Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations Breaks Ground/MONDAY: MLK Celebration/LBJ School Seminar for New County Judges, Commissioners

Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations Breaks Ground
in Houston’s Historic Third Ward

Yesterday was an accumulation of over two decades of work.We officially broke ground on what will become the Emancipation Center for Affordable Houston Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward.

Myself, and other community leaders including Mayor Sylvester Turner, HISD Trustee Jolanda Jones and Council Member Amanda Edwards broke ground on the CCPPI (Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement) Emancipation Center for Affordable Houston Operations.

Click here to read a story by Houston Public Media on the groundbreaking.

The Emancipation Center will bring together the resources necessary to bring affordable housing and revitalization to Houston’s Third Ward. This project would not be possible without the Midtown Redevelopment Authority implementing my vision to bank land in Houston’s Third Ward. The Midtown Redevelopment Authority has been able to bank 4 million square feet in the Third Ward in order to provide affordable housing, and maintain the character and heritage of the community.

Please click here to read more background on the two decades of work that lead to yesterday’s groundbreaking. Also please see below for pictures of the event from yesterday.

I would also like to thank Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) and Representative Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) for taking my staff and LSG interns on a tour of their districts to explain the role of government in the community.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Representative Garnet Coleman at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) explains his vision behind the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.


From left to right: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Jenny Guzman, Vice President of Community Development at Texas Capital Bank, and Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward. 


From left to right: Algenita Scott Davis–CCPPI Program Manager, Linda Larry Mitchell–CCPPI Office Administrator, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Laura Jaramillo–Senior Vice President, Community Development Manager of Southwest Region Wells Fargo & Company, and Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward.


From left to right: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Angelita Gomez–CCPPI Executive Administrator, and Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) at Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Emancipation Center Affordable Housing Center in Houston’s historic Third Ward. 


From left to right: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, HoustonISD Trustee Jolanda Jones, and Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) at Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Emancipation Center Affordable Housing Center in Houston’s historic Third Ward. 


From left to right: HoustonISD Trustee Jolanda JonesHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Executive Director at OST/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority Theola Petteway, Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147), and Senior Advisor to Mayor Turner Keith Wade at Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Emancipation Center Affordable Housing Center in Houston’s historic Third Ward.


Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) with his wife, Angelique Coleman, and daughter, Evan Coleman at Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Emancipation Center Affordable Housing Center in Houston’s historic Third Ward.


Local community leaders officially break ground at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward. 


From left to right: Omar Reid–CCPPI Chairman, Carl Davis–City of Houston Planning Community Affairs, Algenita Scott Davis–CCPPI Program Manager, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rebecca Acuna– CCPPI Board Director, and Revlynn Lawson–CCPPI Board Director at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Representative Coleman with his District 147 staff, Capitol staff, and LSG staff of the 86th Texas Legislature at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony of the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations in Houston’s historic Third Ward.
Representative Coleman tells his staff about the years of work behind the Emancipation Center for Affordable Housing Operations.

Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) and Representative Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) and the staff of Representative Coleman touring the BakerRipley: East Aldine Economic Opportunity Center.


Below is an opinion piece featured in the Houston Chronicle regarding the threat of a TEA takeover on our public school. You can read it below or click here.

HISD won’t tolerate a hostile takeover of brown and black schools [Opinion]
By Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Elizabeth Santos
Jan. 15, 2019 Updated: Jan. 16, 2019 10:12 a.m.

Last month the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees made a difficult decision. At risk of losing the elected positions for which we all campaigned passionately, we rejected an ultimatum created by state law: Privatize four historically black and brown schools or face a hostile state takeover of the entire district. We were elected to see to it that our public schools thrive, not facilitate their transfer to charter managers who can make money off our students.

Now the state is in a position to remove us from office because four schools have been on the “improvement required” list for at least five years.

Some of us reasonably felt that turning these four schools — Wheatley High School, Kashmere High School, Henry Middle School and Highland Heights Elementary — into charter schools would prevent even worse sanctions from the state. While that may have been true for this year, there was no guarantee that we would not face the same dilemma next year and each year after that for different campuses until our district became segregated into two different communities — those that have direct electoral control over their school leaders and those that do not. Such a system of haves and have-nots is simply unacceptable.

This board was divided on some high-profile issues last year. The two of us have been on opposite sides on some of those fights. But we are united in a vision for a school district where neighborhood schools are cornerstones of their communities, equity is a guiding principle of resource allocation and all students receive educations that are tailored to their individual learning needs.

To achieve that vision, all levels of government involved in making education policy must take a long-term approach that addresses the costs of educating students living in poverty, English language learners and students with special needs. Unfortunately, state funding formulas — which have not changed in 30 years — woefully underestimate these costs.

