PATRICIA MOORE Indochinese resident at APV stands next to her garden Mickey Leland’s Legacy Mickey Leland was one of the “few vocal blacks” from the Fourth Ward who fought the HACH proposal. Leland grew up in the Fourth Ward, even though his chief financial backers were liberals from River Oaks, and he took credit for bringing Gonzalez into the process in 1985. In 1987, Leland, working closely with Lenwood Johnson, helped sponsor the Frost-Leland amendment to the 1988 HUD appropriations bill, which prohibited the use of federal funds for demolition of APV. In the Congressional Record of June 22, 1988, Leland clarified his intent concerning the Frost-Leland amendment, saying that it prohibited spending federal funds for demolition “including any further administrative development or review of demolition applications concerning the listed developments.” In other words, HUD bureaucrats couldn’t even consider demolition applications on federal time. Leland had effectively prevented demolition, and the amendment would have made him the broker of whatever deal finally got cut concerning APV. For a short while, APV residents could rest easy. But Craig Washington kept boosting Fourth Ward redevelopment even after Frost-Leland passed, while HACH appealed the amendment in the courts. In his last term as state senator in 1989, Washington supported a series of amendments to TIFD legislation for which Founders’ Park developers admit to lobbying. In his campaign for Congress, Washington took credit for an amendment that would use one-third of all TIFD money for low-income housing. \(HUD regulations require that any demolished public according to press accounts, Washington also supported a change in TIFD law that repealed a restriction that the districts cannot be set up in areas that are more than 10-percent residential. That cleared the way for the Founders’ Park developers to use a TIFD in the mostly residential Fourth Ward. Leland’s untimely death in a plane crash over Ethiopia altered the political landscape for demolition boosters. Craig Washington capitalized heavily on his friendship with the late proudly urged voters to “Pass the Torch to Craig.” While campaigning for Congress, Washington unveiled blueprints for the Founders’ Park proposal while speaking before a group of downtown Houston businesspeople, according to the Chronicle. In October 1989, Washington entered into the Congressional Record a proposal to “revisit” the “question of repeal” of the Leland portion of the Frost-Leland amendment. While not explaining when this topic had been visited first, Washington went on to promise that he would investigate his own proposal and, if convinced he were right, that he would act on it by the next budget cycle. Meanwhile, Allen Parkway residents were busy with a more immediate fight: the legal battle to keep HACH from tearing down APV despite Frost-Leland. APV residents ultimately won an injunction on April 3, 1991 keeping HACH from using federal monies for the more than $600,000 in demolition costs, effectively stopping HACH in the short run. The judge ordered HACH to develop a plan to spend the remaining $8.5 million in HUD funds already allocated to APV. To comply with the judge’s ruling, HACH proposed to rehabilitate 190 units for $8.5 million \(based the rest to make way for redevelopment. Soon after the court’s decision, Washington announced the May 18 public hearing to discuss his proposal. Just as, if he had lived, Mickey Leland would have brokered the final deal, now the fate of APV and Fourth Ward fall into Washington’s hands. Speakers at the hearing, however, were not impressed when Washington said he wanted to maximize the amount of public housing support in Houston. Community activist Ester King told THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13
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