Did you know that filling out your census form directly contributes to the services and amenities you enjoy in your neighborhood?
District J resident Lucila Campos talks about what she loves about her community and what improvements she’d like to see.
“I like that my neighborhood tends to be peaceful and quiet and that my community is very diverse, which allows me to interact with people and experience the many beautiful cultures, foods, and traditions from all over the world. It would be nice to have more public libraries with the available resources to serve the communities impacted by the digital divide. Many people don’t have access to the internet so libraries are often the only point of access available for many.”
It’s imperative that every home complete the Census to ensure District J receives as many resources as possible for our residents. Your neighborhood cannot receive adequate funds to support services such as hospitals, transportation, schools, roads and other needs if there isn’t an accurate count of our residents. In order for District J to be the best it can be, every person must participate. To access the census, visit www.2020census.gov.
Back to School Supply Drive
Whether your children will be learning in the classroom or at home, they will need school supplies. Here are two of the many school supply drives happening in August. The first is The Mayor’s Back 2 School Fest hosted by Mayor Sylvester Turner. It requires that you register by visiting www.houstontx.gov/btsf. The second is the 2020 Back to School Drive hosted by the Alliance. No registration is necessary, and distributions will be made while supplies last.
District J Resident Receives Help With Rent Payment
A second District J resident has received an award as part of our collaboration with Exotic Pop for a Rent Relief Program. The recipient lost her restaurant job when the business was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each month, one family from District J will be selected to have their rent paid. To apply for the program, see the eligibility guidelines at this link.
Keep Houston Clean and Beautiful
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives in many ways, and it will take each of us doing our part to get through this challenging time successfully. The City of Houston Solid Waste Department has been experiencing a shortage of employees due to COVID. In addition, Houston residents have increased the amount of trash being put out for collection, causing a backup on the service. The city recently approved a private contracting company to assist Solid Waste in catching up on collection, but each of us still needs to contribute to this process by understanding when, how much and where to put heavy trash and tree waste. Click here for those guidelines. If you have specific concerns, you can reach our office at DistrictJ@houstontx.gov.
VIDEO: Community Day
Council Member Edward Pollard partnered with Council Member Tiffany Thomas of District F to host Community Day in honor of both their birthdays. To celebrate, the council members gave back by organizing events where residents received free face masks, food, and census information. We offer a special thanks to the Houston Health Department, Houston Food Bank, Heads Up Houston, the Southwest Management District, Good News Gospel Fellowship Church, Sharpstown Civic Association and the El Kingsley Foundation. Click the image below to watch a video recap of the event.
VIDEO: Council Members Pollard and Thomas Give Back with Community Day.
Free COVID-19 Test Sites for the Week of Aug. 3rd
We can each do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by washing our hands, wearing face masks and getting tested. Below is a list of free testing sites in Houston for the week of August 3rd. Sites may change weekly, so be sure to visit the Houston Health Department’s testing page for updates.
Providing Direct Support to Gulfton
Gulfton has been nationally recognized as a small epicenter for positive COVID-19 cases. Council Member Pollard and the District J office decided to walk the community and personally hand out masks and engage residents on why it’s important to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid large crowds. They visited apartment complexes, local businesses, grocery stores, and barber shops.
Shul of Bellaire Donates Thousands of Masks to Gulfton Community
The Shul of Bellaire, a hub of spiritual and social activities for the Jewish community, organized a distribution of 10,000 masks. Rabbi Yossi Zaklikofsky invited Council Member Pollard to promote the event to those in District J due to recent reported COVID disparities between Bellaire and the neighboring community of Gulfton.
The New York Times Shines Light on COVID in District J
The New York Times, one of the world’s most respected media outlets, recently examined the effects of COVID-19 on the Houston area, with emphasis placed on the Gulfton neighborhood in District J.
In a grand act of kindness, the state of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo provided resources and personnel for a free COVID testing site, which was housed at Higher Dimension Church, located in a hot spot for the virus. Click here to read the Times article.
Bringing Help to Your Door
Council Member Pollard recognizes that there are circumstances that prevent some people from being able to receive food at mass distribution events. As such, he and his staff selected apartment complexes to deliver groceries to residents directly to their door. Thank you to the Houston Food Bank for providing the food and the E.L. Kingsley Foundation and Heads Up Houston for assembling and assisting with distribution.
Bridging the Digital Divide
The District J office sponsored a computer lab at the Valle Vista apartment complex in Westwood as part of an initiative to ensure underserved communities are not left behind in technology. We partnered with the Bridging the Digital Divide organization, which provides a safe space for families to have access to technology onsite, including computers and internet access. We want to extend a special thanks to Johnny Molock, Indus Management, the Southwest Management District and District J Constituent Services Director David Brizuela.
Public Art Beautifies District J
Houston is a city that definitely appreciates and encourages art. New public art displays now adorn the esplanades on Richmond Ave. in District J. If you pass through the area, you will see vibrantly colored art installations that beautify newly constructed areas.
Many people are responsible for the completion of this project including the St. George TIRZ, various artists, landscapers, engineers and other community stakeholders. We also want to recognize Council Member David Robinson for also being part of this effort.
Residential Flooding Issue Resolved
The District J office was made aware of a drainage problem causing flooding on a residential street. The issue was escalated with the Public Works department, and Council Member Pollard even visited the home owner to make sure it was resolved in a timely manner. We understand some issues take longer to address than others, so we’re grateful to have been able to handle this quickly.
India House Food Distribution Program
Our office partnered with the Consul General of India, Aseem Mahajan, and the Executive Director of India House, Col. Vipin Kumar, to distribute two weeks worth of groceries to 200 families. India House is collaborating with the Houston Food Bank to provide fresh produce and other groceries every month to hundreds of families regardless of citizenship, race, religion or socio-economic status.
The next food distribution date is Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at 8888 West Bellfort Ave. and is sponsored by Shakun Parti. For more information or to volunteer, visit indiahouseinc.org.
Visiting with Firefighters at Station 68
Council Member Pollard hosted lunch for firefighters at Station 68 in District J in order to show appreciation for their service and to hear from them how the city can support them. Firehouse 68 is located on the corner of Bissonnet and S. Gessner and is one of the busiest fire stations in Houston. We send a special thanks to Kathryn Ducommun of Kats Cuisine for catering the lunch.
District J Projects
Braeburn Glen Diverter Project
We are excited to announce the completion of the long-awaited Braeburn Glen diverter project. The District J office and the Public Works department met with area residents to discuss details of the project to ensure it meets the needs of the community in the subdivision.
The purpose of the project was to control traffic patterns and beautify the area. There now exists a sidewalk that connects the neighborhood to the trail on Brays Bayou. We want to extend special recognition to former Council Member Mike Laster for starting this project when he was in office.