Flooding is one of the most urgent climate impacts the Houston area faces. Since Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Harris County has grappled with its extraordinary flood risk, which disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color.
In 2018, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) announced a $2.5 billion bond for building flood resilience, the largest bond ever dedicated to funding flood projects.
In response, CEER and partners organized stakeholders to call for the passage of the Harris Thrives Resolution, which both mandated that HCFCD allocate bond funding equitably, according to the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, and takes a holistic approach that incorporates nature-based solutions. The Harris Thrives Resolution passed on the 2nd anniversary of Harvey calls for the re-imagination of an equity-focused HCFCD Community Flood Resilience Task Force to hold HCFCD accountable.
While Harris County has had a Community Task Force since 1972, it has been staffed solely with technical experts. The Task Force had never taken advantage of the diverse expertise of Harris County—from public health to social justice to community knowledge—nor delivered constituents the necessary flood protection they deserve. The main purpose of the Community Task Force is to be an advisory and accountability body made up of impacted community members, local leaders, experts from a diverse set of sectors and staff from City and County departments. The Task Force will create new tools and methods that ensure those historically left behind get real results and real protection from floods.
In the face of flooding, we’re all at risk, but marginalized communities are disproportionately affected. As Houston has learned after recurring disasters, floods don’t discriminate, but recovery does.
Our work is as complex as the communities who drive it. There is a lot to learn, contemplate, and take action on. CEER is committed to creating a safe, welcoming space for you to participate in our 8 Point Plan. Take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us and our strategy.