City council member, Melissa Noriega, gears up for Houston elections
The City Council elections are well on their way and members are busy as usual. Melissa Noriega, City Council Member At-Large Position #3 is maintaining her positive energy, composure and dedicated momentum during this busy time in an effort to continue serving Houston. The Venture spoke to Noriega and learned about her plans, her goals and give students political advice.
Q: It’s a busy month for you. How are you maintaining your composure during this busy election time?
A: Campaigning is actually fun if it’s something that you like. It’s like a conversation with all the voters, and I find it very satisfying and interesting.
Q: We know you live in Eastwood. What kind of things are you typically involved in and what are some short-term goals in regards to the city’s public safety?
A: I live in Eastwood and I’ve been involved in a variety of projects like the issue with the Eastwood underpass on Harrisburg (Boulevard). But as far as public safety my perspective is as the chair of public safety, which is the whole city.
Q: With several budget cuts for Houston, do you see community members still utilizing the city’s public facilities such as libraries, parks and multiservice facilities?
A: We went through a very rigorous process in the spring trying to make decisions for that. Libraries did an analysis of their traffic and made some decisions like having the libraries open Monday through Friday after school. So many children use the libraries as an after-school place to be and do their schoolwork. They did a good job of trying to maintain access as much as they were able.
Q: What is your campaign doing to encourage students to get active in their community as far as voting?
A: We had a contest called “Express Yourself” to have coffee and talk about politics with me with students that were on Facebook and Twitter. We’re going to talk about the fact that “expressing yourself” is really about voting.
We’re doing that social media effort to encourage students to get out and vote. Part of being a student is becoming aware of your political clout and part of it is trying to reach out and figure out what you can do.
I think universities need to be an active part of their communities. It’s a two-way street and I’m excited that UH, TSU and Rice and all the universities in Houston are reaching out and the city is partnering with them in some new ways. I think you’re going to see some changes in those relationships.
Additional reporting by: Ashley Villalon