Racial prejudice is not simply expressed through interpersonal bigotry, but it is a systemic issue that has been intentionally built into nearly all aspects of our lives. In housing, this has been true in redlining, the lapse of public housing, source of income discrimination, and countless other examples. But we have the power to undo these wrongs. Reversing racial inequity in disaster recovery is one place we can start.
The Texas General Land Office – Community Development and Revitalization (GLO-CDR) program has solicited feedback from elected officials representing areas that received a presidential disaster declaration. This was done in order to inform planning study topics for the Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program’s planning activities.
GLO-CDR’s planning studies provide a critical opportunity to assess disparate levels of disaster risk experienced by communities of color in our state, and GLO-CDR needs to prioritize planning to benefit the most vulnerable neighborhoods. The State must consciously address the existing deficits in order to remedy past practices that have disproportionately put people of color in harm’s way.
Below is the letter we submitted in response to GLO-CDR’s current survey, providing specific recommendations for planning topics and explaining the need to address systemic racial inequity through these disaster mitigation planning studies.TexasHousers_Addressing-Systemic-Racial-Inequity-through-CDBG-MIT-Planning-and-Disaster-Mitigation-Activities