP THAT I WOULD LIKE FOR US ALL TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH REGARD TO WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS AND WHAT ARE THE RULES GOING FORWARD WITH REGARD TO OUR TAX RATE? I BELIEVE THAT WE IN THE COUNTY AND THE COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BELIEVES WE ARE A DISASTER UNDER PROPERTY CODE 2604 AND WE ARE A SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICT UNDER THOSE RULES AND THEREFORE A LOT OF THE SB2 PROVISIONS GO OUT THE WINDOW.

ROBERT, WHAT ARE OUR TIMELINES AND WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS OF SETTING OUR TAX RATE AND WHAT PUBLIC NOTICE IS ROIR -- IS REQUIRED?

>> I THINK I AM ON, CORRECT? OKAY.

CERTAINLY I AM NOT THE EXPERT.

THE EXPERT IN THE OFFICE IS ON THE LINE IF YOU WANT REAL DETAILED QUESTIONS.

BASICALLY UNLESS THE COURT MEMBERS IN TEND TO HAVE A TAX RATE THAT WILL CAUSE THE COUNTY TO EXCEED WHAT THEY NOW CALL THE VOTER APPROVED RATE, THEN THE TIMELINE IS ROUGHLY THE SAME AS IT WAS PREVIOUSLY.

BECAUSE OF SB2 AND BECAUSE OF THE REQUIREMENT THAT ANY VOTE, ANY TAX RATE THAT EXCEEDS THE VOTER APPROVED RATE MUST BE SUB KNITTED -- SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AND IT MUST BE DONE BEFORE -- ABOUT AUGUST 18TH IN ORDER TO GET IT ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE QUICK AREAS AND QUICK MEETINGS TO ACTUALLY SUGGEST THAT OR ADOPT THAT TAX RATE.

IF YOU ARE NOT INTENDING TO EXCEED THE VOTER APPROVED RATE, THEN YOU USE THE OLD CALENDAR WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE 60 DAYS AFTER THE DAY TO GET THE CERTIFIED APPRAISAL ROLLS RECEIVED FOR EVALUATIONS, AND THAT GETS YOU SOME TIME IN SEPTEMBER.

THE DEADLINES ARE SEPTEMBER 30TH OR 60-DAYS AFTER THAT AND THEY DON'T COME IN UNTIL MAYBE MID-AUGUST.

AND JIM ROBINSON CAN SPEAK TO THIS, AND MAYBE EVEN LATER THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF SOME CHALLENGES IN THE APPRAISAL HISTORY.

I THINK THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THE HEARING YOU EXPECT TO HAVE ON AUGUST 6TH IS THE TAXATION MEETING.

IT IS NOT A HEARING, BUT A SPECIAL MEETING OF COMMISSIONER'S COURT.

AT THAT TIME YOU CAN DISCUSS THESE THINGS AND THE POSSIBILITIES.

YOU CANNOT ADOPT A TAX RATE ON THAT DAY BECAUSE WHAT YOU WILL GET ON THAT DAY FROM WHOEVER YOU DESIGNATE WHICH IS TYPICALLY THE TAX ASSESSOR COLLECTOR, SHE WILL TELL YOU WHAT THE RATES ARE BASED ON THESE ESTIMATED EVALUATIONS THE COUNTY RECEIVED FROM THE APPRAISAL DISTRICT.

BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY ADOPT A TAX RATE THERE HAS TO BE NOTICE IN THE NEWSPAPER.

THERE HAS TO BE TELEVISION NOTICE.

THERE HAS TO BE NOTICES ON THE WEBSITE.

THERE HAS TO BE SEVEN DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE HEARING AND THE OTHER INTEREST TWIST BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE LAW IS WRITTEN THE NEEDING TO ADOPT THE TAX RATE HAS TO BE A PUBLIC BUILDING.

WE INTERPRET THAT HAS TO BE A PHYSICAL MEETING.

WHEN THE GOVERNOR EXTENDED THE RULES FOR IN PERSON MEETINGS FOR COMMISSIONER'S COURT HE DID NOT SUSPEND THAT PARTICULAR PART OF THE TAX CODE.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT WAS UNINTENTIONAL OR INTENTIONAL, BUT IN ANY EVENT WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THE OLD RULES FOR THAT, UNLESS THE GOVERNOR DETERMINES HE WANTS TO HAVE IT DIFFERENT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: SO THE TERMINOLOGY IS THE NO NEW REVENUE RATE WHICH IS WHERE THE REVENUE STAYS THE SAME AS IT WAS LAST YEAR.

>> CORRECT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: THE NEW TERMINOLOGY IS THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE WHICH IS THAT RATE TO WHICH IS THE MAXIMUM THAT COULD BE IMPOSED WITHOUT HAVING TO GO TO THE VOTERS TO GET THEIR APPROVAL.

IN THEORY THIS BODY COULD ASK FOR AN INCREASE OF 25% ON THE TAX RATE AS LONG AS IT WENT TO THE VOTERS UNDERNEATH THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE PROVISIONS.

NORMALLY IF WE ARE NOT UNDER COVID, IF I UNDERSTAND YOUR PAPER AND I THANK YOU FOR THAT AND I WANT TO THANK PAUL AND KENNY IN MY OFFICE FOR PROVIDING ME WITH SOME DATA TO HELP ME UNDERSTAND IT THIS STUFF THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON OVER THE WEEKEND, IF SB2 WAS FULLY IN EFFECT THE RATE WOULD BE THE 3.5%, WOULD BE THE NEW VOTER APPROVAL RATE.

IF I UNDERSTAND THE -- IT IS THE ESTIMATED APPRAISAL ROLE OF ABOUT 5.3 BECAUSE WE ARE UNDER THE DISASTER DECLARATION AND CURRENTLY THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE IS 8%.

IS THAT INFORMATION ACCURATE?

>> YES, SIR.

THAT'S MY UNDERSTANDING.

>> R JACK CAGLE: IF ANYTHING IN THAT TURNS OUT TO BE WRONG, LET US KNOW RIGHT AWAY.

I THINK WE WILL HAVE SOME SPIRITED DEBATE MAYBE ON AUGUST 6TH AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS THE TIME FOR US TO INCREASE TAXES ON THE POPULATION OR NOT TO INCREASE TAXES ON THE POPULATION.

I WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE WERE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE WITH REGARD TO WHAT OUR TIMELINES ARE AND WHAT THE PARAMETERS ARE.

SO IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE AT THIS TIME BECAUSE WE ARE UNDER A DISASTER DECLARATION IS 8%.

>> THAT'S OUR OPINION AS THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY.

ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE HEAR OTHER STATE AGENCIES MAY HAVE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT OPINION, BUT THEY HAVE NOT SHOWN US THIS LAW THAT WOULD SUPPORT THAT OPINION.

>> R JACK CAGLE: AND IF WE ARE TO GO FORWARD AND HAVE A RATE OTHER THAN KEEPING THE NO NEW REVENUE RATE WHICH IS OUR REVENUE STAYS THE SAME THIS YEAR AS IT DID BEFORE, IF WE WANT TO HAVE AN INCREASE IN OUR REVENUE WE WILL, AFTER AUGUST 6TH, HAVE TO HAVE A PUBLIC HEARING AND WILL WE VOTE AT THAT PUBLIC HEARING, OR WILL IT BE A PUBLIC HEARING AND THEN A SUBSEQUENT VOTE?

>> UNDER THE NEW LAW, YOU CAN DO IT EITHER WAY.

YOU CAN ACTUALLY VOTE AT THE PUBLIC HEARING AT THE END OF IT, OR YOU CAN HAVE ANOTHER VOTE.

MY MEMORY IS THE SECOND VOTE HAS TO BE WITHIN A WEEK OF THE FIRST HEARING.

YOU CERTAINLY ARE AUTHORIZED TO HAVE THE HEARING AND THE VOTE IN ONE SESSION.

>> R JACK CAGLE: WE DO HAVE TO GIVE THE PUBLIC SEVEN DAYS NOTICE OF WHEN WE ARE GOING TO VOTE ON IT.

>> THAT'S MY UNDERSTANDING.

>> R JACK CAGLE: OKAY.

>> OR OF THE PUBLIC HEARING IF I RECALL, BUT I WILL DOUBLE CHECK THAT AND MAKE SURE I HAVE THE RIGHT TERMINOLOGY.

>> R JACK CAGLE: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THOSE ARE MY QUESTIONS, JUDGE, AND THANK YOU, YOUR HONOR.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU, JUDGE.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER CAGLE, FOR PUTTING THIS ON THE AGENDA TO CLEAR THE AIR.

COMMISSIONER SOARD AND JUDGE, MAYBE IT WOULD BE GOOD TO ASK THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WHETHER OR NOT THAT ORDER COULD BE AMENDED.

NOT JUST FOR US ON, BUT FOR OTHER COMMISSIONER'S COURT.

[12:50:02]

IF WE DO HAVE TO MEET IN PERSON WOULD YOU ALL MIND GETTING A TEST AND BRINGING YOUR RESULTS THAT DAY? YOU ARE ALL FINE PEOPLE.

I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A LARGE MICROPHONE AND BE SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

I MISS YOU ALL, BUT I DON'T WANT TO GET IT.

SO JUST CHECK ON THAT, IF YOU WOULD, JUDGE, AND MR. SOARD.

SECOND ONE IS, MR. SOARD, CAN YOU GIVE US SOME SENSE BECAUSE THE LAST TIME THE ISSUE CAME UP THERE WAS SOME ATTENDANCE RULES THAT WERE IN PLACE.

JUST SO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH HOW MANY MEMBERS HAVE TO BE THERE FOR WHATEVER WE DO.

JUST WALK US THROUGH THAT.

THAT IS A LINE THAT COMMISSIONER CAGLE WOULD SHOW.

WE ALL KNOW THE PROCESS AND THE RULES IN THE LAW.

>> WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT IN ORDER FOR COMMISSIONER'S COURT TO ADOPT A TAX RATE IT REQUIRES A FORUM OF FOUR MEMBERS.

YOU CAN DO IT ON A MAJORITY VOTE, BUT TO HAVE THAT KIND OF A MEETING, AT LEAST FOUR MEMBERS HAVE TO BE PRESENT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND THE ISSUE CAME UP LAST GO AROUND, SO A COUPLE OF OUR COLLEAGUES DID NOT WANT TO COME INTO THE ROOM.

HOPEFULLY THIS WILL BE CHANGED AND IT WILL BE COMING TO THE CALL OF THE ZOOM OR WHATEVER IT IS ON THE COMPUTER, SISCO, WEBEX, WHATEVER.

DOES IT MEAN HAVE YOU TO BE PRESENT THAT DAY OR HOW DOES IT WORK?

>> WELL, I MEAN, AS I AM READING THE LAW, YOU HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: FOR THAT VOTE?

>> FOR THAT VOTE, RIGHT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE CLEAR THE AIR SO WE KNOW.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE, IF I CAN JUST FOLLOW-UP.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SO PHYSICALLY PRESENT SO WE WOULD HAVE TO BE IN COMMISSIONER'S COURT IN THE CHAMBERS?

>> THE TAX CODE SIMPLY REQUIRES THAT IT BE IN A PUBLIC PLACE.

THEY HAVE OTHER STATUTES THAT SAY THAT YOU MEET WHERE YOU HAVE VOTED TO MEET WHICH COULD BE THE CHAMBERS.

YOU COULD MOVE THAT TO A DIFFERENT PUBLIC LOCATION IF YOU WANTED TO.

NRG IS A PUBLIC ACCESS OR SOME OTHER, QUOTE, PUBLIC BUILDING.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: DOES ZOOM NOT PROVIDE THAT DEFINITION?

>> IT DOES NOT BECAUSE OF A REQUIREMENT THAT YOU HAVE IT IN A PUBLIC BUILDING HAS BEEN INTERPRETED AS YOU HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT IN THE BUILDING.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: SO ONE COULD NOT EXPAND IT.

>> THE REASON FOR THAT AND IT GETS TECHNICAL IS THE GOVERNOR SUSPENDED ALL OF THE LAWS BY STATUE AND BY SPECIFYING THE LAW THAT'S HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED DURING THE COVID DISASTER.

HE SUSPENDED THOSE LAWS THAT REQUIRED THAT COMMISSIONER'S COURT MEET IN PERSON.

HE DID NOT SUSPEND THAT PARTICULAR STATUTE OUT -- DASH STATUTE IN THE TAX CODE THAT SAYS IT MUST TAKE PLACE IN A PUBLIC BUILDING.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA, IF I MATE -- IF I MIGHT? I WANT TO ASK IF THE GOVERNOR SUSPENDS IT, REACH OUT AND ASK, THAT MAYBE THEY HAD NOT THOUGHT ABOUT THIS.

IT DOESN'T JUST APPLY TO US.

IT MAY APPLY TO A COMMISSIONER'S COURT THAT DOES NOT HAVE A ROOM AS LARGE AS OURS.

AT LEAST ASK.

IF WE HAVE TO DO IT, WE WILL.

AND THEN THE QUESTION IS COULD WE DO THE DISCUSSION IF WE ARE IN THIS BUILDING AND IN OUR OFFICES OR WHEREVER WE ARE, BUT WHEN IT IS TIME TO HAVE A VOTE CAN WE GO IN? I AM JUST TRYING TO REDUCE -- YOU KNOW.

>> THAT'S ONE OF THE INTERESTING HYPOTHETICALS WE WILL NEED TO THINK ABOUT.

WE WILL GET BACK TO YOU.

I AM GLAD WE ARE HAVING THE DISCUSSION BECAUSE IT GIVES US A CHANCE TO KIND OF WORK THROUGH THESE VARIOUS SCENARIOS.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: MY -- I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO REACH OUT AND ASK FOR DIRECTION ON WHETHER THERE IS ANY RETHINKING ABOUT WHETHER ZOOM CAN SUFFICE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO THERE ARE TWO ITEMS RELATED TO THIS AND WE MAY AS WELL TAKE THEM UP ON PAGE 15 UNDER THE TAX ASSESSOR AGENDA.

FIRST IS THE TRANSMITAL OF THE ESTIMATED VALUE COLLECTION RATE ET CETERA.

DO FOLKS HAVE QUESTIONS ON THAT?

>> THAT'S 15 AND ITEM 1?

>> LINA HIDALGO: WE CAN TAKE IT UP WITH THE AGENDA, BUT JUST WANT TO SEE IF ANYBODY HAS ISSUES ON IT AND WOULD LIKE TO VOTE NO ON IT.

THE NEXT ONE IS ITEM 2 UNDER THE TAX ASSESSOR.

AND THAT IS THE REQUEST TO DIRECT AND DETERMINE WHETHER TO CALCULATE THE VOTER-APPROVAL RATE WE WERE DISCUSSING EARLIER.

MY UNDERSTANDING AND ROBERT COULD CLARIFY IF I MISSED SOMETHING, BUT MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THIS MOTION ALLOWS THE TAX ASSESSOR TO CALCULATE THE NUMBER SO THAT THE COURT CAN EVALUATE IT.

WE ARE NOT VOTING RIGHT NOW OBVIOUSLY, BUT IF WE WANT TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION AS TO WHAT IT WOULD BE TO HAVE THAT IN FRONT OF US AND KNOW OUR OPTIONS WE WOULD NEED TO APPROVE THIS.

OTHERWISE SHE WON'T EVEN CALCULATE IT.

CORRECT?

>> THAT'S MY UNDERSTANDING.

IF SOMEBODY FROM THE TAX OFFICE IS HERE THEY CAN EXPLAIN IT BETTER.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS THEY MAY ALSO WANT YOU TO DECLARE THAT YOU ARE INTENDING TO USE THE 8% DISASTER RATE AND NOT THE 3.5% RATE SET SET FORTH.

FORGIVE ME FOR NOT HAVING ASKED IT EARLIER.

I SUSPECT THEY CAN DO IT ALL THREE WAYS IF YOU JUST ASK.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WOULD SUGGEST, JUDGE, IF I MIGHT SINCE WE HAVEN'T HAD THE

DISCUSSION THAT THEY CALCULATE IT ALL THREE WAYS, 3.5 AND -- >> AND MAYBE IF SHE IS ON THE LINE SHE CAN TELL ME WHY THAT IS NOT GOOD ADVICE OR SOMEBODY FROM THE TAX OFFICE CAN TELL US WHY THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

>> THEY HAVE BOTH BEEN UNMUTED, AMY AND ELIZABETH.

>> HI, GOOD AFTERNOON, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS.

HOW ARE YOU? AID GOOD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: WELL, THANK YOU.

>> I AM FLIPPING THROUGH MY PROVISIONS.

YES, I THINK THAT IT WOULD BE STATUTE -- STATITORIAL TO BE CALCULATED BOTH WAYS.

>> HELLO, THIS IS ELIZABETH WITH ANNE HARRIS BENNETT'S OFFICE.

WE DON'T SEE A REASON NOT TO CALCULATE THE WORKSHEETS IN SEVERAL WAYS AND PROVIDE EACH OF THOSE WORKSHEETS AND A SUMMARY OF THOSE TO COURT ON AUGUST 6TH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAS A QUESTION.

>> R JACK CAGLE: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE 3.5, THE 5.3, THE 8 AND I GUESS IT WOULD BE A FOURTH NO NEW REVENUE ONE AS WELL.

>> COMMISSIONER CAGLE, WHAT TECHNICALLY HAPPENS IN TRUTH AND TAXATION CALCULATIONS IS WE TAKE THOSE ESTIMATES THAT THE APPRAISAL DISTRICT PROVIDED AND IT IS A COMPLICATED WORKSHEET THE COMPTROLLER PROVIDES.

WE TAKE THE VALUES FROM LAST YEAR AND THE VALUES FROM THIS YEAR AND TAKE ADJUSTMENTS FOR LOST VALUE AND NEW IMPROVEMENTS.

BASICALLY THERE IS NOTHING 5% BECAUSE BASICALLY WHAT THE CALCULATIONS ALLOW IS WE ARE TAKING THE CALCULATIONS AND COMPARING TO GET YOUR NO NEW REVENUE WHICH IS THE SAME REVENUE AS LAST YEAR.

IF COMMISSIONERS ALLOW US TO CALCULATE UP TO 8% FOR THE VOTER APPROVAL WE WILL DO SO.

WE ALSO CAN CALCULATE TO THE 3.5 VOTER APPROVAL RATE.

TECHNICALLY WE CAN HAVE THREE RATES.

IT WILL BE READY FOR YOU TO DISCUSS ON AUGUST 6TH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY.

I AM FOR HAVING THE OPTIONS PRESENTED TO US ON AUGUST 6TH.

WE CAN DISCUSS IT AT THAT TIME.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I AGREE.

YOU DON'T NEED A MOTION OR ANYTHING, DO YOU?

>> LINA HIDALGO: SOMEONE WOULD NEED TO VOTE NO ON THEM CALCULATING THIS.

I JUST WANTED TO BRING IT UP SINCE WE WERE ON THE TOPIC.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE, DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE ON YOUR BACK UP?

>> R JACK CAGLE: NOT ON THIS, YOUR HONOR.

I WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD CLARITY OUT THERE AS TO WHAT WENT WHERE AND HOW AND WHAT OUR MEETINGS ARE GOING TO BE.

I AM STILL SCRATCHING MY HEAD A LITTLE BIT WITH REGARD TO -- MY UNDERSTANDING IS IF WE KEPT OUR TAX RATE THE SAME AS IT IS NOW, THAT OUR REVENUE WOULD INCREASE TO 5.3%.

I'M CURIOUS AS TO WHY THAT WOULD NOT BE ADDED INTO THE MIX OF THE THINGS THAT THE PUBLIC WOULD KNOW IN TERMS OF THE ISSUE.

I AM FINE WITH NO NEW REVENUE AND THE TAX APPROVAL RATE AND THE 3.5.

I'M FINE WITH THAT.

THE 8 TO 3.5 AND THE ZERO, BUT I DIDN'T QUITE UNDERSTAND WHY THE -- WHAT IT WOULD BE IF WE KEPT OUR RATE THE SAME NOT INCLUDED IN THE BOX OF OPTIONS.

>> COMMISSIONER, THIS IS ELIZABETH.

WE CAN ADD THAT TO THE BOX.

WE CAN TAKE THE EXACT RATES THAT WE WERE APPROVED LAST YEAR AND USE THOSE RATES AND KIND OF BACK IN WITH THE VALUES AND WHAT THE REVENUE WOULD BE IF THE COMMISSIONERS WANTED TO ADOPT EXACT SAME TAX RATES AS LAST YEAR.

YES, SIR, WE CAN DO THAT.

WE WOULD HAVE THE NO NEW REVENUE RATE THAT WOULD EQUATE THE SAME VALUE OF MONEY AS LAST YEAR.

WE CAN CALCULATE USING THE EXACT SAME RATES AND WE CAN CALCULATE THE TWO DIFFERENT VOTER APPROVALS ONE IS A 3.5 AND THE OTHER IS 8%.

SO FOUR RATES CAN BE SUBMITTED.

>> LINA HIDALGO: WILL YOU GUYS MAKE SURE TO GET THAT TO US OBVIOUSLY BEFORE AUGUST 6TH SO WE WILL ALL HAVE A CHANCE TO REVIEW IT? I THINK THIS TIMELINE CAME A LITTLE BIT LATE.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE ENOUGH LEAD TIME.

>> YES, MA'AM.

WE ARE HOPING TO GET THE RATES CALCULATED BY FRIDAY TO PROVIDE THEM BY MONDAY OR TUESDAY NEXT WEEK.

>> R JACK CAGLE: I WOULD LOVE IT TO BE PRODUCED BY MONDAY.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: QUESTION AND I GET THIS IS FOR MR. SOARD.

IS THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT PULLED OUT OF THE PROCESS OR ARE WE VOTING ON ALL THREE?

>> TYPICALLY YOU VOTE ON ALL THREE AT ONCE.

THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT BECAUSE IT IS A PURPOSE DISTRICT DOES NOT HAVE A THREE AND A HALF TAP.

THEY HAVE A -- AN 8% TAP WITH AND WITHOUT THE DISASTER.

WITH THE COVID DISASTER IT MEANS ALL OF THOSE TAXING ENTITIES HAVE THE SAME MAXIMUM.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT, THANK YOU.

LOOKS LIKE COMMISSIONER ELLIS HAS A COMMENT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: MR. SOARD, I WANT TO MAKE SURE IT IS CLEAR.

[12:55:01]

THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT IS SEPARATE AND YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE FOUR OF US, THREE TO PASS IT, BUT FOUR PEOPLE HAVE TO BE PRESENT.

>> IN OUR OPINION IT IS BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT WAS CREATED AND BECAUSE OF THE AUTHORITY THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE WITH RESPECT TO THE HOSPITAL DISTRICT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA IN TOARMS -- TERMS OF TRANSPARENCY WE HAVE A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT AND WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

YOU HAD A QUESTION, JAMES?

>> I WANT CLARIFICATION FOR COURT RECORD.

THE ITEM IS BEING APPROVED AS PRESENTED OR ARE YOU DIRECTING THE TAX OFFICE TO CALCULATE THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE AS PER THE LETTER?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK IT WAS ALL FOUR OPTIONS, JUDGE IS WHAT I HEARD.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE, AM I MISSING SOMETHING?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YEAH, I MEAN, ROBERT DO WE NEED TO ADD ANYTHING? THE ITEM SAYS THAT WE WILL ALLOW THEM TO CALCULATE THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE.

DO WE NEED TO ASK THEM TO CALCULATE THE OTHER TWO COMMISSIONER CAGLE MENTIONED OR IS THAT SOMETHING THEY CAN JUST DO?

>> MR. SOARD, I'M SORRY I WAS DISTRACTED.

I WOULD INCLUDE IT IN THE MOTION AND WE CAN HAVE IT REFLECT THAT, THE FOUR RATES.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO IT IS TO CALCULATE THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE, THE -- COMMISSIONER CAGLE, YOU HAD A BETTER SENSE OF IT.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER THREE?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THE 8%, THE CURRENT RATE -- >> LINA HIDALGO: THE REVENUE.

SO THE SAME REVENUE, THE VOTER APPROVAL, THE 8% AND THE 3.5.

I MEAN, 3.5 IS THE SAME RATE THOUGH, SO IT IS REALLY 3.

>> IT IS ACTUALLY 4.

THIS IS ELIZABETH AGAIN.

THE NO NEW REVENUE RATE, LAST YEAR'S ADOPTED RATE, THE VOTER APPROVAL RATE OF 3.5 AND ANOTHER VOTER APPROVAL RATE AT THE 8%.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WILL MAKE A MOTION, JUDGE AS SHE SAID IT.

LEAN DID YOU GET THAT, JAMES -- >> LINA HIDALGO: DID YOU GET THAT, JAMES?

>> YES, MA'AM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT, THANK YOU, ELIZABETH.

THAT WAS HELPFUL.

OKAY, ANYTHING ELSE ON THIS BROAD COVID ITEM?

>> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, DID YOU WANT TO VOTE ON MAKING THAT AMENDMENT?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: YOU CAN MAKE IT, COMMISSIONER.

>> R JACK CAGLE: I'M FINE WITH SECONDING HAVING THE DIFFERENT NUMBERS BEING BROUGHT TO US, AND I THINK WE NEED TO VOTE ON IT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY.

THERE IS A MOTION BY COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND SECONDED BY COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

ALL IN FAVOR.

>> I.

>> I.

>> I.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OPPOSED? MOTION CARRIES UNANIMOUSLY.

THANK YOU.

SO THAT IS THE BROAD COVID ITEM.

NEXT IS A REQUEST BY PRECINCT 1 FOR DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE ACTION ON EVICTIONS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

I PUT THIS ITEM ON THE AGENDA TO HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOUSING AND INSTABILITY THAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE WITH THE LOOMING EVICTION CRISIS.

I KNOW FAMILIES ARE BRACING FOR A TSUNAMI SINCE THE CARES ACT JUST EXPIRED AND THE PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT IS EXPECTED TO END IN A FEW DAYS.

ALL OF US KNOW HOUSING IS CRUCIAL IN THE PANDEMIC.

PEOPLE PLI -- MAY FIND A WAY TO PAY THEIR OTHER BILLS, BUT IF THEY LOSE THEIR HOME IT LEADS TO A SPIRAL THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ESCAPE.

WE HAVE TENANTS EXPERIENCING EVICTION AND MORE LIKELY TO HAVE HIGH BLOOD APPRECIATOR AND DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. I SAW ONE STUDY THAT FOUND THE CHANCES OF A WORKER LOSING THEIR JOB IS ESTIMATED AT 11 TO 22% HIGHER FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FORCED OUT OF THEIR HOME COMPARED TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT.

AMID THE CALL OF THE LOCK DOWNS AND THE RISE IN COVID CASES IN HARRIS COUNTY PEOPLE ARE STILL LOSING THEIR SHELTER AND THE EVICTIONS HAVE BEEN HAPPENING FOR MONTHS AND 5,000 CASES HAVE BEEN FILED SINCE THE EVICTION MORATORIUM WAS LIFTED IN MAY.

TEXAS LIFTED ITS EVICTION BAN MORE THAN TWO MONTHS AGO, BUT THE CARES ACT EVICTION ACT LIFTED ON THE 25TH.

AND THE HOUSING APPLICANTS HAVE CALLED THIS A DOOM'S DAY SCENARIO.

THE DATA THAT CAME OUTLAST WEEK PREDICTS IN THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS AN ESTIMATED 16 MILLION RENTER HOUSEHOLDS ARE AT RISK OF EVICTION.

THAT COULD BE ALMOST 12 MILLION EVICTIONS.

IN THIS STATE ALONE MORE THAN A MILLION RENTERS ARE AT RISK OF BEING EVICTED.

ALMOST HALF OF THE RENTER HOUSEHOLDS ARE UNABLE TO PAY THEIR RENT.

DESPITE WHAT WE HAVE DONE, IT IS A BIG PROBLEM.

