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H-GAC Charter Amendment Interest Meeting

December 21, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

This planned interest call among Houston DSA member is to discuss whether members want the chapter to join the coalition with StopTXDOTI45 and other organizations to support the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) city charter amendment campaign for signature collection for early 2023. Alec T. of StopTXDOTI45 (who spoke about the campaign at last week’s General Meeting) will be able to join the call to answer additional questions. 

Here is Alec’s Google doc of the Charter Amendment proposal: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j0obXuKLC1K6Tedq_ojq7ifYObOewEbITUg-bpuFEzg/edit

Based on member interest, members can work to draft a campaign resolution for joining this coalition and have it presented in Mattermost and newsletter ahead of a formal vote by members at the January 12 General Meeting at the Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation hall.

Example of past resolution used for the 2020 signature collection for Charter Amendment to end strong-mayor agenda control in Houston: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jewpJGMIl1PQ60MbSXPs4tMqq3bRgI_GYgaFlMc0Em0/edit

There are plans for a coalition of organizations working to collect signatures for a Houston charter amendment on reforming representation for Houston on the Houston-Galvestion Area Council (H-GAC), a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) made up of local governments that does long term planning for the region and controls a large amount of grant money for transportation (federal and state money for projects), workforce development, community development, flood control and other federal infrastructure money. 

Currently, decision making on the H-GAC is weighed against Houston and Harris County, empowering those in rural/exburb areas to control the funding and approval of projects in the Houston metropolitan area. The charter amendment would be added to the November 2023 ballot, and its passage by Houston voters would force H-GAC to adopt a proportional representation system under the threat of Houston leaving the H-GAC. Signature collection of 20,000 (target: 35,000) Houston voters’ signatures would occur by this coalition of organizations in January-May 2023 to get this charter amendment on the November 2023 ballot.