February 2018   


Harris County Improves Its Pursuit of International Trade

Over the years, Harris County government has not engaged much in international economic development. For the most part, this has stemmed from a reluctance to spend property tax revenue on overseas travel. However, Harris County should be part of the global process. After all, a sizable amount of new international business is located within Harris County and outside the City of Houston.
County Export Value
Harris County $68.2 billion
Galveston County $7.0 billion
Brazoria County $3.9 billion
Montgomery County $2.0 billion
Fort Bend County $1.9 billion
The Metropolitan Export Series is a product funded and developed by the International Trade Administration using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Merchandise export data are available for U.S. metropolitan areas beginning in 2005. 2
For these reasons, during his State of the County presentation in November, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced the formation of an International Advisory Council and has hired a consultant to work with him, the Council, the Consular Corps, and others to advance Harris County in the international arena.
In addition, HC Events, a non‐profit organization formed by the county judge's office, held its 9th Annual Harris County International Trade and Transportation Conference in October 2017. It was a solid success, and HC Events will provide the resources for Harris County to fully pursue international economic development opportunities.

1 Data year: 2016 Last updated: October 2017
Prepared by the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
For additional information and to view the complete data series and methodology, visit http://tse.export.gov/tse/tsehome.aspx.
Exporter data available for Houston-Woodlands-Sugarland available on https://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/metroreports/Houston.pdf.
2 Ibid.

An "International Economic Development" page for Judge Emmett's website is being developed and will provide resources for people and businesses looking for opportunities in international trade.
International Advisory Council

Co-Chairman, Jagdip Ahluwalia

Co-Chairman, Dr. Laura Murillo

Kwame Acheampong

Peter C.Y. Chen

Ahmad Hassan

Lilit Kirsh

Horacio Licon

R. (Raymond) Moton

Andrew A. Pidgirsky

Annie Yang

Michelle Hundley
Economic Development Advisor Michelle.Hundley@cjo.hctx.net


2018 Primary Elections are March 6

The Democratic and Republican parties will conduct their 2018 primary elections on March 6. Early voting began Feb. 20 and continues until Mar. 2. The runoff will be May 22.
A list of early voting locations, Election Day polling locations and sample ballots are available on the county clerk's website at www.harrisvotes.com.
Registered voters who evacuated due to Hurricane Harvey are still eligible to vote in the March 6 primary. Some Harris County voters may have received a notice from the Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar's Office stating that their registration is on suspense due to their voter registration card being returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service. Suspense voters are still eligible to vote. Voters with suspended voter registrations will be asked to complete a Statement of Residency (SOR) form to verify their address while at a polling location. The county's voter registrar will update all voter information following the election.
Voters are encouraged to visit www.harrisvotes.com to verify their polling location prior to the election, as some election locations were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Information is available by calling 713-755-6965.

Jersey Meadows Detention Basin Receives Award

A Jersey Village detention basin that blends natural flood control with recreation is serving as a model for sustainable development across the county.
The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), in partnership with Harris County Precinct 4 and the City of Jersey Village, completed the Jersey Meadows Stormwater Detention Basin in 2014 with a goal of reducing flood risk to residents along White Oak Bayou in northwest Harris County.
In December, the West Houston Association, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing innovative ideas to the Harris County area, awarded the project the Sustainability Stars award in the following three categories:
• Investigation Star - Recognizes project sponsors who study or evaluate the use of sustainability elements in their project prior to any project implementation activities.
• Investment Star - Recognizes project sponsors who include sustainability elements in the design of their project.
• Integration Star - Recognizes project sponsors who include sustainability elements in a constructed project.
While most flood control basins in Harris County do not retain water, the Jersey Village project features a permanent wet-bottom basin with wetlands that naturally filter stormwater and provide natural habitat to wildlife.
The project also involved restoring all unprotected wetlands impacted by basin construction. These wetlands remain separate from the stormwater quality treatment wetlands.
To complete the project, HCFCD reforested the site with native trees and shrubs that will reduce long-term maintenance costs associated with mowing and removing undesirable or invasive species.
An inter-local agreement with the City of Jersey Village allowed for construction of a trail around the perimeter of the basin. Trail users can now access the site for multi-use objectives, providing an opportunity for recreation in addition to flood damage reduction and water quality improvement goals.