JUST LIKE THE VIRUS, THE EVICTIONS HIT LOW INCOME COMMUNITIES THE HARDEST.

54% FOR OUR LATIN X COMMUNITY AND 54% FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO PAY NEXT MONTH RENT COMPARED TO 22% FOR OUR WHITE CITIZENS.

55% OF THE BLACK RENTERS NATIONWIDE ARE RENT BURDENED.

IT IS A BIG PROBLEM.

TRAVIS AND DALLAS COUNTY AND THE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE ALL AGREE.

I UNDERSTAND EVEN IF THEY ADOPTED A RULE, THE RULE IS ONLY ENFORCEABLE IF ALL OF THEM AGREE TO DO IT.

SO THEY AGREE NOT TO HOLD THE EVICTION HEARINGS RIGHT NOW GIVEN THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN TRAVIS COUNTY AND THE JUDGE PROHIBITED LANDLORD HAD TO GIVE NOTICES TO VACATE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30TH.

I DON'T KNOW, JUDGE, IF IT IS LEGAL OR NOT, BUT BASED ON OUR CALLS, THAT'S WHAT WE WERE TOLD HAPPENED THERE.

I HAVE ASKED A GROUP OF HOUSING EXPERTS WHO YRCHG -- WHO I THINK ARE ON THE LINE TO PUT A DENT IN THIS.

IT IS COMPLICATED AND I KNOW WE CAN'T SOLVE IS IN A DAY.

I JUST WANTED -- I KNOW YOU CONVENED WITH SOME OF THE EXPERTS AS WELL WITHIN ONE WEEK THE HOUSING STABILITY TASK FORCE MADE A RESOLUTION TO ADOPT A GRACE PERIOD ORDINANCE THAT WOULD GIVE RENTERS A CHANCE TO PAY THEIR RENT LATE BEFORE FACING EVICTION.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S LEGAL OR NOT.

I KNOW WE DON'T HAVE THE EFFORT TO PUT THAT IN POWER.

THEY ARE INCREASING SEVERAL JP COURTS AND PERHAPS THEY CAN INCREASE THE SERVICES COUNTY WIDE.

THE ISSUE CAME UP SOME TIME AGO AND MAYBE I WAS PUTTING THE CARPET BEFORE THE HORSE, BUT -- THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN GIVE THEM SO THEY WILL KNOW WHAT TO DESIGN A PROGRAM AROUND.

WE DIDN'T DO THAT THAT DAY, BUT I WANTED TO GET SOME SENSE OF WHAT KIND OF MONEY FROM THE CARES ACT THEY ARE DEALING WITH SO THEY CAN COME BACK ABOUT -- BACK WITH SOMETHING.

I KNOW THEY ARE STUDYING IT HARD, BUT PEOPLE ARE ABOUT TO HAVE A HARD ESH -- HARDER TIME IN A FEW DAYS.

I JUST WANTED TO LAY IT OUT FOR US TO DISCUSS IT IN PUBLIC.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

I JUST WANTED TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTION ON THE TRAVIS COUNTY.

WE ARE IN TOUCH WITH THEM.

THE COUNTY JUDGE DID ISSUE AN ORDER PREVENTING LANDLORDS FROM FILING THE EVICTIONS.

THAT WAS THE AUTHORITY I HAD INITIALLY.

THAT WAS REMOVED WHEN THE GOVERNOR ISSUED THE REOPENING ORDER.

I UNDERSTAND, AND ROBERT CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, IS THE REASON THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT IS BECAUSE THE JP'S HAVE AGREED NOT TO DO THE EVICTIONS ? WE ARE STILL RUNNING IT DOWN.

THE MINUTE THE COUNTY ATTORNEY SAYS YOU CAN DO IT I'LL DO IT, BUT THE SENSE IS THAT I DON'T HAVE THAT AUTHORITY.

THE HOUSE INSTABILITY TASK FORCE HAS BEEN WORKING ON THE ORDINANCE DONE IN DIFFERENT STAY -- CITIES AND WE CAN'T DO IT AS A CITY, BUT THE COUNTY CAN DO.

THEY HAVE DRAFTED IT AND WILL PRESENT IT TO THE MAYOR.

I AM GLAD THERE IS THAT OPPORTUNITY AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL SUSPEND EVICTION PROCEEDINGS AT LEAST IN THE CITY.

THAT'S WHAT I KNOW AND IT IS SOMETHING I AM ASKING MY STAFF ABOUT EVERY DAY.

WE WANT TO SHINE A LIGHT ON THE JP'S THAT HAVE POSTPONED EVICTIONS.

THEY ARE DOING GREAT TO HELP US.

WE ARE DOING SO MUCH TO PROVIDE THIS RENTAL ASSISTANCE AND THE FIRST FUND OBJECT YESESLY IF WE -- OBVIOUSLY IF WE SEE LANDLORDS OUT IN THE STREET THAT'S SOMETHING WE ARE KEEPING AN EYE OUT.

THE THING ON FIRE IS THE TENANTS AND THAT IS A HUGE RISK.

DID I MISS ANYTHING, ROBERT?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, WHAT ABOUT IN TERMS OF TRANSPARENCY AND PUTTING A LIGHT ON.

IT WHAT -- MAYBE I WILL MAKE A MOTION FOR A DASHBOARD SOMEBODY CREATED SO IT IS OUT THERE AND AT LEAST WE KNOW HOW MANY IN A GIVEN COURT AND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

MAYBE THEY HAVE DONE THAT ALREADY, BUT MAYBE A DASHBOARD OUT THERE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND I WILL LEAVE IT OPEN AND PERHAPS THE SPEAKERS WILL HAVE INPUT ON THIS.

I KNOW THE ADVOCATES HAD PUT ONE TOGETHER.

THE LATEST INFORMATION I HAVE IS ONE, TWO, THREE -- THERE ARE FIVE JP'S WHO SUSPENDED EVICTIONS AND THE OTHER ONES ARE STILL HEARING THEM.

SOMETIMES THEY ARE CAREFUL IF IT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR SOMETHING IF IT IS NOT PANDEMIC-RELATED WELL THAT'S WHY WE HAVE THEM THERE AND THEY ARE SMART ABOUT IT.

THE IDEA IS OBVIOUSLY TO NOT ALLOW THESE OTHER ONES TO GO FORWARD THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE PANDEMIC.

I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SUPPORT THAT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: MAYBE BY THE END OF THE DAY.

WE'LL SEE WHAT THEY SAY AND BY THE END OF THE DAY WE'LL SEE IF SOMETHING WE CAN PUT ON OUR WEBSITE.

MAYBE IT IS MORE VISIBILITY THAN THE NGO WEBSITE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: ROBERT, WAS THERE ANYTHING ON THE AUTHORITY?

>> NO, MA'AM.

JUDGE, YOU SAID IT EXACTLY CORRECTLY.

THE REASON TRAVIS COUNTY'S ORDERS ARE WORKING IS BECAUSE ALL OF THE JP JOINED IN THAT LOCAL RULE TO SUSPEND EVICTIONS THROUGH SEPTEMBER.

WE ARE LOOKING AT ALL OF THE ISSUES AND TRYING TO COME UP WITH CREATIVE SOLUTIONS I I DO LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM THE SPEAKERS BECAUSE MAYBE THEY HAVE IDEAS WE HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I AM ASSUMING THEY DID A CAR BUY.

>> IT HAS BEEN A DAY SINCE I READ THE ORDER, BUT THEY MUST HAVE.

AND THEY HAVE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE ABOUT THE TYPES OF NOTICES THAT CAN BE SERVED SO THEY HAVE THOSE.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: ARE THERE SPEAKERS ON THIS?

[13:00:01]

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK THEY HAVE REPRESENTATIVE WALLY AND GUADELOUPE FERNANDEZ AND JAY MALONE, MS. PALAY AND LESLIE GONZEL AND ERIC WATLER.

OF COURSE WE HAVE BEEN GOING ON A LITTLE WHILE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HEAR FROM THE SPEAKERS THEN.

>> ARMANDO WALLEY.

GO AHEAD, SIR.

>> THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON COMMISSIONERS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

YOUR MIC IS ON.

>> THANK YOU.

THANK YOU COMMISSIONERS AND I HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO YOU AT SOME POINT ON A LOT OF ISSUES, BUT PARTICULARLY ON THIS ONE I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE IS MY COUNTERPART AND I WHEN WE ANNOUNCED THE JOINT EFFORT AND WE FOCUSED ON THE INSTABILITY AND THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, WE WERE LOOKING AT CERTAIN POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS.

THE HOUSING FACILITY TAX FORCE IS STACK HOLDERS WITH THE DELIVERY SYSTEM AND IT IS A GROUP OF FOLKS THAT HAS BEEN WORKING VERY, VERY HARD.

IT INCLUDES PROPERTY OWNERS AND LANDLORDS AND THE SERVICE PROVIDERS, CITY AND COUNTY AND THE GOVERNMENTS AS WELL.

WE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME ON JULY 17TH AS A FULL TASK FORCE.

WE CONVENED.

IT WAS TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE ISSUES IT IS CO-CHAIRED BY JUDGE K JEREMY BROWN AND RICK CAMPO.

THEY HAVE WORKED EXTREMELY HARD OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS.

THEY DEVELOPED SOME STAFF POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE WORKING GROUP.

THEY WORKED HARD TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS.

PARTICULARLY FOR THE CITY OF HOUSTON.

IT WAS A VERY ROBUST DISCUSSION.

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME SINCE WE HAVE HAD THIS MANY FOLKS OF DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS AND THEY UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO SEND A GREAT PERIOD OVER.

ON FRIDAY THE BOARD VOTED TO ENDORSE THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE AND THE FULL TASK FORCE VOTED UNANIMOUSLY IN FAVOR OF THE ORDINANCE AND RIGHT NOW IT IS EMBEDDED BY THE CITY OF HOUSTON.

I WANT TO THANK A LOT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE TASK FORCE AND COMMISSIONER ELLIS TO YOUR POINT ON THE ACCESS TO JUSTICE, I KNOW WE HAVE DONNA CARNEY AND AS REQUESTED BY YOU, COMMISSIONER ELLIS, WE ARE EXCITED TO SHARE THAT THE CITY WILL MATCH THE COUNTY ON THE PILOT PROGRAM.

THEY ARE DESIGNING A THOUGHTFUL PROGRAM -- >> RODNEY ELLIS: DO YOU HAVE A DOLLAR AMOUNT -- JUST SO I DON'T FORGET.

DO THEY HAVE A DOLLAR AMOUNT?

>> COMMISSIONER ELLIS, I THINK YOUR INITIAL REQUEST OF 750.

THAT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING IS THEY WERE GOING TO MATCH THAT 750.

IT IS OBVIOUSLY A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WHEN THE CITY AND COUNTY ARE WORKING TOGETHER, PARTICULARLY ON THIS MATTER.

I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE -- I HAVE INVITED -- I AM NOT SURE IF THEY ARE ON THE LINE.

SHE IS WITH LONE STAR AND SHE IS A MEMBER OF THE TASK FORCE AND SHE IS HELPING US DEVELOP THIS PROPOSAL ON BEHALF OF THE TASK FORCE, BUT AT THE REQUEST OBVIOUSLY OF COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO WHAT IS THE TIMELINE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THIS?

WHEN ARE YOU THINKING IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO -- >> I THINK WE ARE WITHIN PROBABLY A COUPLE OF DAYS BECAUSE DANA CARNEY -- I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK FOR HER, JUDGE, BUT I AM NOT SURE IF SHE IS ON THE LINE.

LONE STAR EQUALIZE -- EQUAL LATERS HAVE DONE A LOT OF WORK.

THEY OPENED THEIR OWN EVICTION SECTION AT LONE START LEGAL AID.

SHE DEVELOPED A PLAN IN WHAT COULD BE -- A POTENTIAL WOULD BE TO ACTUALLY SCALE UP THE PROGRAM THAT SHE IS ALREADY DOING.

WE DON'T HAVE TO REINVENT THE WHEEL.

THEY ARE ALREADY DOING THIS WORK AND TO THE EXTENT THAT LONE STAR'S LEGAL AID OR ANY OTHER LEGAL AID AT ANY OF THE THREE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOLS HERE IN THE AREA, BUT PARTICULARLY AT LONE STAR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IF I MIGHT, I WANT TO SUGGEST EVEN IF IT IS LATE IN THE DAY MR. CAGLE AND GARCIA AND RADACK, IF WE ARE WILLING TO AT LEAST MATCH THE 750 THAT THE CITY WILL PUT IN, THE EVICTIONS WILL START.

I KNOW ALL OF THE DETAILS MAY NOT BE WORKED OUT, BUT I WOULD LIKE FOR, IF WE CAN, AND IF YOU ALL FEEL COMFORTABLE, REPRESENTATIVE WALLEY IF YOU CAN WORK SOMETHING UP THAT YOU CAN SEND TO THE COMMISSIONERS AND WE CAN MAKE A MOTION WHERE WE WILL MATCH WHAT THE CITY WILL DO SO THEY CAN GET STARTED.

I WOULD LIKE ALL OF THE DETAILS TO BE WORKED OUT, BUT IT DOESN'T HELP SOMEBODY WHO IS GETTING PUSHED OUT TOMORROW.

>> ABSOLUTELY, COMMISSIONER.

I THINK IT IS IMMINENT AND WE HAVE TO DO THIS NOW.

RENT IS DUE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.

THE TASK FORCE HAS BEEN WORKING HARD TO IRON OUT DETAILS.

WE CERTAINLY CAN HAVE A DOCUMENT READY FOR YOU GUYS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: REPRESENTATIVE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR YOUR WORK IN THE TASK FORCE AND FOR ALL THAT YOU ARE DOING.

QUESTION, ARE YOU ALL ENGAGING THE HOUGHTON -- HOUSTON DEPARTMENT IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS ?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

APPRECIATE THE WORDS.

YES, THEY ARE A PART OF THE GROUP -- THEY ARE PART OF THE APARTMENT ASSOCIATION ON THE TASK FORCE.

THERE ARE 23 FOLKS AND LEGAL COUNCIL HELPED US DRAFT SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS.

ABSOLUTELY, YES, THEY ARE.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: GOOD.

AND SO THE 750 COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND YOU MENTIONED, THIS WOULD BE GOING TO HELP THE LEGAL AID FOUNDATION RAMP UP WORK TO HELP THESE FOLKS.

IS THAT CORRECT?

>> THAT IS CORRECT.

POTENTIALLY, YES.

I WANT TO SAY POTENTIALLY, YES, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE A GOAL.

YOU HAVE SO MANY -- I THINK YOU ALREADY HAVE -- LONE STAR LEGAL AID HAS PROGRAMS AND TWO JP COURTS NOW.

TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, THEY ARE GOING TO PROVIDE LEGAL AID FOR FOLKS WHO ARE ABOUT TO BE EVICTED.

WHAT YOU COULD SEE IS A RIGHT TO COUNCIL AND EVICTION IN ALL OF THE JP COURTS.

I DON'T KNOW IF 750 IS ENOUGH.

BUT MAYBE 750 ALONG WITH THE 750 FROM THE COUNTY -- I MEAN FROM THE CITY, THAT COULD PUT A HUGE BEND TO SOME OF THE FOLKS GOING THROUGH -- I'M SORRY, THAT WILL BE GOING THROUGH THIS PROCESS.

AND SO THEY NEED THIS HELP NOW.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER, IF YOU ALL FEEL COMFORTABLE, I WAS TALKING ABOUT US MATCHING OR WE CAN PUT IT IN THE JUDGE'S OFFICE TO FIGURE IT OUT BEFORE WE COME BACK NEXT TUESDAY.

PLY -- MY REASON IS PEOPLE WILL BE PUT OUT IN TWO DAYS.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: NO, NO, NO, I AGREE.

I LIKE IT AND IF WE CAN FIGURE IT OUT TODAY I WOULD BE INCLINED TO SUPPORT YOU ON IT.

I DO HAVE ANOTHER ITEM THAT IS SORT OF RELATED, BUT I WILL GET INTO THAT LATER.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WILE YOUR PEOPLE ARE TALKING THEY SHOULD GET AROUND TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COURT BEFORE WE GET OUT OF HERE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

THE TASK FORCE IS MEETING ON FRIDAY AS A WHOLE.

WE CERTAINLY WILL HAVE A WELL VETTED PROGRAM WE CAN GET TO YOU GUYS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER, WE MIGHT EVEN, EVEN IF WE ALLOCATE 750 MATCH WHAT THE CITY IS DOING AND CONTINGENT ON THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT AND THE JUDGE SIGNING OFF ON IT.

IF THE CITY PUTS SOMETHING UP THIS WEEK WHEN THEY MEET THEY CAN START ON FRIDAY.

MY STAFF WILL CALL YOU TO FIGURE IT OUT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONERS, I PROMISED A LUNCH BREAK AFTER THE BROAD COVID ITEM AND FRANKLY I FORGOT.

THE QUESTION IS DO YOU GUYS WANT TO FINISH THIS DISCUSSION.

IT WOULD PROBABLY BE ANOTHER HOUR BEFORE WE DO LUNCH OR DO LUNCH NOW? WHAT DO YOU PREFER?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ARE THEY ALL RIGHT WAITING? IF WE DON'T DO LUNCH I WILL NEED A 5-MINUTE BREAK.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I AM THINKING THIS IS A CHANCE TO CIRCLE WITH ON YOU WHETHER YOU CAN HAVE AN ITEM LATER TODAY.

I THINK THAT'S WHAT THE COMMISSIONERS ARE SAYING.

IF YOU CAN HAVE AN ITEM TODAY BEFORE COURT LETS OUT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND DURING THIS HOUR YOU CAN WORK IT UP.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WE'LL EAT.

YOU WORK.

>> JUDGE, I DO HAVE THREE SPEAKERS ALREADY ON THE LINE.

CAN WE GO AHEAD AND TAKE THOSE NOW?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WON'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS IF THAT WILL HELP.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

THANK YOU.

>> JAY MALONE, GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> MY NAME IS JAY MALONE AND I AM THE POLITICAL DIRECTOR WITH THE TEXAS GULF COAST AND WE REPRESENT 60 THOUSANDS UNION MEMBERS IN GULF COAST COUNTY INCLUDING 50,000 IN HARRIS COUNTY.

I AM PROUD TO SERVE ON THE TASK FORCE.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR CHAIR CAMPO AND JUDGE JEREMY BROWN AND THANKS TO THEIR WORK WE WERE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER A PROPOSAL THAT WE VOTED ON UNANIMOUSLY TO RECOMMEND THAT THEY PASS A GRACE PERIOD ORDINANCE.

THE GRACE PERIOD ORDINANCE IS SOMETHING WE WERE ABLE TO FIND A REALLY GOOD COMPROMISE ON.

SO WE JOIN TOGETHER TO ADVOCATE THE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL BENEFIT ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN THIS PROCESS.

WE WERE GLAD THAT WE ARE ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY CAN AGREE ON.

IN TEXAS LANDLORDS CAN POST NOTICE TO VACATE.

THAT MEANS AUGUST 3RD IS THE DAY THAT THE CRISIS IS GOING TO REACH APTITUDE.

IT WOULD EXTEND IT TO 21 DAYS AND IT WOULD CHANGE THE NOTICE TO VACATE TO A COVID NOTICE OF POTENTIAL EVICTION.

MORE THAN HALF OF THE PEOPLE WH -- WHO RECEIVE A NOTICE TO VACATE SELFIE VICT.

THIS WILL ASSURE THAT ARE POE -- POTENTIALLY GOING TO SELF-EVICT WILL THEN HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE LEGAL PROCESS.

THIS IS THE CRITICAL PART AND WE WOULD PROVIDE FOR A 60-DAY GRACE PERIOD.

I DON'T THINK WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW SIGNIFICANT OF A CRISIS WE ARE IN RIGHT NOW AND HISTORIC CRISIS NEED HISTORIC LEADERSHIP.

WE HAVE ASKED THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE TO EXPANDY -- EXPAND EVICTIONS FOR AN ADDITIONAL MONTH TO THE END OF AUGUST FOR PROTECTIONS AGAINST POSSESSIONS ON COVERED PROPERTIES AND WE ARE THANKFUL TO THE FIVE JUDGES WHO HAVE SUCCESS PENNEDDED -- SUSPENDED EVICTIONS IN THE COURTS.

AND WE ARE THANKFUL TO THE LEADERSHIP OF JUDGE HIDALGO AND MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER

[13:05:02]

FOR REACHING OUT TO THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE AND ASKING THEM TO SUSPEND EVICTIONS.

THIS CRISIS IS HISTORIC.

WE HAVE 1.3 MILLION RENTERS IN HOUSTON AND 42% ACCORDING TO THE CENSUS BUREAU HAVE STATED THEY DON'T EXPECT THEY WILL BE ABLE TO PAY RENT NEXT MONTH.

THIS MEANS IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON ALONE WE ARE LOOKING AT POTENTIALLY 500,000 RENTERS WHO COULD BE IMPACTED.

DURING A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS WHERE THE CASES ARE SPIKING AND THE HOSPITALS ARE STILL FULL, THIS COULD MAKE THINGS DRAMATICALLY WORSE.

WE HOPE COMMISSIONER'S COURT CAN FIND WAYS TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM AND ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM.

WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THE LEADERSHIP AND WE ARE ALWAYS HERE -- >> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> JEFF REICHMAN, JANUARY ADVISERS.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON.

I AM JEFF REICHMAN WITH JANUARY ADVISERS AND A MEMBER OF THE HOUSING STAW -- STABILITY TASK FORCE AND WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE COURT TODAY.

NUMBER ONE, I AM A DATA GUY.

I CAN RATTLE OFF A BUNCH OF NUMBERS ABOUT HOW BAD OUR EVICTIONS PROBLEM IS HERE IN HARRIS COUNTY.

BUT I AM GOING TO TRY TO SPEAK FROM THE HEART.

WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING EVICTIONS FOR AWHILE SINCE HURRICANE HARVEY.

AND AROUND THAT TIME WE NOTICED THAT HARRIS COUNTY POUND FOR POUND HAS A LOT MORE EVICTIONS THAN MOST OTHER JURISDICTIONS EVEN ON A PER CAPITA OR AN EVICTION RATE BASIS.

WHEN WE LOOKED AT IT ON THAT SCALE WE LOOKED AT IT FROM THE REVERSE.

WHAT WE LEARNED IS THAT AFTERNOONY VICES IS -- THAT THE EVICTION IS A DEEP MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.

IT CREATES A FOOD CRISIS OR AN EDUCATION CRISIS IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN.

AND THE BURDEN ON THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET IS SO GREAT THAT THE COST TO DO NOTHING MAKES US PAY MORE BOTH IN TERMS OF REAL DOLLARS AND IN TERMS OF PAIN ON SOCIETY.

ONE OF THE REASONS I AM DRAWN TOWARD EVICTIONS AS SOMETHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR AND SOMETHING WORTH TAKING CHANCES AND RISK FOR IS WE HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY AS A COMMUNITY TO MINIMIZE SUFFERING AND REDUCE SUFFERING AT A SCALE THAT IS JUST ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS.

KEEPING PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES THEY CAN AVERT FUTURE CRISIS.

I THINK IT IS REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT WE HAVE STRONG GUIDELINES FOR PLAN LORD AND TENANTS.

REQUIRING A UNANIMOUS DECISION IS A RED HERRON.

I DON'T THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN.

AND UNFORTUNATELY WHAT ENDS UP HAPPENING IS AS WE RESEARCH THE LAW AND FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE GET CAUGHT IN THE TEETH OF THIS EVICTIONS TRAP.

I REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE THE COMMISSIONERS AND THE JUDGE TO TAKE SOME RISKS HERE AND I KNOW YOU ARE, BUT I WANT TO ADD TO YOUR COURAGE AND CREATIVITY TO ENACT IMMEDIATE SOLUTIONS TO HELP PEOPLE AND TO BE PREPARED TO WORK THIS OUT IN THE COURTS IF NECESSARY.

THE LAST THING I WILL SAY IS OFTENTIMES PEOPLE LOOK AT HOUSING AND THEY SAY THIS IS A VERY EXPENSIVE PROBLEM.

WE ARE ABLE TO QUANTIFY IT.

WE ARE ALSO ABLE TO QUAWBT FIE THE -- QUANTIFY THE STRESS ON THE SOCIAL ASPECT EVICTIONS CAUSE.

IT WORKS OUT IN THE FAVOR OF BEING GOOD STEWARDS TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES AND NOT TO MENTION THE AVERSION OF 10S OF THOUSANDS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CRISIS IN OUR COMMUNITY EVERY YEAR.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND I APPRECIATE IT.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN STAY ON LATER OR -- I JUST I JUST KNOW YOU HAVE PUT TOGETHER A DASHBOARD AND IT SHOWS THE EVICTIONS.

PART OF MY QUESTION HAS BEEN HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO WHAT IT SHOULD BE? WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO PAINT A PICTURE FOR US ON WHY THE NUMBER OF EVICTIONS EVEN THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS NOT APPROPRIATE? DO YOU HAVE A WAY TO PUT THE DATA INTO CONTEXT?

>> DO I AND I AM HAPPY TO FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU, JUDGE, AND THE COMMISSIONERS, WITH SOME ADDITIONAL DATA, BUT THERE IS AN EVICTION RATE CALCULATION YOU CAN USE WHERE YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF RENTER OCCUPIED UNITS AND THEN YOU LOOK AT THE EVICTIONS PER RENTER OCCUPIED UNIT AND OUR EVICTION RATE IS QUITE HIGH COMPARED TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

WE DID SOME NATIONAL WORK ON THIS.

AND ONE OTHER POINT TO ADD WOULD BE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN AND HOW WOULD THIS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE IF WE ENACT A JUSTICE RELATED TO THOSE WHO CANNOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY.

RIGHT NOW FEWER THAN 4% OF EVICTION CASES HAVE TENANTS WITH REPRESENT -- REPRESENTATION.

4%.

I CANNOT IMAGINE GOING THROUGH A CRISIS LIKE THIS UNGUIDED THROUGH THE COURT SYSTEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: IS YOU SO MUCH.

YEAH, THAT WOULD BE GOOD TO KNOW.

I THINK THE THING IS WHAT TOOLS DO WE HAVE TO SHOW THAT WHAT WE ARE DOING IS NOT RIGHT.

AND I JUST GOT A MESSAGE FROM JUDGE CORDUVA WHO CONTACTED OUR OFFICE WHO SAID SHE ACTUALLY IS MOVING FORWARD WITH EVICTIONS.

I DON'T KNOW WHY THAT IS SOMETHING TO BRAG ABOUT, BUT AS I MENTIONED EARLIER THAT SHE WAS ONE OF THE ONES THAT WAS DOING HER PIECE.

I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH THAT WE CAN'T -- YOU KNOW, WE ALL HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.

THIS UNFORTUNATELY IS -- OUR HANDS ARE TIED IN TERMS OF WE NEED THE JP'S TO DO THEIR PART AND THE CITIES.

I WONDER WHAT THE EQUIVALENT -- IF THE CITY WOULD DO AN ORDINANCE, WHAT ABOUT THE UNINCORP 80ED -- THE UNINCORPORATED AREAS? IS THERE ANYTHING OTHER THAN BEGGING THE JP'S TO HELP US OUT?

>> THAT I DON'T KNOW, JUDGE.

I'M SORRY TO SAY.

ONE THING I CAN DO IN RESPONSE TO THAT QUESTION AND IN RESPONSE TO A PREVIOUS QUESTION IS IN THE DASHBOARD WE PROVIDE ONLINE THAT UPDATES EVERY DAY WE CAN START TO BREAK THIS OUT BY JP COURT AND JP PRECINCT SO THAT WE CAN GET A BETTER SENSE OF VOLUME AND EVICTION RATES BY AREA OF TOWN AND GET A SENSE OF HOW MANY RENTERS WOULD BE COVERED BY THE CITY ORDER YENS -- ORDER -- ORDINANCE INSTEAD -- AND UN UNINCORPORATED AREAS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK THAT IS A GOOD IDEA.

