ECONOMIC INCLUSION IN RECOVERY FUNDING
The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) plan, which allocates money for disaster recovery, did not include Kings Colony. The community meetings were poorly advertised and materials were rarely provided in Spanish. We have, however, submitted comments to the county on its CDBG-DR infrastructure plan and to the General Land Office (GLO) on its allocation of hazard mitigation money. Montgomery County is among seven counties to receive a collective $212 million for Imelda recovery efforts in areas the Department of Housing and Urban Development identified as ‘‘most impacted and distressed.” The funding is here, and we hope our advocacy efforts will pay off this time.
We have felt alone in carrying the concerns of yet another hurricane season, on top of having to rebuild our streets and homes, keep our children safe, and fight for what our tax dollars entitle us to.
As part of an effort to support vulnerable communities to mitigate environmental threats, the Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience (CEER) funded a grant for members of its network to expand regional resilience in localities most impacted by disasters and grossly affected by inequity. Unidos por Kings Colony was awarded a $10,000 grant from Texas Housers, a member organization of CEER, that develops solutions to Texas’ housing and community development problems. Kings Colony residents, with support from Texas Housers, devised a list of feasible projects for which to use the funding.
At a community meeting in January 2020, Unidos por Kings Colony voted to use the Texas Housers grant to certify residents in community emergency response team (CERT) training. When rescuers arrived at our community after Harvey, they refused to enter flooded streets, citing the intensity of the water and pre-existing road conditions as dangers to their safety. Ten feet of rushing water drove families to the roofs of their homes. Members of our community tied themselves to trees and swam to rescue their neighbors. CERT training was voted as the most actionable project because it prepares us to be our own first responders.
COMMISSIONER: ANSWER OUR CALLS AND RESPOND WITH THE PUBLIC RESOURCES MEANT TO ADDRESS OUR NEEDS
We have felt alone in carrying the concerns of yet another hurricane season, on top of having to rebuild our streets and homes, keep our children safe, and fight for what our tax dollars entitle us to. Our neighborhood deserves to have our elected officials serve us. Kings Colony residents need an authentic partnership with local government, which requires the County Commissioner to answer our calls and respond with the public resources meant to address our issues.