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Texas Rep. Armando Walle named Harris County COVID-19 recovery czar

The state representative says the recovery effort will include a wide variety of regional stakeholders and will be an inclusive recovery effort.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Texas Rep. Armando Walle is tasked with leading Harris County on the road to recovery after he was appointed COVID-19 recovery czar Monday morning.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo made the announcement during a briefing at the Office of Emergency Management. A recovery czar for the city of Houston will be named Monday afternoon by Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Walle is tasked with helping make sure the area economy gets back on track as Texas begins to gradually reopen as efforts to flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak continue.

Hidalgo emphasized that Walle is to make sure that people, small businesses and underserved communities do not fall through the cracks during the recovery efforts.

Walle said the recovery effort will include a wide variety of regional stakeholders and will be an inclusive recovery effort. The goal he said is to save lives and livelihoods.

"In the aftermath of a crisis we always come together and become stronger than before." Walle said during the briefing. “We have an opportunity to show the country on how to move forward.”

Walle will work with a wide variety of regional stakeholders, including private sector, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and local governments to put our region on the road to recovery. Judge Lina Hidalgo said the goals of the recovery effort will be to build a relief process that is:

  • Inclusive: Ensure a widespread recovery including every sector of society and geographic area including small businesses, workers (including undocumented workers), food distribution, and access to education. 

  • Fast: Acknowledging a full recovery will take years, take action to alleviate red tape or other obstacles in the way of progress. 

  • Coordinated: Facilitate a coordinated effort to leverage state and federal recovery resources, maximize local and regional resources, and work with city and regional governments to achieve results.

Walle is serving his sixth term in the Texas House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2008, and represents Texas House District 140 which consists of portions of north Houston and unincorporated portions of north Harris County.

His district includes parts of the Northside and Aldine communities, where he grew up, graduated from MacArthur High School, and still resides.

Walle, raised by a single mother and the oldest of five children, was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college.

Walle is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, serving as vice-chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (public and higher education) and as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Infrastructure, Resiliency, and Investment.

The state representative has also sought to broaden access to healthcare by providing more resources to and protecting the state's women’s health programs.

He also serves as a member of the House Committees on Higher Education, Redistricting, and Local and Consent Calendars.

The state representative is a member of a number of legislative caucuses, including the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus, for which he serves on the board as treasurer. He is also a member of the House Democratic Caucus, Women’s Health Caucus, and LGBTQ Caucus.

Walle earned his bachelor's and law degree from the University of Houston.

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