IF YOU DO IT BY CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT AND INCORPORATED AND UNINCORPORATED SO WE KNOW.

IF NOT, I AM SUGGESTING EVEN IF WE HAVE TO STEP IN AND HELP WITH THE DASHBOARD TO GET DONE AND KNOW WHO THE JP IS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I THINK WHAT IS HARD FOR ME, JEFF, IS THAT WHEN THERE ARE NUMBERS EVEN OF JUST THE SPECIFIC JP'S, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT IS A LITTLE OR A LOT.

IS THAT THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ONES, OR IS THAT THE EVICTIONS? IT WOULD JUST BE GOOD TO KNOW.

I WILL TELL YOU, I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO SEND A LETTER OR PUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA A BIG THANK YOU TO THE JUDGES WHO ARE DOING THEIR PART ON THIS.

IT IS NOT EASY.

YOU CAN'T TELL WHICH ARE AND WHICH ARE NOT.

I SAW THIS AND WE GOT THE 5 AND THEN THE CALL FROM JUDGE CARDUVA.

IS IT THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO AND WHO ISN'T?

>> IT IS NOT AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE CAN ABSOLUTELY PREPARE FOR Y'ALL.

WRY CAN MAKE SURE WE HAVE AN APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISON IN HARRIS COUNTY AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND IT WOULD BE HELPFUL FOR THE PRESS.

LIKE ROBERT SAID IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS I AM READY TO DO IT.

WE JUST HAVEN'T FOUND ANYTHING ELSE PER MY LEGAL AUTHORITY.

IF ANYONE HAS ANY OTHER THOUGHTS I AM READY TO DO THAT.

YOU SAID ONE MORE, LUCINDA?

>> YES, MA'AM.

ERIC HORTBREW WITH SOUTHWEST TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW.

PLEASE GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> HELLO, COMMISSIONERS.

I HAVE SOME NUMBERS I THINK YOU MAY BE INTERESTED.

I HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT EVICTION DATA TOO.

I KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY EVICTIONS HAVE BEEN FILED DURING THE MORATORIUM IN EACH PRECINCT AND IN EACH PLACE.

ALSO I HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE CASES TO SEE WHETHER THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN UNDER THE CARES ACT.

OUR CALCULATION IS THAT 24% OF ALL OF THE EVICTIONS FILED IN HARRIS COUNTY SHOULD HAVE BEEN UNDER THE CARES ACT AND WHY -- AND WERE FILED ANYWAY.

THOSE ARE ONE IN FOUR EVICTIONS AND IT IS BROKEN DOWN BY PRECINCT.

I CAN TELL YOU ONE OF THE BIGGEST VOLUME PRECINCTS IS PRECINCT 4 WHICH HAS A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF ITS GEE -- GEOGRAPHY OUTSIDE THE CITY OF HOUSTON.

THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM.

WE HAVE BEEN TALKING AND WE BEING THE COALITION OF EVICTIONS AND LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDER THAT'S INCLUDES THOSE PARALEGAL AIDS, THE THREE LAW SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT IN COUNCIL FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW.

WE HAD A PROPOSAL A MONTH AGO AND RIGHT NOW WE ARE WAITING FOR THE MECHANISMS TO GET STARTED.

MY CONCERN IS THAT EVERYONE RELYING ON THE CARES ACT FOR ANOTHER MONTH IS COMMITTING A FOOL'S ERRAND.

THE CARES ACT IS NOT PROVIDING PROTECTIONS.

WE STILL HAVE ONE IN FOUR EVICTIONS BEING FILED IN VIOLATION OF THE CARES ACT.

YES, THE CARES ACT SAYS YOU HAVE TO GIVE 30 DAYS TO VACATE.

IF YOU ARE IGNORING THE CARES ACT YOU ARE NOT GETTING A 30 DAYS NOTICE.

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE BEING EVICTED.

THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN A NOTICE TO VACATE IN VIOLATION OF THE CARES ACT ARE STILL GOING TO BE EVICTED.

IT IS NOT IN TWO DAYS.

IT IS NOT ON AUGUST 3RD.

IT IS RIGHT NOW.

WE NEED TO GET LAWYERS ON THE GROUND AND IN THE COURTS.

THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CARES ACT IS BEING FILED.

I LOOKED AND ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THESE CASES THAT WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE CARES ACT HAD A CARES ACT FILED WITH IT SAYING THE PROPERTY WASN'T COVERED.

THAT MECHANISM DOESN'T WORK.

WE HAD A CRISIS AND WE HAVE HAD A CRISIS FOR MONTHS AND NO ONE HAS BEEN WATCHING, BUT US.

NO ONE ELSE HAS BEEN LOOKING AT THE DATA THE WAY WE HAVE.

WE HAVE A REQUEST WITH THE TWO HOUSING AUTHORITIES ASKING FOR THE ADDRESS OF EVERY TENANT WHO HAS A VOUCHER.

WE ARE COMPARING THAT LIST WITH EVERY EVICTION IN HARRIS COUNTY TO SEE IF THE ADDRESSES MATCH UP.

ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS MATCH UP.

IF THEY DO, IT WAS FILED IN VIOLATION OF THE CARES ACT AND WE HAVE MAJOR VIOLATORS.

50 PLUS CASES FOR ONE PROVIDER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

[13:10:01]

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, LOOK, HE RAISES A VALID POINT AND I WANT TO ENCOURAGE REPRESENTATIVE WALLEY.

I KNOW THEY DON'T HAVE A PROGRAM STRUCTURED, BUT WE KNOW THIS IS COMING AND I KNOW I JUMPED OUT THERE AND WANTED TO SAY HOW MUCH MONEY WE ARE PUTTING IN.

I WOULD BE PREPARE -- PREPARED TO SAY GIVE THE GULF COAST LEGAL AID.

AS THE SPEAKER SAID PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COURT BY THEMSELVES OR NOT GOING BECAUSE THEY JUST -- YOU KNOW, THEY ARE JUST SO STRESSED OUT AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I AM HOPING WE WILL MEET AGAIN NEXT TUESDAY SPEAKER AND OTHER SPEAKERS, BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE A PROGRAM TO PUT IT INTO.

I KNOW THEY ARE WORKING HARD AND IT IS 30 DAYS AND I HAVE BEEN CALLING MY GOOD FRIEND JUDGE BROWN AND REPRESENTATIVE WALLEY SAYING I PUT SOMETHING ON THE AGENDA AND YOU ARE ASKING VALID QUESTIONS, BUT WHERE IS THE PROGRAM.

I WILL MAKE A MOTION AND SAY GIVE IT TO GULF COAST LEGAL AID.

YOU ARE RIGHT.

PEOPLE ARE BEING PUT OUT AND THEY WILL BE PUT OUT.

AND I GET IT IS HARD TO PUT THE PROGRAM TOGETHER.

LIKE YOU SAID, COMMISSIONER, YOU SAID WE WILL GIVE THE FUNDING, BUT THEN THE PROGRAM IS NOT THERE.

WE HAVE HAD THOSE CHALLENGES ON THE IMMIGRANT LEGAL DEFENSE FUND THAT JUST DESIGNING IT IS A BIG TASK.

I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THESE AND THAT ONE I AM HOPING WILL COME BACK SOON BECAUSE ALL OF THAT EXACERBATES AND THE LEGAL AID IS SUCH A BIG HELP FOR PEOPLE.

ANYWAY, WERE THESE THE THREE SPEAKERS, LUCINDA.

>> YES, MA'AM.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO, IT IS 2:15.

HOPEFULLY THE TEAM CAN FIGURE OUT SOMEWAY FOR THIS -- FOR SOME FUNDING TO MAKE ITS WAY THROUGH BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WE ARE NOT CLOSING THIS ITEM, YET, RIGHT?

>> LINA HIDALGO: THAT'S RIGHT.

WE ARE BREAKING FOR LUNCH AND THEN WE WILL CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S BREAK FOR LUNCH UNTIL 3:15.

IT IS 2:5 EVEN.

2:15.

WE WILL SEE EVERYONE IN AN HOUR.

LEAN IT IS 3:16 -- >> LINA HIDALGO: IT IS 3:16 AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT IS BACK IN SESSION.

WE HAVE DISCUSSING THE EVICTIONS ITEMS AND WE WERE LISTENING FROM SPEAKERS.

IS THAT RIGHT? LUCINDA, DO WE HAVE THE SPEAKERS BACK ON THE LINE?

>> YES, WE DO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S KEEP HEARING FROM THEM.

>> ZOE MIDDLETON WITH TEXAS HOUSERS.

>> HELLO, MY NAME IS ZOE MIDDLETON AND I AM THE SOUTHEAST DIRECTOR OF TEXAS HOUSERS.

I SPOKE TO YOU ALL DURING THIS CRISIS, BUT IN MARCH WE ARE WORKING TO REDUCE THE HARM OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND IT HAS INCLUDED COLLABORATIONS WITH ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.

I AM ALSO A MEMBER OF THE JOINT CITY HOUSES TASK FORCE.

I THINK SOME OF THE STATS I WAS PREPARED TO SHARE TODAY HAVE ALREADY BEEN SHARED BY A PREVIOUS SPEAKER WITH COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

BUT, I DO JUST WANT TO POINT OUT A FEW THINGS.

JUDGE, YOU ASKED IF IT WAS EASY TO TRACK WHICH JUDGES WERE HAVING HEARINGS WHICH WE HAVE BEEN TRACKING THAT ON A WEEKLY BASIS.

UNFORTUNATELY IT IS KIND OF LYING PLAYING WHACK A MOLE.

SOME KEEP THEIR COURTS OPEN.

SOME LIKE IN THE CASE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

BUT THERE IS NO UNIFORMITY AMONG THE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

IT IS REALLY UNLIKELY THAT THERE WILL BE UNIFORMITY.

IN FACT, THAT LACK OF COHESION IS COSTING PEOPLE THEIR HOMES.

WE KNOW THAT IN THIS CRISIS HOW THEY ARE KEEPING FOLKS UNAFFECTED FROM SPREADING THE COVID-19 AND SPEAKING OF THE CRISIS ON CHILDREN EARLIER TODAY ABOUT THE REOPENING I WANT TO POINT OUT THAT 48% OF HOUSEHOLDS CANNOT PAY RENT.

AND THERE ARE 299 EVICTION HEARINGS TAKING PLACE IN HARRIS COUNTY THIS WEEK ALONE.

WE OF COURSE EXPECT THAT NUMBER TO INCREASE AS THE $600 IN UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE COMES TO A CLOSE AND ALL DATA INDICATES WHEN THEY ARE NOT USING THE $600 THEY ARE BORROWING FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND PUTTING IT ON CREDIT CARDS WHICH WE KNOW IS TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE.

THAT'S A BRIEF OVERVIEW.

WE ARE HAPPY TO TAKE ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, ZOE.

COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: MS. MIDDLETON, IN SHORT, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE CAN DO? I MEAN, WE DID DO THE -- THE COUNTY DID THE 30 MILLION IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE AND IT WAS -- WE LET PEOPLE DECIDE WHETHER THEY SHOULD PAY RENT OR -- AND THEN WE DID THE TENANT ASSISTANCE AT 15 BILLION.

AND NOW I AM PUSHING TO SAY, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE GET THE LEGAL STRUCTURE SET UP AND THAT IS A CHALLENGE.

THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE APRIL.

WE KNEW IT WAS COMING.

WE JUST HADN'T GONE THROUGH THIS BEFORE.

OTHER COUNTIES MAYBE THE MORE INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE.

WE DO HAVE THREE LAW SCHOOLS HERE.

I ASSUME YOU WORKED THROUGH THEM.

ANY SPECIFICS BRIEFLY?

>> WELL, ACCESS TO JUSTICE OF THE PEACE WILL BE IMPORTANT.

THERE IS CERTAINLY THINGS PEOPLE CAN USE TO EDUCATE THEM ON THEIR RIGHTS AS THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE SELF-EVICTING.

NOBODY SHOULD SELF-EVICT.

THERE ARE BASIC THINGS THE COUNTY COULD TELL POKES -- TELL FOLKS ABOUT.

WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY, MAKING SURE PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO -- DEPENDING ON THE FUNDING OF COURSE, THAT PEOPLE FUNDED IT.

IT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE PEOPLE DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

BY AND LARGE YOU CAN SEE THAT THAT MONEY IS SENT FOR ESSENTIAL NEEDS.

AND THEN DESIGNING -- YOU KNOW, WORKING WITH THE RELATIONS AND MAKING SURE THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS THE PREVIOUS ONE AND THAT YOU CAN ITERATE ON THE PROGRAM DESIGN TO MAKE SURE IT IS THROUGH THE COUNTY AND THEY ARE INCREDIBLY VULNERABLE.

>> THANK YOU AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK.

>> THANK YOU.

>>

>> WE ARE HERE IN HOUSTON AND WORK WITH IMMIGRANT SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC SURVIVORS OF -- DOMESTIC ABUSE.

THIS IS FOR HELP DURING COVID-19.

TIME AND UNFORTUNATELY COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ARE AFFECTED MUCH MORE.

THEIR RESOURCES TO COMBAT COVID-19 IS NOT THE SAME.

SOME OF THE SURVIVORS ARE SILENCED AND THEN THE EFFECT OF NOT HAVING HEALTH CARE AND NOT HAVING AN INCOME TO SURVIVE.

BECAUSE OF MONEY NOT COMING IN THEY FACE THE RISK OF HOMELESSNESS AND DIFFICULTIES CAUSING A DIFFICULT TIME TO BE MUCH MORE CHALLENGING.

I CAN SPEAK ON A LADY WHO HAD A WARNING FROM THE LANDLORD.

SHE WAS BEHIND ON HER RENT.

WITH THE LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT SHE CANNOT MAKE UP ALL OF THE RENT THAT IS DUE.

ON THE PHONE CALL SHE STATED SHE IS THE ONLY INCOME OF HER HOUSEHOLD OF THREE.

SHE IS THE MOTHER OF TWO BOYS.

SHE APPLIED THROUGH THE HARRIS COUNTY RELIEF FUND AND WAS DENIED.

SHE STRESSES HOW SHE HAS BEEN CALLING ORGANIZATION AND IT HAS BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP.

THIS IS ONE OF THE PHONE CALLS WITH COVID-19.

SHE SAYS NOT KNOWING IF SHE WILL HAVE A HOME IN A MONTH OR TWO IS WHAT KEEPS HER UP AT NIGHT.

THE DAYS ARE BECOMING MORE DIFFICULT.

HER OLDER SON IS MENTALLY DRAINED BECAUSE HE KNOWS THEY ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

FOCUSING ON MAKING ENDS MEET FOR HERSELF AND HER CHILDREN IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND HAVING A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD.

THEY ARE PROCESSING THE VIOLENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE CONTINUED ABUSE AND THE THREAT OF HOMELESSNESS IS WHAT IS WORRISOME.

IF THEY PREVENT EVICTION ITSELF WOULD ALLOW THIS FAMILY AND OTHER VULNERABLE FAMILIES TO FEEL SUPPORTED BY THE COUNTY DURING THIS TIME.

I URGE YOU TO SUPPORT THE SURVIVORS AND THE FAMILIES AND THE OTHER VULNERABLE FAMILIES WHO ARE STRUGGLING.

THANK YOU FOR LIS -- LISTENING.

>> THANK YOU.

GUADELOUPE FERNANDEZ, PLEASE GO AHEAD.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON.

I AM GUADELOUPE FERNANDEZ FROM THE JUSTICE CENTER HERE IN HOUSTON.

A MEMBER OF THE JOINT HOUSING STABILITY TASK FORCE AND A RESIDENT OF 63.

IMMIGRANTS OF GENDER VIOLENCE SUCH AS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND RAPE.

THEY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR RELIEF UNDER THE LAW, BUT THE FAMILIES WE WORK WITH HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED FROM THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.

WHILE WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY COVID RELIEF FUND, IT IS CLEARLY NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE OF DISPLACEMENT THROUGH DISPLACEMENT.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE KICKED OUT OF YOUR HOME? YOU MOVE IN WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS OR LOVED ONE.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IN A PANDEMIC? COVID CASES ARE INCREASING AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS CAN'T QUARANTINE WHEN THEY ARE EVICTED FROM THEIR HOME.

EVICTIONS ARE CLEARLY A HEALTH ISSUE.

YOU MAY GET HELP FROM A SECOND ROUND OF FEDERAL ASSISTANCE.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE FROM THE IMMIGRANT EXCLUDED FROM FEDERAL ASSISTANCE OR THE UNDOCUMENTED COMMUNITY WHO CAN'T ACCESS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

EVICTION ARE A JUSTICE ISSUE.

NOW IMAGINE A SURVIVOR OF VIOLENCE.

WE WORK WITH SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE AND WITH THE LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT DUE TO THE PANDEMIC THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT BECOME DEPENDENT ON THEIR ABUSIVE PARTNER FOR HEALTH -- HEALTH CARE, FOOD AND SHELTER FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

>> -- WE HAVE A TENANT WHO WAS COERCED INTO ADVANCEMENTS IN EXCHANGE.

IT HAS PUT -- THEY ARE PUT IN FAR MORE PRECARIOUS SITUATION WHEN'S AT RISK OF LOSING THEIR HOMES FOR THEIR INABILITY TO PAY.

EVICTIONS ARE A SAFETY ISSUE.

LAST WEEK THE HOUSING STABILITY TASK -- TASK FORCE HAD A GRACE PERIOD FOR THE

[13:15:02]

CITY.

HOWEVER, WE HAVE YET TO SEE IT ON THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA.

LOCAL LEADERS CAN SHIFT THE BLAME AND RESPONSIBILITY TO FEDERAL SYSTEMS OR EVEN BLAME EACH OTHER.

IN THE MEANTIME, LOCALITY HAS SO MUCH POWER TO IMMEDIATELY INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF OUR PEOPLE BEFORE THE EVICTION CRISIS OVERWHELMS OUR COMMUNITY.

SAN MARCOS AND AUSTIN AND EVEN TRAVIS COUNTY HAVE IMPLEMENTED LOCAL PROTECTIONS, POLICY THAT'S DON'T COST MONEY TO GIVE PEOPLE TIME TO CATCH UP ON RENT AND GIVE ADVOCATES TIME TO COME UP WITH A LONG-TERM SOLUTION.

OUR AREA HAS SO FAR REFUSED TO DO SO.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING.

THE CARES ACT PROTECTIONS ARE FADING.

RENTAL ASSISTANT FUNDS ARE RUNNING DRY.

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE.

COVID-19 RAGES ON IN OUR REGION, YET RENT IS DUE AGAIN ON SATURDAY.

PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS IS AT THE CENTER OF OUR COMMUNITY'S HEALTH AND SAFETY.

THE COUNTY SHOULD DO EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER INCLUDING EMERGENCY HEALTH ORDERS TO ENSURE THAT ALL HARRIS COUNTY FAMILIES HAVE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO STABLE HOMES.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU, MA'AM.

ANGELA JOHNSON.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> YES, MY NAME IS ANGELA JOHNSON AND I AM WITH TEXAS ORGANIZING PROJECT.

IT IS KNOWN TO MOST PEOPLE AS TOP.

AND I AM WANTING TO JUST SAY, LOOK, WE NEED FOR HARRIS COUNTY AND THE CITY OF HOUSTON TO WORK TOGETHER WITH REGARDS TO THE EVICTIONS.

BECAUSE THE COVID-19 HAS PEOPLE TO BE LAID OFF AND NO OTHER FUNDS ARE COMING IN.

SOME COMPANIES ARE NOT SAYING THEY ARE LAYING OFF PEOPLE.

SO WHEN IT COMES TO THESE EVICTIONS WE NEED FOR THE CITY AND THE COUNTY TO WORK TOGETHER TO PUT SOMETHING IN PLAY THAT WILL ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER MEANS TO PAY RENT.

THE COUNTY DOES RCHT -- DOES PRESIDENT HAVE WHAT THEY NEED TO DO.

THE CITY NEEDS TO WORK WITH BOTH.

AND THE STATE OF TEXAS SAYS, HEY, YOU KNOW, SHE WAS FIRED AND I DON'T HAVE THE HOURS TO PAY MY RENT.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON.

THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE DOING THE SAME THING.

COMPANIES -- THERE IS A LOOPHOLE THERE.

WE NEED TO SHUT OFF THE LOOPHOLE.

AND NOW I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HOLD THE CITY OF HOUSTON ACCOUNTABLE AND TURN SAYING, HEY, WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH THE CITY OF HOUSTON TO GIVE THEM THANK YOU.

>> DANA CARNEY, GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> THANK YOU, JUDGE AND COMMISSIONERS.

I AM DONNA CARNEY.

THE MANAGER AT LONE STAR LEGAL AID.

I AM ALSO A MEMBER OF THE HOUSING STABILITY TASK FORCE AND SINCE THE PANDEMIC BROKE I HAVE BEEN LOOKING INTO THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND ADDRESSING THE EVICTION ORDERS.

I HAD TO DEAL WITH UNDERSTANDING THE TENANT SIDE, BUT ALSO THE LANDLORD ASPECTS ON THESE COMPLICATED ISSUES.

I AM HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ALONG THE WAY.

THE RIGHT TO COUNCIL PROJECT HAS BEEN A RELONG LONGTIME COME -- A VERY LONG TIME COMING.

THEY HAVE BEEN THE SERVICE PROVIDER THROUGHOUT HARRIS COUNTY FOR DECADES.

I ASKED AROUND AND I AM AWARE THAT ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES HAS BEEN THROUGH THIS FOR 30 YEARS.

OUR HOUSING AND CONSUMER UNITS NOT ONLY PROVIDE ADVICE, BUT REPRESENT -- REPRESENTATION TO TENANTS INCLUDING THE APPEALS PROCESS AND THROUGH THE DENOVO TRIAL AT THE COUNTY COURT LEVEL.

WHERE NECESSARY LONE STAR WILL TAKE CASES ON APPEAL AS WELL.

SINCE THE PANDEMIC BROKE WE RAMPED UP WITH SORRY PROVIDERS.

WITH SERVICE PROVIDERS.

WE HAVE BEEN WORKING HAND IN HAND WITH OUR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS.

THIS COALITION OF EVICTION DEFENSE SERVICE PROVIDERS WAS APPROACHED BY RODNEY ELLIS' OFFICE QUITE AWHILE AGO WITH A DISCUSSION ABOUT A PILOT PROGRAM.

I WANT TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF WHY WE WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM IS WE ALL HAVE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.

I AM HAPPY TO TALK ABOUT THAT IN GREAT DETAIL.

LONE STAR LEGAL AID CAN ONLY HELP CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WITH POVERTY.

THERE ARE SEVERAL WHO ARE UNDOCUMENTED AND THAT'S WHERE THE PARTNERS CAN KICK IN WITH THE SERVICE THAT WE CANNOT REPRESENT.

SIGH -- SIMULTANEOUS TO COUNTY WIDE WE WERE APPROACHED BY JUSTICE OF THE

PEACE PRECINCT 7 WITH THE UNDERSTANDING -- >> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

YES COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: BECAUSE I KNOW IT IS LATE AND WE HAVE A FEW MORE PEOPLE, I HAVE BEEN PUSHING JUST WITHOUT THE DETAILS, BUT ALL I DO IS GOING BACK 20 YEARS AGO IS LONE STAR LEGAL AID.

I AM HOPING IF NOT BY THE END OF THE DAY, I THINK I HAVE GENERAL CONSENSUS FROM A COUPLE OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE THAT WE GO UP TO AT LEAST THE 750 THE CITY WILL PUT IN.

I BELIEVE IN TASK FORCES, BUT THE PERSON AHEAD OF YOU IS FRUSTRATED AND THEY DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT US MEETING.

JUST DO SOMETHING.

I PREFER DO THE WRONG THING THAN DO NOTHING, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? TRY SOMETHING.

IF IT IS THE PD OFFICE, I AM HOPING YOU ALL WOULD WORK IT OUT.

I KNOW YOU ARE ON THE TASK FORCE.

I KNOW THE JUDGE AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND ALL OF US, COMMISSIONERS RADACK AND CAGLE, WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING.

MY GUESS IS YOU ALL TALK AND I THINK WE WILL BE HERE UNTIL ABOUT 9:00.

THAT'S MY GUESS.

THEY SAID MAN, I HAVE BEEN HARPING ON THIS SINCE APRIL.

IT IS ALMOST AUGUST.

>> AND I DID SPEAK WITH JP BROWN AND OTHERS DURING THE LUNCH BREAK.

WE HAVE A PILOT THAT IS IN PLACE AND FEET ON THE GROUND THIS LONE STAR HAS PUT ITS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS.

WE ARE STARTING THE PROGRAM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

AND THE URGENCY IS THAT THE CARES ACT PROTECTION EXPIRES OVER THE WEEKEND THAT PASSED.

WE ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO DO THIS IN TWO OF THE PRECINCTS.

THAT IS A QUARTER OF THE COUNTY ON OUR OWN BUDGET.

I UNDERSTOOD YESTERDAY FROM PEOPLE VERY HIGH UP AT LONE STAR LEGAL AID THAT THAT COSTS US $1 MILLION OFF THE ANNUAL LIESED BUDGET.

AND WE ARE READY TO GO WITH THAT.

WE ARE WORKING OUT THE FINAL.

WE HAVE THREE OTHER COURTS THAT WILL BE WORKING WITH US.

AND WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO START SOMETHING.

WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN GET THE REST OF THE COUNTY ROLLED OUT.

WE ARE NOT NEEDING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL.

WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A LONGTIME.

IT IS A SCALE ABILITY ISSUE.

WHEN WE CAN GET FUNDING IN PLACE IF THAT'S THE COUNTY'S PRIORITY, WE WILL BE READY TO GO.

WE ARE READY TO GO.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IF BY THE END OF TONIGHT WHEN WE FINISH IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC ONE, I AGREE.

I AM SENSITIVE TO TRYING TO GET THE 750 FROM THE CITY, AT LEAST 750 FROM THE COUNTY.

I WOULD GO HIGHER.

WE HAVE DONE A PRETTY GOOD JOB TO BE HONEST.

I KNOW THAT'S A TENDENCY OF MOST GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES TO FILL HOLES IN THEIR BUDGET WITH FEDERAL MONEY.

THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CLEAR AS FAR AS SUPPLEMENT AND NOT SUPPLANT.

SO I THINK AT LEAST 750.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, I CAN'T SEE YOU RIGHT NOW, BUT JUDGE, AND THE OTHER TWO, I THINK YOU ADD 750 TO START IT.

MAYBE WE CAN FIGURE OUT SOMETHING TO APPROVE TODAY AND IF NOT AT THE LATEST ON TUESDAY.

WE WON'T MEET AGAIN UNTIL TUESDAY.

SO PLEASE WORK WITH THEM.

LET SASHA WITH MY OFFICE OR THE JUDGE'S OFFICE OR SOMEBODY'S OFFICE KNOW.

YOU GET SOMETHING TOGETHER AND WE CAN WHIP IT UP.

I WILL TRY.

I WILL MACE -- MAKE THE CASE FOR THE VOTE TODAY.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> CRICHELLE WITH HOME CO LIGS.

GO AHEAD -- CO LIGS.

>> I AM CRICHELLE WITH THE HOME COALITION AND A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE STEERING COMMITTEE.

WE ARE DEFINITELY WORKING TO TRY TO FLATTEN THE EVICTION CURVE.

REPRESENTATIVE WALLEY SAID EARLIER AND I AGREE THAT THE TAX FORCE VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY TO SUPPORT A RECOMMENDATION OF AN ORDINANCE TO THE CITY.

AS WE ARE WAITING TO HEAR BACK AND GET A REAL UNDERSTANDING OF ANY POTENTIAL FROM THE CITY, AS A TASK FORCE MEMBER I AM HOPEFUL WE CAN ESTABLISH ANY TENANT PROTECTIONS TO STAVE OFF THE LOOMING EVICTIONS WE KNOW ARE COMING.

