Monday, February 2, 2009

District B’s “Team Up to Clean Up” Community Partnership!

The “Team Up to Clean Up” community initiative is a collaborative effort among community churches, civic clubs, government and businesses to implement and execute an integrated civic engagement agenda focusing on public health and public safety issues.

Project “Team Up to Clean Up” will be executed using the following three guiding principals: 1. Community Involvement 2. Reducing Neighborhood blight 3. Reducing Crime

Community Involvement
Objective: Organize a sustainable network of community stakeholders to address public safety and public health issues in District B.

1. Monthly combined stakeholder meetings to address specific concerns within a specified geographical boundary.
2. Churches should be responsible for at least a 3-block radius surrounding their church
3. Civic leadership training with the City of Houston’s Planning Department will be available for stakeholder leadership.
4. In addition to consistent physical stakeholder meetings, the Internet can be used to increase communication among key stakeholder leadership.

Reducing Neighborhood Blight
Objective: Significantly reduce dangerous abandoned buildings, weeded lots, junk motor vehicles and graffiti in neighborhoods in District B.

1. Reduce the number of abandoned buildings.

• Policy Changes: The state law that limits how many abandoned buildings a municipality can demolish must be amended or repealed.

• The City of Houston should initiate special operation initiatives to target areas with a concentration of dangerous buildings.

• Negligent owners must be held accountable. An aggressive effort should be coordinated with Linebarger to find negligent owners. Their names should be published in the newspaper for being negligent property owners.

• Utilize LARA to acquire more tax delinquent property for development.

2. Reduce the number of weeded lots

• Coordinated community clean-ups with stakeholders, probationers and city departments
• Adopt a lot(s) program with local churches

Reducing Crime
Objective: Significantly reduce bodily and property crimes in low-income neighborhoods in District B.


1. Stakeholders should partner with multiple law enforcement agencies to develop a Citizen on Patrol (COP) network in their neighborhood. Reduced crime stats support the effectiveness of such programs.
2. Neighborhood Watch programs
3. Surveillance web cams so stakeholders who live in the community can monitor high crime areas in real time. (Ask business in the area to sponsor)

Proposed Sweat Equity Program
Objective: To create an incentive for adjacent property owners and community-based organizations to abate weeded lots and abandoned buildings.


1. As a municipality propose state law changes to give the City of Houston the power via ordinance to place foreclosable liens on properties with multiple unabated weeded lot violations.
2. Adjacent property owners should have “First Right of Refusal” and their Sweat Equity should be discounted from the purchase price of said lot.
3. Provide contracting opportunities for community-based organizations (CBO) to abate properties. This will allow CBO’s to hire people that live in the community to take care of neglected property.

I Need Your Help to Implement This Plan. Let me know how you would like to help.

Jarvis Johnson
Council Member, District B

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