Policies Affecting Civic Participation in Houston and Texas
During Summer 2018, our summer research fellows, working with researchers from the University of Houston and Rice University, gathered and analyzed data on this project commissioned by the Houston Endowment. The report assessed systemic barriers and opportunities for civic engagement in Harris County, examining both political and social arenas of civic action. It provides a systematic audit of federal, state and local statutes and other policy statements pertaining to civic engagement in Harris County. It summarizes relevant policy and reports data from a variety of sources to paint a comprehensive picture of what participation looks like on the ground, where potential barriers to political and social engagement are found, and what community leaders think about the civic attitudes and behaviors of the residents and constituents they serve. The objective of this report is to frame discussions with community residents, leaders, and local policymakers about how to address specific barriers to participation in Harris County in order to strengthen and improve the civic health of Greater Houston.