Our Pasadena Community Project has entered an exciting new phase with the beginning of our community health survey. The Pasadena project is the second long-term community-based project Air Alliance Houston has conducted in a Ship Channel community. During these multi-year projects, we find that canvassing and surveys are an excellent way to connect with citizens. A good neighborhood canvass introduces your organization and its work to a community. And a community survey can gauge a communities concerns, its needs, and its resources.
The Pasadena Community Survey drew from several sources. First, we started with a survey conducted in 2013 for our Galena Park Community Project. Then we looked at another community survey we conducted with the Health Port Communities Coalition. Finally, we asked our colleagues at Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services for suggestions for survey questions they would like answered. The result is a survey that addresses a broad range of community issues, from what sources of pollution residents are concerned about, to how they access health care, to what sorts of improvements would they like to see in their community.
Surveys require canvassers, and for Air Alliance Houston, the opportunity to hire canvassers is an opportunity to invest in a community. Our first choice for canvass candidates was Pasadena High School. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find students in time to begin our survey over Spring Break. We ended up connecting with students from Cesar Chavez High School. This school is located in Houston’s East End, rather than Pasadena, but it is an environmental magnet school that several of our organizers have connections to. We were happy to employ students from Cesar Chavez and have found them conscientious and hard working.
Since the beginning of last week, we have accompanied four to six Cesar Chavez students in to the neighborhoods of Pasadena. We began with North Pasadena, which seems to have far fewer than the 550 occupied homes that the most recent census would suggest. After we finished North Pasadena, we moved into the area just south of State Highway 225.
Each survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to conduct. We hope to collect several hundred surveys from Pasadena citizens. We will collect as many as time and resources allow. Once our canvass is complete, we will produce a report about the Pasadena citizens we met and their needs.
Thank you to Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, the students of Cesar Chavez High School, and the citizens of Pasadena. Together we are working to make the air safer for everyone. Because everyone breathes.