League of Women Voters: Texas Commissioner of the General Land Office | electoral center

Texas Commissioner of the General Land Office

Editor’s Note: To help voters learn more about the candidates, the Advocate is printing profiles provided by the League of Women Voters in contested races in the May 24 run-off primary election.

Qualifications: What education, experience and characteristics qualify you for this position?

Allocation of Federal Funds: When federal funds for natural disaster relief and mitigation are allocated, how would you ensure that communities with the highest needs are prioritized?

The Alamo: As head of the agency that runs the Alamo, what story do you think it should tell?

Coastal planning: What measures would you implement to restore and protect the coast, wetlands and the built environment to minimize damage from major storms?

Priorities: As Lands Commissioner, what would be your main priorities for the next four years and how do you intend to accomplish them?

Jay Kleberg (Democrat)

Ecologist

Campaign website http://jay4tx.com

Qualifications: I grew up working at the King Ranch and have spent my entire career in conservation. I was associate director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and now I own a land-based conservation business and work in environmental education.

Allocation of Federal Funds: I would use the discretion of the GLO to administer federal funds to ensure dense urban areas are not penalized and damage claims for low-income landlords and tenants are not ignored. I would also send teams to damaged communities to ensure timely disbursement of FEMA funds and demand for longer-term fund allocation.

The Alamo: The Alamo is a symbol of Texan and Tejano pride and we must honor their contributions to the state. We should also consider the role of early black Texans and slavery in Texas history, as well as the indigenous groups that inhabited the site for centuries. As for the battle, the GLO should tell the full story and honor the facts of these historic events.

Coastal Planning: The GLO will incorporate climate change modeling into the Coastal Management Plan, which will raise the standard for all federal and state investments on the coast. These higher standards would be applied to the Coastal Resilience Master Plan and the $30 billion Coastal Backbone. These standards would also maximize investments with GOMESA, NRDA, CEPRA and HUD-CDBG funds.

Priorities: My top priorities for the next four years are to adequately fund our Texas schools through the General Land Office’s contribution to the Permanent Schools Fund, to combat the effects of climate change, and to diversify our energy portfolio. State in order to strengthen our network and prepare for future natural disasters by fortifying our coast and other vulnerable areas of our State.

Sandgrace Martinez (Dem)

Licensed Professional Advisor

Campaign website http://www.sandgrace4texans.com/

Qualifications: My expertise in trauma-informed care, crisis management, my deep understanding of the legislative process and the desire to educate my community is a passion that has equipped me with the skills necessary to perform these tasks.

Federal Funding Allocation: Establishing meaningful partnerships with all local governments and developing comprehensive information on potential tensions in our communities is how we can proactively begin to effectively manage and prioritize. Mitigation and relief allocation in the event of a natural disaster will depend on the areas affected, the socio-economic situation of that region and their resources.

The Alamo: When I visit other cities or a different country and visit their historic structures and monuments, my initial questions are always, “how did it get here, who built it, and why?” Essentially, the story of the Alamo can only begin at this point due to chronological logic, so by default the story will have to involve explanations of how it evolved.

Coastal Planning: Our Texas ports alone impact nearly 1.8 million jobs and generate some $102 billion in personal income. Protecting our coastline is therefore imperative to support the financial well-being of citizens, and projects along the coastline must provide the maintenance, development and improvements necessary to support these areas.

Priorities: Disaster preparedness and prevention with fine tuning of the logistics involved are paramount. To honor our veterans with the same level of dedication and allegiance they have to this country and apply that same dedication to their benefits and health care. I want to create more programs and initiatives to help fund public education.

Dawn Buckingham (representative)

Doctor/Surgeon

Campaign website http://www.dawnbuckingham.com

Qualifications: Landowner with experience in land management and a doctor used to making important decisions. Senator and member of the Sunset Commission where I reviewed state agencies, fixed inefficiencies, reduced waste, and improved outcomes for taxpayers. Ready to lead the GLO from day one.

Federal Funding Allocation: I would immediately identify which communities have been hardest hit by a storm and also identify which communities have the most daunting path to recovery. We need to ensure that these federal funds go to communities that are directly affected or likely to be affected by the next storm on the horizon. With hindsight, we can plan before it’s too late.

The Alamo: There will be no reinvention of the Alamo under my watch. As a state senator, I launched the legal challenge that kept the Alamo Cenotaph in its rightful place, out front, and passed the only piece of legislation protecting our historic landmarks. The GLO is the tip of the spear in defending our rich Texas history that we know and love, and I will always fight to protect it.

Coastal planning: By protecting our wetlands and coast with land management practices such as proper sand dune reconstruction, we will be able to naturally minimize damage in our coastal communities. We also need to work with the federal government to make sure we build the Coastal Spine Barrier project, known as Ike Dike, to protect our Texans along the coast, the oil and gas industry, and the refineries.

Priorities: I will secure our border by identifying available state lands on the border and begin building a border wall as soon as possible. I will also continue to fight to preserve the Alamo as we know it for generations to come and to fulfill our commitment to our veterans and our children by providing them with quality care and education through the United Nations Lands Council. veterans and the Continuing Schools Fund.

Tim Westley (Representative)

Education

Campaign website http://www.texans4tim.com

Qualifications: I am a former two-time nominee for US Congressional District 15, PhD. in educational leadership, U.S. Army veteran, and nonprofit community leader. I researched, provided solutions and worked on or with all major areas covered by the position.

Allocation of Federal Funds: I would have liaisons ready to work with mayors before disasters hit to map areas that correspond to leaving the United States. Basic Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements for fund disbursements. Then I would recommend placing them on a map database so that as disasters strike they are quickly identified by area. Finally, make sure that the funding procedures are known to everyone.

The Alamo: The Truth. As a historian of the Republican Party of Texas, the history of the Alamo has already been written and told. It does not require rewriting or revision. Such a story I have shared in the city of San Antonio and beyond. This historic story is one that I have told publicly at the foot of the Cenotaph in the Alamo footprint many times and will continue to tell.

Coastal Planning: I would be proactive in seeing the ongoing studies for protection and seeing what we can easily implement. I would also encourage investment in hurricane protection projects. Ultimately, I would ensure consistent discussions with subject matter experts such as engineers, geoscientists and other partners to develop and implement mitigation plans at the earliest stage.

Priorities: Identify all public land on our 1,254 mile southern border and partner with other organizations to secure it. Help advance oil, gas, and mining exploration by increasing land rental opportunities so Texas paves the way to energy independence while providing jobs for Texans. Ensure that the $43 billion Permanent Schools Fund is used properly to raise the standard of education.

Gregory M. Roy