News From Houston City Council District K

October 23, 2015

Houston Community College –Brays Oaks Campus Finally Starts Construction

hcc-bomd-campusEarlier this year, Council Member Green, along with Houston Community College Trustees Christopher Oliver and Robert Glaser as well as Chancellor Abel Maldonado and President Dr. Fena Garza of the Southwest campuses, David Hawes, Executive Director of the Brays Oaks District, State Representative Dr. Alma Allen, and community leaders within the Bray Oaks District gathered on the grounds of the India House, which is directly across the street from the actual site, to celebrate a ceremonial groundbreaking event of the new campus.

With the passing of the 2012 HCC bond, Houston Community College is responding to the demand for affordable workforce training with a new campus in the Brays Oaks District. “The City of Houston is open for business, but the City of Houston can’t stay open for business if we don’t have a trained workforce,” states Council Member Green.

The $12 million, 28,000 square-foot workforce center will be constructed along West Bellfort Ave. near Riceville School Rd. With the assistance of the Brays Oaks District and the Housing and Community Development Dept., we were able to secure $700,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from the City of Houston to purchase the land for the HCC campus.

“The programs proposed for this facility will provide opportunities for students to advance their potential in high-skill and high-growth occupations. The Brays Oaks area is one of the most socio-economically diverse areas within District K. This facility will be an added asset to this vibrant community,” states Council Member Green.

The HCC Brays Oaks Campus is set to open in Fall 2016. For more information on this project and others in the HCC Groundbreaker Bond Program, visit hccs.edu/bond.


Braeburn Valley Protected by Minimum Lot Size Area Ordinance

Last month, the Braeburn Valley neighborhood, which represents Sections 3-7, was approved by City Council to establish a special minimum lot size area ordinance pursuant to Chapter 42 (City of Houston land development ordinance).

The Braeburn Valley submittal resulted in two separate MLSA applications. One application consisted of a portion of sections 5, 6 and all of 7; whereas the Planning and Development Dept. and the Houston Planning Commission recommend that City Council adopt an ordinance establishing a MLSA of 9,360 square feet. The other application consisted of all of sections 3, 4 and the remainder of 5 and 6 with an ordinance establishing a MLSA of 8,625 square feet.

The Glenshire community is next in line to receive a MLSA ordinance. Currently, their applications are going through Legal review before heading to City Council for final approval. Stay tuned.


District K Offers FREE Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Services

barcAgain, the District K office sponsored another successful pet wellness services event. This event was a collaborative sponsorship of BARC, Emancipet, SNAP, and Friends of Life. Like the previous event, the District K office reported an overwhelming positive response to sponsor the event again in the Spring of 2016.

This recent pet wellness services event consisted of 3 District K locations — the Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, the Platou Community Center in Chimney Rock Park, and the Marian Park Community Center. Overall, we completed a total of 197 surgeries

For more information about BARC’s spay/neuter pet wellness services, contact the BARC office at 832-395-9003.


HISD Considered Approval of $211 Million for 2012 Bond Program

The Houston Independent School District’s Board will consider a proposal by District administrators to add $211 million in funding to the 2012 bond program this month. The proposal would cover unprecedented and unanticipated inflationary construction costs.

So far, HISD has spent $208 million of the voter-approved funds for the 2012 bond, including $44.5 million on real estate. If approved, HISD would issue $200 million in new maintenance debt. The District K office was told that this new debt would not impact funding for any other school district needs, its credit rating or the tax rates paid by property owners. The remaining balance of $11 million needed to cover the inflation-related construction fund gap would be taken from the reserve fund of the 2007 bond program. Thus, the $211 million would be distributed proportionately to each school project’s original construction budget to support needs related to project scope. Under the 2012 bond the schools in District K that are currently approved are Madison High, Dowling Middle, Parker Elementary, and Westbury High.

For more information on the district’s building programs, please visit www.BuildHISD.org.


National Night Out Was a BIG Hit in District K

nno-2015Across the nation, National Night Out was celebrated on the first Tuesday in August; except for the state of Texas. The Texas date is the first Tuesday in October, due to the heat. However, this didn’t stop the District K civic associations from organizing and coordinating big and small National Night Out events earlier this month. Like the mission of National Night Out, the event encourages community involvement toward building a safer and better neighborhood.

“I want to thank those District K neighborhoods that reached out to the council office to attend their block and neighborhood parties,” states Council Member Green. “This event offered neighbors an opportunity to meet the folks across the street, down the street, and next door as well as celebrate the positive initiatives of your civic association and provide important information about public safety and security concerns.”


Houston Police Department Positive Interaction Program (PIP) meetings

District K has three (3) active PIP meetings administered by the Houston Police Department. All PIP meetings are open to the public; regardless of where you live.

