This month, we go to with first-year State Consultant (and former Mansfield Mayor) David L. Prepare dinner, who shares his ideas about serving a broader constituency from a brand new home-away-from-home in Austin.
ARLINGTON TODAY: Now that you just’ve had time to settle in as a state consultant, what have been the highlights thus far for you in your new elected place?
DAVID COOK: The highlights for me this session contain passing laws that displays the views of my constituents. In a session that might have been bulldozed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter storm Uri, we strengthened human trafficking legal guidelines, improved psychological well being providers, improved the electrical grid in Texas, and advocated for rights of the unborn little one and of people to worship, particularly when well being and security is threatened by a declared catastrophe … BUT there’s nonetheless a lot work left to be performed.
AT: What’s a median day like for you now, particularly in comparison with your mayoral duties?
DC: My duties as State Consultant fluctuate from everyday and have been vastly totally different when evaluating a day in January to a hair-on-fire day in late Might. Through the 140 days in Austin, day by day life is consistently fluctuating. On any given day, I could possibly be on the Home flooring voting on massive, omnibus items of laws, listening to and interacting with people throughout a committee listening to, and/or speaking to constituents and lobbyists who go to my workplace. As Mayor, I used to be concerned in setting the agenda and operating the council assembly; whereas within the State Home the process is dictated by the Home Guidelines and is comprised of the 150 Home members versus seven council members. That being mentioned, my years of expertise serving because the Mayor of Mansfield ready me nicely for my position as State Consultant, and I’m grateful for all of my constituents for permitting me to serve since 2008.
AT: What legislative measures do you anticipate addressing throughout the remainder of the yr, and the way do you, personally, have interaction together with your constituents to make sure that you signify them in one of the simplest ways doable?
DC: When the legislature reconvenes for Particular Session almost definitely within the Fall, I consider we’ll give attention to election integrity, Legal Justice Reforms, and redistricting. Election integrity is significant to ensure we’ve got safe elections as a way to be certain that each voter’s poll is correctly counted. We will even think about Bail reform, one other emergency merchandise declared by the Governor and a problem of which I’ve lengthy been a supporter.
Past the problems to be coated in Particular Session, I’ve been positioned on the Juvenile Justice and Household Points Committee and the Legal Jurisprudence Committee. I intend to proceed utilizing my years of experience as a Household Regulation legal professional to assist chairs [Victoria] Neave and [Nicole] Collier on issues assigned to us by Speaker [Dade] Phelan for Interim Examine.
Communication with my constituents will at all times be a prime precedence. I spend time listening to my constituents and conversing over the cellphone, sending and receiving letters, and studying emails of opinions. I’m additionally in a position to replace hundreds of my constituents without delay because of trendy expertise and social media apps like Fb and Twitter. Although I used to be in Austin and miles away from residence, I used to be grounded in figuring out that my new place as a State Consultant has given me the chance to amplify the voices of my constituents.
AT: What’s the most effective recommendation a veteran consultant or veteran representatives has shared with you because you took workplace?
DC: Greatest recommendation – To stay in shut contact with my constituents and to at all times keep in mind that a member’s integrity, or lack thereof, is vitally necessary to at least one’s success within the Legislature.
AT: Given the tense political local weather within the nation usually, what message would you share with Texans that may assist them really feel assured that we’ll be capable to climate political storms and are available out a greater state?
DC: I consider that in Texas we’re totally different than the Washington, D.C. type of politics. Through the 87th Legislative Session, we confirmed that Legislators can attain throughout the aisle to move bipartisan payments that profit all Texans. As a member of the Home, I’ve loved attending to know colleagues on each side of the political spectrum. We work collectively to assist all residents of Texas, and the time constraint we’re beneath drives motion. Although there are disagreements at occasions, we argue, hear, and compromise the place wanted to move significant, common sense laws.
Moreover, I feel it’s necessary to acknowledge that politics begins on the native, group stage. Whereas there could also be a “tense political local weather within the nation usually,” I’ve seen how neighbors come collectively to debate group points at city halls. My time as a Mayor taught me that listening to at least one one other, caring in occasions of pure catastrophe and want, and dealing via issues collectively is one of the simplest ways to handle points. Caring about folks as people first, reasonably than figuring out them by their political ideologies is how I view my constituents.