Cuney Homes Basketball Court Reopening

James Harden‘s Impact13 Foundation recently joined forces with the Houston Housing Authority to reinvigorate, recharge, and revive Cuney Homes’ basketball court. As a beloved hub for recreation and community in the Third Ward, the court design not only boasts fresh coats of paint and state-of-the-art equipment, but also vivid artistry. Overlooking the space, a powerful mural by local artist Henry Agim depicts George Floyd in a “54” jersey — his high school number. The recent unveiling of the revitalized Cuney Homes’ basketball court was followed by festivities including basketball games, a sneaker giveaway, sno-cones and light bites.

Food Not Bombs volunteer Ben Franklin gets a citation for violating the anti-food-sharing ordinance.
Food Not Bombs volunteer Ben Franklin gets a citation for violating the anti-food-sharing ordinance.

Food Not Bombs volunteer files lawsuit against city over anti-food sharing law

An organization that feeds the homeless outside the downtown Houston library on McKinney Street is challenging the city’s Charitable Feeding Ordinance. Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon was given a citation by the city for distributing food outside the library and filed a federal lawsuit in response. The City of Houston issued an updated notice last week warning citizens that public feedings outside the library are prohibited and should instead be done at the city approved site located at 61 Riesner Street. Per the notice, anyone who violates the ordinance after February 24, would be subject to a fine, but the organization did not agree with the city’s orders to move. The city issued the directive after an increase in the number of threats and violent incidents directed at visitors and employees coming to the Houston Public Library downtown. Food Not Bombs has been giving out healthy meals at least four nights a week outside the downtown library for almost two decades, and said they’ve never been cited. The City of Houston passed the Charitable Feeding Ordinance in 2012, under former Mayor Annise Parker’s administration, and volunteers said they don’t understand why the city is enforcing the law now – when Parker backed down against the group. The ordinance requires an individual or organization feeding more than five people to get approval by the property owner to distribute food. Volunteers with the organization say they will continue to distribute food downtown despite the city’s orders.

City of Houston launches Open Finance Initiative to boost financial transparency

The City of Houston is enhancing the use of technology to engage citizens and increase financial transparency. Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the start of the third and final phase of the open finance initiative, “Open Checkbook,” which provides Houstonians access to detailed expenditure-level payment data to vendors and other recipients. Mayor Turner initially announced the open finance initiative to allow Houstonians to track how public funds are being utilized. This includes publishing relevant, accessible datasets about the City’s budget, checkbook and payroll. It also provides simple data visualizations to help the public explore the City’s financial activities. Localities can benefit from data that helps measure policy efforts, increase government operational and process efficiency, provide deeper analytical insights, and increase citizen participation. Increased transparency through open data initiatives enhances the collaboration between residents and their elected leaders. These efforts empower residents to get involved and understand the City’s financial activities. Read more at