Over the past several weeks, I have had the honor of serving as an Air Alliance Houston representative on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Public Health Committee. After Mayor Turner was elected, his transition team saw a need for AAH to have a seat at the table to better assist in bringing environmental and air quality concerns to the Mayor’s attention. It has a been a pleasure serving on Mayor Turner’s Public Health Committee as a representative for Air Alliance Houston, where we have been able to voice our concerns regarding not just air quality but also other environmental matters that affect us in and around Houston.
Last Friday, the 13-member committee presented to the Mayor our recommendations on how the city can better utilize for profit and non profit organizations to achieve the community’s health goals. Mayor Turner was happy to see that we revamped the “Go Healthy Houston” campaign to include environmental issues, particularly air quality, into the current model to tackle obesity in our communities. Communities must be able to get outdoors and be mobile without fear of breathing toxic air into our lungs. In addition to good nutrition and healthier options, citizens must be able to keep a healthy heart rate with safe, healthful outdoor activity.
In the next few months, an internal audit of current Public Health departments will help us understand how the city can bridge gaps to better serve the community. We will also look outside the Health Department for partnership opportunities with other organizations, including nonprofits such as Air Alliance Houston.
Thank you Mayor Turner for the opportunity to serve on your transition team and help determine Houston’s public health priorities in the years to come!