The benefit input is calculated using property value instead of human life.
The Harris Thrives Resolution calls for HCFCD to request additional resources to use to identify communities that are susceptible to flooding and inhabited by LMI residents. HCFCD must combine its flood data with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to prioritize vulnerable watersheds and economic and social shock averse communities. The coordination of these datasets creates a formula known as “worst-first” where the county has to prioritize localities with the greatest economic and environmental needs to receive recovery funds, first. In other words, the project will need to assess how much damage has been done, what-if anything-can be salvaged, and how to prevent the same occurrences moving forward.
The Harris Thrives Resolution calls for nature-based solutions that use existing environmental infrastructures to mitigate flood threats. The conservation and protection of prairies and wetlands, for example, are ways Harris county can protect both nature and people from flooding.
The county has to prioritize localities with the greatest economic and environmental needs to receive recovery funds, first.
Flood infrastructure projects are vast physical transformations and significant investments for neighborhoods. As its name suggests, the scope of HCFCD’s work is limited to flooding. CEER advocates in the resolution, however, expanding the boundaries of what HCFCD considers its purview to solve multiple problems at once. HCFCD can play a convener role to leverage these investments and their associated public engagement processes to identify what other community needs — housing, health, transportation, etc. — can be addressed by the county. We must look at both causation and correlation as variables to support the eradication of environmental challenges for our communities.
The Harris Thrives Resolution calls for the re-imagining of a community task force that will advise HCFCD on how to incorporate equity into every step of the bond initiative. In the first year of the new task force, we anticipate a report on actions the HCFCD can take to address the disparities among watersheds, and subsequently neighborhoods and those deemed as super neighborhoods. We also expect the county to extend an invitation to the community to define its own metrics for success for bond initiative projects. We are asking: What would achieving equity look like to a worst-first neighborhood? Community engagement will open the doors of government and HCFCD in ways that have never happened before.
The Harris Thrives Resolution establishes a civic precedence that mandates a just system for all.
Flooding is and will continue to be a major issue that communities need resolved, not just something for political candidates to puff up their campaigns. We need a solid solution for how the entire county shows up in service to the community and how we achieve community-centric forms of government. The Harris Thrives Resolution establishes a civic precedence that mandates a just system for all.