Welcome to The Knox Report – October 2021
Happy Fall Y’all!
Fall is finally upon us! While I can’t promise you immediate autumn weather or colorful leaves, I can encourage those who like to decorate to put out their autumnal décor for some good cheer.
If it’s October, it must mean the Astros are in the playoffs. Go Stros and on to another World Championship!
Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza Grand Opening
I am happy to have been able to attend the grand opening for the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza at the Houston Library downtown.
My thanks for this beautiful plaza goes out to the Bush family and the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation for their continued dedication to the pursuit of literary education.
9/11 Heroes Run
On the 20th anniversary of the events that took place on September 11, 2001, I was lucky enough to attend the 9/11 Heroes Run in support of our first responders and our servicemen and women.
I was impressed by the sheer multitudes of people that were in attendance. Thank you to the Travis Manion Foundation and all of the sponsors for orchestrating an event that has brought so many people together from all walks of life in support of heroes.
46th Annual Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast
I was honored to attend the 46th Annual Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast. It was wonderful hearing the inspirational story of former Major League Baseball player, Dave Dravecky, and the Word of the Lord.
Collaborative for Children Collab-Lab
The grand unveiling of the Children’s Collaborative Collab-Lab took place on September 23rd.
This innovative, mobile classroom is ready to roll out into the community with a vibrant learning space designed to get young children prepared to start school!
Historic St. Elizabeth Hospital Groundbreaking
With the turning of the dirt comes the promise of the revitalization of the historic St. Elizabeth Hospital.
It has been a staple of the 5th Ward since its creation with many a resident having a connection to the hospital, and it will continue to serve the community. The new St. Elizabeth Place will retain its original shape but contain fitness amenities, a multi-resource center, a community space, and affordable housing.
This project is one of many ways that we can create a bridge from the past to the future of Houston.
Annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims
September 26th is National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, a time to honor murder victims and their surviving family members. The purpose of this day is to draw awareness to the impact that murder has on the community.
Thank you CrimeStoppers for putting together this memorializing event and your dedication to justice. The room was filled with powerful stories and the strong desire to bring about change.
Remembering the Fallen
It was a privilege to be able to honor fallen Senior Police Officer, William “Bill” Jeffrey, for his sacrifice and life full of service to others. He served in the Navy before dedicating 31 years of service to the Houston Police Department.
It was humbling to see the support from the public during this moment of loss at both his procession and his funeral service. Officer Jeffrey’s memory will live on.
HPD Mounted Patrol Introduces New Horse
I was happy to attend the Houston Police Department’s press conference regarding their new Mounted Patrol Police Horse, Matilda.
Matilda is particularly special because she is the culmination of a relationship between the community and law enforcement. Her former owners, Mrs. Carlas and Willie Murray, are residents of Acres Homes. Last June, HPD Mounted Patrol was riding through their neighborhood and were engaged by Mrs. Murray who was interested in why they were patrolling around. Over the next several months, a friendship developed around mutual love for horses and Matilda was acquired.
The beauty of the story is this: through the common interests of HPD officers and the Murrays, the entire city has benefited through this partnership. Citizens and law enforcement can successfully work together if they can spend the time to remember that we are all Houstonians and we all want to move towards the creation of a safer and better City.
East End Maker Hub Site Visit
My office was given the opportunity to tour the East End Maker Hub.
This industrial makerspace and manufacturing center is now a home to some of Houston’s top innovators and manufacturers. The goal of this Hub is to create a convergence of grassroots innovation and a collaborative, diverse community of specialists and problem solvers.
Some of the creators that we had the opportunity to learn about their initiatives from were, TXRXlabs, Volumetric, Rugged Robotics, PolyVascular, Atmospark, Joyce Lin, and Revolutionary Sustainable Technologies.
The diversity of tenants and trades is what the East End Maker Hub bolsters as they yearn to create a revolution of education in the field of hands-on work. They have opportunities to partner with schools, provide jobs for people ages 18-24, and even Prison Entrepreneurship Programs. One such event to promote the learning of modern manufacturing is Manufacturing Day which is the first Friday in October.
For more information on what the East End Maker Hub holds for the community, you can visit: https://eastendmakerhub.org/
Art in the Houston Botanic Garden
The Houston Botanic Garden and Lawndale Art and Performance Center are collaborating to present “Art in the Garden: Celebrating BioDiversity!” to celebrate the Botanic Garden’s one-year anniversary. This outdoor art exhibit will open Friday, Oct 1, 2021 and remain open through Summer 2022.
