Celebrating Black history, advancing racial justice

27 Feb, 24

Dear Friends,

During Black History Month, we acknowledge the challenges and injustices of our past and present and also uplift the beauty, resilience, and accomplishments that bring us hope. Although our journey to justice ebbs and flows, I find motivation in the words of Frederick Douglass, who said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

Over the past year, we have been working to deliver changes that have been fought for by communities for decades. We’re delivering fair access to parks and greenspace and the ability for families to meet their basic needs: housing, nutrition, health care, and education. We’re delivering free and fair elections, equal protection under the law, and a safe environment. But most importantly, we’re fighting to end the pervasive wealth and income inequality that has unfairly impacted our Black communities for decades.

We're making history every day as we fight for a better future. 

Our work to bridge the economic divide has national implications. This week, I shared the stage with Pulitzer Prize Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, LA County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and Howard University President Dr. Ben Vinson, III, to celebrate a significant victory in our journey toward economic justice: the launch of a guaranteed income pilot program here in Harris County.

We’re also honoring history makers and servant leaders and supporting our historic neighborhoods in visible ways across Precinct One.

  • Introducing a bronze “freedom marker” to Harris County to pay tribute to a courageous formerly enslaved individual known simply as “Ben,” who seized his chance for liberty in 1864. Safeguarding and confronting our history is more critical than ever at a time when efforts to erase history and our hard-fought rights and freedoms are on the rise.
  • Celebrating a historic investment in Sunnyside that families will enjoy for generations to come. The Hill at Sims Park will increase access to trails and bikeways, including the Sims Bayou Greenway, which connects people to 20 miles of greenway. Once complete, Sunnyside residents will have a beautiful, lush 100-acre flood-resilient green space that protects and connects the community.
  • Continuing our Living Legends Black History Luncheon to recognize those unsung heroes who have worked tirelessly to empower our communities, strengthen our democracy, and defend our hard-won rights and progress. Their work is an inspiration that calls on us all to dedicate ourselves to the unfinished task of the civil rights movement and make real the promise of equality, freedom, and opportunity for all people. (Follow Precinct One on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about this year’s honorees.)

I hope you’ll join me in looking to the future as we uplift Black history, legacy, and leadership to make strides in the struggle for justice. 


Rodney Ellis