I’ve historically been poor at keeping New Year’s resolutions on a personal level, and I’m sure that applies to more of the population than is willing to admit it. That’s understandable since life has no use or regard for even our best-laid plans.
So this year, I’m trying something a bit different.
I absolutely still have some personal goals, such as putting a renewed focus on my faith or to improve my diet to become a healthier version of myself. But I’d also like to make a pledge to you – the residents of Fort Bend County – to continue telling great stories about things that impact the people in our communities and improve our product so that it better represents the people of this county.
Over the last eight months or so, I’d like to think I’ve become fairly well-versed in the goings on around Fort Bend County as the burgeoning area continues to evolve. Since moving from North Houston down to Fort Bend, we’ve covered just about everything under the sun. From hard-hitting topics such as the Sugar Land 95 saga, which grew many legs seemingly before I’d even gotten my Star desk organized, to the Marshall Buffalos’ run to Class 5A Division II state football championship game to everything in between, it’s been quite the journey this year.
But I know there is much yet to be told about this wonderful place, and I can’t wait to dive in even deeper when the calendar flips to 2020.
Fort Bend’s strength is in its people. It’s a cultural melting pot that is constantly evolving in both thought and action. The area is brimming with seemingly endless customs, traditions and mindsets. Virtually no two places or people are alike, yet you wouldn’t know it by the way they interact with each other on a daily basis. They co-exist in a way that, in my opinion, the rest of the country should take note of and follow their example. Each day, I see something so incredibly beautiful while at the area’s various community events as those from different creeds, faiths and cultures operate as one.
That said, each culture present – and there are many of them in Fort Bend – still deserves their day in the light, because each can bring something great to the table. Since taking over day-to-day operations at the Star, myself and our editor, Adam Zuvanich, have done our best to chronicle every corner of the county. And as we enter the New Year, there are already some great storylines on tap that we’ll be following closely.
This year, we’ve told stories of Sugar Land’s International Arts Festival this past March to the origins of an All-Faiths Thanksgiving service that now happens each year at one of the county’s hundreds of institutions of faith. There have been developments such as The Grid in Stafford, which opened late in 2019, that will surely continue to drive discussion and further development in the area next year.
Looking ahead to next year, there are already several issues to keep an eye on.
For starters, though the Sugar Land 95 have been reburied on the property of Fort Bend ISD, I have a gut feeling the fight over justice for those 95 individuals is not over.
Another story that has our attention is the fate of the “Citgo 6” – oil and gas executives who have been detained in Venezuela for more than two years – as four of them have ties to Fort Bend County. U.S. Rep. Pete Olson has continued to call for their release, so that will be an intriguing storyline to follow.
On a political front, there are several storylines to keep an eye on in 2020 as potential red-to-blue shifts abound. As of this writing, three Democrats and 18 Republicans have filed for the March primaries to replace the retiring Olson, a Republican, in District 22.
District 28 in the Texas House of Representatives will also be up for grabs in the first few weeks of 2020 as Republican Gary Gates and Democrat Eliz Markowitz face off in a Jan. 28 runoff to see who will serve the remainder of John Zerwas’ term after he stepped down in August.
I was flying by the seat of my pants at times this year as I attempted to grab hold of events impacting the communities served by The Star. And while I like to think I’m good at adapting, we inevitably missed some stories in the process. But I now feel better equipped than ever to tell your stories after spending the better part of a year in this slice of the county.
Happy New Year, Fort Bend, and here’s to a 2020 that’s hopefully chock full of amazing stories and memories. If there’s a community fundraiser, political rally or another event happening you think will be of interest to or could have an impact on the Fort Bend community, don’t hesitate to let us know about it.
We pledge to be there with bells on – or at least our press badges. That I can promise you.