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Harris County Thrives Protects the Most Vulnerable Communities in the Recovery Process

Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project, released the following statement in reaction to Harris County Commissioners Court approving Harris County Thrives yesterday:

“The importance of yesterday’s vote by the Harris County Commissioners Court to change the way federal recovery dollars are allocated can not be overstated. Giving weighted consideration to equity should be common sense, but the fact that this has never been done in the country shows how much courage, leadership and vision is needed to disrupt the status quo.

“For that, we applaud County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Commissioner Adrian Garcia. We are grateful for their bold agenda to transform Harris County so that it works for all communities, and not just those with money.

“We are also grateful to our partners in the HOME Coalition, CEER coalition and the members and staff of the Texas Organizing Project who poured their hearts and power into this victory.

“TOP’s first fight was around the distribution of recovery dollars after Hurricane Ike. And we have come to expect prolonged fights after every natural disaster to ensure our communities are not forgotten in the recovery. We heard a commissioner who opposed this agreement say that floods do not discriminate. That is true, but our recovery process has always discriminated against the poor and communities of color. Time and again, we’ve seen our governments fail to help our communities fully recover, pushing them further into neglect and disinvestment, while wealthier neighborhoods are not just made whole but improved.

“Harris County Thrives fundamentally changes the future for our communities who are still recovering from Harvey. They now know that their county government sees them, cares about them and that they matter. It is a promising new day in Harris County.”

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Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.