Cindy Chapman became the chair of Houston’s Super Neighborhood Alliance after being elected at the group’s January meeting. Super neighborhoods—of which there are 46 active ones in Houston—consist of a council of stakeholders in a community to organize and represent residents living in different parts of the Houston area.

Chapman said she has participated for years on the Westbury Super Neighborhood council, and was previously elected as SNA chair in 2019. In addition, Chapman has served on the Westbury Civic Club and on the board of the Brays Oaks Management District. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

What is the Super Neighborhood Alliance?

I find the Super Neighborhood Alliance a great way for people across the city to learn more about what is going on with the city, for the city to communicate with people all across the city, and to elevate the training and education of citizen advocates.

Can you describe your role in the Super Neighborhood Alliance?

This year I’m the chair. The chair has a one-year term. The chair works with the executive team to decide what topics we’ll talk about each month. If we have a hot topic, we know there’s going to be some public hearings on issues to coordinate and make sure we will have people speaking at those public hearings ... and then just do some of the planning to help the organization continue to grow and prosper.

We have a monthly meeting, where delegates typically will hire guest speakers and also talk about issues of interest. Last month Mayor [Sylvester] Turner was the guest speaker. We kind of had a Q&A session with him. In February ... the [Houston] Director of Planning Margaret Wallace Brown is going to be one of our speakers, then [the head of] the [Houston] Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control will be our other guest speaker. Then in March we’re going to be having a focus on public safety.

Can you describe how your previous work experience has translated to your time with the Super Neighborhood?

I’m an engineer by trade, a chemical engineer. My husband’s an engineer. That’s why we moved to Houston. After I stopped working, I started getting more involved in civic organizations starting with the [Westbury] Civic Club, and that got me involved with the Westbury Area Improvement nonprofit, and that got me involved with the Westbury Super Neighborhood. I’m currently president of the Westbury Civic Club, and in our super neighborhood that makes me co-president of Westbury Super Neighborhood.

What goals do you have for your time as chair?

We’re still talking about it because we had our first executive team meeting within the last week. So we’re still working on that, but you know there’s always some ongoing goals—continue to support the various councils across the city and help support new areas of town that want to form their own super neighborhood council—and we’re trying to figure out how to focus in on civic training for our members.

Any other thoughts as you take on the new role?

I’m just excited to represent the city, and I personally have found participating in the Super Neighborhood Alliance super beneficial. I’ve learned a lot—no matter what the topic is, there’s always somebody in this city who knows a lot about that topic; there’s still topics that I’m learning about—that’s what I get from the organization. There’s just a wealth of knowledge and expertise here in the city. Capturing that and being able to tap into that is just amazing.