District K Friends,

June is a busy month with lots to celebrate. I hope all of the fathers had a wonderful Father’s Day with their families. There were several Juneteenth events across the city and Houstonians had many options on how to celebrate the federal holiday. June is also Pride Month and LGBTQ+ members, supporters and allies gather at marches, parades and other organized events to commemorate as well as reflect on the history of the movement.

The temperature in Houston continues to rise and a heat advisory warning has been issued. Please remember the community centers and libraries are open to anyone without air conditioning during this extreme heat. Check on your neighbors and family members.

We look forward to continuing to visit with District K residents during your civic club and HOA meetings. In the meantime do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

In service,



Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum Joins Mayor Turner and Council Colleagues in Adopting the City’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum joined Mayor Turner and her City Council colleagues in adopting the City’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) Budget totaling $6.2 billion. The FY2024 budget is an increase of 6.6 percent over Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) Budget; in dollars that is $379.2 million, of that $199 million is the Enterprise Fund.

Here is a summary of the proposed FY2024 Budget that was adopted:

  • General Fund: $2.9 billion; $120 million spending increase from FY2023
  • Pay Increases: 3% pay increase for municipal employees; 3% pay increase for police; 6% increase for Fire (the third year bringing the total pay increase for Fire to 18%)
  • Transfers: Transfers of $47 million to the Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund (DDSRF) for street and drainage Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects. In addition, a decrease of $7 million in debt service; a net increase of $40 million for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) and debt
  • Maintenance Renewal Fund: Transfer of $11.3 million, for a total of $42.9 million, to this fund to address deferred maintenance
  • Liabilities
  • Pension Reform: Pension unfunded liabilities reduced from $8.2 billion to $2.2 billion. 2017 Pension reform has kept the City from paying $1.7 billion since Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018).
  •  Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB): 2022 OPEB reforms reduced the OPEB Liability from $9.1 billion to $4.5 billion.
  • OPEB Trust: Council support to establish an OPEB Trust with an initial contribution of $10 million is in the FY2024 Budget. The OPEB Trust will require escalating, continuous payments, to reduce the liability by $1.1 billion by the year 2048. The goal of the trust is savings and grow investment earnings.
  •  Revenue Cap: The impact of the revenue cap to FY2024 is $347 million. Since the hitting the cap in Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015) the total impact is $1.8 billion.
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding
  •  FY2024 Budget uses $160 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)funding to further address public health emergency revenue reduction, however, the City would still have a balanced FY2024 Budget without ARPA funds by drawing from the fund balance.
  • ARPA funds help fund the One Safe Houston Crime Reduction Initiativeand the One Clean Houston illegal dumping initiative.
  •  Conservative Revenue Budgeting
  • The budgets adopted under Mayor Turner’s administration have been conservative and continually balanced; the City has exceeded budget projections.
  • One example is the Sales Tax revenue for FY2023 which exceeded the Adopted Budget by $85 million, or 10.6%.
  • ·        Also, the proposed population growth of a conservative 0% for FY2023 yielded $9 million to the fund balance.
  • FY2024 Budget again has a conservative decrease of 3% from FY2023.
  •  Public Safety
  • Funding five cadet classes for Police and for four classes for Fire.
  • Fund Balance
  •  FY2024 Budget proposes a fund balance of $401 million, 16.6% of expenditures less debt service and PAYGO; the highest fund balance in eight years.
  • The fund balance is $220 million above the targeted 7.5%.
  • Some Operating Expenditure increases are:
  • $20 million for Storm Water Action Team (SWAT)
  • $1.8 million for sidewalks
  • $1.0 million for City Council operating budge
  • Budget Stabilization Fund: FY2024 Budget funding is $24 million, making the City financially sound.
  • FY2024 Budget does not draw down from the fund balance
  • FY2024 Budget does not include any one-time land sales or deferrals
  • Budget Process and Transparency
  • FY2024 Budget starts the transitioning to Outcome-Based Budgeting (or Performance-Based Budgeting), with focusing on expected results and outcomes.

Solid Waste Management
Juneteenth Collection Service Schedule

In observance of the Juneteenth Federal Holiday, Solid Waste Management will not collect Monday’s and Tuesday’s B-week Recycling (June 19th and 20th). Monday’s and Tuesday’s B-week Recycling (June 19th and 20th) will be collected on the next scheduled collection day (July 3rd and 5th). Visit the Solid Waste Management holiday schedule web page for additional information: Solid Waste Management.
View the Press Release Here

Channel Rehabilitation in Keswick Place and Cambridge Village

The SWAT Project for the rehabilitation of the C-151-00-00 Channel in Keswick Place and Cambridge Village will soon begin and is expected to be completed November 2023. This project is vital to keeping storm water moving and out of our streets and ultimately from homes and businesses.

Westbury Community Garden
Annual Tomato Tasting Returns

Congratulations to the winners of the Annual Tomato Tasting Festival at the Westbury Community Garden in District K! “I’m always in awe of the great tasting varieties of tomatoes”, stated Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum. She further stated “I love the Westbury Garden and the richness it adds to our community. The Westbury Garden is a community garden located in the Westbury neighborhood and produces fresh fruits and vegetables in an open greenspace.

Thank you Debbie Gordon and all of the volunteers for bringing a favorite fundraiser back to the community. Special thanks to all the gardeners who grew tomatoes and brought out the record setting attendance. Don’t miss this fun event next year!


