Item 26 - 9/15

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Natasha Harper-Madison
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:52 pm

Item 26 - 9/15

Post by Natasha Harper-Madison »

Colleagues,

As we brace ourselves for the upcoming 88th Session of the Texas Legislature, I wanted to daylight a pair of priorities I would like to add to our Legislative Agenda tomorrow. These reflect two areas I believe we need more state assistance to pursue on the local level.

• Exploration of alternative building materials: With supply chain disruptions of conventional building materials contributing to the rising cost of housing, I believe the time has never been better to explore alternative materials, including hempcrete, a hemp-based alternative to concrete that can be used for construction and insulation. Right now, the federal government is funding a hempcrete research project at Texas A&M that could expand our understanding of what promises to be a more affordable, sustainable, and climate-friendly (potentially even carbon-negative!) building block for our city.

• More sobriety and recovery resources for young people: I recently learned about a concept known as “recovery schools,” which are “secondary schools designed specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders.” I was pleased to learn we have one here in Austin on the University of Texas campus, but I’m interested in discussing ways the State could be more helpful in providing resources and assistance in helping public or charter districts set up additional recovery schools in lower-opportunity areas, particularly the Eastern Crescent.

I look forward to discussing both issues in the near future. Additionally, as I indicated during last week’s Public Health Committee meeting, I’m also interested in pursuing local opportunities to advance these items. I am happy to provide more information about each to any of my colleagues who are interested in learning more.

Kind Regards,
Natasha
Natasha Harper-Madison
Council Member District 1