Empower Houston Leaders (EHL)
The EHL project has successfully identified and recruited over 350 neighborhood leaders from modest-to-lower income minority areas resulting in over 150 community action projects. It has created a practical, engaging eight-week curriculum for working people and has mentored them in the field on team projects of their choosing, such as reinvigorating a local PTA , organizing volunteer voter registration drives, installing community gardens and organizing community improvement projects.
Empower Houston Leaders: Build Your Movement!
Empower Houston Leaders (EHL) trains and mentors lower income, primarily minority community leaders to engage their neighbors in grassroots organizing, advocacy, and non-partisan voter turnout. EHL equips grassroots leaders to mobilize their historically disengaged, underserved communities. EHL begins with an eight-week leadership development course that teaches leaders the tools of Direct Action Organizing. Direct Action Organizing empowers them with practical tools to be an effective community leader. Our organizers then guide the leaders in the field in developing concrete, local organizing projects of their choosing. EHL also connects the leaders and activists through a supportive grassroots network.
EHL's mission is to empower grassroots leaders to civically engage their historically disengaged minority communities. Texas has a civic engagement crisis, ranking at the bottom in civic participation and voting, according to the Annette Strauss Institute, Texas Civic Health Index (June 2013). Latino voting rate is the lowest of any state with a significant Latino population, and our voter registration ranks 48th. This civic disengagement has led to unresponsive government and underserved communities. Our state severely under funds public education, access to health care, and other essential public investments. We believe only an engaged citizenry will bring our state the essential public investments we need for a prosperous and harmonious future.
|Our 2013 Baytown and 2014 Pasadena All Spanish Empower Houston Leaders Classes|
What We've Accomplished
Over the past three years, our Empower Houston Leaders Program has trained about 350 community leaders who have planned and executed over 150 community actions all over the Greater Houston area. Some of these community actions include reinvigorating a PTA, helping restore an historic church, developing community gardens for healthy living, organizing voter registration drives, assisting people in enrolling in the federal insurance exchanges, and advocating for increased early education funding.
|Community Actions Organized By Empower Houston Leaders Graduates|
Non-Partisan Voter Turnout
Our EHL leaders have successfully mobilized their neighbors to vote. In 2012, 80 EHL leaders, 200 volunteers and Texans Together's staff made 20,081 personal contact attempts, communicated personally with 4,141 households, and collected 2,849 signed voter pledge cards. According to Leland Beatty, a Texas voting statistician, "Texans Together's grassroots GOTV [Get Out The Vote] turnout results far surpass the typical paid canvas, with 3 to 4 times greater increases in turnout. Texans Together has the best GOTV results in 2012 that I have seen."
|Empower Houston Leaders' Network at the State Capitol for a Save Texas Schools Rally in 2013|
Our Empower Houston Leaders Network
Our Empower Houston Leaders Network represents a diverse group of dedicated activists making changes in their communities. We connect in a network grassroots leaders of all ages and races to learn and work together to improve their communities. At Texans Together, we believe that the power to make change resides in us all, and we invite you to become a part of our ever-growing network.