Protect the Third Ward

Protect the Third Ward

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HCEDD Organizer started this petition to Houston City Council and

Tell the Houston City Council Members, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Midtown TIRZ Board Members to end the displacement of low-income Black people from Third Ward by supporting HCEDD’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with developer Rice Management Company. 

The Issue - Capital Over Community Results in Displacement

Rice Management Company (RMC) has requested a $75 million investment of public funds to develop an Innovation District that poses an existential threat to Third Ward - a historically Black neighborhood with the highest susceptibility to gentrification in Harris County.

The Need - Empowering the Community with a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)

The Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement (HCEDD) believes that developers who use public money should be accountable to the public. That’s why HCEDD has gathered neighbors, community leaders, scholars, students, and organizations from Third Ward and across Houston to develop, secure, enforce, and sustain a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Rice Management Company. A CBA is the only path to building an equitable Innovation District that addresses the needs, concerns, and visions of impacted Houstonians. 

A CBA is a legally binding enforceable contract between developers, with or without the participation of city agencies, and a community coalition formed by impacted residents and organizations. In a CBA, the coalition deliberates directly with the developer via a negotiation team to reach the commitments included in the CBA. This is the most innovative thing RMC can do with the Innovation District, and the only way to prevent food insecurity, displacement of long-term residents, gentrification, harm to local businesses, and cultural erasure. 

Our Vision - An Innovation District that Addresses the Needs, Concerns, and Visions of Low-Income Black Third Ward Residents

1. We want decent, permanently affordable housing in the Innovation District and Third Ward for our people through RMC owned properties, community efforts, and policy that reverses the trend of residential displacement in Third Ward.
2. We want existing and long-time Third Ward residents to have funds, contracts, skills training, tools, financial protections, and space needed to own and operate Black small businesses in the Innovation District and Third Ward that bring vitality, stability, and needed services to our people. 
3. We want African American residents and legacy residents of the historic Third Ward to determine the neighborhood’s legacy by restoring our historic sites, organizing celebrations of our history and culture, and leveraging technology to document and share our stories.
4. We want the Innovation District to address barriers to employment for Third Ward residents, and we want all workers at the Innovation District to be justly paid, safe, and empowered on the job.
5. We want to educate Houstonians of all ages to be technical experts, creative artists, critical thinkers, and engaged members of equitable communities, by implementing curriculums, services, and programs that center Houston’s Black history and future.
6. We want to build and operate grocery stores, restaurants, gardens, farms, kitchens, and policies that provide our people with plentiful, affordable, and healthy food in the Third Ward and Innovation District.
7. We want to co-build a technology ecosystem where our people can thrive.

The Path to Equity

This month, members of the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) Board and Houston City Council members can make this CBA happen by requiring RMC to sign a CBA with HCEDD in order to receive the $75 million public funds they have requested. We need your support to make this happen! Tell your elected officials you want RMC to sign a CBA with HCEDD by signing this petition. 

Learn more about HCEDD here

Join our efforts here!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!