KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
April 13, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Since taking office, Congressman Troy Nehls has made national news during the Washington, D.C. Capitol building riots, has continued to tackle big issues affecting Texas, all while balancing life with his family in Fort Bend County.
District 22 Representative Troy Nehls meets constituents.
From Sheriff to Congressman, Nehls Talks Settling into New Role
“It’s been a rollercoaster these first 90 days,” says Congressman Troy Nehls.
Nehls, the former Fort Bend County Sheriff, now serves in the United States Congress representing District 22, serving Fort Bend County and parts of Harris and Brazoria.
“With the Capitol riots on January 6th and COVID impacting everything we do, I still don’t think I’ve experienced the normal course of business for the People’s House,” says Nehls.
Nehls says the pandemic hampers his ability to hold in-person meetings and keeps his constituents from visiting the Congressional office due to protocols.
“COVID-19 and its limitations on in-person contact has been the biggest challenge,” explains Nehls.
Committed to Serve Despite Challenges
Even through such challenges, Nehls says he’s committed to serving his District and doing what’s in its best interest. But has been surprised by some of what he sees in D.C.
“The hatred between the two parties is surprising,” says Nehls. “It’s the basis for why there is zero reaching across the aisle and bipartisan cooperation.”
The Democrats control the house 218-212. Fifteen-term congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida passed away last week at the age of 84 of apparent pancreatic cancer. This will add to the now five special elections set for next month (Florida’s date has yet to be announced).
A Growing List of Priorities
Nehls’ focus has been a combination of transportation and infrastructure projects, criminal justice reform, and President Joe Biden’s border crisis.
Currently, Nehls is working on a criminal justice reform and getting some federal funding for transportation and Infrastructure projects in his district.
“We all know we have mobility and flooding issues,” says Nehls, who recalls the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. “I’m laser-focused on doing what I can to bring home some of our tax dollars and put it to work for our district.”
Nehls serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and his focus includes working to improve local roadways.
“We’re the fastest growing Congressional district in the country and consequently we desperately need to invest in our roadways to keep up with the growth,” explains Nehls.
Sheriff Experience Gives Unique Perspective
His years in law enforcement, and time as Fort Bend County Sheriff, gives Nehls a unique perspective in addressing criminal justice.
“As Sheriff I implemented recidivism reduction programs that were wildly successful, reducing recidivism over 30%,” says Nehls. “I want to take the model we implemented at the Fort Bend County Jail and use it as a roadmap for county and state jails across the country.”
A Trip to the Border
In addition to traveling back and forth from Fort Bend County and D.C., Nehls made time last month to personally visit the Texas-Mexico border and is using his platform to call attention to the crisis.
“It’s shocking what I witnessed firsthand,” says Nehls. “Complete chaos and lack of leadership.”
He’s excited about the future and his time in Congress working to address issues important to his District, despite the challenges that COVID is creating.
“I believe we’ve truly turned a corner on the fight against COVID with millions of Texans being vaccinated and case numbers continuing to decline in Texas,” says Nehls.
Appreciating History and the Nation’s Capital
Even though he misses home, Nehls enjoys and appreciates being among the history of Washington, D.C.
“It seems I learn something new every day about the buildings I work in, or the various other monuments and memorials around the city,” explains Nehls.
Whenever he gets free time, Nehls enjoys visiting monuments and memorials like Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington.
“I especially enjoy visiting the veteran memorials like the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and more,” says Nehls.
Hundreds Attended District Office Opening
Nehls was in town this past weekend to celebrate the grand opening of his flagship district office in Richmond. Hundreds of people flocked to meet him and celebrate the new office, located at 1117 FM 359, Suite 210. The office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“When I’m not in DC, I spend as much time as I can getting out into the community,” says Nehls, who misses seeing the people of Fort Bend County every day.
A Family Man Balancing it All
Starting his freshman term during a pandemic and then experiencing a major riot days later has been an experience, but Nehls remains committed to his work, District 22, and his family.
Though honored to serve, Nehls admits it’s not easy being away from Fort Bend County and his family. He is married and has three daughters, ages 20, 15, and 8.
“There are many long weeks that I’m away from home,” says Nehls. “However, I do my best to FaceTime my wife and daughters every night I’m not in town.”
When he’s in town Nehls says he carves out time to unplug and dedicate to family.
“It’s been a process, but they make it easy by being so supportive and understanding,” he speaks of his family. “I’m a very blessed to have them.”
Follow Congressman Troy Nehls at his official website.