WE KNOW THEY HAVE GONE FAR TOO LONG UNRECOGNIZED AND FOR THE FIRST TIME I CAN REMEMBER TENANT ADVOCATES IN THE LANDLORD COMMUNITY ALONG WITH TENANTS ARE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH THIS ONE.

TENANTS NEED RELIEF.

WE MUST SEIZE THIS MOMENT TO MAKE SURE THOSE WHO WE WERE TALKING TO EARLIER HAVE A PLACE TO CALL HOME AND BE AT HOME AS THEY BEGIN VIRTUAL LEARNING IN THE FALL.

I AM AGAIN ASKING FOR THE SUPPORT AND THE COOPERATE -- THE COOPERATION OF THE COUNTY LEADERSHIP AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR COMMITMENT IN THIS PARTICULAR MOVEMENT.

THANK YOU.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: IN RESPONSE TO COMMISSIONER ELLIS' DISCUSSIONS WITH THE CITY AND THE POSSIBILITY OF US PARTNERING WITH THE CITY OF HOUSTON ON THIS, CAN WE MAKE A MOTION ON THIS TODAY? ARE WE IN A PLACE TO DO THAT NOW?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK WE WILL BE BY THE END OF THE DAY.

I AM TRYING TO GIVE THEM ENOUGH LATITUDE.

YOU MIGHT REMEMBER WHEN THIS CAME UP.

LOOK, THE CITY WILL PUT IN A MILLION, A MILLION AND A HALF.

OBVIOUSLY THERE IS A LIMIT.

WE HAVE TO STOP SOMEWHERE.

I HOPE BY THE END OF THE DAY -- OUR STAFF IS WORKING TO COME UP WITH SOME LANGUAGE.

IF THEY TELL US SPECIFICALLY THAT THEY WANT IT TO GO TO THE GULF COAST, OR LONE STAR LEGAL AID, I HEARD ABOUT THEM FOREVER.

THAT'S THE ONE THAT I KNOW OF AND I KNOW PEOPLE WHO ARE ON SUNNY SIDE AND FIFTH WARD.

I DON'T KNOW IF THE REACH IS UNINCORPORATED.

[13:20:02]

I THINK I HEAR 750 AT LEAST.

JUDGE, YOU FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE TO SIGN OFF ON, YOU AND THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT.

I THINK BY THE END OF THE DAY I WANT TO DO THAT AT LEAST.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: EXACTLY.

I WANT FOLKS TO KNOW THAT WE HEAR THEM.

YOU HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR THIS AND I AM INCLINED TO -- NOT INCLINED, BUT I WOULD SUPPORT WHATEVER YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT TIME A MOTION TO ADD 750 FROM CARES INTO THIS PRASM -- PROGRAM.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: MUSIC TO MY EARS.

YOU CAN SEE ME LOOKING OVER THERE WITH THE MASK ON.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DO WE HAVE ANY OTHER SPEAKERS ?

>> JUDGE, WE ARE NOT ABLE TO REACH THE OTHER SPEAKERS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: TELL THEM THEY WON.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

THOSE ARE THE COVID ITEMS AND NOW TO THE REGULAR AGENDA YES?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I WANTED TO ADD INTO THIS BECAUSE IT IS SORT OF -- IT GOES TOGETHER.

I HAVE BEEN ON THE PHONE WITH GUIDE HOUSE REGARDING THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE, AND IT IS SPEAKING TO WHAT THE COMMUNITY IS ADDRESSING AND WE ARE CLOSE TO ASSURING THAT.

WE HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THEM AND THEY EXPRESSED A COUPLE OF CONCERNS THAT I THINK ARE FAIR AND WROTE LOVE TO DISCUSS THEM WITH EVERYONE.

ONE, THEY ARE CONCERNED IF SOMEONE IS USING THEIR APARTMENT FOR A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE, AND I WILL PUT IT INTO THAT CONTEXT BECAUSE WE WANT TO MAKE SURE A FAMILY DOES NOT GET EVICTED BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

IF SOMEBODY IS USING THEIR APARTMENT TO COOK METH OR TO RUN HUMAN TRAFFICKING OR SOME OTHER TYPE OF ISSUE, I THINK IT IS FAIR THAT THE APARTMENT COMMUNITY BE GIVEN THE SUPPORT TO EVICT THOSE WHO ARE WEARING OUT THEIR WELCOME.

I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION THAT AS IT RELATES TO THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

I HAVE HEARD A LOT FROM THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED WITH THE CITY OF HOUSTON PROGRAM AND THERE IS A LOT OF ANGST WITH NOT ALLOWING THE LANDLORD'S -- OR THE -- OR RESTRICTING THEM TO 60-DAYS BEFORE THEY CAN START ANY PROCEEDINGS.

I AM NOT ANXIOUS TO FALL ON THE SWORD ON THAT ONE, BUT I HEAR WHAT THE CONCERN IS.

I WANT TO THROW THAT ONE OUT.

THE LAST ONE IS THE AVERAGE RENT FOR OUR MARKET AREA IS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $1240 IS WHAT I'M BEING TOLD.

AND CURRENTLY THE PROGRAM THAT WE HAVE CONSTRUCTED WOULD BE FOR A THOUSAND DOLLARS.

I WANTED TO PROPOSE THAT WE ADD -- GIVEN THE MAGNITUDE OF THE CONVERSATION WE JUST HAD AND THE OTHER CONVERSATIONS I HAVE BEEN HEARING IS TO ADD 10 MILLION MORE INTO THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM, BUT SCALE IF -- SCALE IT UP TO THE 1200 MARK SO WE CAN GET THE APARTMENT LANDLORDS INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING.

SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THEY HAVE BEEN HAVING THERE HAS TO BE PUSH BACK.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TRUE THAT IS, BUT IF THAT IS THE MARKET RATE, I THINK IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO CONSIDER THAT AS WE STRUCTURE THIS.

THAT WOULD BE WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE THAT WE WORK TO AMEND THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND ADD 10 MILLION.

GUIDE HOUSE SAYS IF WE ADD THE 10 MILLION THERE IS A CAPACITY TO OBVIOUSLY HELP MORE FAMILIES THAT ARE STRUGGLING RIGHT NOW.

OBVIOUSLY WITH THE CONVERSATIONS WE JUST HEARD THAT APPEARS TO BE EXTREMELY VALID.

BUT THE OTHER ONE IS THE CONCERN OF THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY THAT IS -- LOOK, THERE IS NO VICTIMLESS CRIMES.

THOSE THAT WERE USING AN EXAMPLE OF COOKING METH OR SOMETHING THAT THE APARTMENT IS A VERY KEY COMPONENT TO THE COMMITTING OF A CRIME AND WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAPTURE THEM, BUT GUIDE HOUSE IS WORKING ON THAT POINT AND THE 10 MILLION TO BE ABLE TO HELP MORE FAMILIES THAT ARE OUT THERE.

SO I WANTED TO PUT THAT OUT THERE FOR EVERYBODY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS AND THEN COMMISSIONER CAGLE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA, I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT.

I KNOW THE CHIEFS OF STAFF HAVE BEEN MEETING AND THEY HAVE TALKED TO -- TENTATIVELY THEY AGREED TO ABOUT 25 MILLION IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

AS LONG AS WE KEEP IT ON PAR BECAUSE YOU KNOW SOME OF OUR CONSTITUENTS OUT THERE, IF THEY ARE FACED WITH PAYING THE RENT OR PAYING OTHER ISSUES, THEY MAY DECIDE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO MOVE IN WITH GRANDMA OR WHO EVER.

I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM AS LONG AS WE HAVE A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ARE MAKING A MOTION OR PUTTING A MARKER DOWN.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: PUTTING IN A MOTION TO AMEND THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WANT TO OFF AREA FRIENDLY AMENDMENT TO IT BECAUSE I KNOW OUR CHIEFS OF STAFF HAVE TALKED ABOUT IT.

I WANT TO ADD TO THAT WE KNOW A MARKER FOR 25 MILLION IN THE DIRECT ASSISTANCE, AND SOME OF THAT COULD BE GOING TO PAY RENT.

I GUESS I AM TAKING YOUR 10 AND UPPING YOU 125 TO MAKE IT 35.

>> DO YOU SEE ME LOOKING OVER AT YOU? I AM LOOKING AT MY CHIEF OF STAFF.

WE ARE GOOD.

>> JUDGE, THE MOTION IS I WILL OFFER A FRIENDLY -- I WILL SECOND IT.

OUR CHIEF OF STAFF -- HOW DO YOU SAY IT? CHIEF OF STAFFS? CHIEFS OF STAFF?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: CHIEFS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: CHIEFS OF STAFF, I AM TOLD -- BRANDON JUST TOLD ME THAT THEY TENTATIVELY WERE TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THEM, COMMISSIONER CAGLE, COMMISSIONER RADACK AND LOOKING AT 25 MILLION IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

I AM SECONDING THE MOTION TO MOVE THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE UP TO -- >> ADRIAN GARCIA: 25.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: 25.

IT IS 15 NOW WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE -- COME ON.

I'M GETTING TIRED NOW ALREADY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: COVID RELIEF.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WHAT IS IT CALLED? RENT ASSISTANCE WILL BE 25 MILLION AS WELL.

I JUST WANTED TO KEEP THE TWO ON PAR, COMMISSIONER.

I SECOND YOUR MOTION.

I WILL SECOND THAT MOTION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAD A COMMENT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YES, YOUR HONOR.

I THINK WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THREE DIFFERENT THINGS HERE.

THE ITEM WE JUST DISCUSSED I WILL TAKE UP FIRST WHICH IS THE DIRECT RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WHICH IS WHERE WE MOVE IN PLACE.

THE LANDLORD WHEN THEY ACCEPT THE FUNDS AND WHEN THEY SIGN THAT RELEASE SO THAT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CONTINUE WITH AN EVICTION PROCEEDING BECAUSE THEY ALSO HAVE A RIGHT TO EVICT BASED ON THE SLOW PAY, THE LATE PAY AND LETS -- LESS PAYMENTS.

I HEARD AN INCREASED AMOUNT OF FUNDING AND NUMBER TWO, THE PROGRAM HAS A THOUSAND DOLLAR CAP, ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE RENTAL IN THE MARKET IS 1240 AND I SUPPORT THAT.

LET'S MAKE IT 1240 AS PART OF THE MOTION.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: 1200 WOULD KEEP IT SIMPLE NUMBERS.

>> R JACK CAGLE: 1200? YOU WANT 1200 I AM OKAY WITH THAT.

THAT MAKES IT WHERE WE ARE A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE AVERAGE.

PART B -- PART B TO THE FIRST ISSUE IS THE INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO GO INTO THIS PROGRAM AND I THINK THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE CARES ACT IS FOR.

I HAVE BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THIS PROGRAM AND I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE PUT INTO THAT PUT IN AND THEY CAN PARTICIPATE WITH US.

SOME MAY NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE DIRECT EXPENDITURES.

WHEN THEY ARE ON THE CUSP THIS IS A WAY THEY CAN DIRECTLY IMPACT THAT WE HAVE.

I AM SUPPORTIVE OF THAT.

WHERE I AM IN CONFUSION AND NEEDING CLARIFICATION, I UNDERSTAND COLLISIONER -- COMMISSIONER ELLIS HAS SECONDED YOUR MOTION COMMISSIONER GARCIA, BUT I AM FULLY ON BOARD WITH THOSE TWO THINGS AS IT GOES.

BOTH TO INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF THE CARES ACT.

I THINK THIS IS WHAT THE CARES IS FOR.

THE SECOND WHERE WE ARE PARTNERING WITH THE CITY OF HOUSTON IN SOMETHING FOR AN

UNSPECIFIED AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SEE WHAT THAT IS -- >> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT'S LATER, COMMISSIONER.

>> R JACK CAGLE: IF THAT COMES LATER I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT WILL BE THE LEGAL A -- THE LEGAL AID PIECE.

MAYBE BEFORE WE FINISH TONIGHT -- THAT'S BEEN GOING ON SINCE AM.

MAYBE BY THE FINISH OF TONIGHT I AM TOLD MAYBE WE NUDGED THEM JAM DAP.

>> R JACK CAGLE: MAYBE IF WE CAN DRAFT UP A CONTRACT -- I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SEE THAT BEFORE IT HAPPENS.

IF THAT IS NOT PART OF THIS MOTION I AM AGREEING TO PUSHING THAT BACK.

I AGREE WITH THE LADY WHO WAS TALKING ABOUT MARK GRINDAGE.

THERE WERE THOUSANDS OF CASE THAT'S WERE REVERSED AND ONE WAS BY MARK GRINDAGE.

HE IS AN EXCELLENT ATTORNEY.

THE THIRD THING, I DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS A MOTION OR IF YOU WERE DISCUSSING IT, BUT TRYING TO HAVE SOME SORT OF RULES THAT RESTRICT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: IT IS ACTUALLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND, BUT I AM TAKING FEEDBACK WITH THE CITY OF HOUGHTONS -- HOUSTONS PROGRAM.

THEY DID PUT RESTRICTIONS ON THEIRS TO BE EVICTED EVEN THOUGH THEY COMMITTED SOME CRIMES JAM.

>> R JACK CAGLE: WE NEED TO SEE IF I AM TENANT 121 AND TENANT IN 122 IS SHOOTING OFF GUNS AND SELLING DRUGS, I SHOULD HAVE THE PROTECTION TO MAKE SURE I LIVE IN A SAFE UH PORT -- APARTMENT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THE ONLY THING I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE PROTECT AGAINST IS THE FAMILY WITH AN ABUSIVE SPOUSE, THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

I WANT TO PROTECT THE FAMILY UNIT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: I THINK THAT IS COVERED BY THE FAMILY COURT JUDGE.

NORMALLY IN THOSE SITUATIONS WE HAVE TWO WAYS IT CAN GO.

USUALLY THEY MAKE THE CALL WHO GETS TO STAY IN THE APARTMENT AND WHO HAS TO LEAVE AND PUT IN THE PROTECTIVE FACTORS.

9 REGULAR FAMILY COURTS AND THEN THE DO -- THE DOMESTIC RELATION COURT.

I I MEAN -- WHATEVER THAT OTHER COURT IS CALLED, DOMESTIC VIEWS COURT.

THERE SHOULD BE EIGHT OF THEM.

WE ARE MOVING ON THE TENANT RELIEF PROGRAM WITH THE 10 BEING ADDED IN AND THE CAP RAISED TO 1200 AND TO MAKE SURE THE PROGRAM DOES NOT COMPROMISE SAFETY IN THE APARTMENT.

SO IF I HAVE A TENANT AND I HAVE ANOTHER TENANT THAT IS NOT BEING SAFE, I AM NOT BEING PUNISHED BY THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR THAT THE MANAGEMENT DOES HAVE THE ABILITY TO PROTECT HIM.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THERE YOU GO.

>> R JACK CAGLE: THAT'S THE A, B AND C TO THE PROPOSAL.

I AM FINE WITH THE A, B AND C.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WONDERFUL.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO BE LABOR THE

[13:25:01]

POIFNT.

-- POINT I WILL SECOND THE MOTION AND THEN MAKE A SECOND MOTION THAT WE EARMARK $25 MILLION.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE, I KNOW YOU VOTED AGAINST IT BEFORE AND I ASSUME YOU WILL VOTE AGAINST IT THIS TIME.

FOR THE SAKE OF MOVING ALONG -- >> STEVE RADACK: WHAT IS THIS OTHER 25 MILLION FOR?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WILL DO IT AS A SEPARATE MOTION TO MAKE IT EASIER.

OUR STAFFS HAVE AGREED TENTATIVELY THAT GUIDE HOUSE IS TO DIRECT ANOTHER $25 MILLION IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

WE DID THE FUND BEFORE, BUT IT WAS WITH OUR EMERGENCY FUND.

THIS GO AROUND OUR CHIEFS OF STAFF HAVE MET AND THEY AGREE.

IT IS 25 MILLION WHICH IS WHY WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO MOVE THIS UP.

BUT IT WILL GIVE YOU -- IF IT GIVES YOU DISCOMFORT IF YOU CAN'T GET A SIGNAL -- >> DO YOU WANT TO PUT THAT 25 MILLION INTO THIS PROGRAM?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I JUST SECONDED IT.

I WANT IT EARMARKED THAT I WANT 25 TO GO TO ASSISTANCE.

IF THAT GIVES YOU HEART HEARTBURN I WILL MAKE A SECOND MOTION.

>> R JACK CAGLE: MAKE A SECOND MOTION.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WILL MAKE A SECOND MOTION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA, ONE THING I WANT TO CLARIFY ON THIS, I REMEMBER ONE QUESTION WE DISCUSSED BACK WHEN WE FIRST -- WHEN YOU FIRST PROPOSED THIS WAS IF FOLKS CAN'T AFFORD THE RENT AT THE BEGINNING AND WE CAN ONLY GIVE THEM ONE PAYMENT, THEN WHAT? MY UNDERSTANDING IS THIS WILL GIVE THEM UNTIL OCTOBER AND THEY WILL HAVE DISCOUNTED PAYMENTS.

SO THAT WAY YOU EXTEND THE TIME FOR THE REST OF THE RENT TO WHERE HOPEFULLY THEY CAN MAKE IT UP.

IS THAT RIGHT?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THAT IS CORRECT.

THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

I THINK THIS WILL BE -- I WAS GOING TO MENTION AND THANK YOU FOR JOGGING MY MEMORY, JUDGE, BUT I THINK THIS WILL WORK WELL WITH THE LEGAL AID PROGRAM.

LEGAL AID WILL KNOW WE HAVE DONE SOMETHING AND IT GIVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO POTENTIALLY NEGOTIATE TENNANTS AND STRUCTURE SOME PAYMENT AGREEMENT AND SOME PROCESS.

IF THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY THEN THERE IS NO ROOM TO NEGOTIATE SO I THINK IT WORKS PERFECTLY WELL TOGETHER.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THAT'S FANTASTIC.

YES, LUCINDA?

>> WE WERE ABLE TO REACH ONE OF THE LAST SPEAKERS.

CAN I PUT THEM THROUGH?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: LET ME READ THE MOTION REAL QUICK SO WE CAN HAVE THAT AND THEN -- SO THE MOTION IS TO AMEND THE AGREEMENT ON RENTAL ASSISTANCE WITH BAKER RILEY TO APPROPRIATE AN ADDITIONAL 10 MILLION TO RAISE THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE TO HOUSEHOLDS TO $1200 AND TO PERMIT RECIPIENT LANDLORDS TO EVICT TENANTS ON THE BASIS OF A CRIME EXCEPT FOR A CRIME FOR WHICH ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD WAS A VICTIM.

THAT'S THE MOTION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND DOES THAT -- AND THEN WHEN THE PERSON IS A VICTIM WOULD THAT BE IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTIONS ? I DON'T KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

I DON'T WANT SOMEONE -- I DON'T WANT TO FORCE SOMEONE TO STAY WITH THE PERPETRATOR.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: EXACTLY.

PEOPLE WILL BE TAKEN OFF LEASES.

BUT IF YOU HAVE AN ABUSIVE SPOUSE AND THEY GET ARRESTED AND THEN THEY DON'T SAY ALL OF Y'ALL GO.

THAT'S WHAT I AM TRYING TO PROTECT AGAINST.

>> LINA HIDALGO: JAMES, DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO YOU? DO YOU NEED CLARIFICATION?

>> DO YOU WANT TO RESTATE THE MOTION IF IT IS DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU PREVIOUSLY STATED?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: MIGHT I SEND IT TO YOU, JAMES? JAMES, I WILL SEND IT TO YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> AND JUDGE, EXCUSE ME, TODD HOFFMAN WOULD LIKE TO BE UNMUTED.

IS THAT OKAY?

>> LINA HIDALGO: SURE.

THANK YOU.

>> GO AHEAD, TODD.

>> THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, JUDGE.

ONE POINT OF CLARIFICATION, COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

ON THE DIRECT ASSISTANCE YOU WERE MENTIONING A FEW MINUTES AGO, WE HAVE A DRAFT WHITE PAPER WE CIRCULATED THIS AFTERNOON WITH A FEW POINTS THAT WE WILL BE TALKING WITH THE CHIEFS OF STAFF TOMORROW ON.

AGAIN, IT IS IN DRAFT FORM AND THERE IS A FEW DECISION POINTS THAT NEED TO BE MADE BEFORE IT GETS TAKEN TO COURT.

I JUST WANTED TO CLARIFY THAT ONE POINT.

THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND JUDGE, IF I MIGHT.

TODD, ALL I WANT TO DO IS, AS WE WERE AT THE ABLE TODAY IN-- INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF RENTAL ASSISTANCE BY 10 MILLION AND PUTTING IN 25 MILLION, I AM JUST GOING TO MAKE A MOTION THAT WE WILL PUT $25 MILLION IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

WE DID 30 BEFORE AND THAT WAS COMING FROM THE EMERGENCY FUND.

THIS IS GOING TO BE CARES MONEY.

AND HOPEFULLY IF YOU ALL WORKED IT OUT AND I KNOW SOMETIMES THE CHIEFS OF STAFF MAY THINK THEY GET A SIGNAL FROM THEIR BOSS AND IT MAY CHANGE WHICH I WAS TELLING COMMISSIONER CAGLE AND I DIDN'T WANT TO BE LABOR THE POINT ON THIS.

I KNOW THE CHIEFS OF STAFF AGREED TO 25, BUT THAT MIGHT CHANGE.

I WANT TO MAKE THAT MOTION THAT IT IS 25.

IF YOU ARE FINISHED BY NEXT TUESDAY MAYBE WE WILL DO IT.

IF NOT, IT WILL BE A WEEK LATER.

TODD, YOU STILL THERE SPH.

>> YES, SIR.

AND ACTUALLY, COMMISSIONER, THE 25 IS -- WE PUT SOME RANGES IN THERE FOR A DECISION POINT, SO I WAS JUST GOING BACK AND LOOKING AT THE DRAFT WE JUST CIRCULATED.

THAT 25 MILLION IS A DECISION THAT WAS TO BE MADE TOMORROW JUST FOR CLARIFICATION.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I AM TRYING TO WORK IT ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW.

IT IS 25 MILLION OF DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

I AM TRYING TO PREEMPT IT SO AT LEAST WE KNOW.

>> YES, SIR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE WILL VOTE ON COMMISSIONER GARCIA'S MOTION FIRST.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO COMMISSIONER -- LUCINDA, YOU SAID THERE WAS ONE MORE OR WAS IT TODD?

>> YES, MA'AM.

THERE IS ONE MORE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S HEAR FROM THAT PERSON AND THEN WE WILL VOTE ON THE MOTION.

>> CARMEN WITH TOP.

GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

>> HI.

GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS CARMEN AND I AM CALLING REGARDING THE REPRESENT, THE PANDEMIC.

I HAVE A FRIEND HE WAS -- SHE WAS EVICTED FROM HER APARTMENT AFTER FIVE YEARS.

IT WAS THE PANDEMIC AND SHE WAS EVICTED.

SHE DOESN'T HAVE A JOB AND SHE HAD TO LIVE WITH A SISTER IN A SMALL APARTMENT.

THE LANDLORD DON'T SEE.

RUNNING HER CREDIT.

ONE OF HER LITTLE KIDS, MOTHER OF TWO, HAS CANCER.

HOW IS THAT? WHY DON'T SHE HAVE FUNDS TO PAY HER RENT? WHY WE DON'T HELP HER? I WAS LUCKY BECAUSE I WAS -- I HAD MY HOUSE YEARS AGO.

IF SHE IS LATE ON HER RENT BEFORE SHE HAVE TO PAY $50 AND $80 THE DAY SHE HAS TO PAY THE RENT AND THEY CHARGE FEE EVERY DAY BETWEEN $25 AND $50 A DAY.

OBVIOUSLY WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.

THIS GOES TOGETHER WITH THE SAME WITH THE SCHOOLS.

THE KIDS WOULD MOVE FROM ONE ADDRESS TO ANOTHER ONE.

SO HOW IS -- IF THEY OPEN THE SCHOOLS HOW DO THEY GO TO THE SCHOOL? HOW DO THEY CHANGE THEIR LIFE? THE KIDS THEY DON'T KNOW.

THEY JUST KNOW THEY HAVE TO GO TO THE SCHOOL.

WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING, PLEASE.

I BEG YOU TO PASS THIS LAW SO THEY CAN HELP FAMILIES.

I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE HER.

WE NEED YOU.

PLEASE HELP THESE PEOPLE AND PASS THE MOTION.

WE NEED HELP NOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

MY NAME WAS AGAIN CARMEN YVONNE AND I AM FROM TEXAS ORGANIZING PROJECT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

GRACIAS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

SO THAT'S ALL OF THE SPEAKERS, CORRECT, LUCINDA?

>> YES, MA'AM.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SPOKE.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOU MADE YOUR MOTION WHICH JAMES HAS.

DO WE HAVE A SECOND? ALL IN FAVOR?

>> I.

I.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER RADACK, I? I AM IN FAVOR AS WELL.

MOTION CARRIES UNANIMOUSLY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU, COLLEAGUES.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, THE MOTION I WANT TO MAKE IS THAT WE JUST EARMARK $25 MILLION OUT OF THE CARES MONEY FOR DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

THE CHIEFS OF STAFF TENTATIVELY AGREED TO THAT AMOUNT.

IT MAY CHANGE.

SOMETIMES THEY CAN GIVE A DIFFERENT INSTRUCTION TO THE CHIEFS OF STAFF AND THEN THE PROPOSAL WILL COME BACK TO US MAYBE NEXT WEEK, BUT IF NOT A WEEK LATER.

IT WILL BE SOMETHING COMPARABLE TO WHAT WE DID BEFORE WHERE I AM TOLD 450,000 PEOPLE HAD TO GET REJECTION LETTERS.

SOME OF THOSE WERE PEOPLE WHO TESTIFIED EARLIER.

MY MOTION IS TO EARMARK $25 MILLION OUT OF THE CARES MONEY FOR DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SECOND.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS MADE A MOTION AND SECONDED BY COMMISSION -- COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

ALL IN FAVOR?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OPPOSED?

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR, I AM GOING TO BE OPPOSED TODAY, BUT WHEN I SEE WHAT THE PROPOSAL MAY BE, I MAY CHANGE MY MIND SINCE IT IS COMING OUT OF THE CARES ACT.

IN TERMS OF LOOKING FOR SOMETHING WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS JUST YET, I AM GONNA BE A NO TODAY.

I WILL WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE REST OF THE STUFF COMES BACK LATER.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT'S A NO AND WE ARE WAITING -- JUDGE, ARE YOU MUTED.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THAT IS COMMISSIONER RADACK.

I DON'T KNOW IF HE IS ON.

[13:30:01]

I WILL VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION.

WHEN COMMISSIONER RADACK RETURNS WE WILL CHECK ON HIS VOTE.

THE MOTION CARRIES.

AND I THINK COMMISSIONER ELLIS, IT IS THE SAME PROGRAM BASICALLY, CREATE -- CORRECT BUT ADDING MORE FUNDS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: UNDER THE CARES ACT, IT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COVER THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY.

THAT'S THE CASE.

THAT'S THE ONE DISTINCTION.

AND ONE THING TO WORK OUT LIKE WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM, I WANT IT TO APPLY TO UNINCORPORATED AND INCORPORATED.

THE COURT WILL MAKE THAT DECISION.

>> JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> JAMES DID YOU GET MY PREVIOUS VOTE?

>> YES, SIR.

YOU VOTED YES ON THE THE FIRST MOTION BY COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE ARE ON THE SECOND ONE COMMISSIONER RADACK? WHAT IS YOUR VOTE ON THE SECOND ONE ON THE DIRECT ASSISTANCE WHERE I MADE A MOTION TO EARMARK 25 MILLION TO GO TO DIRECT ASSISTANCE.

CAGLE MAY CHANGE HIS MIND.

