2024 All-America City – La Marque, TX

The City of La Marque, nestled strategically in Galveston County, has undergone a remarkable transformation in its relatively brief 70-year history. Today, La Marque stands as the second-fastest-growing city in the county, boasting approximately 20,000 residents and 14.3 miles of I-45 frontage, positioning it favorably for continued growth and accessibility.  

La Marque embodies a strong sense of community where local government and residents collaborate closely to drive economic growth, celebrate cultural diversity, and improve overall quality of life. What sets La Marque apart is its responsive local government, which actively listens to residents’ concerns and implements initiatives to meet the city’s expectations. Through various programs, initiatives, and technological advancements, La Marque is pioneering small-city governance, proving that community-driven change can have a profound impact, regardless of size. 

Safe City Initiatives 

La Marque’s Safe City Initiative, launched in 2022, aims to make the city the safest place in Texas over a five-year period. Central to the initiative is a multi-tiered plan focused on community-oriented policing, fostering collaboration between the police, local businesses, and residents, to combat crime and build trust. An essential piece of this plan is the Community Watch Program, aiming to ensure safety in neighborhoods, near businesses, and across public spaces. The city operates nine active community watch areas, with plans to expand to 15 by 2026, each supported by assigned officers to address residents’ needs. This proactive approach underscores the city’s commitment to prioritizing community safety and setting a precedent for proactive engagement in safeguarding its residents. 

Police training and data-driven decision-making are also priorities. Initiatives like the CompStat program and the Eyes on La Marque initiative provide seniors with doorbell cameras and bolster public safety and community health. Additionally, the La Marque Police Department’s pursuit of the Texas Law Enforcement Recognition Program holds officers to a high standard, creating trust within the community.

Federal grants have facilitated an increase in the number of police officers and allowed for specialized training. Additionally, partnerships with organizations like the Resource Crisis Center have enabled the implementation of youth advocacy programs like, the “Be Strong” initiative, promoting violence prevention and empowerment among young girls. Collaborations with entities like the Boys and Girls Club, Community in Schools coalition, and Big Brothers & Big Sisters coalition further demonstrate the city’s holistic approach to community safety, engaging youth, and fostering a sense of responsibility for collective well-being. 

La Marque Television 

Created to address a communication gap, La Marque Television (LMTV) engages residents, businesses, and nonprofits with comprehensive updates and original programming. Evolving from Channel 16 to YouTube broadcasting in 2019, LMTV quickly became a pioneering live-streaming platform. Funded by Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) sources, equipment upgrades ensure seamless production and streaming. 

Segments on LMTV like “Two-Minute Tuesday” and “Mayor’s Message” offer insights into city operations, fostering transparency and community engagement. Two-Minute Tuesday provides concise weekly updates from the city manager, covering various city initiatives and community events. Similarly, the Mayor’s Message offers operational updates following biweekly council meetings, simplifying complex motions and decisions into easily understandable terms for residents.  

LMTV also works with local businesses and non-profit organizations to do a segment called Shine On. This segment interviews community-based business owners and gives them a cost-free opportunity to showcase how they operate within the community. The Shine On segment promotes neighborhood establishments and strengthens community bonds.

LMTV also makes it easier for residents to participate in civic life by live-streaming council meetings and budget sessions. Multilingual support and accommodation for residents with disabilities ensure accessibility and inclusivity. The channel also broadcasts cultural events like the Juneteenth Gala and Christmas Parade to encourage community participation and celebration. 

With plans for expansion and ongoing improvements, LMTV remains a vital tool for enhancing communication and fostering civic participation.  

Engaging Residents in Allocating Funding 

In June 2021, La Marque received $4,291,405 in ARPA funds to aid in the city’s recovery and development in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the unique opportunity to involve citizens directly in the allocation of these funds, the city embarked on an innovative project aimed at democratizing the decision-making process. The primary objective was to empower young and diverse populations, providing them with a platform to voice their opinions and priorities for their community’s development.  

La Marque deployed an online simulation tool, Balancing Act, designed to facilitate public participation in budgeting and resource allocation decisions. Through this platform, residents were invited to rank various projects according to their priorities. This approach not only educated participants about the complexities and trade-offs inherent in budgeting processes but also ensured that their voices were directly reflected in the city’s planning and development strategies.

The top-voted projects  in the budgeting process reflected the community’s concern for essential infrastructure and public safety improvements. This direct feedback provided the city with valuable insights into the priorities and needs of its residents, enabling a more targeted and efficient allocation of resources. 

Following the budgeting process, the La Marque city manager proposed to the council that the majority of the ARPA funds be allocated according to the community’s preferences. This move not only demonstrated the city’s commitment to inclusive governance but also set a precedent for future initiatives aimed at involving citizens in decision-making processes. 


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