Create a path of opportunity
We believe Houston is at a crossroads.
It’s easy to talk about Houston as a booming city—unprecedented growth rates, incredible ethnic diversity, a Gross Area Product larger than the GDP of some nations, and sustained job development throughout the recent recession. However, these stats only paint half of a complicated picture.
It’s much harder to talk about the starkly different reality in Houston’s under-developed communities. Houstonians in areas like Fifth Ward, Sunnyside, Magnolia or one of the other neighborhoods that TOP and SEIU Texas members call home, may as well be living in another city. Our reality is one where one in five Houstonians live in poverty (closer to 1 in 3 for African Americans and Latinos) and over 60% of federal public assistance dollars go to working families to subsidize low wages. Construction workers building Houston homes can’t afford their own and childcare providers struggle to afford care for their own children in order to get to work.
We can no longer afford to continue down this same path – it is unsustainable for our local economy and unacceptable for our community. Houston’s next Mayor needs to hit the ground running with a proactive economic development plan to combat poverty and build economic security for all Houston families.
Together, Texas Organizing Project and SEIU Texas members have created an ambitious four-prong platform to leverage public dollars to grow the pool of quality jobs and raise standards, create neighborhoods of opportunity, make Houston a welcoming city for immigrants, and prioritize infrastructure projects in neighborhoods with greatest need.
Houston 4 All Priorities
A strong mayor can set requirements and create incentives for good jobs with living wages and benefits that enable working parents to sustain a family. Houston succeeds when every worker is paid enough to care for his or her family.
Neighborhoods of Opportunity
A strong mayor can lead a city-wide effort tomake sure all of our neighborhoods do not just survive, but thrive. That means investing in development projects in the most neglected neighborhoods that increases minority homeownership and creates affordable places to live with high quality of life. Every neighborhood means every neighborhood, no exceptions.
A strong mayor can create a municipal ID program to increase public safety and proactively welcome, engage and include vulnerable populations who face barriers in obtaining IDs accepted by Houston authorities like the police, independent school districts, and City departments.
A strong mayor can invest infrastructure dollars for drainage, street, and sidewalk improvements in areas where they are needed most, equalizing infrastructure investments across communities.