Welcome to The Knox Report – September 2021
We Will Never Forget
9/11 Heroes Run 2021
I was honored to have had the opportunity to sit down with Cox Media Group and discuss the definition of a hero for the 9/11 Heroes Run. Honoring our heroes is important because real heroes are not going to ask for it. They protect our interests because they have compassion and a desire to help their community. We should commend their sacrifice and duty.
If you are interested in participating for the 9/11 Heroes Run, you can find information on registration at the following link:
If you have any additional questions regarding this event, please email: [email protected]
Labor Day is September 6
Labor Day may have some major sales, but let’s remember what it is really about: celebrating the economic and social achievements of American workers. Take the time to enjoy the last remnants of the summer season and bask in the fruits of your labor. Need some ideas on how to spend your extended weekend? Here are some activities that every Houstonian can enjoy:
  • Texas Kickoff at NRG: Texas Tech vs UH
On Saturday, September 4th, Texas Tech will square up with the University of Houston at NRG Stadium. More information can be found here. College football is back!
  • Bayou Bucket 5k & 10k Fun Run: UH vs Rice
The rivalry continues Sunday, September 5th, as both schools are tied 1:1. With Covid-19 winning the 2020 race by way of cancellation, its anyone’s game now. Fans, Alumni, and students are all invited to participate and to choose their side after registration. Rice University fans will receive a NAVY shirt and University of Houston fans will receive a RED one. More information can be found below:
  • You Like Jazz? Try Jazzy Sundays in the Parks!
Discovery Green is partnering with Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Emancipation Park Conservancy and DACAMERA this fall to celebrate the legacy of jazz in Houston. Every Sunday in September there will be free, family-friendly concerts at Emancipation Park. This Labor Day weekend, try sprawling out in a park from 4-6pm for some good tunes. If interested, more information can be found here!
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
We love our Astros here in Houston, why not spend your Labor Day in Minute Maid Park? Support the Stros as they take on the Mariners on Monday, September 6th, at 6:10pm. The Houston Astros September 2021 schedule can be found at the following link: https://www.mlb.com/astros/schedule/2021-09
  • Just Want to Relax? You Can Stay Home!
You deserve a break! Head down to Galveston and lay out on the beach all day. Don’t feel like driving to the beach? Take the time to grill at home with your loved ones. Labor Day Safety tips from the Houston Fire Department can be found here.
Labor Day doesn’t have to be spent elaborately. Stay indoors and catch up on your favorite tv shows or plan for a movie night. Pop some popcorn and settle into the sofa because you’ve earned a relaxing weekend.
Look Out, Houston! Your Water Rates are on the Rise!
Despite my opposition, Council approved the Mayor’s double digit water and wastewater rate increase in a 12-4 vote. This water rate increase takes effect September 1st, 2021.
To see how these water and wastewater rate increases will impact you, visit the following website created by Houston Public Works:
Houston is Kicking “Kid Friendly” Initiatives into High Gear
The 2026 Houston World Cup Bid Committee is teaming up with Ted Segal to fund grassroots soccer programs using the leverage of the prestigious World Cup to make Houston a better place. The goal is to introduce more kids to the game of soccer and inspire them to stick with it long-term by connecting with community leaders.
The programs being funded that are starting this fall include:
Free Kick Soccer- A program that will provide consistent soccer training through the Boys and Girls Clubs for kids ages 8-14 years old.
Girls Intro to Soccer- A program that will focus on girl empowerment through the sport by bringing it right to the schools on behalf of the efforts of the City of Houston Director of Education, Olivera Jankovska. This initiative will provide girls soccer teams with not only gear and equipment, but certified pros to teach the kids.
Brays Oaks Management District – A Night of Transparency
Thank you to the Brays Oaks Management District for inviting me to your meeting to discuss the state of the City and some of what I think we can expect moving forward.
Zoo Ticket Drawing
Thank you to the Houston Zoo for allowing my office to recognize Arise Baptist Church for their community service and gift them Zoo tickets at their Vacation Bible School on August 6th. Arise Baptist Church held a drawing for the Zoo passes and were able to gift 5 families 10 tickets each.
The winners included: Laura Cover, David Cripps, Christen Farver, Ashley Escobar, and Katie Brown (All recipients pictured left to right from the top).
Prince Square Civic Association
I was glad that I had the chance to attend the Prince Square Civic Association monthly meeting to hear the Mayor and the community discuss the upcoming projects in the Fifth Ward. From housing projects to the Navigation Center on Jensen, the City is making an effort to hear concerns from constituents so that we may better invest in the Greater Fifth Ward.
Back to School Backpack Distribution
School supplies are a hot commodity right now! I am very thankful to have been able to pass out backpacks filled with school necessities to the community this past month. While I was only gifted 250 backpacks by the City for the people in my district (i.e. the ENTIRE City of Houston), I am glad that I was able to give out any at all to help my fellow Houstonians. Thank you to Shell and all of the other donors who made getting ready for the school year a little bit easier.
