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OPENING PARAGRAPH: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on SETRPC’s MOD. Texas Appleseed has reviewed the MOD, covering $156,700,835 in Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for local buyout and acquisition programs and infrastructure programs, allocated by the State of Texas in its Action Plan. We have serious concerns about SETRPC’s MOD, in particular, about the formula used to suballocate CDBG-DR funds and resulting distribution of funds.
Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools & School Security. Written Testimony of Morgan Craven, Texas Appleseed. EXCERPT: Following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida our organizations began to hear story after story of children, some as young as 10 years old, being arrested in their schools and referred to juvenile probation for behaviors that school officials and law enforcement were categorizing as “Terroristic Threat” and “Exhibition of Firearms.” ... In many of the cases we were hearing about there was no substantive threat made. Sometimes kids were expressing emotions like anger, fear, or frustration in improper, but age-appropriate, ways or ways that are a manifestation of a disability. Sometimes kids were just saying insensitive things or make terrible jokes.
OPENING PARAGRAPHS: Dear Ms. Wajahat, The Houston Organizing Movement for Equity (HOME) Coalition commends the City and Mayor Turner’s recognition that rebuilding a stronger, more resilient Houston cannot happen unless it is also a more equitable Houston. We appreciate the robust and collaborative community engagement, through town halls drawing over 600 Houstonians, to inform the City’s Local Action Plan in advance of the official public comment period. We also applaud Mayor Turner’s commitment to making historic progress towards ensuring that “every Houstonian has a safe, affordable place to live” and the City’s stated intention to prioritize low- and moderate-income Houstonians in the recovery. The draft CDBG-DR Local Action Plan is a good step forward, which the HOME Coalition believes can be strengthened by incorporating the following recommendations to the plan itself and program design. We appreciate the City’s ongoing commitment to listen to community voices as the recovery moves forward and stand ready to assist you in that work. We offer the following recommendations for strengthening the City of Houston’s draft Local Action Plan ...
Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools & School Security. Summary of Oral Testimony of Morgan Craven, Texas Appleseed. OPENING EXCERPT: The recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, have lead to concerns from students, parents, and educators regarding campus safety issues. Unfortunately, some of the responses to these concerns have included bringing back harmful zero tolerance policies and increasing the presence of law enforcement in schools. While this might feel like an appropriate solution in the moment, research shows that these approaches can actually harm students and campus climates, rather than keep schools safe.
OPENING PARAGRAPH: Dear Mr. Turkel: We appreciate the opportunity to provide the following comments on Harris County’s Disaster Recovery Voluntary Buyout Program Guidelines for 2015, 2017, and 2017 Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. We commend the County for proposing a buyout program that ensures that families have the opportunity to move to safer areas, including incentives and other necessary funding for LMI families that would otherwise be trapped in flood prone areas. These guidelines outline a program that is more equitable, that will increase both community and individual resilience, and is much more likely to accomplish the goal of moving families out of harm’s way and reducing flood vulnerability than previous buyout programs for other disasters.

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Immigrant Children & Families
Mental Health
Debt Collection
Disaster Recovery & Fair Housing
Fines & Fees
Foster Care & Courts
Homeless Youth
Juvenile Justice
Payday & Auto Title Lending Reform
Protecting Seniors from Financial Abuse
School-to-Prison Pipeline
Bail Reform & Pretrial Justice
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Criminal Discovery