Two-term City Council incumbent Dr. Andrew Young said the constituents he serves are the city’s greatest resource.
“People in Victoria have a great resolve, and you only need to look post-hurricane to see that,” said Young, 45. “Neighbors were helping neighbors, and people were helping strangers.”
For Young, addressing the issues affecting Victoria and Super District 5, which he represents, are related. For example, he said, repairing roads and infrastructure in the district would aid in attracting businesses, which would in turn provide more jobs for those struggling with poverty. He will face challenger and political newcomer Justin Urbano, 31, in the May 4 election.
“As a business owner, I would be hesitant to invest in a business on a road that was riddled with potholes,” he said.
Young, a podiatrist, said he hopes to balance district-specific issues with his responsibilities in representing the entire city. For example, although some have criticized the $9.2-million Placido Benavides Drive project as less pressing than repairs to aging roadways, he argued that expansive project would in the end help all Victoria residents.
“You can walk and chew gum at the same time,” he said, adding, “The south side has not been forgotten.”
But Young also said he was thinking of and fighting for the residents of Super District 5. While Young said elected city officials like himself are certainly needed to make progress, he also championed the abilities of the residents in working to make the district more visually appealing.
“We don’t necessarily need the city to do things either. We can roll up our sleeves and edge a little bit better or make sure our lawns are cut properly and have an aesthetic area,” he said.
Young also pointed to the empty lots and aging properties in his district as potential resources, saying they could be revitalized and repurposed.
But whatever solutions the council pursues, success will require council members to work effectively with one another.
“We have to remember that we are one of seven,” he said. “You can bring forth ideas, but no one has ultimate control.”
He said he has proven his success in thinking cooperatively.
“It’s going to take working with VISD. It’s going to take working with VC and UHV and VEDC as well as Texas Workforce,” he said.
Young, a Victoria resident of 18 years, said he has grown to love the city.
With a wife and three kids, he said he is committed to improving Victoria.
And as a physician, Young said he is used to listening. After all, he said, often a patient can say exactly what the problem is.
In the same way, Young said he hopes to listen to Victoria residents and guide his district and the city to a greater future.
“We have to figure out what Victoria wants to be,” he said.