By Edwin Vega
For the Fort Bend Star
State Sen. Borris L. Miles recently opened a district office in Missouri City, reaching out to his Fort Bend County constituents following his freshman term in the senate.
A four-term member of the House from District 146, the Houston Democrat is little known southwest of Beltway 8. Although his district includes much of Missouri City and Stafford, most of his district is in Houston. Elected to the Senate last fall, Miles is a successful businessman and developer. He was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2006 and became a progressive voice for Houston.
His legislative initiatives included increased funding for HIV testing, giving second chances to individuals by making it easier to seal their juvenile records, creating an ombudsman office for the juvenile justice department, and creating economic development opportunity districts in his community.
Earlier this year he was appointed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to the Health and Human Services Committee, which, on Sept. 1, at the direction of the Texas Legislature, will go through a massive restructuring. One of his top priorities is to make the system more efficient, effective and responsive for all Texans.
“The state of Texas has consistently balanced the state’s budget on the backs of low income families, the elderly and children and it’s been a big problem,” he said. “We as Democrats have complained to state leadership that we consistently budget on the backs of the wrong people. We need to close tax loops by big oil companies and financial institutions that have the money; we should be leaning on them to balance the budget instead of leaning on the people that need it the most.”
He has also been appointed to the following committees: Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs, Natural Resources and Economic Development and Nominations.
One of his main initiatives is being an advocate for women’s health. He was awarded with the 2017 Legislative Champion Award by the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition for his dedication to women’s health initiatives.
During the upcoming special session, he will continue his battle for women’s health by filing SB 26, which will improve the tracking of neonatal abstinence syndrome, caused by the opioid epidemic and will create materials and prevention strategies to address this public health crisis, which is contributing to maternal mortality in Texas. Currently, Texas has the highest number of pregnancy-related deaths in a developed world. For black women, the numbers are even worse.
He has also filed SB 27, which will allow for the automatic enrollment of eligible women into the Texas Women’s Health Program so that they can continue to receive access to preventive health care and family planning services.
“During the 85th Legislative Session, I successfully passed SB 790 to extend the Women’s Health Advisory Committee for another two years and SB 1599 to improve maternal mortality reporting,” he said. “Unfortunately, Governor (Greg) Abbott vetoed SB 790, stating it was no longer needed. Although I disagreed with his veto of SB 790, the addition of maternal mortality to the special session agenda offers us an opportunity to address the surging number of pregnancy-related deaths in Texas.”
“This special session gives us another bite of the apple and truly tackles maternal mortality and help Texas mothers,” he said.
With a population of more than 800,000, District 13 spans from Missouri City northeast into Houston. It includes 78 precinct chairs from Harris County and 17 from Fort Bend County.
Miles recently hosted the grand opening of the new Senate District 13 Fort Bend District Office located in Missouri City. The Fort Bend District Office will serve Missouri City, Stafford and Fresno in Fort Bend, as well as the Alief community in Harris County.
“This will be a robust office that will be staffed five days a week,” he said. “My team and I will be attending town halls, school board meetings, community meetings and more to ensure we are listening to you. We are here to help you navigate the bureaucratic process, whether it is federal, state or local government. This is your office, and we represent you.”
“I put together a diverse team to serve this office,” he said. “It will be led by Fort Bend native, Bianca Beal. She will act as the liaison between this office and will be my eyes and ears to ensure this community receives the service it deserves.”
With the opening of the Fort Bend District Office, he plans to work with Fort Bend Independent School District administrators and teachers to help improve the schools in Missouri City that are high in minority students, so they can compete with high rated schools in Fort Bend County.
“High minority schools in Fort Bend County that are in my district with dismal ratings must improve,” he said. “I want to improve their production so they can compete with schools in Sugar Land and the rest of Fort Bend.”
“We must work together,” he added.
His motto is, “Keep the Faith, Keep the Fight” and he encourages members of the community to visit the Fort Bend District Office, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2440 Texas Parkway Suite 110, Missouri City.