Photo: Flickr user David.

Urban planner Brent Toderian asked Twitter: what are your #ResolutionsForMyCity?

Back in 2013, urban planner Brent Toderian made the case for new year's resolutions that could benefit not just you but your city as well. Trying a new way to get around town, getting to know your neighborhood better and other individual choices to change how you engage with the people and space around you could all have impacts on your city at large. 

This year, Toderian took to Twitter to encourage more city-making resolutions for 2019 using the hashtag #ResolutionsForMyCity in a list that became a Fast Company piece with 25 total resolutions. 

First resolution on his list? Voting in local elections. Houstonians have had lots of recent opportunities to do this, including in the 2018 midterm elections and on a $2.5 billion flood mitigation and infrastructure bond marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey in August. Though the bond passed overwhelmingly, only 6.6 percent of voters of registered Harris County voters actually voted on it. Turnout was much higher for the November midterm elections, ushering in changes from the top of county leadership all the way down the ticket. 

In 2019, Houston voters can look forward to more big votes, with a mayoral contest and a likely bond for the still-in-the-works long-term plan for Metro's future.

There will be big changes coming in 2020, however, to how Texans vote, with the end of the straight-ticket voting option that allows voters to simply select one box to fill out a ticket along party lines. 

All to say, the stakes are continually high for Harris County and Houston as it navigates its future at a pivotal moment, making local elections all the more critical. 

 

Some of the other resolutions on Toderian's list?

For the full thread, check here

With the state legislative session starting Tuesday, you could also resolve to follow a few bills that you're passionate about. The @TXLegeBills will keep you abreast of all the items getting filed.

And staying involved in local school district discussions is another important way to engage with your local community, particularly as districts like the Houston Independent School District confront some pretty serious challenges. HISD board meeting notices and agendas can be found here.

What are some other individual resolutions you're making this year to help make your community a better place and how can we make sure that engaging with local officials and policy isn't something reserved for those with connections and resources?