There are over 200 civic clubs in the City of Houston. They have fancy names, like Timbergrove Manor and University Oaks. Some of them even have websites. But what do they actually do, and why should you get involved?
What are civic clubs?
Civic clubs are the most immediate, neighborhood-level form of public sector engagement. They are supposed to provide a voice for the people and projects in your neighborhood. They are the entry point for discussion about what happens to your neighborhood.
And they are a familiar and credible way to communicate with city departments, elected officials, partner organizations, and the general public. People in power are likely to take you seriously if your comments are backed up by the weight of your civic club.
So if you want to get something done in the public sector, civic clubs can be a convenient and useful vehicle.
How do you get involved?
The City of Houston leaves it up to residents to organize themselves. That’s why there’s no official list of civic clubs throughout the city, and really no easy way to find which one covers your home. The only information the city gives us is a PDF of contact names and physical addresses and a shape file from 2012.
That’s enough to get started.
Knowing that this data isn’t perfect, I built findmycivicclub.com, a down-and-dirty website that can answer one simple question: what’s my civic club?
And if you live in an area that isn’t covered by a civic club, you can start one.
You can check out the full site or use the embedded version below: