Back in April of 2017, City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the launch of a pilot program called the Complete Communities Initiative.
Mayor Turner launched Complete Communities in order to demonstrate how public, private and non-profit partners can work together to revitalize Houston’s under-resourced communities, in partnership with existing neighborhood residents. Mayor Turner’s vision for Complete Communities was to also help achieve sustainable, comprehensive community results and safeguard those communities against widespread gentrification.
The initial five (5) pilot communities for Complete Communities were Acres Home, Gulfton, Near Northside, Second Ward and Third Ward, and the City has hit the ground running to help move the community planning efforts forward in those communities.
Fast forward nearly two years later, and now Mayor Turner has decided to ramp up the program even more, and has started in a major way by appointing experienced communications expert and administrator, Shannon Buggs, as his first director of the Office of Complete Communities.
Buggs, a native Houstonian, will be tasked with developing strong collaborative relationships with neighborhood residents, City of Houston departments, other government agencies, as well as with officials, private donors, and non-profit organizations in order to fulfill the Complete Communities Action Plans. Buggs will ensure projects identified through a public engagement process are implemented, funded and managed efficiently. She also will focus on securing private and philanthropic investments to help implement the Action Plans. Her position is funded by a grant from the Houston Endowment, Inc.
“As a proven leader and doer who has a feel for grass -roots people and issues, Shannon Buggs will help us take Complete Communities to the next level of accomplishment and responsiveness by helping to attract private investment into neighborhoods that have been under resourced for decades,” Mayor Turner said. “Also, I thank Houston Endowment for funding this important position as an example of how a public/private partnership can work to leverage resources to improve all communities.”
Buggs previously worked as director of community and public relations at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, director of communication for the University of Houston’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and business columnist and reporter for the Houston Chronicle. She most recently served as the founding executive director of Culture Source, Inc. (formerly CultureWorks Greater Houston), a fiscal sponsorship and management consulting nonprofit.
Buggs has been actively involved in her hometown, and is a longtime supporter of the city’s nonprofit sector. She has held volunteer leadership positions with the Harvey Arts Recovery Fund, Houston Arts Alliance, Writers in the Schools and other arts and public service organizations. She is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF) and a former trustee of Episcopal High School in Bellaire.
Buggs earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University, a Master of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a certificate in financial planning from the University of Houston.
For more information on the Complete Communities initiative or to view each neighborhood’s Action Plan, visit online at http://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/.
To contact the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities directly, please call 832-393-1085.