By Jonathan Kraatz

Today the Houston City Council adopted the first city PACE program in Texas - providing PACE economic development opportunity and environmental benefits to the nation's fourth largest city and its entire extra-territorial jurisdiction.  After Mayor Annise Parker called for PACE earlier this year, Laura Spanjian, the Director of the City of Houston Office of Sustainability, launched a well run campaign to bring a PACE in a Box program to Houston. 

Laura's team of key city officials and stakeholders met bi-weekly with a tight schedule and clear goals.  It was a beautiful thing.  We've copied her model to create a "Starting a PACE Program Tasks and Timeline" outline of everything your community needs to start a PACE program in 14 weeks.  Laura's PACE leadership started years before March 2012, when Laura spoke at our first PACE presentation at Thompson & Knight in Houston.  Then she labored with so many of us through the legislative process, the creation of PACE in a Box, and finally the establishment of Houston's PACE program.

Those of you who have played roles large and small to create a strong, uniform, open-market program for all of Texas should take pride in helping to bring this Houston program to life.  Join me in congratulating Laura for her long standing effort to bring PACE home to Houston.  Be thinking of how to grow PACE projects in Houston and PACE programs for all of Texas.  Congratulations to all!

We did it, Laura; We did it!