>> STEVE RADACK: I COULDN'T HEAR.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: CAN YOU HEAR ME, STEVE?

>> STEVE RADACK: I CAN HEAR YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THE MOTION WAS TO PUT A MARKER DOWN FOR $25 MILLION DOWN IN DIRECT ASSISTANCE COMPARABLE TO WHAT WE DID WITH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION DIRECT ASSISTANCE FOR 30 MILLION.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE VOTED NO TODAY.

HE SAYS WHEN HE SEES IT WHEN HE COMES BACK HE MAY CHANGE HIS MIND, BUT HE WAS NO TODAY.

WE LEFT THE VOTE OPEN TO LET YOU DECIDE IF YOU ARE FOR IT ORGANS IT TODAY.

-- OR AGAINST IT TODAY.

>> STEVE RADACK: I VOTE I.

>> JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: TODD WOULD LIKE TO BE UNMUTED.

YES.

>> WE ARE LOOKING AT THIS AND JUDGE YOU MADE THIS COMMENT IN THE LAST COURT OF THE $450,000 APPLICANTS THAT DID NOT RECEIVE ANY AID FROM THE LAST PROGRAM CHA COMMISSIONER ELLIS IS TALKING ABOUT.

WE ARE WORKING WITH THE FOUNDATION TO FIND SOME CYNERGYS WHERE WE CAN CONNECT THAT PROGRAM TO THE NEW PROGRAM WE WILL NEED TO DO A LITTLE MORE ON COMPLIANCE SO I WANTED TO CLARIFY A COUPLE OF THOSE POINTS.

THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IF THEY COME BACK AND SAY THE 25 JUST DOESN'T WORK AND IT SHOULD BE 23 OR 26 THEN COME BACK AND TELL US.

I JUST WANTED TO GIVE YOU SOME PARAMETERS SO YOU KNOW WHAT -- SOME BALLPARK OF WHAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH.

YOU ARE MUTED, JUDGE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: TODD, DID YOU CATCH THAT?

>> I SURE DID.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

LOLLING -- LET'S CONTINUE WITH THE COVID AGENDA.

THE OTHER ON EVICTIONS AND COMMISSIONER GARCIA MADE HIS MOTION ABOUT THE PROGRAM HE HAS BEEN DRIVING WHICH IS GREAT.

THE NEXT IS SUPPLEMENTAL.

SO COVID IS UP PLAW MEN -- SUPPLEMENTAL STARTS WITH NUMBER 12 AND IT IS A SITE.

WOULD PUBLIC HELGT OR ENGINEER -- PUBLIC HEALTH OR ENGINEERING HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD?

>> THIS IS JOHN BLOUNT.

THIS IS A VERY GOOD SITE AND A VERY GOOD LOCATION.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GREAT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE ON NUMBER 13? 12?

>> LINA HIDALGO: THIS IS NUMBER 12 ON PAGE TWO OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ON THIS ONE.

NUMBER 13 IS CENSUS.

JOSH.

>> YES, JUDGE.

THIS IS TO EXTEND OUR CENSUS CONTRACTS AND IT PROVIDES US WITH A NEW WAY TO DO THE CENSUS.

WHEN WE HAD THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT A LOT OF IT WAS FACE-TO-FACE.

BECAUSE OF COVID WE WERE NOT ABLE TO DO OBVIOUSLY ANY OF THE FACE-TO-FACE, BUT WITH THE CONTRACT THAT WE HAD, THEY ATTEMPTED TO PIVOT TOWARD DOING MORE OF A VIRTUAL CENSUS.

SOME SUCCESS THERE, BUT NOT WHAT WE WERE REALLY LOOKING FOR.

RIGHT NOW WHAT WE WOULD BE PAYING FOR IS SIX DIRECT MESSAGES TO INDIVIDUALS TO GET INTO THE CENSUS THAT ARE -- THAT HAVE NOT PROVIDED THEIR INPUT TO THE CENSUS AND TO GET THEM T.O.

DO -- THEM TO DO THAT.

IF IT PERFORMS WELL, WE WILL DO THE REST OF THE CONTRACT FOR A TOTAL OF 9.

WE THINK THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AND THERE HAS BEEN GREAT SUCCESS WITH THIS COMPANY AS IT RELATES TO PORTMAN COUNTY AND WE RECOMMEND THIS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU, JUDGE.

JOSH, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND THOSE OVER IN COMMUNITY SERVICES.

I DO HAVE A QUESTION AND IT IS NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR ITEM.

I GOT SOME FEEDBACK THAT THE ACTUAL CENSUS BUREAU STAFF IS DISCOURAGING THE COUNTING OF ANYONE WHO WAS THOUGHT TO BE UNDOCUMENTED.

HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING LIKE THAT?

>> I HAVE NOT, BUT LET ME TALK TO DAFFY -- DAPHNE.

ARE YOU ON?

>> SHE IS UNMUTED.

>> THIS IS DAPHNE AND COMMISSIONER WE HAVE NOT HEARD OF THAT.

MATTER OF FACT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE LOCAL CENSUS REPS IN THE AREA.

WE WILL DEFINITELY LOOK INTO THAT, BUT WE HAVE NOT HEARD THAT IS THE MESSAGE GOING OUT.

THAT IS DEFINITELY INCORRECT AND IT IS NOT THE MESSAGING WE NEED AT THIS TIME.

WE WANT TO COUNT EVERYONE IN THE COUNTY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: VERY GOOD.

IF YOU CAN MAKE SURE TO TRACK THAT BECAUSE IT CAME UP IN THE CONTEXT OF CENSUS STAFF AND THE TRAINING OF VALIDATERS.

>> OKAY.

>> AND I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT AS COMMISSIONER ELLIS BROUGHT UP EARLIER ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY VERSUS WHAT WE GET WHEN IT COMES TO CGDB AND THE HOME FUNDS, THE CENSUS IS A HUGE PART OF THAT AND WE CAN REBALANCE THAT BETTER CORRECTLY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: EXACTLY.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA -- FIRST OFF, THANK YOU.

GREAT JOB ON THIS.

WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN AND ALL OF US WANT TO HELP.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA, THANK YOU FOR RAISING THAT POINT.

THERE HAS BEEN A NEW ORDER OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE TELLING THE CENSUS BURE -- BUREAU THAT THEY CANNOT COUNT.

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE CALLED MY OFFICE AS WELL INCLUDING PEOPLE WITH THE LAWYERS COMMITTEE ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND NOT ONLY WILL IT HAVE AN IMPACT ON OUR MONEY, COMMISSIONER GARCIA, BUT IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON REDISTRICTING AS IT RELATES TO YOUR PRECINCT AND ALL OF OUR PRECINCTS AND OUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION.

WE ARE LIKELY TO LOSE ONE SEAT THAT IS OTHERWISE TO GAIN IN THE U.S.

HOUSE AND WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET.

IT INCLUDES THOSE IN THE UNITED STATES.

IT INCLUDES THE POPULATION IN THE STATES AND MY AN -- MY ANCESTORS.

THEY DID EXCLUDE AMERICAN INDIANS WHO WERE NOT TAXED AND THEN OBVIOUSLY THE ISSUE WITH THE NATIVE AMERICANS SOMETIME LATER AT ABOUT 1940 AND THEY HAVE BEEN FILED IN THE PAST WEEK AGAINST THIS ORDER AND THE PLAINTIFFS INCLUDE 20 STATES AND NUMEROUS CITIES AND COUNTIES INCLUDING EL PASO COUNTY AND HIDALGO COUNTY.

AND THEY WILL BE FILED TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND THEY HAVE INVITED US, HARRIS COUNTY 26, 27 STATES.

MY STAFF CALLED HIM AND I DIDN'T.

AND IT WILL PREPARE AN ANALYSIS IN LITIGATING TO EXCLUDE CITIZENS FROM BEING COUNTED.

THE MARE -- MERITS OF SUCH LITIGATION AND THE STATUS OF PENDING LITIGATION AND THE COUNTY'S INTEREST IN JOINING CURRENT LITIGATION AS EITHER A PLAINTIFF OR FILING AN AMIGO -- AN AMICUS.

I'M SORRY AND I WAS TRYING TO WOLF DOWN MY FOOD SO I DIDN'T EAT THE WRONG STUFF AND HAVE TO GET TESTED AGAIN.

I'M SORRY I DIDN'T CALL YOU ABOUT IT.

IT IS NOT A MOTION, BUT JUST ASKING YOU TO COME BACK WITH THAT ANALYSIS.

>> YES, SIR, AND WE ARE PLEASED TO DO THAT.

WE HAVE BEEN ALREADY TALKING WITH YOUR STAFF AND WE ARE PREPARED TO HAVE AN ANALYSIS READY ON TUESDAY IF YOU WANT TO.

THERE IS NO IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED ON ANY OF THESE LAWSUITS AND TUESDAY IS PLENTY OF TIME TO SORT IT OUT AND MAKE SOME DECISIONS ON WHERE BEST TO DEAL WITH THIS AND IN WHEN STATE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER GARCIA FOR WAKING ME UP.

I WAS DOZING OFF AGAIN AFTER THAT LUNCH.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU.

I WAS TRYING TO WOLF MINE DOWN TOO.

JUDGE, IF I COULD ADD ALSO ON THIS AND I JUST WANT TO THANK MY STAFF WHO ARE WORKING LIKE THREE-LEGGED MULES DURING THIS PANDEMIC AND EVERY DAY.

I WANT TO THANK MERCEDES SANCHEZ ON MY TEAM.

SHE RAISED A VERY IMPORTANT POINT REGARDING THE CENSUS, BUT REALLY ALL THINGS COVID.

AND THAT IS, FOR EXAMPLE, DURING YOUR PROGRAM, COMMISSIONER EL -- ELLIS, WE OPENED THAT UP.

AND WITH THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN -- YOU KNOW, WHO HAVE APPLIED.

WE HAVE A LOT OF DATA IN TERMS OF ENCOURAGING THE CENSUS.

SO I WANT TO MAKE SURE, JUDGE -- I MEAN, I WILL BE DOING IT FROM THIS PERCH, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL TO ENSURE ALL OF THESE INITIATIVES WHETHER IT IS RENTAL ASSISTANCE AND WHETHER IT IS THE DIRECT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. WHEREVER WE HAVE COLLECTED DATA TO HAVE SOME SMART PEOPLE WORKING TO DRIVE A CENSUS PARTICIPATION MESSAGE AND ENGAGEMENT SO WE CAN CAPTURE SOME OF THAT.

THEY ARE NOT THINKING OF THE CENSUS.

THEY ARE THINKING OF KEEPING A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE NOT MISSING OUT.

I WANT TO THANK MY STAFF AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH IT IS -- AND I SUPPORT IT, BUT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE DRIVING ACTIVITY.

I AM NOT SURE HOW WE PROCEED FROM THAT, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE ANY OF OUR STAFF THAT IS ATTACHED TO THESE RESPECTIVE PROGRAMS, THAT THEY ARE CREATING THE PROCESS.

AND WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING OVER THERE, MAYBE WE ARE USING ALL OF THE DATA THAT WE HAVE COLLECTED AND THOSE WHO HAVE REGISTERED FOR THE COVID TESTING AND THOSE WHO APPLIED FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND THOSE WHO APPLIED FOR THE GRANT, I WANT TO MAKE

[13:35:02]

SURE IT IS INSERTED IN EVERYTHING WE DO RIGHT NOW WITH THESE FOLKS ARE FRIGHTENED AND SCARED.

>> WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE OUR CENSUS MATERIAL AND CAN HELP US IN GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT AS WELL.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WONDERFUL.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DMITION -- COMMISSIONER CAGLE AND THEN COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> R JACK CAGLE: YOUR HONOR, I HAVE TWO SETS OF QUESTIONS.

THE FIRST DEALS WITH THE PRIOR VENDOR.

AS I UNDERSTAND WE HAD A PRIOR VENDOR IN THIS PROCESS.

JOSH, WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE PRIOR VENDOR AND HOW MUCH MONEY IS LEFT OVER ON THAT CONTRACT? AND ARE WE GOING TO REPAY AUTHORIZE FUNDS? WHAT IS GOING ON WITH VENDOR A?

>> THERE IS ACTUALLY VENDOR A, B, C AND D.

VENDOR A AND B WERE THE VENDORS WE ARE NOT GOING TO EXTEND THEIR CONTRACT.

I WILL CALL THEM A AND B FOR NOW.

VENDOR C IS THE VENDOR WE UTILIZED AND IT HAS A PROGRAM MANAGER.

HOWEVER, THEY WERE WHAT WE WOULD CALL VENDOR A FOR PORTMAN COUNTY AND THEY WERE ABLE TO PIVOT MUCH BETTER AS IT RELATES FROM A MEETING WITH PEOPLE IN PERSON TO A VIRTUAL CENSUS, AN OUT WREATH -- AN OUT REACH PROGRAM.

IT IS NO KNOCK ON THESE VENDORS.

THEY WERE CONTRACTED TO DO UP -- TO DO ONE THING.

WE MADE THE DECISION TO GO WITH TWO.

ONE DOES THE OUT REACH THROUGH THE DIGITAL MEANS AND THE OTHER ONE BEING THE ONE THAT ACCUMULATES DATA.

STARS WHAT WE PAID ON THE IN -- INVOICES AND WHAT IS LEFT, I WILL GET THAT TO YOU.

WE DID NOT PAY FOR THINGS WE DID NOT RECEIVE.

JACK JK AND THE SECOND >> R JACK CAGLE: AND THE SECOND SET OF QUESTIONS DEAL WITH THE DATA.

THERE IS A LOT OF DATA THAT IS BEING COLLECTED.

HOW SECURE IS THAT DATA, AND IS THIS DATA SUBJECT TO PIAA? IS THIS GOING TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC? TELL US WHAT THIS DATA, WHAT PROTECTIONS IF ANY DO WE HAVE WITH THIS DATA?

>> COMMISSIONER, I AM NOT SURE IF WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE SUBJECT THAT ECONOMIC -- COMMISSIONER GARCIA BROUGHT UP.

IF IT IS RELATED TO THE DATA THAT IS WITH THE PEOPLE WE ARE HELPING OUT WHETHER IT IS THROUGH THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OR BAKER RIPLEY, THERE ARE STATE LAWS, BUT ROBERT DISCUSSED THAT AND THERE ARE LAWS THAT SAYS INDIVIDUAL DATA WILL NOT BE GIVEN OUT FOR PEOPLE WE HELPED IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION THROUGH FEDERAL FUNDS OR OTHER FUNDS.

THAT IS SECURE.

WERE YOU ASKING SPECIFICALLY ON CENSUS DATA?

>> R JACK CAGLE: NO.

THIS DATA THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE SPENDING $4 MILLION TO GO COLLECT AND TRY TO ASSIST IN, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THIS CONTACT INFORMATION IS SUCCESSFUL LOCALLY, AND ASSISTING IN THE POLITICAL ARENA.

ARE WE ABLE TO USE THE DATA THEY COLLECT ON THEIR BEHALF? DOES IT BELONG TO US OR DOES IT BELONG TO THEM? CAN THEY REUSE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE?

>> SO HOW THEY UH -- SO HOW THEY ARE ATTAINING THE DATA AND PUSHING FOR THE NUMBERS TO GET THE INFORMATION OUT.

DAPHNE, DO YOU HAVE THE INFORMATION ON THE DATA? WE CAN GET THAT TO YOU, COMMISSIONER, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF DAPHNE HAS THAT RIGHT NOW.

>> THE DATA IS OURS.

THEY ARE COLLECTING IT FOR CENSUS.

IT WILL NOT BE USED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSES.

THEY ARE ACCESSING THE CELL PHONE NUMBERS AND THE TEXT MESSAGE NUMBERS FOR THE AREAS WHERE WE HAVE THE UNDER COUNT IN AND THEY ARE SENDING DIRECT MESSAGES AND THEY ARE COORDINATING THIS WITH THE CENSUS TO MAKE SURE WE ARE EMBEDDING THE LINK TO THE CENSUS BUREAU SO THEY CAN COMPLETE THE SURVEY ON THEIR PHONE.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT DATA IS FOR OUR CONTRACT AND IT IS NOT TO BE USED FOR ANYTHING ELSE.

>> R JACK CAGLE: AND HOW DO WE MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT GET CONVERTED IN THEIR DATA BASES? ARE THEY SIGNING AN AGREEMENT WITH US? HOW DO WE PROTECT IT FROM BEING REUSED?

>> IT IS IN THE AGREEMENT.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS IT IS IN THE EXISTING AGREEMENT WE HAVE WITH THEM.

WE CAN WORK WITH THE COUNTY ATTORNEY TO ENSURE THAT EVEN FURTHER AND SPECIFICALLY IF THEY CAN TURN THE FILES OVER TO US.

BEYOND THAT, IT WILL BE IN THE CONTRACT THAT THEY CAN USE THE DATA THAT IS ONLY FOR OUR USE.

>> R JACK CAGLE: THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

GENTLEMEN, COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY MOVE AS QUICKLY AS THEY CAN, MAKE SURE WE ANSWER THOSE CONCERNS OBVIOUSLY COMMISSIONER CAGLE HAS, BUT I THINK SPEED IS IMPORTANT WITH WHAT IS GOING ON.

WORKING THE PROTECTIONS, BUT MAKE SURE WE ARE MOVING EXPEDITIOUSLY TO GET IT DONE BECAUSE WE ARE WELL BEHIND AND IT IS MONEY WE WILL LOSE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, AND I WILL JUST ADD, JOSH, WHAT COMMISSIONER GARCIA SAID IN TERMS OF WHATEVER IT IS WE CAN DO TO ENCOURAGE WHAT THE PEOPLE WHOSE CONTACTS WE ALREADY HAVE.

AND YOU ARE PROBABLY ALREADY LOOKING AT THIS, BUT I DO HAVE A FLAG ON THE MENTION OF FORT BEND COUNTY.

THE WEALTHIER POPULATIONS ARE DOING BETTER AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THE STRATEGY LOOKS AT THAT.

WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO DO FOR THE LOWER INCOME POPULATIONS.

IT MAY HAVE TO DIFFER A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE FORT BEND DOES PRESIDENT HAVE THE SAME DEGREE OF POCKETS AS WE DO.

I WOULD JUST SAY THAT.

AND ONE QUESTION, WHICH ARE YOU ADVOCATING FOR? IS IT THE ONE THAT IS PERFORMANCE BASED?

>> YES, PERFORMANCE BASED.

I WANT SIX ROUNDS, AND IF BY SEPTEMBER 30TH THEY ARE NOT AT OUR BENCHMARK 62% WE WILL CANCEL THE LAST FEW ROUNDS.

IF THEY ARE 62%, LET'S GET PAST OUR CENSUS TOLL AT 62% AND UTILIZE THEM FOR THE LAST FEW ROUNDS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YEAH BECAUSE IT WOULD BE HARD.

WE KNOW WE HAVE A LARGE HARD TO COUNT POPULATION, BUT WE HAVE TO DO BETTER.

THAT'S GREAT.

I'M GLAD IT IS PERFORMANCE BASED.

DOES THE MOTION REMAIN THE SAME?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: YES.

WHO MOTIONED IT? WAS THAT YOU, COMMISSIONER GARCIA?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YES.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WILL SECOND.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO A MOTION ON THIS CENSUS ITEM 13 ON PAGE TWO OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA.

ALL IN FAVOR?

>> I.

>> I.

>> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, I AM IN FAVOR WITH THE CAVEAT THAT WE MAKE SURE THOSE PROTECTIONS ARE IN PLACE.

I THINK WE TALKED ABOUT THAT.

IT WAS THERE THAT JOSH IS GOING TO WORK ON THAT.

IS THERE A WAY TO BRING THIS BACK IF WE FIND WE DON'T HAVE ADEQUATE SECURITY PROTECTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE DATA?

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER, I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE MOVE QUICKLY.

I DON'T THINK THERE IS.

I THINK YOU CAN COME BACK AND ASK, BUT IF IT HAS A MAJORITY VOTE IT PASSES AND I DON'T WANT TO BE RUDE, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE MOVE IT AND GET IT DONE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: CAN WE SAY CONTINGENT ON ADEQUATE DATA PROTECTIONS AND JOSH WILL LOOK AT IT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: JOSH THE COUNTY ATTORNEY?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> YES, COMMISSIONER I THINK IF WE ADDED THAT TO WORK WITH THE CON -- COUNTY ATTORNEY TO MAKE SURE THE DATA IS SECURED WITHIN THE CONTRACT ITSELF AND IT IS CONTINGENT UPON THAT IT IS GREAT.

>> R JACK CAGLE: SOMETIMES YOU CAN HAVE A CONTRACT AND THEN SOMEONE GOES, OOPS, I BREACHED IT, AND THEN WHERE ARE YOU? I MEAN ONCE THE CAT GETS OUT OF THE BAG IT IS HARD TO PUT IT BACK IN.

THAT'S REALLY WHERE I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE IF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY AND JOSH HAS A REASON TO REVIEW IT FOR SECURITY AND I UH VOTE TO UH -- APPROVE IT SUBJECT TO THE REVIEW OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY AND JOSH FOR SECURITY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND MIGHT I ASK WHEN WILL THEY HAVE DONE THAT? I WANT TO KNOW BY NEXT TUESDAY AND PUT IT BACK ON THE AGENDA.

I DON'T WANT US TO BE DELAYED -- >> LINA HIDALGO: IT SHOULDN'T DELAY IT.

I MEANT FOR IT TO MOVE AND THEN THEY BILL -- THEY WILL MAKE SURE IF THEY FIND ANYTHING THEY CAN CANCEL AND STOP IT.

I AGREE THAT THIS NEEDS TO MOVE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THEY CAN LET US KNOW BY NEXT TUESDAY.

WE APPROVE IT AND IF THERE IS A PROBLEM, THEN LET US KNOW NEXT TUESDAY.

IF WE CAN'T SOLVE IT -- >> R JACK CAGLE: I'M FINE WITH THAT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO JUST ADD AND CSD WORK WITH THE COUNTY ATTORNEY TO ENSURE THE DATA IS SECURE.

>> R JACK CAGLE: COMMISSIONER ELLIS YOU KEEP SAYING TUESDAY.

I THOUGHT OUR SPECIAL MEETING WAS ON THURSDAY ROD >> RODNEY ELLIS: THURSDAY, SORRY.

I JUST MISS YOU SO MUCH.

I AM TRYING TO GET A SECOND ONE IN.

>> JUDGE, SO THE ITEM IS HOW IT IS PRESENTED ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE WITH THE ADDITION THAT YOU JUST MADE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

MY ADDITION BEING AND CSD WORK WITH THE COUNTY ATTORNEY TO ENSURE THE DATA IS SECURE.

IT DOESN'T MEAN WE ARE HOLDING ANYTHING BACK, BUT IT DOES INSTRUCT CSD AND THE COUNTY ATTORNEY TO FIGURE THIS OUT.

>> AND THE MOTION WAS MADE BY COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND SECOND BY COMMISSIONER ELLIS?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

>> CAN YOU CALL AN ACTUAL VOTE?

I DON'T THINK COMMISSIONER RADACK -- >> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION.

>> I.

>> I.

>> I.

>> I SUBJECT TO THE PROVISION THAT WE WILL HAVE THE SECURITY CHECKED INTO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES? OKAY.

SO THE MOTION CARRIES UNANIMOUSLY.

THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, ITEM 11 IS A COVID ITEM.

I DON'T THINK IT WILL TAKE LONG.

YOU ARE MUTED.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I'M SORRY, COMMISSIONER, I MISSED THAT ONE.

[13:40:02]

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ITEM 11.

>> WE HAVE SPEAKERS LINED UP FOR 15.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: OKAY, SURE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: WE HAVEN'T DONE 14 THOUGH, LUCINDA.

>> I KNOW.

WE DON'T HAVE SPEAKERS FOR THAT ONE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I GUESS WE CAN DO 15 AND THEN 11 AND THEN 14 SO WE DON'T FURTHER DELAY COMMISSIONER ELLIS' ITEM.

LET'S DO -- JADE >> R JACK CAGLE: I THOUGHT WE WERE DOING COVID FIRST.

IS 11 REGULAR? I DON'T THINK IT IS ON THE COVID.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

WE CAN DO WHATEVER.

WHATEVER WORKS BEST.

I DON'T CARE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: LET'S JUST GO IN ORDER SO WE DON'T GET CONFUSED HERE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: OKAY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: ITEM 14 WAS NEXT IF I CAN FIND IT.

THIS IS THE PAID MEDIA CAMPAIGN WE DISCUSSED LAST YEAR.

SCAWS ME -- EXCUSE ME, LAST MEETING.

THE IDEA IS WE ARE GOING TO HAVE -- MASK WEARING, SOCIAL DISTANCING, THE NEW NORMAL GOING ON FOR AWHILE UNTIL THERE IS A CURE OR A VACCINE.

THERE IS ROOM LEFT FOR US TO DO MORE, PHYSICALLY WITH A WELL-DESIGNED PAID MEDIA CAMPAIGN THAT GETS TO MINORITY COMMUNITIES.

AND THAT IS NOT YOUR USUAL GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN, BUT FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

THERE ARE EXR EXAMPLE -- GREAT EXAMPLES OUT THERE.

WHAT WE WANT ARE MESSAGE THAT'S ARE EVIDENCE-BASED AND WELL RESERVE -- WELL RESEARCHED AND LIKE WE SAID HAS WORKED ELSEWHERE AND REACHES VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES.

PUBLIC HEALTH HAS BEEN WORKING WITH PURCHASING ON THIS TO PUT TOGETHER A CAMPAIGN THAT CAN BE LAUNCHED QUICKLY.

THEY ARE DOING AN ABBREVIATED RFP.

DWIGHT CAN GET INTO THE DETAILS.

THE SENSE IS A MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE INITIAL DESIGN OF THE CAMPAIGN.

THE AB TESTING OF THE MESSAGING AND THE FIRST PUSH FOR THE ADS.

IF THE RESULTS ARE POSITIVE AND IF FOLKS LIKE THEM WE WOULD ASK FOR MORE FUNDING.

THIS WOULD BE A STARTING POINT JUST TO DO -- I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING WE HAVE BEEN BEHIND ON AND OTHER COMMUNITIES ARE DOING EFFECTIVELY.

WE HAVE BEEN JUST DO -- DOING THE MEDIA PIECE.

COMMISSIONER CAGLE?

>> R JACK CAGLE: JUDGE, DO WE KNOW WHO IS DOING THE CAMPAIGN?

>> LINA HIDALGO: NOT YET.

I KNOW THEY HAVE DONE THE BID PROCESS.

THEY'VE GOT, I BELIEVE, THREE OPTIONS AND THE GROUP IS FIGURING OUT OF THOSE WHICH ONE -- DWIGHT, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG.

>> JUDGE, WE DID DO THE SHORT-TERM FIX FOR THIS WITH THE MEDIA, BUT WE HAVEN'T DONE A LONG-TERM FIX.

WE ARE WORKING ON WHICH BIDDER CANS PROPOSE THE CORRECT WAY AND WE WILL DO AN ABBREVIATED PROCUREMENT OVER A SHORT WEEK OR TWO AND THEN WILL GET THE VENDORS BACK.

WE DON'T KNOW THE SELECTION PROCESS YET, COMMISSIONER OR JUDGE.

>> AND I DON'T HAVE A CONCEPT -- CONCEPTUAL PROBLEM TO TRY TO HELP FOLKS BE SAFE, BUT I DO BEFORE I VOTE TO GIVE A MILLION DOLLARS TO A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FIRM WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS A FIRM THAT I AM COMFORTABLE WITH AND HAS GONE THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE PROCESSES.

I AM NOT QUITE SURE HOW TO VOTE.

