Transparency

Harris County residents need to know how their government is working for them so they can be informed, have a say, and get involved. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has been opening the doors to county government by initiating the County's first-ever open transition process and taking action to make governing more accessible to everyone.


Key Accomplishments

  • Open transition process. During the Judge’s first few months in office, her team held seven town hall meetings across Harris County and conducted a survey that brought together over 200 community organizations and received 11,000 responses. The county is already acting on the many recommendations received from residents, including work to support the county's first-ever affordable housing plan, reforms to the juvenile justice system, and systems like the 3-1-1 line that residents said needed to exist so that they could more easily connect with local government.
  • Continuously working to ensure County business is done out in the open. Commissioners Court meetings are now in-depth, dynamic conversations routinely attended by community members rather than a brief formality. Residents can view them from home via Harris County’s Court Videos webpage (where it is closed-captioned for the hearing impaired) or via the Judge’s Facebook page.
  • Made voting easier by allowing residents to vote anywhere on election day. The County has also expanded early voting hours and locations, including increased access for students with early voting polls opened at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.
  • Directed the county to create a 3-1-1 system to make County services easier to reach.
  • Making sure Harris County is counted when it comes to the 2020 Census. The County has committed a historic $3.4 million dollars to Census efforts and launched our first-ever Houston-Harris County Complete Count Committee to ensure we receive our fair share of federal dollars.
  • Launched Harris Thrives, an initiative to execute a faster, fairer, and smarter flood control policy. As part of this commitment, the County Judge’s office is sharing real-time information on construction progress for flood bond projects, including how and where dollars are being spent. Visit HarrisThrives.org.
  • Creating a better method to invest in public infrastructure. In coordination with County Departments, Harris County is improving the process through which investments are determined for capital improvement projects. Moving forward, the County will work in tandem with the communities they serve to gather input on where to invest and provide user-friendly information on where taxpayer dollars are being spent.
  • Creation of advisory board to protect African-American history and culture. Judge Hidalgo proposed establishing a board to ensure that Harris County keeps its history front and center as we tackle issues of justice and reform and work to ensure inclusivity in our governance.
  • Supported the launch of an anonymous reporting system to help identify fraud, waste, or abuse in county government. The hotline, accessible 24/7 via phone or online, allows individuals to report suspicious activity such as excessive or improper use of county assets.
  • Created a commission to advise the county on how to protect and celebrate African American history and culture in Harris County.
  • Allocated $12 million to significantly expand vote by mail to ensure safe and accessible voting for seniors and residents impacted by COVID-19.
  • Launched reform of the budget process and budget department to focus on performance-based budgeting and evaluate programs based on best-practices informed outcomes.