Welcome to The Knox Report – July 2022

Upcoming Events

Want to know what’s happening in July? Here are some of the events occurring during the coming month!

Celebrating America’s Independence

Wishing you and your family a happy Fourth of July!

If you’re looking to celebrate this Independence Day, Shell Freedom over Texas is returning to an in-person event filled with six-hours of festivities, tradition, and live concert stages, along Allen Parkway.


Freedom Over Texas will feature local, regional, and national entertainment and will be capped off with a musically choreographed, “Texas-sized” fireworks finale. This event has become Houston’s annual signature July 4th celebration with an average of 50,000 people in attendance and is televised live in Houston. The event will solicit television affiliates from across the state of Texas to simulcast a portion of the event. Freedom Over Texas will feature a unique non-profit component that joins forces with the Houston Food Bank to help fill an extraordinary demand in our regional community. The event will donate a percentage of food and beverage sales to the Houston Food Bank. We look forward to enjoying a fun, engaging, and safe event for our nation’s birthday.

Please visit https://www.houstontx.gov/july4/index.html for more information

Summer Safety Tips

Everyone loves the summer season! The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and there are so many fun activities that you can enjoy with your friends and family. However, it is still important to be aware that safety should always be a priority.

Luckily, the Houston Fire Department and the Houston Police Department have plenty of safety tips that can keep the summer months full of fun without any strife! You can access the full list of tips at https://houstontx.gov/fire/safetyinfo/SummerSafety.html and https://www.houstontx.gov/police/pdfs/summer_safety.pdf


Hurricane Season Began June 1st

Are you prepared for hurricane season? If not, there is still time to prepare! Below are some tips from the Office of Emergency Management that you can share with your family and friends:


  • Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plans. Include the office, kids’ day care, and anywhere else you frequent in your hurricane plans. Ensure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

  • Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane if you live in an evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with your household and pets, and identify where you will stay.

Follow the instructions from local emergency managers, who work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and partners. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

  • Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts with Alert Houston and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.

  • Those with Disabilities

Identify if you may need additional help during an emergency if you or anyone else in your household is an individual with a disability. Also make sure you are registered for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry https://stear.tdem.texas.gov/Login.aspx

  • Review Important Documents

Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents, such as ID, are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password-protected digital space.

  • Strengthen your Home

De-clutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, and consider hurricane shutters.

  • Get Tech Ready

Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

  • Help your Neighborhood

Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

  • Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies and pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. You may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks after a hurricane.

Please watch this video to make sure you are prepared:



June Events

Hurricane Preparedness: City and County

I enjoyed working with Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle to create an informational video about hurricane preparedness and the partnership of the City and the County.

I encourage you to watch the full video at the link below to learn great tips that can help keep you and your loved ones safe.


Honoring Velma “The Diva”

I had the honor of attending a balloon release for Velma Johnson. Velma Johnson was a pillar of community service and dedication. Her legacy and good works will continue to live on through all who knew her.

Welcoming the Hire Houston Youth Interns

This month, the City welcomed all of our Hire Houston Youth Interns! 

The Hire Houston Youth program serves to connect youth, ages 16-24, with local jobs to learn about Houston’s dynamic economy. This eight week internship and summer job opportunity allows young individuals to grow within the City of Houston, the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

To learn more about the Hire Houston Youth Program, you can visit: https://hirehoustonyouth.org/ 

Santee & Associates Foundation Award Reception

I presented a proclamation to the Santee & Associates Foundation in recognition of their substantial contributions to the community during their Awards Reception. 

At this same event, Dr. Santee and her husband Robert Santee awarded me the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.

Beat the Heat

The City of Houston held a press conference to announce the details of this year’s Reliant “Beat the Heat” program. With the warm weather that we are already experiencing, this program that assists eligible seniors, disabled individuals and families without means to cool their homes by providing portable air conditioning units will surely help Houstonians this summer.


Please call the Harris County Area Agency on Aging at 832-393-4301 to learn more. The Houston Health Department also operates 11 multi-service centers where residents can go to stay cool. You can find a list of locations and more details at https://www.houstonhealth.org/services/multi-service-centers

Mayor’s 9th Annual Acres Homes Juneteenth Parade

I had a great time at the Mayor’s 9th annual Juneteenth Parade in the Acres Homes community. It was wonderful seeing so many Houstonians gathered.

Juneteenth Texas Sunnyside Celebration

I attended the Juneteenth Texas Sunnyside Celebration this weekend. Thank you to the Honorary Mayor of Sunnyside, Sandra Massie Hines, for inviting me to partake in this celebration of freedom.

Behind the Curtain Vol. 12: Requesting a Trash Bin


Everyday, my office receives emails and phone calls from our constituents requesting aid in a plethora of different cases. These cases can range from high water bills and missed trash, to long tree limbs and cracked sidewalks. My staff and I will always do our best to follow up on these requests with the respective departments and ensure we, as City employees, can address these issues. Some cases can be solved quicker than others, but we hope to provide answers as soon as we possibly can.

Recently, a constituent contacted our office in regards to receiving a replacement trash can. This constituent had already made the request a week prior and was reaching out for a tentative timeline. After my staff reached out to the proper department, she was luckily able to receive her new black can the next day.

The best way to address an issue is to always report it to 311 first and receive a service request number. 311 is the City of Houston’s non-emergency department directory and self-service city request line. The 311 website allows the citizens of Houston to access information, request city services and report problems at anytime of the day or night.

To file an Online Service Request, you must provide the address of the corresponding location of which the service need or problem is being reported. In most cases, you must also provide a valid email address for follow up purposes.

You can access 311 services below:


Phone: 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311


June 1:

Council voted to approve the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget which begins July 1. The total budget is $5.7 billion of which $2.7 billion of that total is the General Fund. The General Fund pays for the Fire Department, Police Department, Solid Waste and Parks. The remaining $3 billion consists of Enterprise Funds such as the Public Works Department and the Airport System. The revenue generated by property taxes increased by 3.8 percent in the last year, despite a reduction in the property tax rate. Although the Mayor’s budget is technically balanced, it relies on $160 million of temporary Federal ARPA money to cover the overspend from last year.

The Mayor’s budget is not structurally sound, because it was balanced using federal money.

I will not vote for a structurally unsound budget. I, along with one of my colleagues, voted against the Mayor’s Budget. The Budget passed by a vote of 15-2. 

Council approved final payment of $897,690 for major renovations to the Denver Harbor Pool. Renovations include the removal of the existing slide, shade structures, showers, pool deck, and existing pool finishes; installed a new filter, pumps, valves, and piping in equipment room; provided electrical wiring, conduit, and controls for new pumps; re-worked existing storage room to become new chemical storage room; installed new perimeter piping around pool, new water line and backflow preventer for pool area, new surge chamber, new pool suction and return fittings, new exterior showers and hose bibs for handicapped lifts, new deck drainage system; replaced portions of pool structure; added steps into pool structure; replaced pool deck; installed new plaster and tile in pool, new exterior showers, slide structure, handrails, ADA lifts, and shade structures.

Council authorized a five-year contract for $222,792 between the Fire Department and Methodist Hospital. This contract with Methodist is for human cadaver-based simulation training. The scope of work requires Methodist to provide equipment, labor, and supervision necessary to perform lab-based professional service staging of human cadaver simulation training. Methodist will provide the EMS paramedics with critical thinking, scenario-based experiences to simulate patients requiring basic and advanced airway medical attention. Paramedics will be trained for emergency situations that compromise/obstruct a citizen’s airway and breathing in oxygen to sustain life. The lab training encompasses a variety of advanced emergency airway techniques. The use of human cadaver-based simulation closely approximates the actual working conditions that EMS paramedics encounter daily.

Council approved spending $2,601,309 for the ongoing Neighborhood Sewer Rehabilitation Program. This multi-year program is required to renew and replace various deteriorated neighborhood collection systems throughout the city. The project involves sanitary sewer cleaning and television inspection in support of rehabilitation. The purpose is to reduce sanitary sewer overflows, which is accomplished by cleaning the sewer lines and television inspection to identify sewer lines in need of rehabilitation and renewal. The work to be performed under this contract award is necessary to maintain compliance with Houston’s wastewater consent decree with EPA and TCEQ.

June 8:

Council voted unanimously to increase the homestead exemption for owners aged 65 or older and disabled homeowners by $100,000. The exemption for these two categories of homeowners escalates the City’s exemption from $160,000 to $260,000. The approximate savings for the median home value will save these property owners approximately $400 annually.

Council authorized spending $369,746 for the relocation and construction of HPD offices, K-9 kennels, and Transportation Security Administration bunkers from their location at Hobby Airport to a site nearby on Telephone Road. This relocation is necessary due to the upcoming Southwest Airlines Maintenance Hangar Development project.

Council approved spending $1,375,000 over seven years for a Library contract to provide digital databases and collection services. Databases and digital collections include legal resources, business and investing research, genealogical research, educational tools, journal articles and newspaper collections, and other digital resources of a similar nature in English and other languages.

Council approved spending $11,375,000 with a vendor to provide concrete panel replacements throughout the city. To increase the lifespan and quality of a street, concrete panel replacements reconstruct a section of the street in poor quality, typically a section measuring 11 feet wide by 20 feet in length. By reconstructing an inferior portion of a street rather than the entire street, the city saves money and dramatically reduces the time for construction.

June 15:

Council approved final payment of $6 million to two contractors who performed repairs and reconstruction on several storm water drainage systems over the past three years throughout the city. These types of drainage contracts continue to be performed on an ongoing basis around the city.

Council authorized spending $3,058,423 in federal grant funds to pay for the “Emergency Rental Assistance Program” for households that have been affected by Covid. These restricted funds provide funding from June 15, 2022, through May 31, 2023, to prevent evictions for affected Houstonians.

Council approved a contract for $5,175,423 with a local contractor to renew and replace deteriorated neighborhood wastewater collection systems throughout various parts of the city. The purpose is to reduce sanitary sewer overflows.

June 22:

Council approved payment of $2.3 million to a contractor to de-silt, clear, and regrade ditches around the city. This contract is one of many ongoing projects the city has with various contractors to clean out ditches to mitigate flooding. The city has approved spending $40 million for these types of ditch projects for Fiscal Year 2023 which begins July 1, 2022.