Southwest PIP Meeting (every 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Pilgrim Lutheran Church
8601 Chimney Rock Rd.
Houston, TX 77096

For more information, please contact the HPD Westbury Storefront at 713-726-7126. The Westbury HPD Storefront hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hiram Clarke PIP Meeting (every 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront
4363 West Fuqua St.
Houston, TX 77053

For more information, please contact the HPD Hiram Clarke Storefront at 713-433-2720. The Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Braeburn PIP Meeting (every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)
Braeburn HPD Storefront
7576 West Bellfort Ave.
Houston, TX 77071

For more information, please contact the HPD Braeburn Storefront at 832-394-7555. The Braeburn HPD Storefront hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Citizens Invited to Provide Input on HPD Body Camera Policy

This month, Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and HPD commanders hosted a community meeting to answer questions and accept input on the Department’s draft policy for outfitting all police officers with body worn cameras. The meeting was held at the Moody Park Community Center on the northside of Houston.

Chief McClelland spoke on the importance of citizens being informed on the body camera policy on the HPD YouTube channel.

HPD began outfitting officers with body cameras in December 2013 when 100 cameras were purchased and distributed to officers in a pilot program. With much of the funding secured to purchase body cameras for all officers, HPD is aiming to roll out more cameras before the end of this calendar year.

HPD’s draft policy on use of body cameras is posted on the department’s website. Citizens can continue to provide input by e-mailing their comments thru Monday, October 26.


City Offering Pro-Bono Legal help for Small Business

Obtaining legal advice for small businesses can be costly and stressful. The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity announced a partnership with the Association of Pro Counsel (APBCO), Vinson &Elkins, LLP, and community organizations to establish the “Virtual Legal Lab”. The Virtual Legal Lab gives small businesses the opportunity to schedule one-on-one Skype sessions to ask questions with pro-bono attorneys.

The Virtual Legal Lab will be hosted on the following dates:
October 28, 2015
November 18, 2015
December 9, 2015
December 16, 2015

To make an appointment for the Virtual Legal Lab or for more information, please go to www.houstontx.gov/obo and click on Virtual Legal Lab.


CASE for Kids City Connections

caseCoordinated by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), the CASE for Kids Division (The Center for After-School, Summer and Expanded Learning) is to strengthen, support and sustain after-school programs and out-of-school time activities. CASE believes a quality out-of-school time program provides avenues for opportunities for youth to excel, explore, and expand their horizons before school, after school, on weekends, and during the summer.

CASE for Kids City Connections, is a new initiative funded directly by the City of Houston to support organizations that address the need for youth services outside the school day. Projects will take place in a variety of locations including schools, community centers, and churches. Grants are designed to 1) meet individual City Council district need and 2) provide prevention-based programming that addresses gaps in services to youth. Proposed projects must serve youth in grades K-12 before school, after school, on weekends or during summer hours. Some examples of out-of-school time activities that could possibly be funded through this new youth initiative include robotics camps, homework assistance, cheerleading/dance groups,and team sports.

The District K office recognized two (2) organizations that received CASE funding through this initiative. The organizations are PAIR which was award $2,250 and Young Audiences of Houston which was awarded $1,890.

To be eligible for funding, applicants are required to be a nonprofit organization designated by the IRS as having 501(c) 3 status for at least one year prior to August 2015. Applications will also be accepted from, established charter schools, faith-based organizations, or civic groups. All applicants must serve youth located in the city of Houston.

To apply for funding, interested organizations will submit two documents for review and a formal application to CASE for Kids. CASE for Kids will review applications by city council district and will consult with each Houston City Council Members to make final selections for funding.

Grant awards will range from $2,000-$10,000. New funding will be provided to out-of-school time organizations next Spring. Applications are due by January 29, 2016 for funding availability from March 1 to May 31. Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded on the CASE for Kids website: www.afterschoolzone.org. For more information on City Connections, please contact CASE for Kids at 713-696-1331.


Trees For Houston Offers Trees for Schools Program

Trees for Houston is sponsoring its Our Trees For Schools Program to provide and plant much needed trees on Houston area school campuses. Providing far more than shadier sidewalks, this program fosters a sense of pride and cooperation both in the students and in their surrounding communities. Participating schools are identified and selected based on recommendations from parents, teachers, principals and district administrators.

Once the candidate school has been selected, the campus grounds are surveyed in order to determine both the adequate number and appropriate species of trees that should be planted. As with all Trees For Houston plantings, the trees are maintained and monitored by Trees for Houston for two years to ensure survival.

Averaging about 25 campuses a year, Trees for Houston has planted nearly 40,000 trees at Houston area schools. These trees foster pride and cooperation in the students and their community.

To request trees at a school, contact Trees for Houston at 713-840-8733. To access the Trees for Schools Program form, e-mail katherine@treesforhouston.org.

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