While steadily shrinking the state’s share of education funding, lawmakers in Austin have ratcheted up the stakes of a flawed standardized test. Under the new rating system, which relies heavily on STAAR test results, 82 percent of students in schools graded “F” are economically disadvantaged. The result of this misguided accountability model is a segregated school system, where affluent schools can offer a wide array of opportunities in academics, sports, career preparation and the arts, while schools with high concentrations of low-income students are forced to focus on test prep.

As if that were not enough, state officials have crafted a system in which an entire district can be subject to the loss of its democratic representation almost entirely based on the STAAR test outcomes of a single school. Such proposals, along with those that seek to dilute minority representation with the addition of at-large members to the HISD board, are thinly veiled attempts to diminish the voting power of black and brown communities in our city.

Ours is not an isolated case. In fact, according to Domingo Morel, assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, “Nearly 85 percent of takeovers occur in districts where blacks and Latinos make up the majority of the student population.”

Despite all of this, HISD has fared well under the flawed STAAR regime. The district earned an 84 percent rating with 91 percent of schools meeting standard. We reduced the number of schools that could trigger automatic state sanctions from 52 to 4, and we have maintained a recognized financial rating of 90 percent and a high bond rating.

It is baffling that HISD taxpayers are required to foot the entire bill for their district and also forfeit $100 million in “recaptured” dollars — and growing — to supplement the state’s obligation to other districts, while at the same time facing the risk of being stripped of their right to elect their own governing board. That hardly seems democratic or just.

Apparently “no taxation without representation” is just something we teach in our history classes.

We are thrilled that so many local stakeholders — including Mayor Sylvester Turner — are willing to partner with HISD to improve our schools, but we will not willingly abdicate our responsibility to govern them. Instead, we hope that local leaders will commit to supporting public education in Houston by bolstering its transportation networks, providing strong health care options, committing to protect our immigrant communities and building safe walking paths to make our schools accessible on foot.

We are not perfect and have had missteps, but we are making milestones and progress in a consistent fashion. Our students need citywide support. We look forward to having conversations on ways our local governments can come together to ensure a bright future for them.

Skillern-Jones is district II trustee and president of the HISD board. Santos is district I trustee.


LBJ School Seminar for New County Judges and Commissioners

Enjoyed speaking with Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) and moderator Jim AllisonGeneral Counsel for the County Judges & Commissioners Association,  on Wednesday at the UT LBJ School Seminar for new County Judges and Commissioners.

From Left to right Representative Coleman, Jim Allison, Senator Lucio



Join Representative Garnet Coleman for the 23rd Annual MLK Day Celebration at the Children’s Museum of Houston

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed for us to live in a world where we would “not be judged by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.”  Join Representative Garnet Coleman and theChildren’s Museum of Houstonin honoring civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy during the 23rd MLK Day Annual Celebration.

WHEN:
January 21st: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Special events begin at noon
MLK DAY SPECIAL HOURS: 10am – 6pm

WHERE:
Children’s Museum of Houston
1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004
Click here for parking and travel directions.

DETAILS:
$5 general admission

SPECIAL EVENTS
(Beginning at Noon in the Brown Auditorium)

  • Ebony Opera Guild: Uplift your spirits with African American spirituals.
  • Gardere Oratory Speech Recital: Listen to inspiring, triumphant words by this year’s winner at Brown Auditorium.
  • Peace March Led by Kid’s Committee: Exercise your right in celebration of Civil Rights at 12:30pm in Kids’ Hall Alcove
  • “I Have a Dream Speech”: Listen in awe as orator Donovan Harris will recite the speech that changed history at Kids’ Hall Alcove.
  • Talented 20:  Get into the grove and get moving to the inspirational sounds of this choir at Kids’ Hall Alcove.
  • Providence Jazz Ensemble: This middle and high school ensemble will pay tribute to MLK with selections such as “Amazing Grace” and “We Shall Overcome” and close with the “Negro National Anthem” at 1pm in Brown Auditorium
  • Martin’s Big Words: Watch the movie chronicling Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in civil rights at 2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm in Brown Auditorium
***Activities, events and times subject to change.  
For more information, visit www.cmhouston.org
or call (713) 522-1138.

What To Watch This Week:

Our video of the week is from the Washington Post:

“Before this year there were 39 women of color in Congress. Now there are 47. 2018 was a record-breaking year for women winning political office; in 2019, they will start to make their mark. In an original documentary, The Washington Post goes behind the scenes with two newly elected women as they take their place in the 116th Congress: Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress, and Ayanna Pressley, the first African American woman to represent Massachusetts.”

 


Cartoon of the Week

Source: John Cole



Song of the Week

Our song of the week is “Redemption Song by Bob Marley.

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