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Community

Photo of yes to the census 2020 mural in gulfton neighborhood

Using Data to Find Walls for Census 2020 Murals

By David McClendon / August 3, 2020

Public art can bring a neighborhood together. Murals especially can help create a stronger sense of place. They can also be used to raise awareness about important social issues facing a community. If you’ve ventured outside onto the streets of Houston lately, you might have seen a few new bright yellow murals urging residents to…

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photo of streetscape for ending homelessness blog

Using Data to Rethink Homelessness

By Carly Sessions / February 11, 2020

It takes a lot of guts to take a good thing, and try to make it better. Back in 2017, El Paso was already on the right track to ending homelessness. They had a nearly complete list of everyone experiencing homelessness in the community. They had partners in the community who reported information, but it…

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Policy Hackathons Pop Up in Houston

By Jeff Reichman / April 5, 2016

There’s a new spin on hackathons, and it doesn’t involve technology. In the last month alone, Houston hosted two policy hackathons. They got people thinking creatively about our government and the laws they write. On March 5-6, Polithon and Young Invincibles held a policy hackathon about student debt. They brought together a few dozen people between…

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Houston Mayoral Debate Takeaways

By Jeff Reichman / December 5, 2015

Last night, I attended the KPRC Houston mayoral debate between Bill King and Sylvester Turner. This has been a long, grueling campaign season, and it comes to an end next week. One of these men will be Houston’s next mayor. The League of Women Voters, KPRC, and Telemundo Houston produced this debate. They selected questions that address…

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Mapping Houston's Capital Improvement Projects By Location and Budget

By Jeff Reichman / June 26, 2016

Every year, the City of Houston goes through a capital planning process where they allocate about $8 billion over five years. I wanted to know where these projects are, and how much we’re spending on them. I became curious about this process after last year’s discussion about equitable distribution. So I extracted a bunch of data from the…

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minimum lot size restrictions third ward houston

Minimum Lot Size in Houston: Maps to Protect Your Block

By Jeff Reichman / January 14, 2018

A few weeks ago, I attended a civic club meeting where we talked about minimum lot size restrictions. Many of my neighbors were concerned about townhouse developments in the neighborhood, and the City of Houston Planning Department was on hand to teach us how to apply for minimum lot size protection. Minimum lot size restrictions…

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Evictions in Houston After Harvey

By Jeff Reichman / May 16, 2018

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey, everyone in Houston figured that evictions were going to be a problem. There was a lot of media coverage about evictions of vulnerable populations, including some heart-wrenching stories about low income tenants and elderly residents of a Harris County subsidized living facility. The Mayor of Houston pushed back, asking private landlords…

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Houston Startups: 2013 Year in Review

By Jeff Reichman / December 24, 2013

I’ve been working in the Houston startup community since 2009, and one thing is clear: we’re growing like crazy. In a twelve-month period between 2011-2012, the City of Houston added more than 34,000 new residents, second only to New York City. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming. The Greater…

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The Story Behind the Houston Writeathon

By Jeff Reichman / March 4, 2014

Back in October, I was in San Francisco for the Code for America summit. It was an inspiring trip, with civic hackers from around the world converging to share stories about technology and community development. Of course, the best stories travel over beers.  That’s exactly how Rebekah Monson told me about the writeathon she organized in Miami.…

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Recap of the Second Annual Houston Hackathon

By Jeff Reichman / June 9, 2014

On May 31, over 150 people converged at the Houston Technology Center for the second annual City of Houston Open Innovation Hackathon. Over the course of 24 hours, they formed teams, worked all night, and presented 18 different projects to Mayor Parker and her senior staff. You can check out all 18 projects here. Once…

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