Announcing Harris PROSPERS

11 Aug, 23

Dear friends, 

Every person in Harris County deserves a stable foundation and a clear path—free from unfair barriers—to prosper, thrive, and build a better life for themselves and their families. But we have more work to realize this vision of economic freedom and shared prosperity.

Decades of neglect, inequitable investments, and unfair barriers have put the American dream out of reach for families in Harris County, denying people the economic security and mobility they need to live with safety and dignity.

According to recent data, half of Harris County residents can’t afford a $400 emergency, and one in five households earns less than $25,000 annually. Communities of color, women, working families, and young people are especially harmed by economic inequality. We can’t stand by idly while underinvestment, disinvestment, discrimination, stagnant wages, and unfair policies by past decision-makers entrap people in generational poverty.

On Thursday, joined by Commissioner Lesley Briones, Linda Morales with the Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, Dr. Barbie Robinson with Harris County Public Health, and Dr. Jo Estrada with Harris County Community Services, we unveiled Harris PROSPERS (Pathways to Realize Opportunity, Security, Potential, Equity, Resilience, and Safety). It is a commitment to fairness, inclusivity, and shared prosperity through a set of investments to ensure everyone has a safe roof over their heads, an income floor to support basic needs, and access to good jobs that pay a living wage.


Initiatives under Harris PROSPERS focus on two strategic goals.

Creating Paths to Good Jobs and Fair Opportunity by:

  • Leading the fight for good-paying jobs and worker safety;
  • Building career pipelines through job training and apprenticeship programs;
  • Leveling the playing field with fair and inclusive local economic policies.

Ensuring Families Have Basic Building Blocks to Thrive by:

  • Increasing access to safe, stable, and affordable housing;
  • Supporting families with resources to help meet basic needs;
  • Expanding access to childcare, early education, and youth enrichment programs.

Visit Harris PROSPERS to learn more about initiatives, policies, and programs the county is working on to create a prosperous, thriving Harris County.

It’s possible to bridge the economic divide, prosper together as neighbors and equals, and live in a society where all people benefit from economic stability, fair opportunity, and shared prosperity.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating and fighting for economic equity with the launch of Harris PROSPERS.


Rodney Ellis