IF WE ARE JUST DOING AN EARMARK OF A MILLION LIKE COMMISSIONER EL -- ELLIS LIKES TO DO AND BRINGING BACK THE WHO AND THE WHAT AND THE WHERE AND THE HOW LATER ON WITH A PLAN, I'M COMFORTABLE WITH JUST MOVING FORWARD IN THAT DIRECTION, BUT BEFORE I VOTE -- IF I AM JUST VOTING A BLANK CHECK OF A MILLION DOLLARS AND I DON'T KNOW WHO IT IS GOING TO OR WHAT IT IS GOING FOR OR WHAT IT IS GOING TO BE, THEN I AM NOT COMFORTABLE.

IN OTHER WORDS, DO I GET A VOTE AFTER WE KNOW THE WHO IT IS AND THE WHAT IT IS AND WHAT THEY ARE GONNA DO WITH IT, OR IS THIS ONE VOTE AND WE ARE DONE AND WE JUST VAS -- TRUST IT GETS DONE OUT THERE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I'M SURE THERE IS MORE, BUT COMMISSIONER ELLIS HAD A COMMENT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET IT DISON -- IT DONE.

I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM APPROVING IT TODAY AND IF THERE IS NOT A FIRM, WE ARE MEETING NEXT THURSDAY, BUT I WANT TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS TO BE HONEST WITH YOU.

DWIGHT, DO YOU HAVE ANY FIRMS IN MIND?

>> COMMISSIONER, I HAVE TO GET PUBLIC HEALTH ON THIS.

I HAVEN'T GOT THE SCOPE UNTIL RECENTLY FROM THEM.

WE ARE WORKING THROUGH THE PROCUREMENT PROCESS.

IF YOU WANT IT BY NEXT WEEK WE NEED FIRMS TO SUBMIT IN THREE TO FOUR DAYS AND WE WOULD HAVE TO MOVE ON THAT QUICKLY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: TO GET IT DONE QUICKLY WE HAVE TO VOTE ON IT.

IF WE MOVE FORWARD ON THIS ITEM AS PRESENTED IT COMES BACK TO US ANYWAY.

>> I CAN SEND IT BACK AS A TRANSMITAL OR SEND IT BACK AS AN APPROVAL ITEM.

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE COURT'S APPROVAL WILL BE TO ME.

>> IF IT IS AN APPROVAL ITEM I CAN BE FOR IT.

IF WE ARE GOING TO VOTE TODAY WITHOUT KNOWING WHO IT IS, WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE DOING, WHAT PROFIT THEY ARE GOING TO BE MAKING.

I CAN'T VOTE THE BLANK CHECK.

I CAN VOTE WE LAUNCH IT AND GET SOMETHING TO COME BACK TO VOTE ON AGAIN AND WE CAN DO IT QUICKLY NEXT THURSDAY OR AS COMMISSIONER ELLIS KEPT SAYING, TUESDAY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WHAT'S YOUR PREFERENCE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: MY CONCERN IS IT HAS BEEN FAR DELAYED.

I THINK THERE IS A MISUNDERSTANDING BECAUSE PUBLIC HEALTH HAD A SEPARATE CONTRACT WITH SOMEONE FOR THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA THAT WAS LIKE 50K OR SOMETHING.

AND SO PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT WAS THIS.

I THOUGHT THIS WAS MOVING AND WE WERE GOING TO HAVE IT AND NOW WE ARE BEHIND.

I DON'T WANT TO DELAY.

AND I WAS TOLD THEY HAD THESE OPTIONS.

THEY NEEDED AN APPROVAL AND AS SOON AS THEY CAN PICK ONE THEY CAN MOVE.

THAT'S WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SO MOVED.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I SECOND IT.

>> I'M SORRY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SAY THAT AGAIN, DWIGHT.

>> I WAS WAITING ON THE COMMISSIONERS TO SPEAK AND THEY WERE BOTH SPEAKING.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: MY MOTION WOULD BE, DWIGHT, WE MOVE AS THE JUDGE HAS EXPRESSED AND ENSURING THAT WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR IS NO LONGER DELAYED, BUT WE MOVE FORWARD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PURCHASING IS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS.

IT IS NOT PUBLIC HEALTH AND IT IS PART OF THE PURCHASING PROCESS.

>> WHAT WE WILL DO IS WORK WITH PUBLIC HEALTH STARTING TOMORROW OR TODAY AND GET THE PROPOSALS OF THE VENDORS OUT THERE.

WE WILL MAKE SURE WE HAVE OUR DUCKS IN A ROW TO GET REIMBURSED OR THE OPTION TO GET REIMBURSED AND WILL PRESENT IT BACK TO COURT AS A TRANSMITTIBLE AND PROVIDE THE COURT MEMBERS WHO THE SELECTIONS WILL BE AND WILL LET THE COURT NUMBERS KNOW THAT THE MOTION WAS MADE BASED ON US TO MOVE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND IF YOU KNOW BEFORE NEXT WEEK LET US KNOW.

>> I WILL.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER RADACK?

>> STEVE RADACK: MY QUESTION IS SIMPLE.

ARE WE APPROVING ANY MONEY ON THIS MOTION? OR NOT? ARE WE APPROVING ANY MONEY? IS IT COMING BACK?

>> LINA HIDALGO: IT WILL COME BACK EITHER WAY, RIGHT, DWIGHT?

>> IT WILL COME BACK AS A TRANSMITAL, COMMISSIONER RADACK.

THE MOTION WAS TO ALLOW SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS TO SPEND ON THIS PROJECT AND WE WILL TAKE THE SCOPE OF WORK THAT WE HAVE GOT AND GIVE IT TO VENDORS AND NEGOTIATE A PRICE, BUT NOT TO 6 SEED A MILLION DOLLARS.

THE MOTION WAS TO ALLOW US TO SPEND UP UP TO A MILLION TO GET A CONTRACT TO DO THIS WORK.

THAT'S WHAT THE CURRENT MOTION IS ON THE TABLE AND WE WILL BRING IT BACK AS A TRANSMITAL WHICH MEANS IT WILL START IMMEDIATELY AND COME BACK TO COURT AS A TRANS MISS TALL.

TRANSMITAL.

>> STEVE RADACK: I VOTE NO.

>> JUDGE, THIS IS JAMES.

IS THE MOTION WHAT YOU POSTED ON THE AGENDA?

>> YES.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES.

THAT IS THE MOTION AND THE PURCHASING DEPARTMENT WOULD KEEP US ALL UH -- ALL ABREAST ON THE PROGRESS.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SO MOVE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: WE HAVE A MOTION BY COMMISSIONER GARCIA AND SECONDED BY COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

IN FAVOR?

>> I.

>> I.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OPPOSED?

>> STEVE RADACK: I VOTE NO.

DO YOU HAVE ANYBODY IN PURCHASING THAT IS WORKING IN ADVERTISING THAT KNOWS IF THIS IS GOOD OR NOT?

>> HAVE I TO HAVE PUBLIC HEALTH HELP ME WITH WHAT THE PSA IS GOING TO BE, BUT I WILL MAKE SURE MY STAFF DOES THE PROCUREMENT.

>> STEVE RADACK: I WISH YOU A LOT OF LUCK WITH THAT IN PUBLIC HEALTH.

>> R JACK CAGLE: I AM A NO, YOUR HONOR.

I AM IN FAVOR OF THE CONCEPT OF PUTTING OUT A PSA, BUT NOT VOTING WITHOUT THE WHO, THE WHAT, THE WHERE AND THE WHY AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

>> STEVE RADACK: I AM A NO.

>> YOU ARE MUTED.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I AM SAYING I AM IN FAVOR SO THE MOTION CARRIES.

THANK YOU, GUYS.

THAT WAS ITEM 14.

ITEM 15, LUCINDA, YOU SAID WE HAVE SPEAKERS FOR.

AND THIS IS THE JAIL POPULATION.

COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> YES, MA'AM WE HAVE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS.

I AM NOT SURE IF COMMISSIONER ELLIS WOULD LIKE THEM UP FIRST.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND JUDGE, I WOULD LIKE TO SET THE STAGE.

I KNOW THAT JMI CAME TO US WITH A REPORT ON WHAT COULD BE DONE WITH THE JAIL SOME TIME AGO AND I WILL HAVE QUESTIONS FOR THEM, BUT I KNOW HARRIS COUNTY HAS THE FOURTH LARGEST COVID CLUSTER IN THE COUNTRY MEANING MORE COVID CASES ARE CONNECTED TO OUR JAIL FACILITY THAN ALMOST ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE NATION.

OUR SHERIFF HAS BEEN WORKING HARD TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE AT THE JAIL, BUT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IT AT A DISTANCE AND TO QUARANTINE ALL OF THE PEOPLE AND DEAL WITH THE POSSIBLE CASES.

IT NOT ONLY IMPACTS PEOPLE INSIDE, BUT THE JAIL POPULATION IS 8500 AND THE LATEST NUMBERS SHOW THAT THE PLATEAU IS ABOVE 8,000 INMATES.

[13:45:02]

THE ACLU SAYS THE JAILS COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL 219 DEATHS WITH -- 2,000 DEATHS AND 805 IN HARRIS COUNTY.

I THINK WE CAN GET THE JAIL POPULATION NUMBERS DOWN BY SAFELY LOOKING AT SOME ALTERNATIVES.

PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THEM AROUND THE COUNTRY AS EARLY AS JULY 90% OF THE PEOPLE CONTAINED IN THE HARRIS COUNTY JAILS ARE AWAITING TRIALS.

THEY ARE CROWDED WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE UNLIKELY TO BE CONVICTED.

IN 201942% OF THE DISPOSED HARRIS COUNTY FELONY CASES WERE FELONY CASES BECAUSE OF A CONVICTION.

BOTH ENDED UP IN DISMISSAL OR DEFER RAIL OR ACQUITTAL.

I WANT TO GET A SENSE FROM THE EXPERTS ON WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND PARTICULARLY JMI AND SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.

I KNOW AS OF MAY 1ST, THE DISTRICT COURTS HAVE 36,000 PENDING CASES.

THERE ARE 2700 PER MONTH.

EVEN WITH NO NEW CASES AT THIS RATE IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN 13 MONTHS TO CATCH UP ON ALL FELONY CASES.

THEY RECOMMENDED DISMISSING THE NON-VIOLENT FELONY CASES OLDER THAN 9 MONTHS.

THIS ONE ALLOWS THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO GIVE RESOURCES TO ADJUDICATING THE BACKLOG OF THE VIOLENT CASES THAT IT IS GOING TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO GET TO.

WE WANT TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON.

>> DID YOU WANT DR. YEMI FIRST OR JMI.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JMI.

WELL, DR. YEMI AND THEN JMI.

>> DR. YEMI, GO AHEAD, SIR.

YOU HAVE MUTED YOURSELF.

>> CAN YOU HEAR ME OKAY?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THERE IS A BACKGROUND.

>>

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE MIGHT NEED TO GO TO JMI AND COME BACK TO DR. YEMI.

>> DOES THAT HELP?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: NO.

>> GO AHEAD AND DISCONNECT, DOCTOR AND THEN RECONNECT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE WILL GO TO JMI.

>> YES, SIR.

ELAINE BARCOVE.

>> YES, HI.

THANK YOU, EVERYONE.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER ELLIS FOR ASKING US TO PROVIDE AN UPDATE.

SINCE WE LAST GAVE AN UPDATE AT THE COMMISSIONER'S COURT THERE HAS BEEN SOME IMPROVEMENT AND SOME MOVEMENT.

THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES FINALLY HAVE ACCESS TO THE PROGRAMS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWO TO THREE YEARS.

IT HAS HELPED TO INCREASE DISPOSITIONS.

EVEN WITH THIS PROGRESS AND WITH JURY TRIALS UNROLLED BY THE SUPREME COURT AND IN CAPACITY BEING 25% AT THE COURTHOUSE PER CDC GUIDELINES, WE DON'T FEEL SUCCESS WILL HAPPEN IN REDUCING THE FELONY CASE BACK -- BACKLOG THAT WILL I'M -- IMPACT THE JAIL POPULATION.

IT HAS INCREASED TO 41,000 WHICH IS UP FROM THE 36,000 THAT COMMISSIONER ELLIS SPOKE OF THAT WE REPORTED ON AT THE END OF THE MAY.

WE MADE SEVERAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND WE MET INDIVIDUALLY WITH EACH OF THE STAKEHOLDERS.

WE SPOKE WITH THEM ABOUT THE FEASIBILITY AND THE RECOMMENDATION THAT'S WERE MADE.

SO FAR WE HAVE CONDUCTED INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS AND THAT INCLUDES SOME OF HER STAFF AND THE PUBLIC DEFENDER AND SEVERAL COURT JUDGES AND THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DISTRICT COURT AND CSCD AS WELL AS ATTORNEYS FROM THE PRIVATE BAR.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE THE CURRENT STAKE HOLDING IS TROUBLESOME.

SOME ARE DEEMED NOT FEASIBLE AND SO THE NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS IS MEET WITH THE JUDGES AND THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS TO TALK ABOUT THE COURSE OF ANGS -- ACTION.

THE COURSE OF ACTION IS BASED ON THE INDIVIDUALS THAT I JUST LISTED IMPLEMENTATION OF DOCKET REVIEWS AND INDIVIDUAL CASE REVIEWS TO DETERMINE WHICH CASES CAN BE DIVERTED OR PLED.

THIS IS FOR THOSE CASES PENDING FOR MORE THAN 9 MONTHS.

EXPANSION OF DIVERSION AND REMEDIATION OF NON-VIOLENT AND LOW FELONIES INCLUDING THOSE PENDING FOR 9 MONTHS.

IMPLEMENTATION OF SCHEDULING ORDERS AND DOCKET CONTROL ORDERS THAT ARE IN PROCESS WITH THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES.

CREATION OF SPECIALIZED TRACKS AND ASSIGNMENTS TO HEAR OLDER CASES TO HANDLE THE INCOMING CASES.

CREATION OF A SCHEDULE FOR ATTORNEY APPEARANCE FOR BAIL REVIEWS.

IMPLEMENTATION OF INCREASED USE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR APPEARANCES.

AND CHANGING THE FEE SCHEDULE FOR APPOINTED COUNCIL THAT CURRENTLY IS ON A COURT APPEARANCE BASIS TO A PLAT FEE OR SOME OTHER PAYMENT STRUCTURE TO INCENTIVIZE THE MORE EXPEDITIOUS CASES.

IN TERMS OF THE JAIL POPULATION WE WANT TO COMMEND THE SHARE OF COVID IN THE JAIL POPULATION.

THE JAIL POPULATION HATS -- HAS DROPPED.

WHEN YOU COMPARE THAT TO OTHER LARGE JURISDICTIONS HARRIS COUNTY'S DECREASE IN POPULATION IS SLOWER THAN THE OTHER MAJOR JURISDICTIONS.

FOR EXAMPLE IF WE LOOK AT COOK COUNTY THEY DECREASED THEIR JAIL POPULATION BY 25% AND NEW YORK CITY DECREASED 37%.

COOK COUNTY'S CURRENT POPULATION IS 4900.

THIS IS AS THEY START TO REOPEN AND NEW YORK CITY 3900.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT DISPOSITIONS ARE STARTING TO RISE WITH THE OPENING OF THE DISTRICT COURTS.

HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT THE BACKLOG.

TRANSFERS HAVE STARTED AGAIN WHICH KEPT THEM FLAT AND THE BOND ORDERS KEPT THE PRE-TRIAL DOWN BUT JAIL POPULATION IS STILL ABOUT 75% FELONY PRE-TRIAL.

>> SO ARE WE THE SECOND LARGEST -- >> RODNEY ELLIS: I'M SORRY.

GO AHEAD, COMMISSIONER.

>> >> STEVE RADACK: MA'AM, I APPRECIATE YOUR INFORMATION AND I HAVE A QUESTION.

I FEEL LIKE YOU SHOULD HAVE SOME OPINION ABOUT THIS.

WHAT DO YOU SEE GOING ON OUT ON THE STREETS OF HARRIS COUNTY? IN OTHER WORDS, IS CRIME INCREASING? ARE FELONY CRIMES INCREASING? CAN YOU JUDGED BASED ON THE INFORMATION YOU ARE GETTING AS YOU SEE THESE CASES MOUNT AND MOUNT? IS IT BECOMING PRETTY CLEAR THAT CRIME IS INCREASE SNG.

>> DO YOU WANT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION?

>> YES.

I CAN TELL THAT YOU WE ARE COLLECTING INFORMATION REGARDING THIS CURRENTLY AND WE ARE GOING TO COLLECT THE SAME INFORMATION FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS SIMILAR IN SIZE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND WE SHOULD HAVE THAT INFORMATION FAIRLY SOON.

WHAT WE ARE SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY -- I CAN'T SPEAK FOR HARRIS COUNTY, BUT THERE IS AN INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES AND SOME OF THE OTHER TYPES OF ALTERCATION-TYPE RELATED OFFENSES.

AGAIN, I AM NOT SPEAKING FOR HARRIS COUNTY.

HOPEFULLY WE WILL HAVE THAT DATA WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH OR SO.

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE INFORMATION AND THE COOPERATION WE ARE GETTING FROM YOUR COUNTY TO PUT THAT TOGETHER.

>> STEVE RADACK: AND I APPRECIATE THAT.

I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT POINT AND AN IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU ARE INCLUDING.

I THINK IT IS VERY RELEVANT.

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SEE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT DEFUNDING POLICE.

I THINK THERE IS REAL EVIDENCE OF THE HUGE PROBLEM GOING ON ON THE STREETS OF AMERICA.

THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WHAT IS GOING ON IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS THAT WE ARE NOT DOING HERE IN TERMS OF REDUCING THE JAIL POPULATION?

>> WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS THERE IS MUCH MORE IN TERMS OF THE TECHNOLOGY.

THERE IS USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN HARRIS COUNTY, BUT IT IS NOT PERVASIVE AS WE HAVE SEEN IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

PART THAT HAVE IS STATUTORY.

THE TEXAS AOC AND RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE OUTLINE WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN'T DO USING TECHNOLOGY.

OTHER STATES WERE ABLE TO RELAX THAT.

IN TERMS OF OTHER THINGS GOING ON THERE IS AN INCREASED USE OF INDIVIDUALIZED DOCKET -- DOCKET REVIEW.

THEY ARE VIRTUALLY THE SAME THING THEY TAKE A GROUP OF CASES, A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS EVERY WEEK AND WE LOOK AT WHO CAN BE RELEASED.

THEY ARE LOOKING AT WHAT CASES CAN BE RESOLVED AND WHAT CAN BE DIVERTED.

THOSE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE ARE SEEING.

YOU MAY HAVE SOME OF THE EXAMPLE.

>> I AM NOT AWARE OF ANOTHER JURISDICTION THAT HAS THE SAME HOLE YOU ARE IN.

YOUR PROBLEMS REALLY BEGAN WITH HURRICANE HARVEY WHICH LEAD TO THE DISPLACEMENTS OF THE COURT.

FOR EXAMPLE IN NEVADA WHEN THEY REACHED THE POINT OF 6,000 FELONY CASES AS A BACKLOG, THEY STARTED PANICKING.

THEY BROUGHT TOGETHER THEIR STAKEHOLDERS AND THEY SAID WHAT CAN WE DO TO TRIM OFF THESE LOW-LEVEL CASES AND DISPOSE OF THEM SO WE CAN FOCUS ON THE MORE SERIOUS CASES.

SPECIFICALLY THEY BROUGHT TOGETHER THEIR JUDGES AND THE D.A.

AND THE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AND TRIED TO WIDDLE THOSE DOWN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ANYBODY IN THE COUNTRY WITH STATISTICS AND NUMBERS LOOKING LIKE OURS? WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE.

THEY HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED THE SAFETY AND JUSTICE CHALLENGE.

WE HAVE NOT SEEN ANY NUMBERS AND COURTS LIKE THIS.

>> THAT'S MOST OF THE URBAN AREAS.

WHO IS LEFT OUT IN TERMS OF THE MAJOR URBAN AREAS?

>> I CAN LIST FOR YOU THE MAJOR URBAN AREAS.

HAVE YOU COOK COUNTY WHICH IS CHICAGO AND NEW YORK CITY AND LOS ANGELES AND PHILADELPHIA AND HARRIS COUNTY AND THEN YOU GET INTO LAS VEGAS, SHELBY COUNTY, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE.

>> DID HE THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD BE DOING? I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE AWARE OF IT.

>> THE BIG THING IS UNTIL YOU HAVE JURY TRIALS, THE ABILITY TO HAVE JURY TRIALS THERE IS A REALITY THAT CASES DON'T MOVE UNTIL YOU CAN GET A JURY TRIAL DATE.

WE CAN'T JUST HOPE THE COURTS WILL OPEN.

I THINK THE STAKEHOLDERS ARE IN AGREEMENT TO DOING THAT.

>> WE ARE WELL OVER CAPACITY.

AT SOME POINT SOMEBODY WILL COME IN HERE AND SAY YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING OR WE WILL END UP WITH SOME LAWSUITS PRETTY SOON.

>> YOUR JAIL IS 10,000 OR 11,000.

IT DOES BECOME AN ISSUE WHEN YOU ADD COVID TO THE MIX AND YOU HAVE TO QUARANTINE INDIVIDUALS AND SEPARATE AND OTHER JURISDICTIONS WILL BE LESS INCLINED TO TAKE YOUR PEN MATE OUT OF FEAR THAT THEY WILL BRING THAT VIRUS INTO THEIR BUILDING AND YOU WILL SEE FOLKS IN THE JAIL BEING STUCK THERE.

AND SO THAT IS JUST SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP THE POPULATION DOWN TO

[13:50:02]

PROTECT YOURSELF AND IT IS ADDING UP.

QUICKLY.

>> IF WE ARE THE FOURTH LARGEST COVID CLUSTER WHAT ARE THE OTHER THREE, DO YOU KNOW?

>> I DON'T KNOW OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, DO YOU?

>> NO, 8 YOU POLL -- I APOLOGIZE.

>> IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT CAN'T ALL BE ABOUT THE JURY TRIALS.

I THE -- I HAD MY STAFF PULL THIS.

3,308 PRE-TRIAL WITH NO VIOLENT CHARGES, NON-VIOLENT OFFENSES WHICH IS LIKE IN L.A.

THEY DON'T -- THAT WAS INITIALLY WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO AND YET THESE FOLKS ARE IN THE JAIL WHERE WE KNOW THEY -- WE KNOW IT IS A COVID RISK.

THAT IS ACTION THAT COULD BE TAKEN TO RELEASE THOSE FOLKS.

>> THOSE ARE THE TYPE OF OFFENSES THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT.

>> WE HAD 8,000 PEOPLE AND 3800 PRE-TRIAL AND NONVIOLENT.

THAT WOULD BRING IT DOWN TO HALF CAPACITY.

I KNOW THEY ARE WORKING ON SOME OF THE JURY TRIALS, BUT I AM LOATHE TO PUT IT ON THAT BECAUSE I DON'T THINK ANYBODY HAS A FULL JURY SCHEDULE IN THE GENERAL COMMUNITIES AND SOME OF IT DOES GO TO THESE FOLKS AND NOT TO ADDRESS THE BACKLOG.

>> WE WERE LOOKING AT PRIVATE DEFENDERS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AND PROSECUTORS EVEN.

THEY ALL SAY FROM PART OF THE DEFENDANT THE RISK TO GO TO TRIAL IS A BIG MOTIVATOR FOR THEM TO PLEA OR TO HAVE A GOOD PLEA OFFER.

IT MAKES PEOPLE WANT TO VOID IT OUT AND THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE SEEING IN HARRIS COUNTY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: BUT THEY COULD UNILATERALLY RELEASE THEM UNTIL IT IS TIME FOR TRIAL.

THAT IS CLEAR.

WE KNOW WHAT THE PLEAS TURN OUT TO BE.

THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO SCHEDULE A TRIAL, BUT NONE WERE SCHEDULED IN AUGUST.

I DON'T KNOW WHY IT WAS THREE CIVIL TRIALS.

WE COULD HAVE HAD A CRIMINAL AND WE DIDN'T.

AND NOW THE SUMMONS HAVE GONE OUT FOR AUGUST AND THEY WILL BE OUT FOR SEPTEMBER SOON.

I TALKED TO SOME LAWYERS TOO.

YOU SEE THEY CAN GET SCHEDULED AND THAT'S ENOUGH OF A THREAT.

IT IS NOT LIKE YOU NEED THESE FOR IT TO BE A REALITY.

THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION IS APPROVING TRIALS.

ONE WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEK AND THE OTHER ARE SCHEDULE FOR LATER THIS MONTH.

AND THE JUDGES ARE PREPARING IS SEND A SUMMONS OUT FOR TRIALS IN SEPTEMBER.

THE THREAT IS THERE.

I AM JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO GIVE COVER WHERE IT IS NOT MARE RETED.

MERITED.

YOU HAD IN YOUR RECOMMENDATION THESE NON-VIOLENT OFFENSES THAT OF COURSE THEY WILL COME BACK AND FACE TRIAL AND BE HELD TO ACCOUNT AND IF FOUND GUILTY THEY WILL BE SENT TO PRISON, BUT THEY DON'T NEED TO BE WAITING IN THE JAIL.

EVERYBODY HAD THE DISCRETION TO DO THAT.

I HAD THE ABILITY TO DO THAT AND I WAS BLOCKED BY ONE OF THE JUDGES.

YET THEY ARE NOT DEALING WITH THIS BACKLOG THEMSELVES.

WE ARE DOING ALL WE CAN TO MAKE THIS TRIAL AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE IF THEY WILL HAVE AND SEND THE DATA.

I UNDERSTAND THE SHERIFF CAN'T EVEN SEND LISTS OF WHO THESE NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS ARE EVER SINCE THE JUDGES HAVE BEEN -- HAVE JOINED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S SIDE ON THE BAIL LITIGATION.

I JUST DON'T THINK IT HELPS TO MAKE IT CUT AND DRY.

OF COURSE WE WILL MOVE ON THE TRIALS AND IT IS HAPPENING, BUT THERE IS DISCRETION THAT COULD BE EXERCISED.

THESE FOLKS DON'T NEED TO BE SITTING THERE.

THE JUDGE COULD RELEASE THEM JUST LIKE I PROPOSED TO DO MONTHS AGO AND AS YOU ASKED THEM TO DO.

>> JUDGE, YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT.

THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT IS TOO FULL.

YOU HAVE A JAIL POPULATION THAT IS HIGHER THAN YOU IT -- THAN IT SHOULD BE AND K COVID YOU HAVE NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS WAITING FOR TRIAL THAT CAN BE RELEASED.

THEIR CASES WILL NEED TO BE ADJUDICATED AND THEY ARE IN THAT 41,000 PENDING CASES, BUT THIS IS A TWO-FRONT PROBLEM.

>> I THINK WE SHOULD GIVE CREDIT TO THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES.

THEY ISSUED AN ORDER TO RELEASE THE NON-VIOLENT ACCUSED FELONS AND THERE ARE

THINGS THAT KEEP PEOPLE IN JAIL -- >> LINA HIDALGO: AND THERE ARE LIKE 20 RELEASES ? ARE YOU TALKING A RECENT ONE?

>> THE ONE THAT WAS EARLIER -- >> LINA HIDALGO: HOW MANY PEOPLE -- THAT WAS LIKE A TINY -- I MEAN IF THERE ARE 50 NON-VIOLENT CRIMES WE ARE PROPOSING IT HAD LIKE FOUR.

I THINK ONLY 20 PEOPLE QUALIFIED.

THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING.

LET'S BE REAL.

THIS TAKES COURAGE.

WHEN YOU GIVE PEOPLE COVER AND DON'T EXPECT THEM TO USE THEIR COURAGE, THEY ARE LESS LIKELY TO INCENTIVIZE THE COURAGE.

>> JUDGE, I AGREE WITH YOU AND THE REST OF WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY IS EVEN THOUGH THEY ISSUED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER THERE ARE MANY FACTORS THAT KEEP PEOPLE IN JAIL SUCH AS HAVING A HOLD OR A DETAINER FROM ANOTHER JURISDICTION AND THAT ADD -- ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER HAD A LOT OF CARVE TOUTS AND BLOCKED PEOPLE FROM GETTING RELEASED SUCH AS CRIMINAL HISTORY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I LOOKED AT THAT ORDER AND IISH ED -- I ISSUED MINE AFTER THAT U.N WITH.

MINE WAS BROADER THAN THAT ONE AND IT WAS FINE.

MANY MORE PEOPLE QUALIFIED WITH MY ORDER EVEN WITH THE GOVERN -- GOVERNORS.

THEY COULD HAVE BORROWED MY ORDER AND USED MY ORDER AND IT WOULD HAVE YIELDED HUNDREDS OF NONVIOLENT PRE-TRIAL AND HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED AND WILL HAVE TO COME TO COURT AND THEY CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT.

I SPENT HOURS ON THIS.

MY STAFF WAS DAFT -- DRAFTING IT.

I KNOW IT BETTER THAN ANYONE.

I KNOW WHAT THEY COULD HAVE ACHIEVED AND EVEN NOW.

WITH THAT GOVERNOR'S ORDERS AND THAT GOVERNOR'S.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE I AM LOOKING AT SOME STATISTIC HERE, AND SO THERE WAS A LIST OF 538 NON-VIOLENT FELONY CHARGES ON THE LIST, BUT 12 OF THOSE WERE BREACHED TO BE RELEASED.

LOOK, I READ THAT JMI REPORT SOME TIME BACK AND I SAW A PHRASE IN THERE AND IT WAS A SUMMARY THAT SOMEBODY SAID THE SYSTEM IS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM LAYING THIS OUT.

AT SOME POINT IF IT IS SOMEBODY ACCUSED OF A VIOLENT CRIME, THAT IS ONE THING, BUT THIS IS UNSUSTAINABLE.

ONLY L.A.

IS UH -- IS AHEAD OF US IN TERMS OF POPULATION OF URBAN COUNTIES.

WE ARE AHEAD OF COOK COUNTY, NEW YORK AND ONLY L.A.

WITH 10 MILLION PEOPLE.

THEY HAVE MORE THAN WE HAVE, IS THAT RIGHT?

>> THAT IS CORRECT BASED ON END OF JUNE FIGURES.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ALL RIGHT, I WILL LET THE PROFESSOR IF HE IS STILL AROUND SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING HE CAN ADD.

>> HI, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD EVENING.

I AM A PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH AT DUKE UNIVERSITY AND IT IS AROUND ISSUE ABOUT THE COVID-19 PRISONS FROM EARLY ON IN THE PANDEMIC THAT SHOWN A LIGHT ON THIS ISSUE.

WRY NOAH LOT MORE NOW -- WE KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN BE AFFECTED AND HOW YOU BREAK THE TRANSMISSION FROM PERSON TO PERSON.

IT IS AVOIDING BEING INSIDE AND WE KNOW IT IS AIRBORNE.

IT IS NOT JUST DROPLETS, BUT AEROSOL -- AEROSOLS.

BEING INSIDE WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE WITHOUT VENTILATION IS RISKY.

YOU NEED TO WASH YOUR HANDS.

OBVIOUSLY THOSE PROTECTIONS ARE NOT BEING AFFORDED TO THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN FEDERAL AND STATE PRISONS.

MANY JAILS AND PRISONS ARE TINDER BOXES FOR OUTBREAKS.

POOR VENTILATION AND PEOPLE PACKED INTO CELLS.

HANDCUFFED PEOPLE WHO CAN'T EVEN COVER THEIR MOUTHS IN -- IF THEY COUGH AND LOWER ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE.

THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF MASKS IN PRISONS.

THERE IS NOT A LOT OF ABILITY TO WASH YOUR HANDS OR HAVE ACCESS TO HAND SANITIZER.

ALL IN ALL, THOSE ARE CONDITIONS FOR OUTBREAKS.

WHEN I WROTE THIS I COULDN'T PREDICT THAT WE WOULD HAVE 17,700 PEOPLE AND 712 DEATHS.

WE ALSO KNOW THE VULNERABILITY THAT'S MAKE YOU MORE LIKELY TO DIE IF YOU ARE INFECTED, DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, STROKE ARE MORE COMMON IN PEOPLE IN JAILS AND PRISONS.

WE KNOW THOSE INCARCERATED ELDERLY WHICH HAS BEEN INCREASING THE LAST FEW DECADES AND I AM PARTICULARLY DISTURBED BY THE NUMBER OF PREGNANT WOMEN IN JAILS AND PRISONS THAT -- PRISONS.

THERE HAS NOT BEEN A LOT OF RESEARCH ON PREGNANT WOMEN WITH COVID-19, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT SIMILAR VIRUSES YOU CAN ASSUME IF YOU ARE INFECTED AS A PREGNANT WOMAN YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET SICK AND DIE.

THERE IS ALSO A TERM, AN EXPRESSION THAT PRISON HELTD -- HEALTH IS PUBLIC HEALTH.

IT IS FROM CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND VISITORS.

IT WAS PUT IN PLACE AND WE COULD SEE AN ADDITIONAL 99,000 DEATHS.

IT IS SOMETHING YOU COULD SEE PUBLISHED IN COOK COUNTY JAIL HAS BEEN LINKED TO AROUND 16% OF ALL CASES IN CHICAGO AND 16% IN ILLINOIS AS OF LATE APRIL.

THOSE CONDITIONS MADE ME NERVOUS.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THE HARRIS COUNTY JAIL WERE INFECTED.

AND SO JAIL SOUT BREAKS ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY PART OF WHAT IS FUELING THE SCENARIO IN HOUSTON RIGHT NOW.

I RECOMMEND THAT TO REDUCE IT WE HAVE TO TAKE THE VALVE OFF AND IT REDUCES THE POPULATION AND PROTECTING PRISONERS AND PROTECTING INCARCERATED PEOPLE.

WE ACTUALLY END UP MAKING ALL OF US SAFE.

AND WE HAVE SEEN THAT KIND OF TAKING THE VALVE OFF.

I AM NOT ORIGINALLY FROM HERE.

I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN NOW.

I AM ORIGINALLY FROM UK.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE I WANT TO HEAR FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONERS -- CAN YOU MUTE EVERYBODY ELSE.

>> DR. YEMI CAN YOU -- THERE YOU GO.

>> LINA HIDALGO: GO AHEAD, COMMISSIONER ELLIS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WANTED TO -- LET'S ASK SOME QUESTIONS FROM DR. YEMI AND THEN I WANT TO TURN TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

LEAN LIEGE DASH.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THERE ARE QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, DOCTOR.

[13:55:01]

>> THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.

>> I DO HAVE OTHER SPEAKERS JUDGE.

GO AHEAD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER ELLIS WANTED TO HEAR FROM -- >> RODNEY ELLIS: ANYBODY FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE? I WANT TO GET A SENSE ON THE GROUND OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

>> WE DO, DR. ERIKA BROWN.

>> HELLO.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

A SENSE OF WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR US ON THE GROUND IS WE DO HAVE A POPULATION THAT HOVERS AROUND 8,000 EVERY DAY.

TODAY WE HAVE 8,042 INMATES WITH US TODAY OF THAT NUMBER SINCE MARCH 14TH, WE HAVE TESTED 6,000 OF THOSE INMATES.

OF THOSE 6,000 ABOUT 1500 HAVE TESTED POSITIVE.

TODAY 1199 ARE IN OUR CUSTODY DOUGH THAT ARE POSITIVE.

GIVEN THE SPACE CONSTRAINTS WE HAVE WITH THE PHYSICAL FOOTPRINT ON CAMPUS WE ARE ABLE TO QUARANTINE OUR POSITIVES EITHER IN ISOLATION QUARANTINE OR OUR INFIRMARY FOR THOSE WHO ARE SYMPTOMATIC POSITIVE.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE RATES OF POSITIVITY FOR OUR CAMPUS WE FALL A LITTLE LOWER.

15% OF OUR POPULATION IS TESTING POSITIVE AND I BELIEVE IT IS HIGHER FOR THE COUNTY IN GENERAL.

IT IS ABOUT 10% OF THOSE THAT ARE TESTING POSITIVE.

>> THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING.

I KNOW ARE YOU DRIVING THOSE TESTING PROJECTS.

THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: IF YOU TESTED THE POPULATION AT RANDOM WHAT WOULD BE POSITIVE VERSUS THE PEOPLE THAT ARE POSITIVE GOING TO A TEST SITE OR THOSE WHO FEEL SICK.

THAT'S WHY THE POSITIVITY RATE IS A BIT OF A -- IT IS THE CONFUSING INDICATOR AND WE DON'T REALLY HAVE A FULL -- IT IS GOOD TO LOOK AT -- THEY SAY 5% IS WHERE ARE YOU SAFE.

IT IS NOT CLEAR.

THE DENOMINATOR IS ROBUST.

FOR WHATEVER THAT IS WORTH I DON'T THINK THAT IS APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISON.

>> I WOULD AGREE.

I THINK ONE THING THAT IS A POTENTIAL INDICATOR IS THE POTENTIAL REPORTING OF THOSE COMING THROUGH INTAKE.

WE ARE TREYS -- WE ARE TESTING EVERYONE WHO COMES IN THE JAIL AND IS STAYING WITH THIS.

THIS IS NOT SOMEBODY WHO IS KOSMING IN AND THE CHARGES ARE ACCEPT -- CHARGES ARE ACCEPTED THEY RECEIVE TESTING.

ANYWHERE FROM 10 TO 15% OF THOSE ARE POSITIVE AS WELL.

THAT MAY BE SOMEWHAT OF AN INDICATOR, BUT AGAIN YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS OF THOSE COMING INTO THE JAIL AS WELL.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IS THE TEST MANDATORY?

>> IT IS.

FOR THOSE WHO COME IN AND STAYING WITH US, IT IS MANDATORY.

THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO REFUSE THE TEST, BUT SIMILAR TO OUR TB TESTING IF THEY REFUSE THE TEST THEY ARE QUARANTINED.

WE HAVE NO IDEA OF THEIR STATUS.

THE SHERIFF HAS IMPLEMENTED AN ORDER AND IT IS ALSO MANDATORY FOR THEM AS WELL.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THANK YOU, DOCTOR.

>> THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I KNOW THERE MAY BE OTHER FOLKS WHO WANT TO TESTIFY ON THE SUBJECT AS WELL.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, LUCINDA.

DO WE HAVE OTHER SPEAKERS ?

>> I HAVE OTHER SPEAKERS.

SARA WOOD, GO AHEAD PLEASE.

>> YES, HELLO.

HI.

I AM SARA WOOD AND GENERAL COUNSEL FOR THE HAIR TRIES CON -- HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

COVID IN THE JAIL IS A SUBJECT THAT LITERALLY KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT.

IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE HOW TERRIFYING TO BE LOCKED IN THE JAIL WITH POTENTIALLY DEADLY AND MYSTERIOUS DISEASE.

THE HARRIS COUNTY JAIL IS NOT JUST A NATIONAL HOTSPOT, BUT IT IS A GROUND 0 -- GROUND 0 WORLDWIDE.

THE HARRIS COUNTY JAIL IS SECOND LARGEST IN THE COUNTRY.

ONE THING THAT IS REALLY INTERESTING IS IT PUTS A LITERAL FACE ON THE FACT THAT FOR DECADES MASS INCARCERATION ITSELF HAS BEEN A PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER.

WITH THE PANDEMIC WE ARE SEEING THE APPROXIMATE THAT LATCH ON TO PEOPLE SPREAD AS THE VIRUS IS DOING.

LOOKING AT THE SHERIFF'S REPORT FROM LAST WEEK THEY HAD 1,435 PRISONERS TESTING POSITIVE.

437 JAIL EMPLOYEES.

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET OUT AT SOME POINT AND BRING IT BACK TO THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

AND THERE IS PRISON HEALTH AND PUBLIC HEALTH.

WE HAVE OVER 8,000 PEOPLE IN THE JAIL AT ANY GIVEN TIME.

THAT'S THE CAPACITY OF ASTRO ARENA.

IT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THAT MANY PEOPLE HELD IN ONE PLACE TOGETHER.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: 80% OF THEM HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME, RIGHT? AND I KNOW ON THE FELONY SIDE I THINK YOU GOT TO REPRESENT PEOPLE IN 3% OF THE CASES.

THE OLD WAS THE COURT APPOINTED SYSTEM WHICH IS A SEPARATE ISSUE THE "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTED ON A MONTH AGO.

THE JUDGE OBVIOUSLY EXHAUSTED ALL OF THE POWER SHE HAD BUT IS THERE ANY OTHER SENSE OF WHAT WE CAN DO?

>> THERE ARE ISSUES YOU CAN BE MAKING AWARE OF.

AS YOU ARE PROBABLY AWARE THE D.A.'S OFFICE IN SOME RESPECT OF THE CALF RAW -- THE CAVALIER ATTITUDE OF EXPOSING YOURSELF TO THE VIRUS.

IT IS THE FIRST AGENCY TO CALL OUT THEIR EMPLOYEES FROM THE COURTHOUSE HOUSE.

THEY DO NOT APPEAR IN IN PERSON AT ALL.

IT IS A RISKY SITUATION.

THERE ARE 600 NON-VIOLENT PROTESTERS.

IT IS ON CHARGES OF OBJECT PRODUCTING A ROADWAY.

AND SINCE COVID THEY HAVE BEGUN FILING MOTIONS.

WE DOUBLED DOWN ON KEEPING PEOPLE IN JAIL.

THEY APPEAR TO BE CONCERNED AND THEY ARE PARTICIPATING IN TRYING TO REDUCE THE POPULATION AND SO THEY ARE REVIEWING THE CASES AND PUTTING OUT LISTS WHERE THEY AGREE.

THIS IS A SMALL AMOUNT OF PEOPLE.

THE LAST LIST HAD 1100 PEOPLE ON IT AND THAT WAS LOOKING AT ALL BOOKINGS DURING A 10-DAY PERIOD.

THEY PUT THE LISTS OUT, BUT THEY ARE NOT SHARING THEM WITH ANYONE.

THEY DON'T NOTIFY THE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS.

WHEN THEY DO AGREE TO RELEASE THEY MAKE -- THEY DON'T MAKE IT PUBLIC.

SOME OF THE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS GOING -- GOING BACK TO SOME OF THE CASES AND IT IS NOT EASY BEING AN ATTORNEY.

THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

THE D.A.'S OFFICE IS -- THEY ARE GREE -- AGREEING, BUT THEY ARE NOT LETTING ANYONE KNOW.

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH POINT THERE IS TO THAT.

ANOTHER THING IS WE ARE GOING -- WE HAVE BEEN HAVING WEEKLY HEARINGS IN -- IN REFERENCE TO HARRIS COUNTY AND THE FEDERAL JUDGE ROSETHA -- ROSENTHAL HAS BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONDITIONS IN THE JAIL.

SHE TRIED PROCEDURES TO GET PEOPLE RELEASED.

THEY HAVE HAD THE D.A.'S OFFICE REVIEW THEM.

THAT'S WHERE THE 12 AGREED RELEASES YOU MENTIONED CAME FROM.

THE SHERIFF LISTED 500 PEOPLE.

THAT WAS AT JUDGE ROSENTHAL'S URGENCY.

IN THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS THE DISTRICT COURTS HAVE STOPPED PARTICIPATING IN HEARINGS ALTOGETHER.

THERE IS NO MORE COOPERATION AND ALL OF THE FEDERAL COURTS EFFORTS APPEAR AND THERE IS A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT, WELL, HOW MANY BAIL HEARINGS ARE HAPPENING? ARE PEOPLE GETTING THEIR BAIL REDUCED? I POURED THROUGH THE RECORDS ON THE FIRST WEBSITE AND I CANNOT FIND THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS.

WE HAVE REAL PROBLEM.

THIS IS AN ACTION ITEM.

AND PREVIOUSLY YOU COULD SIMPLY WALK INTO COURT AND SEE IF THERE WAS A HEARING GOING ON AND GET A FEEL FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING JUST BY GOING IN AND OBSERVING.

NOW THAT IS NOT AN OPTION AND WE ARE RELYING ON THE DISTRICT CLERK'S RECORDS AND THERE IS NO WAY TO SEARCH FOR BAIL HEARINGS.

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO TELL.

YOU CAN SEE BONDS BEING RAISED AND LOWERED AND YOU DON'T KNOW THE BASIS FOR THAT.

THERE IS NO RECORD BEING KEPT.

THAT'S YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE PUBLIC COURT.

THAT COULD BE SOME OF THE TECHNOLOGY FENCES THERE.

THE OTHER PROBLEM IS THAT THERE IS NO THE IN PERSON VISITATION HAPPENING AT THE JAIL.

LIKE I SAID, THERE ARE A LOT OF OBSTACLES FOR DEFENSE COUNSEL TO EVEN PREPARE FOR A BAIL HEARING AND TO RAISE A GOOD DEFENSE.

ONE OF THOSE IS THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO COMMUNICATE WITH ONE -- WITH ONE'S CLIENT.

THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB SETTING UP THE VIDEO VISITATION AND THERE IS A LOT OF CONFUSION ABOUT THE PROCEDURES GOING ON.

I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO WORK WITH THEM TO ESTABLISH THE PROCEDURE THAT'S CAN BE COMMUNICATED WITH THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY.

YOU NEED YOUR CLIE YEBT -- CLIENT TO SIGN PAPERWORK.

YOU HAVE TO USE THE MAIL? THAT TAKES WEEKS.

HE IS NOT MAKING PROGRESS.

>> JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER RADACK.

>> STEVE RADACK: IS THIS PERSON A SPEAKER? THE LADY THAT IS SPEAKING?

>> YES, SIR, SHE SIGNED UP TO SPEAK.

>> STEVE RADACK: HOW LONG HAS SHE SPOKEN FOR NOW, JAMES?

>> I TAKE IT SHE WAS ANSWERING COMMISSIONER ELLIS' QUESTION SO SO I STOPPED IT AT 12 SECONDS.

>> STEVE RADACK: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, MA'AM IS ALEX AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

>> STEVE RADACK: LUCINDA, IS ALEX AVAILABLE?

>> I JUST UNMUTED HIM.

ALEX?

>> I AM HERE, COMMISSIONER.

>> STEVE RADACK: YES, ARE YOU IN AGREEMENT WITH EVERYTHING THIS LADY IS SAY SNG -- SAYING?

>> I AM.

>> STEVE RADACK: YOU ARE?

>> YES.

>> STEVE RADACK: THAT'S GOOD TO KNOW.

ARE WE GOING TO HAVE ANYBODY COME HERE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES TO THE ALLEGATIONS OF ONE OF YOUR EMPLOYEES?

>> WHO DO YOU SUGGEST, COMMISSIONER? STEVE WHO WOULD YOU SUGGEST?

>> STEVE RADACK: WHO WOULD YOU SUGGEST?

>> I MEAN, THE PEOPLE THAT WOULD NEED TO ANSWER TO THAT ARE ALL PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO

[14:00:02]

ARE ALL VERY CAPABLE OF DOING THAT.

>> STEVE RADACK: WELL, I THINK THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE.

APPARENTLY BASED ON -- IF I UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE IS SAYING SHE HAS A PROBLEM WITH NOT ONLY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND APPARENTLY SHE HAS A HUGE PROBLEM WITH THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES AS WELL.

WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

>> I DO.

I HAVE BEEN PART OF THOSE HEARINGS IN FEDERAL COURT AND I AGREE WITH WHAT JUDGE RE -- ROSENTHAL IS TRYING TO DO.

>> STEVE RADACK: I THINK IT IS INTERESTING THAT ME, HERE YOU HAVE A CRITICISM OF EVERY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN HARRIS COUNTY THAT DOES CRIMINAL WORK.

YOU AGREE WITH MY STATEMENT? YOU AGREE THAT Y'ALL DON'T -- YOU DON'T CARE FOR THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES OF HARRIS COUNTY THAT DO CRIMINAL WORK.

YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

>> I NO, I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT.

I THINK THE POINT IS WE HAVE 22 DIFFERENT DISTRICT JUDGES.

THEY ALL DO THEIR OWN THINGS.

BUT THE TOTAL IS WE ARE NOT GETTING PEOPLE OUT OF JAIL AND THAT'S THE POINT THAT IS BEING MADE.

>> STEVE RADACK: WELL, I THINK -- YOU MAY DISAGREE, BUT I BELIEVE THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES HAVE A LOT OF AUTHORITY ON WHO GETS OUT OF JAIL.

WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

>> I DO AGREE WITH THAT.

WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING.

>> STEVE RADACK: YOU MAY BE ABLE TO TURN YOL'S ATTENTION TRYING TO GET A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES OF HARRIS COUNTY.

>> WELL, THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A LAWSUIT.

THEIR LAWYER WON'T EVEN TALK -- THEY ARE NOT TALKING TO US.

>> RIGHT -- >> STEVE RADACK: YOU HAVE A BIG JOB AHEAD OF YOU, ALEX.

>> I AGREE WITH THAT.

>> STEVE RADACK: THANK YOU.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: MR. RADACK, I THINK I AGREE AND THAT'S WHY I PUT THIS ITEM ON THE AGENDA.

IT IS LIKE EVERYTHING IS AT A STAND STILL.

>> STEVE RADACK: ONE THING IS FOR SURE, HE HAS PLENTY OF EMPLOYEES.

HE JUST HAS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THEM.

HE HAS PLENTY OF PEOPLE.

IF PEOPLE AREN'T DOING ANY GOOD HE NEEDS TO STRIKING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGES AND MAYBE GET THEM TO WORK WITH HIM OR MAYBE VICE -- VICE-VERSA.

>> LINA HIDALGO: YOU LISTED SOME PRETTY SERIOUS SYSTEMIC ISSUES AND THAT'S WHY THEY ARE BEING SUED ON CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION TERMS. I JUST THINK IT IS MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT, COMMISSIONER.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE AND COMMISSIONER, THAT'S WHY WE DID MAKE LEGAL COUNSEL AVAILABLE FOR THEM.

WE AGREE, ALL OF US ON THIS COURT, THAT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS SYSTEM WHERE COURT-APPOINTED LAWYERS ARE RARELY SEEING PEOPLE.

SHORT OF RAISING THESE ISSUES, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THAT CAN BE DONE OTHER THAN WAIT.

AT SOME POINT THE LAWSUIT WILL WORK ITS WAY THROUGH THE SYSTEM.

DID YOU WANT TO WRAP UP, MS. WOOD? ANYTHING ELSE? I DON'T WANT TO CUT YOU SHORT.

ALEX, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP AS WELL.

MS. WOOD IF YOU WANT TO WRAP UP.

THERE MAY BE A COUPLE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SPEAK.

>> YEAH, REAL QUICK, THANK YOU.

SO WE NEED BETTER RECORDS TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY AS TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN COURT WE NEED TO STREAM LINE PROCEDURES FOR COUNCIL TO BETTER COMMUNICATE WITH CLIENTS WHO ARE INMATES.

WE NEED TO CONSIDER TRANSITIONAL HOUSING FOR NON-VIOLENT ARRESTEES WHO CAN BE RELEASED ON BOND.

ONE OF THE OBSTACLES TO RELEASING PEOPLE IS THE QUESTION OF WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO GO? SINCE THEY ARE COMING OUT OF JAIL MANY FAMILY MEMBERS DON'T WANT THEM COMING HOME AND EXPOSING EVERYONE LIKE WE ARE SAYING.

I THINK WE SHOULD CONSIDER TRANSITIONAL HOUSING AVAILABLE FOR CERTAIN NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS SO THEY CAN HAVE A RELIEF PLAN TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE AND WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THE SHERIFF HAS ALL OF THE RESOURCES THEY NEED.

I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE ENOUGH HAND SANITIZER OR HAVE TO RELY ON DONATIONS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

I THINK THE SHERIFF IS DOING A GREAT JOB AND DOING EVERYTHING HE CAN.

THOSE REALLY ARE THE ONLY SMALL THINGS I CAN THINK OF TO DO NOW.

OTHER THAN LITIGATING EVERY CASE WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I HAVE AN ITEM LATER ON IN THE AGENDA FOR THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ABOUT HOW WE CAN GET ACCESS.

THANK YOU, MS. WOOD.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO NO ACTION, COMMISSIONER ON THIS ITEM?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: NO, AND I THINK THERE MAY BE ONE OR TWO MORE SPEAKERS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I'M SORRY.

>> NICK WITH ACLU OF TEXAS.

>> GOOD AFTERNOON, JUDGE HIDALGO.

MY NAME IS NICK AND I AM A POLICY ADVOCACY STRATEGY.

REDUCING THE JAIL POPULATION IS KEY TO COMBATING COVID-19.

WE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THAT TODAY.

THEY ARE INCUBATORS AND THEY CAN CAUSE MORE INFECTIONS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR NOT ONLY THOSE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE JAIL AND WORK IN THE JAIL, BUT FOR THE ENTIRE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY.

COMMISSION -- COMMISSIONER ELLIS MENTIONED THEY ARE PARTNERING WITH AN AM DECK MICK -- AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH FIRM.

IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE WITH THE CURRENT CAPACITY.

WE CAN EXPECT FOR IT TO BE 100,000 ADDITIONAL DEATHS AND A SIX-MONTH PERIOD NATIONWIDE INCLUDING 800 ADDITIONAL DEATHS IN HARRIS COUNTY.

IN PARTICULAR IT IS CLEAR THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES WILL ONLY BE HIGHLY EFFECT -- EFFECTIVE IF WE EKDZ TEND THEM -- EXTEND THEM TO JAILS.

THE POPULATION IS UP FROM A LOW OF 7500 TO MORE THAN 8100.

THE ACLU RELEASED A REPORT TODAY WHICH I WILL E-MAIL TO COMMISSIONERS AND IT SHOWS BETWEEN MARCH AND MAY THIS PERIOD OF JAIL REDUCTION THE CRIME IN HOUSTON, THE CRIME -- CRIME RATE WAS DOWN 20% COMPARED TO THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD AVERAGE.

I AM HERE TO RE -- TO REITERATE HOW MANY OFFICIALS SHOULD COLLABORATE ON THIS CRISIS.

FIRST HARRIS COUNTY SHOULD CONSIDER AN EXPLICIT CAPS -- CAPACITY FOR THE JAIL.

AND THE UNIQUE SET UP AND SHARE THIS WITH THE JUSTICE.

SECOND DISTRICT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHOULD DISMISS THE NON-VIOLENT CASES ESPECIALLY DURING THE PANDEMIC AND DIRECTORY SOURCES TO THE BACKLOG OF SERIOUS CASES.

THE BACKLOG IS GROWING AND ANY OTHER ADDITIONAL RESOURCES WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

WE INCLUDED AN ANALYSIS THAT I WILL SHARE OF THE HARRIS COUNTY JAIL POPULATION.

AND WE BELIEVE IT COULD BE A CANDIDATE FOR A DISMISSAL ORIE LEASED FROM THE JAIL.

TWO OF THE MAJOR DRIVERS WAS PROFESSIONAL SUBSTANCE CHARGES AND UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU.

>> GABRIELLE -- GABRIELLE LAW BARJONA.

>> I AM COMING TO TALK ABOUT THE FAILING PUBLIC HEALTH AND MAKING THE PANDEMIC WORSE IN HOUSTON.

RESOURCES ARE SO CONSTRAINED THEY CAN'T INVEST MORE IN PUBLIC HEALTH AND IT IS PUTTING LIVES AT RISK.

WITH HER PERMISSION I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THE STORY OF NICOLE.

NICOLE IS A MOTHER AND CURRENTLY SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT.

NICOLE WAS ON PROBATION FOR A MINOR NON-VIOLENT OFFENSE.

NICOLE WAS PULLED OVER FOR FAILURE TO SIGNAL WHILE ON HER WAY TO PICK UP HER DAUGHTER.

SHE WAS TAKEN TO JAIL FOR EVADING ARREST EVEN THOUGH IT SAID IT TOOK A MILE TO PULL OVER AND FORCED TO SOLITARY QUARANTINE.

