Since its inception in 1993, the South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition has played a key role in improving the diverse communities in the 5 Corners Improvement District. Vivian L. Harris, a founding member of the organization and a District board member, shared her thoughts about the coalition, its goals and accomplishments as it celebrates its 30th “birthday.”
Q: When and why was South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition formed?
A: The coalition was formed to provide a united front with civic clubs seeking services from the City of Houston, Harris County, the state of Texas and the federal government.
The mission of SHCCC is to work together as a group on projects to improve the civic welfare of the residents living in the boundaries of the coalition and its vicinity in the City of Houston. This includes working to improve the community through the promotion of urban design and beautification, crime reduction and public safety, economic development, improved education and recreation and better housing for all.
To accomplish this goal, the coalition works with all of the civic organizations, homeowner associations and individual residents within the coalition boundaries. Those boundaries are located primarily in City Council District K with a small portion of District D.
Q: How many members are on the board of directors?
A: There are presently 12 board members.
Q: How many members does the organization have?
A: There are approximately 26 combined civic clubs and homeowner associations with between 70,000 to 80,000 residents. The coalition was organized in 1993 under the name Central Southwest Concerned Citizens’ Coalition. The name was later changed to South Houston Concerned Citizens’ Coalition.
Q: What are the current goals of the coalition?
A: Currently our goal is to complete projects that are ongoing and any new ones that are beneficial to our community. Our core issues are urban design, beautification, crime reduction, public safety, improved education and recreation.
Q: What services does the coalition provides to the community?
A: The coalition provides continued monitoring of the upkeep, development and concerns, positive and/or negative, that affect the South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition boundaries.
Q: How closely does the coalition work with the Five Corners Improvement District and Super Neighborhood councils?
A: We work very closely together. As far as I am concerned, we are one. SHCCC was the brainchild for both Super Neighborhood 5 and the 5 Corners District.
Q: What are some of the group’s successes over the years?
A: Our major successes are the restructuring of South Post Oak Road in the Sims Bayou reconstruction that took 25 years to complete, but every year is worth the effort. This area of Houston is the only one that did not flood during Hurricane Harvey! The Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center is another accomplishment that took 20 years to complete, and another successful project is the new and renovated Townwood and Windsor Village parks. The coalition also helped to defeat a proposed salt dome (storage facility) on Buffalo Speedway.
Q: Why is it important to have an organization such as SHCCC?
A: It is most important because of the strength numbers provide. The purpose of the organization is to work together as a group on projects to improve the welfare of the residents living in the subdivisions of the coalition and its vicinity in the City of Houston. This includes working to improve the community through the promotion of urban design and beautification, crime reduction and public safety, economic development, improved education and recreation, and better housing for all. The coalition encompasses all of zip code 77045 and parts of zip codes 77035, 77047, 77051, 77053, and 77085.
Q: How diverse is the South Houston community? Are there multi-ethnic grocery stores and churches?
A: The community is very diverse but mostly Black and Latino. It is and has been a challenge to get a flagship grocery store. The churches are many; we have four mega-churches in SHCCC boundaries.
Q: When and where does the coalition meet?
A: At this time, our meetings are virtual; the link to join is sent out prior to meeting time. For more information, email [email protected].
Q: Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share?
A: We are very hopeful that in the near future we will have more participation. My only prayer is that we will have individuals who do not have motives that only benefit themselves but will be beneficial to the coalition.