|Joseph C. "Joe" Pickett|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 79th, district
Assumed office |
January 3, 1995
|Preceded by||Pat Haggerty|
|Born||December 6, 1956|
|Occupation||Politician, Writer, Entrepreneur|
Joseph C. "Joe" Pickett (born December 6, 1956) is an American politician, entrepreneur and writer.
In June 2015, Pickett was named by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the Worst Legislators of 2015, referencing an incident during a House Transportation Committee meeting where Pickett had another member of the legislature removed. There was a suspicion of the improper registration of witnesses on a certain bill to create a misconception of overwhelming support for the bill up for consideration. In September 2015, the House Committee on General Investigation & Ethics and the Texas Rangers released a finding of no fault on Pickett's behalf and a call for change to the House current Witness Registration was made by the Ethics Committee.
Picket also wrote a children's novel, Margo! the Weird Cat! (2006).
Pickett started his political career as a City Council member for the City of El Paso, Texas, defeating the incumbent in 1991. He served on the City Council until he was elected to the position of State Representative in 1994. Since 1995, he has been a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing its 79th District, which encompasses part of El Paso County.
Texas House of Representatives
During the 83rd Legislative session, Pickett developed legislation that passed both the House and Senate to create the necessary legislation for the Texas Constitutional Amendment, Proposition 1, that was supported by Texas voters with an 80% approval.
The 84th Legislative session, which adjourned on June 1, 2015, passed the next step of transportation funding issues known as Proposition 7. This is also a Texas Constitutional Amendment that will be up for voter approval in the future.[when?] Pickett authored 32 house bills, joint authored 14 bills, co-sponsored 10 bills.
Pickett is ranked 13th in seniority of the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives. He was selected by the Speaker of the House as Chairman for the Select Committee on Transportation Planning, convened during the interim period between the 84th & 85th Legislative Sessions.
He serves on the House Research Organization (HRO) steering committee. Elected January 1999 to present, the HRO is a nonpartisan independent department of the Texas House of Representatives. It provides impartial information on legislation and issues before the Texas Legislature. HRO members are elected by the House membership and the only non-Speaker appointed position in the Texas House. In addition, he is a member of the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services, (which heard and considered 90 bills), as well as the House Committee on Redistricting. Pickett, the Senior Member of the El Paso delegation, is one of El Paso's longest serving members of the Appropriations Committee. He has also served on the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee, Land and Natural Resources, Juvenile Justice & Family Affairs.
Currently Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation/ Appointed January 2015 (The Transportation Committee, heard and considered 300 bills during the 84th Session). Chairman of Select Committee on Transportation Planning /Appointed August 2015 Member on Investments & Financial Services as well as Redistricting Committee Previously Chairman Homeland Security and Public Safety/Appointed January 2013 Previously Chairman of Select Committee on Transportation Funding, Expenditures, Finance/Appointed April 2014 Previously Chairman Defense and Veterans Affairs/Appointed January 2011 Previously Chairman Committee on Transportation/Appointed January 2009 Previously Sub-Committee Chairman on General Government of Appropriations Committee/Appointed January 2003 Previously Chairman of Budget Oversight for the Committee on Land and Natural Resources/ Appointed January 2003 Previously Vice-Chairman of Committee on Family and Juvenile Justice One of El Paso’s longest serving members of the Appropriations Committee, Pickett has also served on Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee, Land and natural Resources, Juvenile Justice & Family Affairs.
He has been recognized by the following organizations:
- Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas "Best of the House Award" for the 84th Legislative Session
- Crime Fighter of the Year 2014 by the North Tex. Crime Commission
- Recognized as "A leader dedicated to improving transportation mobility by El Paso Chamber of Commerce, May 2014
- El Pasoan of the Year Award 2013, El Pasoan of the Year
- Twice given the highest award offered by the City of El Paso, the "Conquistador Award" for his service to El Paso, May 2013 and June 1993.
- Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas Law Enforcement Leadership Award 2013
- Vietnam Veterans Assoc. 2013 Texas Legislator of the Year Award
- Transportation Advocates of Texas 2013 Award, for bold & innovative leadership on behalf of transportation policy and funding in Texas
- Capitol Insider Best of the Legislature Award for 3 Legislative Sessions of 2013
- Texas Veteran's Commission Legislator of Year—Nov. 2011
- Texas Transit Association Legislator of the Year
- Texas Public Employees Association Legislator of the Year
- Texas DPS Officers´ Association Legislator of the Year
- Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards Representative of the Year
- West Texas Poison Control Center Network's Legislator of the Year
Pickett holds a Texas Real Estate Broker's license and has been a real estate educator for more than two decades. He has written and published text books on real estate laws for continuing education classes and still teaches one or two days a month, schedule permitting. He is the author of several children's books, including Margo! The Weird Cat! (2006) and Two Apples and Two Cookies.
Pickett's civic involvement includes membership on the boards of the Advocacy Center for the Children of El Paso, the Texas YMCA´s Policy Council and the Advisory Council for Health Sciences for the University of El Paso. He has been a member of the Lions Club for the past 20 years, a former member of the El Paso Crime Stoppers Board, and served five years as a volunteer board member, then Chairman of a local credit union. The main thrust of his civic involvement has been the forming of a 501-C3 non-profit organization that fights graffiti, supervises troubled youth who are required to serve community service hours and enhancing the aesthetics of the community through tree planting, cleaning and building renovation projects. The association was awarded a national honor by the "Keep America Beautiful" organization. It also has been awarded a grant from the Office of the Governor for work in the community. He has several antique and unusual vehicles including a double-decker English bus that belonged to a famous Southwestern artist named Ted DeGrazia, working fire trucks that are used for children's charities and parades, several military vehicles, and English automobiles.
- Pickett, Joe C. (2006). Margo! the Weird Cat!. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Aardvark Global Publishing Co. ISBN 978-1-599-71689-3.
- Official biography on the Texas House of Representatives website
- margotheweirdcat.com, official website for Pickett's children's books.
- Works by or about Joe C. Pickett in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
| Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 79 (El Paso County)
1995 – present