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Candidate profile: Adrian Garcia focuses on balancing city budget


Houstonians discuss chronic issues plaguing their neighborhoods with Adrian Garcia in hopes to find efficient solutions. | Leen Basharat/The Cougar

As one of the candidates for Houston Mayor, former Harris County Sheriff and former councilman Adrian Garcia is focusing on a campaign that balances the city’s budget.

Garcia’s plan addresses how he will improve the city’s infrastructure, manage neighborhoods’ flood control and enhance quality of life.

“I think there’s a number of challenges… we need to enhance our public safety resources. But, we can’t get there without adjusting the financial challenges that we have ahead us,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s vision for the education system in Houston focuses on creating linkages to our four pillars of the economy: the aerial space system, medical center, business and petrochemical industries.

Through his role as potential mayor, Garcia plans to make firsthand opportunities for young students to learn and experience these pillars.

“I know well what happens when young people lose interest in their education,” Garcia said. “They become a drag in our economy, they become a part of our incarcerated community, and they become a loss of human capitol.”

Garcia said his time serving as a council member taught him how to govern and legislate within a body of other councilmen to address serious issues.

One of his targeted problems is Houston’s traffic congestion, which he plans to address with a multimodal transit system.

“(We need to be) making sure we are concentrating on our quality of life… the next level of evolution of our light rail… continuing expanding our hike and bike trails and our bike lanes,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s experience as sheriff nurtured his strong emphasis on Houston’s finances. Garcia feels that his background is advantageous because the first issue to be dealt with, by whomever is mayor, is the city of Houston’s budget.

“I had nearly had 5,000 employees and an operating budget of almost half a billion dollars,” Garcia said. “I reformed it, I provided new technologies, a new direction for the organization, and I helped save a ton of money taxpayers wanted saved.”

Although his service as Mayor White’s Mayor Pro Tempore fostered the idea of becoming mayor of Houston, Garcia’s family and childhood certainly cultivated him to pursue the American dream.

“Every one of them has contributed to the success I have enjoyed, and it is why I want to become the mayor of Houston.” Garcia said. “I want to make sure that opportunity and those possibilities are still alive for the next generation.”

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