Students Ride METRO Free This Summer

Students, K-12 and college, can ride METRO free this summer now through August 31, 2023. With a valid, active discounted METRO Q Fare Card students can ride free on these services:

  • Local bus
  • Park & Ride
  • METRORail
  • METRORapid
  • METRO Curb2Curb

Apply at the METRO RideStore at METRO Online RideStore or phone 713-635-4000.


One Clean Houston Update

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Castex-Tatum joined, Mayor Sylvester Turner and U. S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Kristen Clarke to announce a voluntary resolution agreement concluding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into the City of Houston’s response to illegal dumping.

The resolution agreement is a testament to the city’s $18 million One Clean Houston initiative, which aims to combat illegal dumping, especially in Black and Brown communities, while upholding environmental stewardship within the city. Since the program was launched in March, the city’s average response time to dumping calls has decreased from 49 to 11 days, and SWMD has collected over 15,000 tons of garbage.

In addition to the resolution agreement, Mayor Turner unveiled a comprehensiveCommunity Toolkit designed to provide community members with essential information and resources to participate actively in the fight against illegal dumping. The toolkit offers a range of practical tools, guidance, and educational materials that empower residents to take decisive action in maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. It is available in multiple languages under supporting documents on the One Clean Houston website.

During the news conference, Mayor Turner asked people, if they see something, to say something! Anyone can submit a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers and be eligible for a cash award of up to $5,000 – (Call 222-713-TIPS or report online at Crime-stoppers.org). You may now provide tips directly to police through the online crime reporting form on HPD’s homepage or the Rat-on-a-Rat Hotline (713) 525-2728.


Welcome to Your City Hall

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum welcomed the Robert M Beren Academy to City Hall. It was an exciting time as we welcomed the 5th grade students to our office and a tour of City Hall. These District K Students were inquisitive and eager to learn about government and service. We’re looking forward to working alongside this next generation of leaders in the community. Summer is a great time to schedule a visit to City Hall.


Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum Leads National League of Cities National Infrastructure Week

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum who serves as a member of the NLC Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee led the Houston press conferenceemphasizing the need for rail safety and bringing national attention to blocked rail crossing and derailments with Mayor Turner, Houston City Council Members, congressional representatives and leaders from the East End community for National League of Cities Infrastructure Week.

Years of advocacy have led to the COH being awarded $36.9 million in federal dollars to build much needed railroad underpasses in the East End. This was the largest allocation awarded across the state from the Biden Administration. A total of $570 million in grants was awarded to rid railroad crossings in 32 states.

View the full press conference below:


Billy Reagan SPARK Park Ribbon Cutting

Summer is here and the students and families near Billy Reagan K-8 Educational Center now have a new SPARK Park to enjoy in District K!

The park includes new play equipment, swings, benches, tables and a 1/5 mile walking trail. Trees for Houston planted 29 native Texas trees.

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum thanks all of the partners who donated money, time, and effort to ensure our children have a safe place to play and make memories.


City of Houston One Safe Summer Pool Opening Townwood Park

The swimming season is officially open in the City Houston with the One Safe Summer kickoff where Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner, and Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña joined Houston Parks and Recreation Director Kenneth Allen and the District K Team at Townwood Park Pool.

Let’s make sure this is a safe summer season for us all. Thank you to the lifeguards that will help keep our children safe this pool season!

Houston Parks and Recreation are hiring lifeguards. For information to apply visitHouston Parks and Recreation.

Westbury Pool Update- Filters have been ordered for the repair however may take 6-8 weeks with a 3 week install time. General Services is working to expedite delivery and installation. We are hopeful for a late July or early August opening if all goes well.

Windsor Village Pool Update- There are unfortunately several leaks found underneath and around the pool. The scope of repairs is still being determined and no official timeframe has been given yet. As soon as we have updated information we will share with the community.


West Orem YMCA Family Movie Night


Houston Pride 2023 Parade

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex Tatum is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate “Pride Month”. Houston’s 45th annual Pride Parade will take place downtown on Smith and Milam street where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather for this free event on Saturday June 24, 2023.

For more information visit Houston Pride 2023.


HPD Southwest Command P.I.P. Meeting


Houston Food Bank Summer Food Distribution at Madison High School


HCC Smart Phone Workshop for Seniors


Tour de Clarke Bicycle Ride


Houston Airport Systems Solicit for Harmony in the Air Performance Program

The Houston Airports Systems (HAS) is soliciting submissions from qualified musical artists for its Harmony in the AirPerforming Arts Program.

Interested artists should visit the Strategic Purchasing website, solicitation Q32776: Harmony in the Air RFQ


Houston Arts Alliance
Grant Program is Open

Artists and 501(c)3 organizations are encouraged to apply for funding for their creative projects that promote artistic vision in Houston.

Visit the Houston Arts Alliance Grant Opportunities web page for more information and to apply.


Mid-America Arts Alliance Grants

Mid-America Arts Alliance is accepting applications for grants through June 30, 2023.

Be Prepared for the Hurricane Season

Be prepared for the hurricane season! Vice Mayor Pro Tem Castex-Tatum encourages residents to use The Official Southeast Texas Hurricane & Severe Weather Guide 2023 so that you and your family are ready for inclement weather.
Watch Public Session and weekly City Council Sessions here