Pollard Allocates $50K for Houston Forensic Science Center
Houston City Council Member Edward Pollard has allocated $50,000 of District J’s discretionary funds to help with operations costs at the Houston Forensic Science Center as homicides in our city continue to spike. The HFSC has seen a rise in homicides at the rate of nearly 28 percent in 2021 compared to last year. The city is currently averaging well over two homicides per day.
HFSC CEO and President Dr. Peter Stout said, “At this pace, I am not only worried about the mental health and safety of my staff, I am also worried we will not have enough money to finish off the fiscal year. Council Member Pollard’s generosity and support will help us with some of these challenges, but there is no question it is not enough.”
Council Member Pollard hopes other leaders will join him in offering support to HFSC. “It’s no secret that violent crime has escalated as of late, so we have to put all options on the table if we’re going to curb this upswing. Manpower is at a premium in almost every industry, and law enforcement is no exception. In order to effectively prosecute offenders, it’s imperative that we have the evidence collected by the men and women of the forensics center,” Pollard said.
Indian American Chamber of Commerce
Our city is home to one of the largest populations of Indian Americans, and their community has very active and successful entrepreneurs. Council Member Pollard was part of the festivities to honor outstanding businesses at the Indio-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston Gala. The Indian Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu, served as the keynote speaker.
Honoring Asian American Entrepreneurs
District J has a large Asian community, and Council Member Pollard was honored to show his support by bringing greetings on behalf of the mayor and city council at the Asian Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards at the Lone Star Flight Museum. The Honorable Elaine Chao, former U. S. Secretary of Transportation and U. S. Secretary of Labor was the keynote speaker.
Lebanese Community
Houston has a very active and engaged Lebanese community. Council Member Pollard was invited to attend an introduction reception to discuss political topics and the future of the city of Houston. The event was held at Flo Bakery in District J. Special thanks to the Lebanon Times newspaper and Hachem Domloj for organizing the gathering.
Embracing Business Opportunities in Houston’s African Community
Houston is a global city, and nowhere is that more evident than within District J. Council Member Pollard spent time speaking with African dignitaries and professionals about the many ways to strengthen business opportunities for all communities. Special thanks to Raoul Keddy and the Bonaventure Ngo family for serving as hosts.
Cops, Council and Community Event
Connecting our local law enforcement officers with the community is important to Council Member Pollard. Recently, he hosted the Cops, Council and Community event held Spanky’s Pizza, along with Council Member Mike Knox. The event allowed residents to discuss important issues with the men and women law enforcement officers present. We appreciate Operation Hero Support for providing the Kona Ice Truck for the snow cones and Southwest Management District for purchasing pizza, wings and desserts.
Celebrating Indian Traditions
Council Member Pollard served as the guest speaker at the Diwali Bazaar at India House. Diwali is a celebration of new beginnings in the Indian culture. Special thanks to Col. Kumar and the leadership of India House. This is just one more aspect of the cultural diversity that makes District J such a great place to live.
Sharpstown Halloween Parade
The most adorable ghosts and goblins lined the streets of District J during the annual Halloween Parade in Sharpstown. Council Member Pollard’s office visited with residents of all ages in their front yards and gave out candy during the parade. So many people worked to make this happen. Special thanks to Elizabeth Bagby Schooler and the entire Sharpstown Civic Association as well as Constable Pct. 5, Seal Security, Houston Baptist University’s track and field team, Houston Police Department and Tammy Rodriguez.
Supporting Our Furry Friends at the Pet Pantry
Pets are such an important part of the family. They provide love, comfort and companionship, especially during tough times. The District J office and Council Member Sally Alcorn participated in the Pet Pantry food distribution event at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church at Gethsemane. The distribution was organized by the Houston Humane Society.
District J City Connections Grant Recipients Announced
The District J office is proud to support the community through the City Connections grant program facilitated by the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment (CASE) for Kids. The selected grant recipients provide diverse activities for youth after school including fine arts, academic enrichment, college exploration and youth mentoring. Below is the list of organizations selected by District J to receive funding.
Alliance for Multicultural Community Services (The Alliance)
Project Site(s):
Gia II
Award Amount: $5,000
American Festival for the Arts
Project Site(s):
St. Luke’s Gethsemane Church
Etoile Academy Charter School
Award Amount: $5,000
Houston Tennis Association
Project Site(s):
Lee LeClear Tennis Center
Award Amount: $6,000
Houston reVision
Project Site(s):
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Gethsemane Campus
Award Amount: $5,000
Sewa International
Project Site(s):
ASPIRE Tutorials Villa Madrid Apartments
Award Amount: $5,000
Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees
Project Site(s):
Las Americas Newcomer School
Jane Long Academy
Wisdom High School
Westward Square Apartments
Award Amount: $4,000
Social Motion, Inc.
Project Site(s):
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Gethsemane Campus
Award Amount: $10,000
Girls on the Run Greater Houston
Project Site(s):
KIPP Connect
Award Amount: $5,000
Culture of Health – Advancing Together
Project Site(s):
Culture of Health – Advancing Together
Award Amount: $5,000
Houston Marathon Foundation
Project Site(s):
Sharpstown High School
Pilgrim Middle School
Award Amount: $5,000
Good News Church
Project Site(s):
First Baptist Church of Alief
Award Amount: $5,000
Bridging the Digital Divide
Project Site(s):
Ashford Crescent Oaks
Marian Park Community Center
Award Amount: $5,000
4th Down Foundation
Project Site(s):
Westbury High School
Sharpstown High School
Fondren Middle School
Welch Middle School
Award Amount: $5,000
Neighborhood Project Updates
Braeburn Southwest
Traffic calming devices will be installed in Braeburn Southwest. Construction is scheduled to begin on November 17th and is expected to be completed by December 8th, taking approximately three weeks.
Street Rehabilitation Projects
Two areas within Sharpstown are part of a street overlay project where the streets will be resurfaced with new asphalt to provide a smoother riding surface and seal the road base, which provides the street structure, from water intrusion. Streets that have older, weathered, and cracked asphalt, but still retain a good base structure, are chosen for a new overlay to extend the overall service life of the street. Because this is a surface treatment and does not change road elevation or grade, overlay is not intended to solve drainage problems or eliminate water ponding issues. Many residents may already have received notifications, asking you to avoid parking on the affected streets. Below are maps of the two areas within Sharpstown where the project will take place. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
Braeburn Concrete Panels
The City of Houston will conduct a project to replace concrete panels in the Braeburn neighborhood. These replacements are used to preserve and prolong the life of the road base and provide a smoother riding surface.
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 removed debris illegally dumped near S. Gessner and Neff. Thanks to the team for helping to keep District J beautiful.
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.
Unfortunately, domestic and family violence is a public health crisis we cannot ignore. Daya Houston empowers survivors of domestic and sexual violence with culturally sensitive services specific to the South Asian community. Daya provides free and confidential services to address mental health needs, improve safety at all stages, and help navigate and connect with other supportive services. If you need help, call 713-981-7645 or visit dayahouston.org for culturally specific, free, and confidential services for the South Asian community.