[Counterclockwise from the top: Chrissy Redmond with Casa de Esperanza, the Honorable Sandra Massie-Hines of Sunnyside, Pastor Richard Vega of At His Feet Ministries]
[From the top left to right: Pastor Max Miller of Mt. Hebron MBC and Mary Fontenot, Head of the Pleasantville Civic Club]
[Left to right from the top: Pastor Tillman and Ebenezer Community of Faith Church, Pastor David Smith and New Bethlehem of MBC, Clara Sosa of James Berry Elementary School, Pastor Will Cover of Arise Church.]
Sonya Ray-Pope Day in Houston
One of the best parts of my job as a City Council Member is getting to know Houstonians that go above and beyond in their community. I was very thankful to be able to personally recognize Sonya Ray-Pope’s contributions to the City by presenting her with a Mayoral Proclamation in-person as well as during Public Session.
I am also grateful that my office had the chance to present a Certificate of Appreciation honoring her hard work and establishing her as an Outstanding Houstonian.
In recognition and appreciation of her dedication and loyal service to the community, the City of Houston commends and appreciates Sonya Ray-Pope for her great compassion and kindness to so many people and worthwhile endeavors over the years as a true individual of service. Congratulations Sonya Ray-Pope.
I was also happy to recognize Nikki Keyser of Simply HER movement for her service to Houstonians and give her backpacks to distribute to the community as well.
Senior’s Cinderella Affair Ball
It is always a good day to recognize Houstonians who contribute to their communities. I was lucky enough to present certificates honoring the Kings and Queens of the Cinderella Affair Ball. Thank you for all of your dedication to helping Houston.
This event would not be possible without the woman behind it all, the Honorable Sandra Massie-Hines. It was a pleasure being able to recognize all of the hard work that she does as the Honorary Mayor of Sunnyside.
Back to School Safety
The school year starting up again brings along many new challenges. Being prepared and prioritizing safety can set the tone for the new semester. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council that you can follow with your family to ensure a safe and happy term:
  • Walk the Walk!
If your child is walking to school, take the time to establish your family’s walking safety rules and practice walking to school with them. Remind them to be aware of their surroundings, walk on the sidewalk if possible, and to stay off their phones when walking alongside the street.
  • Just Keep Biking!
Make sure your child understands traffic safety and feels comfortable if riding their bike to school. Ensure that they have a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing, too!
  • Watch the Wheels on the Bus!
If your child is riding the bus to school, remind them to be mindful of crossing in front of the bus, standing too close to the curb, and to arrive at the bus stop early so they don’t miss it!
  • Sloooooow Down New Drivers!
If your teen is a new driver, try to take the time to practice with them. Learning the rules of the road and following them can be very stressful when you first start driving yourself places. Make sure, when teaching them, to be mindful of setting a good example for your kids to follow! Even if you aren’t a new driver, it’s not a bad idea for you to practice too! Being a safe driver is an attribute that everyone and anyone can benefit from.
Happy Fall Y’all!
September 22nd marks the first day of fall this year! While we probably won’t feel any autumnal breeze until October, we can at least say goodbye to the summer season.
City of Houston COVID-19 Vaccinations
People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume activities they did prior to the pandemic. Take your best shot at returning to normal by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Getting vaccinated is FREE and does not require ID, proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance.
People age 12 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Houston Health Department-affiliated vaccination sites are located across the city and open for walk-ins or appointments.
People can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 to register for appointments. Registration assistance is available by phone by calling 832-393-4220 or 832-393-4301.
Behind the Curtain Vol. 3: Home Rebuild
An elderly constituent contacted our office on June 4, 2018 seeking repairs from broken pipes and mold within her home, specifically in the bathroom area. After contacting the Housing Department, we learned the city had been to her house six different times to investigate and make repairs beginning in 2017. Apparently, the damage to her home was caused by one or more of the many storms that have impacted our city.  
After my office communicated with the Housing Department, a representative from that department made a seventh visit to her home on July 9, 2018 and determined she was eligible for a federal program to replace her house. Her home was so damaged it was uninhabitable and yet she had lived in this condition for several years. 
August 2018, the City’s Housing Department determined the home was eligible for a rebuild, utilizing federal funds, that required a new Environmental Review that typically takes 4 – 6 weeks. 
The end of 2018 my office was notified the environmental review was completed and the next step in the process was a design meeting by January 20, 2019. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy failed our constituent, the design meeting didn’t take place. 
Due to lack of progress on her case, I met with the Director of Housing to review her case again in April 2019. That meeting restarted a year long process to rebuild the constituent’s home. On July 29, 2019 the constituent had her design meeting! Progress began! DEMO day arrived on January 8, 2020! On May 29, 2020, almost two years from the day the constituent contacted my office, the constituent was given the keys to her new home.
This constituent fell through the cracks of City and Federal bureaucracy. Myself and my staff worked for two years to get this wonderful senior into a safe, dry and healthy home.
After one month of deliberation, the Mayor has agreed with me that Council Members are capable of maintaining their own public image.
I am pleased to see my new portrait in City buildings and the airports. Thank you, Mayor Turner.
August 4:     Council approved spending $810,224 to purchase a milling machine for use by the Public Works Department. This machine is utilized to remove old asphalt from city streets prior to being resurfaced.