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Houston’s ability to mitigate historic rainfall has become increasingly critical following Hurricane Harvey and other major flood events in recent years. Our economy and our communities depend on reasonable protection from flooding. To ensure the long-term infrastructure and resiliency needs of the greater Houston region are met, the Partnership is committed to working with local, state and federal officials to advocate for flood mitigation funding. Through the Infrastructure and Resiliency Advisory Committee, the Partnership will continue its work of prioritizing efforts on coordinating between government and business groups and advocating for the infrastructure resiliency needs of the region.

The Partnership's Priorities for Resiliency

  • Advocate for the appropriation, timely distribution of funds and appropriate regulatory framework for flood recovery and mitigation.

  • Continue to work with the City of Houston and Harris County on developing and implementing a resilience strategy, one that continues to improve the city’s and county’s street and drainage infrastructure.

  • Establish Houston as a global model for resiliency.

Actively Involved

The Partnership has studied proven strategies for building flood resilience and built a data-driven case for investment in the state's flood recovery and mitigation.

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86th Legislative Session Summary

Passing flood resilience legislation was a major accomplishment...

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Urban Resiliency for the Gulf Region: Infrastructure and Res...

A delegation representing the Infrastructure and Resiliency Adv...

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Governor Abbott and Judge Hidalgo Issue New COVID-19 Orders

This morning, Governor Greg Abbott announced a change to certain elements of the Reopen Texas plan.  Per Governor Abbott’s order, effective at noon today, all bars and similar establishments must close. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out. Beginning Monday, June 29, restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50 percent of total listed indoor occupancy. Previously, restaurants were allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity. Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, and rafting and tubing businesses must close. The governor’s executive order can be found here.   In Harris County today, Judge Hidalgo announced a change in the COVID-19 threat level system, which advises county residents on the local level of transmission. Judge Hidalgo raised the threat level from Level 2, “significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19”, to Level 1, meaning that “residents should minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs.” Judge Hidalgo also issued a Stay Home advisory, which encourages residents to remain at home whenever possible. These measures signal that the Houston region is at an inflection point, and we must join together to stop the spread. We believe that residents across the region should stay home as much as possible. This should include office workers who are back in the workplace but could effectively work from home. We encourage employers to strongly consider returning to a work-from-home model where it is practical. We also ask companies to remind their employees that their actions when out in public – away from the workplace – will likely determine whether the virus enters the workplace. Maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public spaces and washing hands are all key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus at this critical moment. Managing Positive COVID-19 Cases A reminder that if someone in the workplace does test positive, we have developed a protocols document that helps address the actions businesses should take to mitigate the risk to others. Get the latest information on Governor Abbott's order, industry best practices for reopening, and the Partnership's work safe principles here. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information.
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Living In Houston

Why Houston’s Business Community Should Engage with the 2020 Census

A representative with the United States Census Bureau is urging Houston employers to encourage their employees to complete the 2020 Census. It’s one way businesses can play an integral role in helping the region recover from the economic downturn. Ja’Salyn Smith, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau discussed the impact of the Census and the collaborative effort needed for an accurate count of the Houston region during the Partnership’s Quality of Life Council meeting on June 9.  Census Determines More Than Just Funding  Houston’s response to 2020 Census is crucial for the next decade, especially considering the effects of the pandemic and economic downturn. Federal funding to support healthcare, education, infrastructure and other critical services depend heavily on an accurate count of our region. The Census also affects two areas of political representation.  Apportion representation is how the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are divided among the states.   “From the 2010 Census, Texas gained four seats in the House and with a population that has ballooned in recent years, Texas could gain 2-3 more seats,” Smith said. The apportionment counts will be delivered to the president by April 30, 2021.  Data gathered by the Census also informs how state and local election district boundaries will be redrawn or revised. “We want to make sure that number is accurate to inform the planning decisions of federal, state and local government,” Smith said. “The number that we get in 2020 will determine the amount of money that Texas receives from the federal government for the next 10 years, so the count that we get in 2020 – we are stuck with that number until 2030.” COVID-19 Shifts Census Timeline The federal government has moved the self-response deadline where people can submit their responses online, by phone or through mailed forms, back from July 31 to October 31. Census takers will also have until October 31 to interview households in person for those who have not self-responded by August 11. “The Census form is translated into 59 different languages and we hire enumerators in the communities they live in,” Smith said. “We do this so they are familiar with the languages or the cultures in the area they are working in and helps drive that community’s response.”  To complete the Census, Smith noted that households have received a unique code they can use to complete the Census, but they can also complete it by using their home address. She stressed the Census is only for households. Houstonians should not use a business address.   The contact information people provide is protected, Smith stressed. For example, the federal agency will only use the phone number people provide if there is an error or point of clarification needed on their form.  Houston Region Current Response Rate   “In 2010, the total response rate for Texas was 64.4% - that means we missed about 35.6% of people,” Smith said. “That doesn’t sound like a lot but that’s about 8.9 million people we missed in Texas.”  As of June 9, Texas is currently at a 55.4% rate with 45.4% of people responding online. Fort Bend and Brazoria counties lead with the highest response rates in the Houston region. The City of Houston has about a 51.4% self-response rate.   “The Census is how residents are seen – every federal program with funding is affected by Census data,” Smith said. “Even if the population in Houston continues to expand, whatever count we get as a region this year, that lasts until 2030.”  How Census Data is Used For Studies, Business Resources The Census is responsible for providing data for numerous studies and a wealth of business resources.  “This data lets you know what areas to look at building around, what areas to hire more people in. It shows demographic data and statistics that can help your business make informed decisions and forecast,” Smith said. In addition to interactive digital resources, the federal agency also offers tailored training. Data dissemination specialists are available to train companies on how to use Census resources. Smith referenced studies the Census contributes or informs, including the Kinder Houston Area Study. While the study focused on the changing attitudes and experiences of Houstonians in February and March, the study also revealed key indicators for how Houston is faring in the midst of the pandemic. The survey reported income inequalities and economic vulnerability, largely among Houston’s Hispanic and African American populations.  “It’s these populations that are historically underrepresented and that we have trouble reaching,” Smith shared. The Census also created two pulse surveys since the start of the pandemic to gauge its effect on communities across the United States. The Small Business Pulse Survey measures the changes in business conditions. Smith noted this data is especially important because it provides policymakers, government officials and businesses with a better picture of the effects of the coronavirus. The survey results also help guide initiatives such as the Paycheck Protection Program. A key point from the survey shows that 31.4% of small businesses report it will take them more than 6 months to ramp back up to their usual level of operations, followed by 27% who believe it will take 4-6 months. Some small businesses reported they will never return to normal operations (6.2%), most of which are from the Accommodations and Food Services sector. The Household Pulse Survey, an experimental pulse survey conducted through email, measures how households are faring on a week-to-week basis. The survey examines multiple factors, including the effect of stay-home orders, business closures and consumer spending. Business Role in the Census  Smith concluded the presentation by emphasizing shared key ways employers can encourage their employees to participate in the Census, such as hosting a “Census Hour” every Friday or asking senior leaders to demonstrate how they’re taking part to encourage employees to do the same. “As business leaders, you are trusted in your community and you can show people how easy it is,” Smith said. “We also need volunteers so if you have affinity groups that want to participate, we do need help reaching fellow Houstonians in different communities.”  For resources and information on how your company can support 2020 Census participation, click here. 
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Living In Houston

Quality of Life Council: Walkable Communities

Houston is a vibrant city of lush green spaces, award-winning dining, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. Outsiders are consistently surprised to learn about everything Houston has to offer. This Council…

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