Participating artists and their pieces – selected by the Houston Botanic Art Task Force through an open call for exhibition proposals and by invitation – include:
  • Lina Dib, “The Weather Station”
  • Liss LaFleur, “Mother”
  • Virginia Lee Montgomery, “Butterfly Birth Bed”
  • Gerardo Rosales, “Tree of Life”
  • Jen Rose, “Texas Bee Oasis II”
  • Joyce Matula Welch, “Fiery-necked Nightjars”  
For more information about the Houston Botanic Garden visit https://hbg.org/
National Night Out
National Night Out will take place on October 5, 2021. The purpose of National Night Out is to establish and promote community connection.
Get to know your neighbors and meet who patrols your streets! If your community is interested in participating, contact your neighborhood leaders about it!
I will be at the following locations-Be sure to come by and say Hi!
  • South Belt, at The Gardens Houston
  • Sunnyside at Sunnyside MSC
  • Southwest HPD Substation- Central Southwest
  • Northfield I & II
  • Castle Court Neighborhood Association
  • Rice Military Civic Club
What is October Known For?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October reminds us to be knowledgeable of our own bodies and work to maintain our health. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Men are susceptible to breast cancer too, albeit rarely.
For more information on breast cancer and breast cancer awareness month, click the link below:
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month
There are millions of dogs who enter shelters every year from being unwanted, abandoned, abused, and neglected. These dogs are just looking for love and kindness. Why not celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month by giving one of them a “fur”ever home?
National Black Cat Day
October 27th is National Black Cat Day! National Black Cat Day was created to draw awareness to the low adoption rates and poor treatment of black cats due to the superstitions surrounding them.
Get out there and adopt your little feline shadow!
Happy Halloween!
“Spooky season” is upon us! Halloween is Sunday, October 31st but celebrations may be occurring all Hallo-weekend. If you’re planning on celebrating this year, here are some tips from the Houston Police Department and the National Safety Council for a safe and fun holiday:
  • Fa-BOO-lous Costume Tips
If your kids are planning on trick-or-treating, it’s not a bad idea to make sure they have something bright or reflective on their costumes. Costumes should be three major things: flame-retardant, an appropriate length to avoid tripping, and doesn’t obscure vision! If your kid wants to wear Halloween makeup, always make sure it is non-toxic and do a patch test to avoid skin irritation! When your child is ready for bed, make sure to remove all of the makeup as well!
  • Watch your Little Ghouls
Never let your kid trick-or-treat alone, even the older ones! It’s always better to have a responsible adult around and a trusted group of friends. Map out a safe route to follow when going out and try to trick-or-treat while it is still light out! If your children are allowed to be out after the sun sets, give them glowsticks or flashlights. Make sure to establish a specific time to return home if your older children are walking around with friends.
  • Don’t Drive Batty, Keep your Eyes on the Road
If you plan on driving during Halloween festivities, make sure to drive extra carefully around neighborhoods. Later in the evening, watch for children dressed in dark clothing roaming around looking for treats!
  • All Treats, No Tricks
When your children bring their haul of candies back, make sure to check them over! Don’t allow children to eat anything that has been opened or not in its original wrapper. Its probably a good idea for you to not let them eat too much candy either!
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: District B
When a District Council Office seems a little overwhelmed with constituent calls for service, my office is happy to lend a hand. Recently, a District B constituent on Areba Street in northwest Houston was referred to our office seeking assistance to address missed pickup of tree limbs which escalated into an illegal dumping problem. After several calls and much effort from my office, we were able to partner with the Solid Waste Department to clean up this location within two days. 
On a similar matter, community leaders and residents within the Montgomery Terrace Subdivision/Acres Homes neighborhood in northwest Houston reached out to my office to address a large pile of tree limbs in the right of way on Easter Street which they repeatedly reported to 311 for over two months. Again, my staff and I reached out to the Solid Waste Department to resolve to clean up this area. Fortunately, Solid Waste was able to address this problem and within a few days removed the tree debris.
September 1:         Council confirmed the Mayor’s nominee for Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. With over 28 years with the City’s Parks Department, Kenneth Allen will be leading the Department. Thank you for your service to our City.
Council approved spending up to $22,198,714 to purchase tires for the City’s vehicle fleet. This contract will be used to purchase tires as needed to service approximately 12,000 City vehicles over the next three years.
Council authorized a Resolution for the City to submit a grant application to the Texas Water Development Board for various dredging activities to remove accumulated silt and sediment deposits from the San Jacinto River into Lake Houston. This year the Texas Legislature authorized $50 million for the purpose of removing silt and sediment from the San Jacinto River with particular attention to inlets, coves and tributaries around the reservoir in order to prevent flooding. In accordance with state regulations, the City is required to adopt a Resolution to accompany the grant application.
Council approved spending $4 million in voter approved bond money to the Wesley A.M.E. Church to purchase 62,500 square feet of land located at 2209 Emancipation Avenue. This land will be used to develop 70 market rate and affordable rental homes. This development is an opportunity to build both affordable homes and commercial