Update: Fighting Prostitution in District J
Last month, Council Member Edward Pollard and Commissioner Tom Ramsey teamed up to spearhead a multi-agency initiative to curb the solicitation of prostitution in Houston. A new law went into effect on September 1st that made solicitation of prostitution a felony crime in the state of Texas, punishable by up to two years in jail. Since then, more than 20 prostitution cases have been prosecuted. This is the direct result of a combined efforts of several local agencies that are working together to make our city safer.
Video: Remembering Valet Drivers
By now, we have all heard about the tragic accident in District J that took the lives of three young valet workers Nick Rodriguez, Eric Orduna and Fnan Measho. According to authorities, the young men were struck and killed by a reckless driver who was fleeing from police. Council Member Pollard offered condolences to the families of the men during session.
Council Member Pollard Remembers Valet Workers
Are You Registered to Vote?
Council Member Pollard partnered with the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals and Aristocrat Life to host a voter registration drive in an effort get more people to exercise their right to vote.
Early voting for the upcoming election takes place October 18-29, 2021. Election Day is November 2nd, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the upcoming election, visit www.HarrisVotes.com.
National Night Out
In order to keep our communities safe, we all have to get involved. That’s why National Night Out is an important annual event, where we intentionally get to know our neighbors. Council Member Pollard visited 12 communities within District J to celebrate National Night Out and to express gratitude to our law enforcement officers. Special thanks to Officer Abiona for accompanying the council member.
Celebrating Community Leaders During Hispanic Heritage Month
One feature that makes District J a great place to live, work and play is its diversity. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Council Member Pollard recognized two Tammy Carols Alvarez and Madres del Parque (Mothers of the Park), under the direction of Maria Hernandez, for their commitment to making District J the best it can be.
Tammy has held numerous leadership roles including serving as President of the Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council, President of Gulfton’s Citizen’s Advisory Council, District J Patrol Task Team, and becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Gulfton Management District. Maria founded Madres del Parque several years ago by gathering a group of mothers who have committed to cleaning, maintaining and improving the conditions of Burnett Bayland Park, the only green space in Gulfton.
Both women received a proclamation from Council Member Pollard, recognizing their dedication and excellence for the betterment of District J and the Houston community with their own day in the city.
Lebanon Times Profile
The Lebanon Times included a three-page feature on Council Member Pollard and District J in its current issue of the magazine. The story details some of the many activities, changes and improvements happening in District J, as well as the Council Member’s background and perspective on topics affecting the district and the city. Special thanks to reporters Michelle Leigh Smith and Julia Nader. Read the article here.
Bellaire Southwest Rotary Club Meeting
Public-private partnerships are important to strong and thriving communities. Council Member Pollard met with the board of directors for the Bellaire Southwest Houston Rotary Club at Prosperity Bank. The discussion included partnerships that will benefit the Gulfton neighborhood, particularly Burnett Bayland Park. Special recognition goes to retired Lovett Elementary School Principal Judy Harwell, who was the council member’s teacher years ago. Ms. Harwell now serves on the board of the rotary club.
All Access Art Show
A diverse showing of art was on display at the All Access Art Show. Council Member Pollard attended the event and presented a proclamation to event founders Malik McGhie, Tajay Byrd and Jeremy Cann declaring September 17, 2021, as All Access Art Show Day. Thanks to artist Bad Saber for a personalized wood carving, which took 15 hours to complete.
Comcast RISE Helps Small Businesses Thrive
The Comcast RISE (Representation Investment Strength Empowerment) initiative supports small business in Harris and Fort Bend Counties that are owned by people of color. The program provides funds in the amount of $10,000 to 100 small businesses in an effort to help them remain in open. Minority-owned businesses historically face additional obstacles in growing and expanding. For anyone interested in applying to the program, visit www.ComcastRISE.com to apply.
Houston Public Library Plaza Honors Barbara Bush
Council Member Pollard had the honor of joining Mayor Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and other leaders for the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the Houston Public Library’s Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza. Members of the Bush family were also on hand for the occasion. The former First Lady was a staunch supporter of adult and childhood literacy, and this new space will serve to honor her legacy.
Houston Hosts Soccer Championship
The city of Houston served as host of the National Veterans Soccer Tournament in September, which included 28 African adult club teams from across the United States and Canada. Council Members Edward Pollard and Amy Peck were honored to give welcome remarks at the championship game. CM Pollard was also allowed to make the first kick of the game. Special Thank you to Allure Anoma and the Houston Veterans Soccer Club for organizing.
Neighborhood Project Updates
Forum Park
Forum Park is getting an upgrade. As part of Mayor Turner’s 50/50 Park Partners initiative, several significant upgrades are on slated to take place at Forum Park. Those improvements include adding a new parking lot with lighting, replacing the asphalt walking trail with concrete, replacing the picnic tables and grills in the picnic area, adding a shade sail at seating area near the playground, and upgrading the site lighting and associated detention. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022.
Sidewalk Repair
A constituent reached out to the District J office to report damage to the sidewalk in the 7000 block of Concho Street. Thanks to the employees in Houston Public Works for making the repair.
Speedbump Addition
  • In an effort slow traffic in the area and make it safer for residents, speedbumps were installed in Wesley Gardens. This project was a result of our office receiving multiple complaints about the rate of speed of motorists traveling through the area.
District J Patrol
District J Patrol is a three-pronged approach to public safety bridging the gap between the law enforcement officers in District J and the communities they serve. Sponsored by the District J office, this pilot initiative includes community patrolling by Houston Police Department’s Differential Response Team (DRT), the use of two Polaris vehicles and the District J Patrol Task Force. Residents may report small neighborhood violations and infringements, such as panhandling, loitering, overgrown lots, graffiti, homeless encampments and other public nuisances. To file a report, visit the online portal at www.DistrictJPatrol.com
To learn more about our new modern approach to community policing, or to file a report regarding a quality of life issue, please visit www.districtjpatrol.com. To retrieve data, research policy, or to file a complaint online, visit houstontx.gov/policetransparency.
HOT Team
The HOT Team assists with picking up scattered debris, removing heavy trash, tree waste and illegal dumping, and handling specific landscaping issues. All requests for assistance from the HOT Team should be submitted via 311. The HOT Team makes pickups according to the following schedule:
1st Thursday – Sharpstown
2nd Thursday – St. George, Gulfton and Richmond Plaza South
3rd Thursday – Braeburn Area
4th Thursday – Alief/Westwood
The HOT Team had quite a few calls this past month. Below are a few of the completed jobs. We appreciate each and every member of the HOT Team for helping keep District J clean and safe by disposing of items illegally dumped on our streets.
District J Programs
There are many organizations in District J that are beneficial to our community. Each month, we will include some of those events in this newsletter.
The following events are hosted by India House. For more information about each class, visit the following links: