GALENA PARK – Congressman Gene Green met with several dozen of his constituents and residents of the area last Monday night, in a scheduled Town Hall session.
The meeting was held in the Churchill Community Building, which Civic Club president Taggy Hall noted, “This is the first time a town hall meeting has been held at our community center.”
Green’s talk was in two phases. First, he explained to the group what services he sponsors on a regular basis in his 29th District. Many of them are aimed at seniors, veterans, and college bound students.
Secondly, he discussed some legislative issues that Congress is dealing with at present, and also commented
on difficult world conditions, especially in the Middle East. The most immediate event he is sponsoring is a Senior Citizens Forum, on Wednesday of this week, and an Immunization event for school-age children on Saturday at North Shore 9th grade school. He expects thousands of students to get their free shots prior to school, he said. Although he is sponsoring a job fair, he joked that sometimes more companies show up than eligible job seekers, due to what he termed “the best economy I have seen in my lifetime.” He mentioned the training available at local community colleges, preparation for well paying jobs in the industrial sector and refineries, with salaries from $75,000 and up.
On September 15 he will sponsor a Paying for College workshop at North Shore High School. It will also be Academy Night for those interested in attending the Military Academies.
For the veterans in the audience, Green introduces Marlene Clowers, his staff member who works with veterans and the VA hospital services. He said that a new law allows veterans to get private medical service if they live more than 40 miles from a VA hospital, but he also said he has not seen this service implemented yet by the VA.
When Green turned to national and world events, he was questioned from a Lyndon LaRouche follower, asking if Obama needs to seek Congressional approval prior to engaging in fighting in the Middle East. Green said that this has already happened, by conferring with Congressional leaders in the last few days.
When questioned about reducing air pollution and environmental toxins in our environment, he carefully pointed out that improvement had been accomplished by industry, and a “balance” was necessary between a clean environment and maintaining a strong employment situation.
He suggested that the current air pollution problem was primarily exhaust from heavy diesel trucks, on the East Loop and Clinton Drive, and that this needed dealt with. He noted that in 2005 he helped get an allocation for $15 million to rebuild Clinton Drive, but the City of Houston had diverted the money to other purposes.
As for cancer rates in Galena Park, he said that zip code studies by the state have not shown any more cancer in this area than other parts of Harris County away from the refineries.