AFTER SURVIVING JAIL DURING THE PANDEMIC SHE WAS BONDED SO SHE CAN HAVE HER BABY ON THE OUTSIDE.

IN THE MIDDLE OF A DEADLY PANDEMIC TWO DAYS AFTER BEING BONDED OUT HER PROBATION WAS REVOKED AND SHE WAS TAKEN BACK TO JAIL.

HOW MANY OFFICER ITSELF SHOULD HAVE TAKEN TO REARREST A PREGNANT WOMAN AT HOME? ONE, TWO, THREE? FIVE? FIVE OFFICERS SHOWED UP TO NICOLE'S DOORSTEP.

AT THE PEAK OF OUR CITY'S CRISIS FIVE OFFICERS WERE SENT TO REARREST A PREGNANT WOMAN.

THEY STOLE HER FROM HER HOME AND DROPPED HER INTO HARM'S WAY ENDANGERING HER LIFE AND THE LIFE OF HER BABY.

WE CAN'T AFFORD A TESTING SITE IN THE FIFTH WARD, BUT THEY HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME ON THEIR HAND THAT FIVE OFFICERS WERE NEEDED TO TAKE A PREGNANT WOMAN BACK TO JAIL.

IN JAIL NICOLE WAS SUBJECTED TO UNIMAGINABLE CONDITIONS.

SHE FOUND IT TO BE DIRTY AND AND TRASH.

SHE WAS NOT GIVEN A BLANKET FOR THE FIRST TWO DAYS AND NOT GIVEN AN EXTRA MATTRESS OR EXTRA FOOD AS THE LAW MANDATES FOR PREGNANT MOTHER.

SHE WAS DEHYDRATED AND GIVEN TWO SLICES OF BREAD FOR BREAKFAST AND SHARED ONE SOAP WITH 20 OTHER CELLS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONTAGIOUS OUTBREAK A PREGNANT MOTHER HAD A SHARE SOAP.

SHE HAD TO BEND DOWN TO DRINK WATER FROM THE CELL NEXT TO THE TOILET.

SHE COULD ONLY THINK OF NOURISH MEANT, FOOD, WATER, WARMTH, REST.

SHE JUST WANTED TO NOURISH HER BABY.

TO PUT NICOLE'S STORY IN CONTEXT, THE JAIL NUMBERS ARE AS HIGH AS BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.

IT SHOULD HORRIFY YOU THAT HPD IS MAKING IT WORSE WITH EVERY WASTEFUL ARREST.

COUNTY RESOURCES WERE USED TO JAIL A PREGNANT WOMAN TWICE AND EXPOSE HER TO A COVID CLUSTER TWICE FOR NO DISCERNIBLE PUBLIC SAFETY REASON.

NICOLE'S STORY IS A PUBLIC HEALTH FAILURE.

BY JAILING HER TWICE AND REVOKING HER PROBATION AND EXPOSING HER AND HER FAMILY TO A DISEASE ALL STEMMING FROM A MINOR NON-VIOLENT CHARGE.

MAYBE THE MONEY FOR THE FIFTH WARD TESTING SITE IS BEING WASTED ON THE PER DIEM JAIL COST OF PREGNANT MOTHERS.

WE HAVE TO SAY WHAT DO WE CARE ABOUT AND WHO ARE WE PROTECT SNG THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO LISTEN.

>> THANK YOU.

THOSE ARE ALL OF THE SPEAKERS, JUDGE ON THIS ITEM.

>> LINA HIDALGO: THANK YOU, LUCINDA.

FOLKS, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TAKING OUR 10-MINUTE BREAK AND WE CAN CONTINUE.

I KNOW IT IS WELL PASTIME FOR A BREAK.

DOES THAT WORK?

>> JUDGE, FOR SUPPLEMENTAL ITEM 15 THERE IS NO ACTION?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT'S CORRECT.

NO ACTION.

>> THANK YOU, SIR.

>> LINA HIDALGO: IT IS 5:40 AND WE WILL BE BACK AT 5:50.

[14:05:02]

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY IT IS 5:52 AND COMMISSIONER'S COURT IS BACK IN SESSION.

WE HAD JUST FINISHED DISCUSSING ITEM 15 AND WE ARE MOVING TO ITEM 16 ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL AGENDA.

COMMISSIONER ELLIS ON HAZARD PAY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, IF SHANE IS HERE, THIS ISSUE CAME UP SOME TIME BACK.

OBVIOUSLY WE WERE GOING TO DO WHAT WE COULD UNDER THE CARES ACT BY FIRST RESPONDERS AND I WANTED THEM TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN EXTEND THE SAME BENEFITS TO ALL OF MY EMPLOYEES.

IF SHANE IS ON THE LINE FROM HR, IF YOU CAN JUST GIVE US A LITTLE UPDATE.

>> YES, CAN YOU HEAR ME?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: YES, SIR.

>> THERE IS NOTHING TO PROHIBIT US FROM DOING HAZARD PAY TO ALL EMPLOYEES.

IT JUST COMES DOWN TO A REIMBURSEMENT STANDPOINT FROM THE CARES ACT.

THE CARES ACT IS SUBJECT TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND PUBLIC HEALTH-TYPE WORKERS AND HUMAN SERVICES.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST, SHANE, IF WE WANTED TO DO IT DURING THIS COVID CRISIS FOR ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES? AND CAN WE DO IT UNDER THE LAW?

>> THERE IS NOTHING TO PROHIBIT US FROM DOING IT UNDER THE LAW.

WE EXTEND IT TO ALL EMPLOYEES AND OF COURSE THE DOLLAR AMOUNT.

WE CAN GO OUT THERE AND LOOK TO SEE WHAT SOME OTHER EMPLOYERS ARE DOING AS TO THE DOLLAR AMOUNT AND MAYBE BRING SOMETHING BACK TO YOU NEXT COURT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: IF YOU WOULD DO THAT AND WITH SOME ROUGH IDEA OF NUMBERS AT THE VERY LEAST.

EVEN IF THE COURT DID NOT WANT TO DO IT FOR EVERYONE THEN I WANT TO MAKE A MOTION WHERE EACH COMMISSIONER COULD DO IT.

I WANT TO PROTECT THE FOLKS IN HERE PASSING ME PAPERS AS MUCH AS THE OTHER EMPLOYEES.

I HOPE WE CAN GET SOME SENSE OF WHAT IT COSTS AND DO IT COUNTY WIDE.

IF NOT, I WOULD LIKE TO DO IT FOR MY FOLKS WHO ARE OUT THERE WORKING IN PARKS DURING COVID.

I AM NOT SAYING ALL THE TIME, BUT AT LEAST WHILE THIS IS GOING ON.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: JUDGE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: YES, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THANK YOU FOR PUTTING THIS ON THE AGENDA.

I RAISED THIS ISSUE SEVERAL COURT MEETINGS AGO AND I CAN'T REMEMBER WHY WE DIDN'T PURSUE IT.

SHANE, DO YOU RECALL WHY WE DIDN'T MOVE ON IT BACK THEN?

>> NO, SIR, I CAN'T I CAN'T RECALL FROM BACK THEN.

IT MAY HAVE BEEN A CARES ACT-TYPE DISCUSSION.

IT IS ALLOWED TO BE REAM -- REIMBURSED.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: COMMISSIONER GARCIA, IT WAS ONLY CARES -- WHEN IT CAME UP IT WAS ONLY CARES MONEY.

MAYBE THAT ITEM THE WAY IT WAS POSTED WAS NOT BROAD ENOUGH.

WHEN I SAID COME BACK WITH SOMETHING SO WE CAN DO IT FOR EVERYBODY.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: IF WE HAVE THE LAT -- LATITUDE WITH YOUR ITEM, COMMISSIONER GARCIA, I AM LOOKING FOR -- LOOK, I HAVE SEVERAL EMPLOYEES WHO TESTED POSITIVE.

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY HITTING HOME.

WE JUST LOST DEPUTY MARK BROWN OVER AT PRE SINK -- PRECINCT 5 AND THE SERGE AT THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND SEVERAL OTHERS AND IT CONTINUES TO TOUCH US, REGRETFULLY SO.

I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE OUR EMPLOYEES ARE SUPPORTED FOR SHOWING UP.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM WHILE WE CAN.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I WILL MAKE A MOTION NOW, BUT SHANE, DO YOU HAVE SOME IDEA WHAT IT COSTS? OR SHOULD WE MAKE A MOTION?

GIVE ME SOME DIRECTION -- >> ADRIAN GARCIA: AND WHETHER IT IS RETROACTIVE.

>> THANK YOU WOULD LIKE, COMMISSIONER, IF THERE IS A MEETING ON NEXT TUESDAY I CAN BRING MAYBE SOMETHING BACK THEN.

LET ME DO SOME RESEARCH AND MAYBE WHAT OTHER COUNTIES ARE DOING AND DOLLAR AMOUNTS AND BRING THAT BACK.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND CHECK ON THE NUMBERS MAKING THEM RETROACTIVE.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE, ECONOMICSER GARCIA? THURSDAY.

>> R JACK CAGLE: AND WHETHER IT IS CARES ACT REIMBURSABLE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WE KNOW IT WON'T BE CARES ACT REIMBURSEMENT -- REIMBURSABLE.

IF IT IS, GOOD.

>> IS THERE ANY ACTION ON ITEM 16?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: NO, SIR, JUST BRINGING IT BACK NEXT THURSDAY.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO THAT WAS ITEM 16.

ITEM 17 IS COMMISSIONER ELLIS ABOUT THE FOOD BANK.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: JUDGE, IT IS JUST RENEWING IT.

IT IS PRETTY STRAIGHT FORWARD.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: ON THIS ONE IT JUST OCCURRED TO MY STAFF THAT IT IS PRECINCT 1 BECAUSE I KNOW I AM PAYING INTO THIS PROGRAM.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I AM JUST MAKING A MOTION.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: WHY SHOULD IT STAY IN YOUR OFFICE? WHY SHOULDN'T IT BE SOMEWHERE ELSE IN PURCHASING IS MY POINT?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: SHANE?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: DWIGHT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: DOESN'T MATTER TO ME.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER CAGLE SAYS ME TOO.

>> IT DOES PRESIDENT MATTER.

WE -- IT DOESN'T MATTER.

WE CAN TAKE IT IN OUR OFFICE AND WORK THE AGREEMENT.

HOWEVER YOU WANT TO DO IT.

IT WAS SOMETHING PRESENTED STRAIGHT AT COURT.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: THAT'S GOOD.

LEGAL PROBABLY DRAFTED IT I'M ASSUMING.

IT WAS JUST PRECINCT 1 WHEN I PUT IT ON THE AGENDA.

IF IT IS FOR ALL OF US, HEY, MOVE FORWARD WITH IT AND PUT IT TOGETHER.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: GOOD.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: AND I THINK IT IS THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT THAT WOULD DO IT OR YOU?

>> IT WOULD BE THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT, BUT WE CAN MAKE SURE IT KEEPS ROLLING AND RENEWS OR WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I THINK INITIALLY I WAS PAYING FOR IT OUT OF PRECINCT 1 MONEY, BUT WE ARE DOING IT WITH CARES NOW.

>> THIS IS SHANE.

EACH PRECINCT WAS DOING THEIR OWN.

FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE STANDPOINT IT WAS EASIER TO DO IT IN ONE.

THE OTHER THING IS THIS WAS ALLOWED TO BE PAID FROM THE CONTINGENCY FUND INSTEAD OF Y'ALL'S PRECINCT, EACH PRECINCT.

THAT WAS THE REASON TO PUT IT UNDER ONE CONTRACT AND PAY IT FROM THE CONTINGENCY FUND AND PRECINCT 1 BASICALLY WOULD TAKE CARE OF THE ONE CHECK AND ONE INVOICE.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: WELL, HEY, I'M FLEXIBLE, COMMISSIONERS.

WHAT IS EASIER TO GET IT DONE AND NOT DISRUPT IT? I SAY IF IT DISRUPT IT, LEAVE IT THE WAY IT IS, AND JUST MAKE SURE MY FOLKS DO IT RIGHT.

I DON'T WANT IT TO STOP.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I AM JUST SAYING FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GOOD COORDINATION AND MAKING SURE WE KNOW WHERE WE ARE WRITING CHECKS TO.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: SHANE WHAT IS YOUR PREFERENCE? YOU TELL US.

>> Y'ALL ARE BOTH PAYING FOR IT OUT OF YOUR PRECINCT BUDGETS, GENERAL FUNDS SO THIS IS MOVING TO THE CONTINGENCY FUND.

TO ME IT IS JUST ADMINISTRATIVE.

HAVE ONE OFFICE ADMINISTRATE IT AND MAKE ONE PAYMENT.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: IS A MOTION NECESSARY?

>> BASICALLY JUST TO RENEW THE AGREEMENT.

THE WHOLE CONTINGENCY FUND, I THINK THERE IS ANOTHER ITEM ON THERE TO PUT BUDGET IN THERE FOR THIS.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO JUST TO BE CLEAR, AND COMMISSIONER CAGLE SAYS HE WANTS TO BE INCLUDED TO.

SHANE YOU HAVE TWO OFFICES AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE COMMISSIONER RADACK STANDS.

RODRIGUEZ >> RODNEY ELLIS: HOW SHOULD WE CHANGE THIS SO IT IS COUNTY WIDE AND ANY PRECINCT THAT WANTS TO PARTICIPATE CAN PARTICIPATE.

JUDGE, DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

>> LINA HIDALGO: THAT'S WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE WE NEED TO DO.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: PRECINCT 2 IS ALREADY IN IT.

>> AND THIS IS FROM MEMORY.

I THINK ALL PRECINCTS CAN PARTICIPATE, BUT IT MIGHT BE BETTER IF WE SIMPLY AMEND THE MOTION AND ADD THE PHRASE AND TO INCLUDE ALL PRECINCTS.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: I'LL MAKE THAT MOTION.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: SECOND.

>> LINA HIDALGO: SO COMMISSIONER PRECINCT 1 FOR APPROVAL OF RENEWAL FOR FOOD BANK TO ASSIST IN THE USE OF THE FOOD BANK AND INCREASING THE DISSOLUTION OF -- TO RESIDENTS DURING A COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH DISASSER AND TO INCLUDE ALL PRECINCTS IN THIS AGREEMENT.

>> YES, I THINK THAT WOULD TAKE CARE OF IT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OKAY.

>> RODNEY ELLIS: ALL RIGHT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: DO WE HAVE A MOTION?

>> RODNEY ELLIS: YES, MA'AM, I MOVED IT.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA SECONDED IT.

>> LINA HIDALGO: ALL IN FAVOR?

>> I.

>> I.

>> LINA HIDALGO: OPPOSED? MOTION CARRIES UNANIMOUSLY.

LET'S MOVE ON TO ITEM 18 AND PRECINCT 3 ON HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH.

>> THANK YOU.

MR. POST, ARE YOU AVAILABLE?

>> YES, I AM HERE.

>> I ASKED YOU AND ASKED YOU ABOUT LOOKING AT THESE DIFFERENT POSITIONS IN PUBLIC HEALTH.

BASED UPON WHAT YOU HAVE LOOKED AT, HOW MANY EMPLOYEES DO YOU SEE OVER THERE?

>> ERIKA, WHY DON'T YOU SIT IN HERE AND ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

ERIKA PERKINS WHO IS OVER IN THE AUDITOR DIVISION.

SHE ACTUALLY PUT TOGETHER A REPORT WHERE WE SHOW THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AND GENERAL PIC FUND, ET CETERA.

>> COMMISSIONER RADACK, 579 TOTAL EMPLOYEES.

>> STEVE RADACK: SO HOW MANY OF THOSE ARE GRANT POSITIONS?

>> 193.

>> STEVE RADACK: AND THEY ARE DOING ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT THINGS OBVIOUSLY.

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

>> STEVE RADACK: I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THESE -- ALL THESE POSITIONS CAME FROM AND WHO -- IS THIS ALL BEING PAID FOR BY COVID MONEY?

>> NO.

THE GRANT, THE 193 EMPLOY EASE THAT ARE BEING PAID BY GRANTS IS VARIOUS DIFFERENT GRANTS.

EVERYTHING FROM WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN ALL THE WAY TO HEALTHY LIVING MATTERS.

PUBLIC HEALTH DID APPROXIMATE TO US AROUND 274 EMPLOYEES THAT WERE BEING PAID BY COVID-19 FUNDS.

WE JUST WEREN'T ABLE TO GET THE INFORMATION TO TIE THAT BACK TO OUR RECORDS.

THAT'S WHAT THEY WERE CALCULATING, 274 EMPLOYEES.

[14:10:02]

>> STEVE RADACK: A LOT OF THESE COME FROM PERSONNEL COMPANIES, RIGHT?

>> FROM PERSONNEL COMPANIES THAT'S AN ADDITIONAL 771.

THAT'S ALL YOUR CONTRACTORS AND THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES.

>> STEVE RADACK: SO HOW MANY EMPLOYEES -- ADD THEM UP AND HOW MANY ARE THERE?

>> GOT TO DO SOME MATH IN MY HEAD.

THAT'S ALMOST 1200.

>> STEVE RADACK: 1200.

THEY NEEDED THE FIRE MARSHALL'S HELP.

BASED UPON SOME OF THESE THINGS FROM THE CERTAIN PERSONNEL SERVICES BEING SOME OF THESE FOLKS ARE MAKING LIKE $1100 A DAY.

>> THAT'S SOMETHING ELSE WE SAW WHEN WE STARTED PULLING THE INVOICES FOR THE CONTRACTORS.

WE SAW BILLABLE RATES AS LOW AS THE HIGH TEENS AND ALL THE WAY UP TO $140 AN HOUR.

>> STEVE RADACK: IS THIS DETERMINED BY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT?

>> I AM NOT SURE WHO NEGOTIATED THAT AMOUNT OF CONTRACTORS.

SOME OF THE CONTRACTORS THAT WE SAW WERE NURSES, SOME WERE RESEARCHERS, SOME WERE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF, SOME WERE I.T.

PROFESSIONALS.

THE CONTRACTORS OF THE 771 THEY HAD QUITE A FEW DEDICATED TO EPIDEMIOLOGY AND OTHER EFFORTS IN REGARDS TO THE COVID-19 PROGRAM.

>> STEVE RADACK: THANK YOU.

DR. SHAW? THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> LINA HIDALGO: COMMISSIONER GARCIA, DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE BEFORE THEY GO TO PUBLIC HEALTH?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YEAH, ACTUALLY, WHEN DID THIS REPORT GET SENT OUT?

>> I JUST SENT IT OUT THIS MORNING.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: THIS MORNING.

AND IT GOT ON THE AGENDA?

>> THE AGENDA WAS ON SUPPLEMENTAL NUMBER 18, BUT THE REPORT CAME OUT AS A RESULT OF THE CONVERSATION LAST COMMISSIONER'S COURT BETWEEN THE DIALOGUE WITH COMMISSIONER RADACK AND DR. SHAW.

I THINK THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE EFFORTS OF THE FIRE MARSHALL.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YEAH.

NORMALLY YOU WOULD SEND OUT BACK UP INFORMATION WHEN YOU POST THE ITEM, RIGHT?

>> AS FAR AS THE MEMO THAT WE ISSUED?

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: YES.

>> I DID.

I SENT OUT THE MEMO AND I SENT OUT THE NUMBERS THAT WERE ATTACHED.

SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAY BE CREATING A LITTLE CONFUSION, WE GATHERED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM INVOICES AFTER I SENT THAT FIRST E-MAIL.

THERE IS ACTUALLY TWO E-MAILS FROM THIS MORNING.

>> ADRIAN GARCIA: I JUST KNOW HAD I TRY TO PUT SOMETHING OUT THIS MORNING, I THINK I WOULD HAVE BEEN CHASTISED AND MAYBE CONFRONTED -- AND I AM NOT SPEAKING TO YOU.

I AM JUST SAYING IT IS INTERESTING THAT WE HAVE THIS ITEM FIRST THING THIS MORNING.

>> STEVE RADACK: YOUR OFFICE RECEIVED THIS ON JULY 24TH.

THIS IS SOMETHING THE AUDITOR SENT OUT TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF COURT ON JULY 24TH.

IT WENT TO MIKE LOTT.

IT WENT TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS IN COURT.

THERE IS ONE THING THAT CAME OUT THIS MORNING THAT SHOWS THE RATE OF PAY ON SOME OF THESE 700 PERSONNEL AND THAT'S WHERE THOSE NUMBERS ARE COMING FROM.

THE ACTUAL LETTER WAS ATTACHED TO MY AGENDA ITEM FILED ON FRIDAY.

SO DR. SHAW IS NOT AROUND?

>> I'M ON, COMMISSIONER.

>> STEVE RADACK: WHO DECIDES WHO IS GOB -- GONNA MAKE A THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY OVER THERE? THE CONTRACTORS?

>> THANKS, COMMISSIONER.

WITH CONTRACTORS, IT IS BASED ON OBVIOUSLY SKILL SETS.

I THINK ARE YOU RE -- RE-- REFERRING TO A FEW CONSULTANTS ON THE I.T.

AREA.

WE DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THOSE CONTRACTS.

WE ARE NOT THE ONES WHO SET THAT RATE.

THIS IS ONE OF THE CONTRACTORS WHO HAS BEEN AT THE COUNTY FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OVER FIVE YEARS IN OUR DEPARTMENT, LIKELY LONGER.

IT IS A BILL RATE YOU ARE REFERRING TO.

IT IS SET BY, MY UNDERSTANDING PURCHASING.

DWIGHT IS ON AND HE CAN VERIFY THAT, BUT IT IS NOT SET BY US.

>> STEVE RADACK: DWIGHT?

>> YES, SIR, THESE ARE STAFFING CONTRACTS OR CONSULTING CONTRACTS WE BID OUT EACH YEAR.

THERE IS A MULTITUDE OF DIFFERENT LEVELS OF POSITIONS OR STAFF LEVELS WHETHER IT IS MEDICAL, COMPUTER, I.T.

WE DO PROCUREMENTS AND THE RATES ARE ESTABLISHED AND IT IS UP TO THE DEPARTMENT TO CHOOSE THEIR NEEDS AS FAR AS WHICH CONTRACTS ARE AVAILABLE.

AGAIN, THESE ARE JUST LIKE WE SAID ALL OF THE STAFFING CONTRACTS.

WE HAVE PROBABLY 20, 25 IN THE COUNTY.

>> STEVE RADACK: WELL, DOES THIS COME TO THE COURT? DO THEY JUST GET A POT OF MONEY TO SPEND AND THEY START HIRING 700 PEOPLE OR PAYING 700 PEOPLE?

>> IF YOU ARE ASKING ME, COMMISSIONER I JUST LOOK AT THE AVAILABILITY OF CONTRACTS TO DETERMINE HOW THEY WILL SPEND THEIR MONEY IF THEY HAVE BUDGET TO DO THAT.

I DON'T GET INVOLVED IN THAT PORTION OF IT.

>> STEVE RADACK: MR. POST, BASICALLY THE DEPARTMENT THAT SUDDENLY HAS THAT MONEY IN THEIR ACCOUNT CAN JUST HIRE INTO IT, HIRE THE POSITIONS?

>> YES.

I'M NOT SURE HOW THE 771 CONTRACTORS HOW THEY ARE BEING PAID.

IS IT REIMBURSED FROM COVID-19 FUNDS? IS IT SPENT OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND.

I AM NOT SURE HOW THAT IS BEING PAID.

>> I THINK THE MAJORITY OF THE 771 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES ARE COMING OUT OF THE PIC FUND.

I'M HOPING THAT IS REIMBURSED FROM THE CARES MONEY.

I DIDN'T REALLY FOLLOW THAT PART OF IT.

THEY WORK WITH PURCHASING AND MY UPPED -- MY END OF IT, THERE IS A BILL FROM THESE COMPANIES THAT SUPPLIES THESE TYPES OF INDIVIDUALS AND I CAN SEE THE PURCHASE ORDER AND I CAN SEE THERE IS A BUDGET AVAILABLE.

WE DISPERSE THE MONEY AND WE PAY FOR THESE CONTRACTORS.

WHERE ULTIMATELY THEY WILL BE PAID FOR IS FROM AT THIS POINT A BETTER QUESTION FOR THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THEY NEED AN IDEA IF THEY WILL BE RELEASED FROM COVID OR SOME OTHER SOURCE.

>> LET ME JUMP IN.

WE HAVE 579 EMPLOYEES AND 771 CONTRACTORS FNLT OF THOSE -- OF THOSE 771 CONTRACTORS, 475 OF THOSE ARE IN EPIDEMIOLOGY WHICH INCLUDE HAD CASE INVESTIGATION AND CONTRACT TRACING.

IF YOU REMEMBER THE EFFORTS WE PUT FORTH TO GET THE CONTACT TRACERS IT WAS AN EXTREMELY PROCESS -- EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PROCESS TO MAKE SURE THE STAFF IS IN PLACE.

THERE ARE ANOTHER 2 WAR -- 215 CONTRACTOR THAT'S ARE INVOLVED IN TESTING IN THE COMMUNITY.

IF YOU TAKE THE 771 AND YOU TAKE THE 475 AND THE 215 IT GETS YOU 690 OF THOSE 771 CONTRACTORS.

90% OF THE CONTRACTORS ARE -- AND BY THE WAY THESE ARE ALL TIED TO COVID.

THESE ARE ALL COVID-19 AND JUST UNDER 90% ARE IN EPIDEMIOLOGY OR IN TESTING.

>> LINA HIDALGO: I HAVE A NOTE HERE TO CONFIRM THAT THESE COSTS LIKE CONTACT TRACING YOU INITIALLY FUNDED OUT OF THE EXISTING BUDGET AND THEN IT CAME FROM THE PIC FUND, CORRECT?

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

SOME ARE GENERAL FUNDING, BUT FOR THE MOST PART THEY ARE PIC FUNDED OR THEY COME BACK FOR REIMBURSEMENT.

ALL ARE PEOPLE -- ALL ARE FEMA REIMBURSEABLE.

THIS IS WHERE THE PIC FUND DOLLARS AND THE FEMA REIMBURSEMENT ALL COMES TOGETHER.

LIKE I SAID EPIDEMIOLOGY IS THE TESTING OF THE CONTRACT PERSONNEL.

>> STEVE RADACK: HOW WELL IS THE CONTACT TRACING WORKING?

>> THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION, COMMISSIONER.

THAT IS A QUESTION THAT -- LET ME SAY IT THIS WAY.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SO NOT JUST OUR COMMUNITY, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS ASKING THAT SAME QUESTION.

I WOULD SAY WE HAVE HAD SUCCESS, BUT IT HAS BEEN VARIABLE.

WE HAD A LOT OF LAB TURN AROUND ISSUES.

WE HEARD EARLIER IT CAN BE UP TO TWO WEEKS OR LONGER BEFORE WE GET THE LABS BACK.

THAT GENERATES THE CASES AND THE CASES THEN GENERATE CONTACTING THE INDIVIDUALS AND -- INDIVIDUALS THAT GIVE YOU THE CONTACTS.

I WOULD SAY IT IS NOT WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE AND THAT'S THE NATIONAL PHENOMENON HAPPENING ACROSS TEXAS.

>> STEVE RADACK: I JUST WANT TO SAY WITH THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE YOU HAVE IN THE BULLPEN JUST WAITING FOR MANAGE MEANT TO CALL THEM AND WORK, IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT THE PEOPLE WHO CAME EARLIER TO COURT AND SPOKE AND NEEDED HELP WITH TESTING AND -- TESTING IN THEIR COMMUNITY AND SHOWING -- AND I THINK IT IS ILLUSTRATING VERBALLY A REAL NEED FOR THEM, IT SEEM TO ME YOU COULD HAVE REACHED INTO YOUR BULLPEN AND SAID, HEY, LET ME TRY TO GET SOME PEOPLE TOGETHER TO GO OVER THERE