The Thomas Telegraph Vol. 4, Issue 13 – July 1, 2023
Vol. 4, Issue 13 – 07.01.23
Before you enjoy the 4th of July, I want to provide several updates on priority constituent cases we are working on in the District.
Much of this has been addressed via email directly with constituents and at the 3rd Annual Public Safety Town Hall; however, I would like to get this information to everyone curious about it.
Let’s start with Tanglewilde and the notorious home on Gessner and Richmond that is currently one of the hottest topics on NextDoor. This home was initially brought to our attention summer of 2022 and was escalated to city legal for review to validate that deed restrictions were in violation; throughout the process, the office was informed that the deed restrictions were not a violation because the single-family structure remains in tack and the current owner was in the process of applying for a lodging facility which is available through the Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department (ARA).
Photos were collected, additional information retrieved, and I personally escalated this issue in May. During a staff site visit on June 16, we noticed 8-9 cars parked on the property, and on June 28, 2023, I raised this issue to Mayor Turner during pop-off (2:32) and requested focused attention from ARA and City Legal. An inspection is scheduled for the first week of July. I will share the results once they are available.
Unfortunately, the long-awaited Richmond reconstruction project is delayed 8-10 due to a drainage project conflicting with the initial design. HPW has requested the consultant to update the design plans to include locations of the culvert and drainage materials around Richmond and Stoney Brook. Other items from the previous design set to the new version will change the street elevation. The final version will be ready in the next 8-10 weeks.
We are close!
Solid Waste has produced an updated press release and calendar of pick-up days as they catch up from Juneteenth and July 4, both federal holidays. Please take a look at the details below and share them with your neighbors. Just to remind you, you can always visit the solid waste website for up-to-date schedules, follow them on social media as they post a 6A and 6P status on pick up and download the HTXCollects appto receive similar information related to waste and recycling.
I have received several emails from residents related to routine pick-up. I am scheduled to meet with Solid Waste Director Mark Wilfalk and have taken note of your concerns.
The District F Office is closed on Monday so staff may enjoy an uninterrupted holiday with their family; however, city offices are open during regular business hours. We will return to the office on Wednesday, July 5th.
SMOKE DETECTOR DISTRIBUTION
On June 30, Councilmember Thomas joined the District F team, city interns, graduate students from Prairie View A&M University, and representatives from the Houston Fire Department to distribute smoke detectors to residents in the Beckford Place Neighborhood. The group targeted more than 400 homes offering tips on fire prevention and free smoke detectors.
Click here for more information on fire safety and prevention.
DISTRICT F PET PANTRY
On June 29, Councilmember Thomas joined the District F interns and representatives from the Houston Humane Society for the annual Pet Pantry. Braving the extreme heat, the group distributed more than 10,000 pounds of pet food–for dogs, cats, birds, and hamsters–to more than 100 families.
Click here for more information on the Houston Humane Society.
BEHIND THE SCENES: FIRE PREVENTION PSA
On June 27, Councilmember Thomas, Fire Chief Samuel Peña, and PVAMU graduate student Jeffery Barnett filmed the “Summer of Safety – Fire Prevention” public service announcement.
The use of fireworks is illegal in the City of Houston and parts of Harris County. In fact, anything with a fuse is forbidden and violators could be fined $500 to $2,000 for each individual firework.
The PSA will be available soon. It also raises awareness of fire prevention.
Click here for more information on fireworks safety.
PUBLIC SAFETY TOWN HALL
On June 26, Councilmember Thomas welcomed more than 100 Houstonians to the 3rd Annual Public Safety Town Hall. Held at the West Houston Institute at HCC, the meeting was the official kick-off for District F’s “Summer of Safety” initiative, which is a series of events and citywide campaigns focused on the health and safety of District F residents.
Residents addressed persistent issues related to gunfire, loud noise, deed restrictions, etc. HPD officers from Westside and Midwest were present and followed up directly with constituents. The good thing is, the majority of the issues raised were already active cases and or in the process of investigation.
Upcoming “Summer of Safety” activities include a Swim & Water Safety Seminar at the Alief Neighborhood Center Pool on Sunday, July 16. Registration is limited and requested.
Click here to sign up for the Swim & Water Safety seminar targeting beginners. Space is limited. Watch the PSA below.
Council Member Thomas and Mayor Sylvester Turner Swim Safety PSA
HOUSTON GAY PRIDE
On June 24, the District F team joined more than 500,000 Houstonians to celebrate Gay PRIDE Month. The 2023 Official Houston Pride LGBTQ+ Parade is the third-largest Pride event in the nation. This year’s theme was “All We Need is Love”.
Click here for information on how to volunteer with Pride Houston 365; planning is already underway for the 2024 parade.
FREE TICKETS TO THE ZOO
On June 23, a group of seniors from District F braved the heat and enjoyed some fun in the sun at the Houston Zoo.
Please click here to reserve your free tickets to the Houston Zoo. Priority will be given to District F residents and there is a 5-ticket limit per household.
Tickets are valid until December 31, 2023.
PRIDE MONTH SPOTLIGHT:
THE NORMAL ANOMALY INITIATIVE
On June 22, Councilmember Thomas officially welcomed The Normal Anomaly to District F. The non-profit’s mission is to empower the Black, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual plus community to overcome barriers and end stigmas to achieve a new normal through education, entertainment, and advocacy.
District F salutes and thanks the team at the Normal Anomaly for all you do!
Click here for more information on the Normal Anomaly Initiative.
WORLD REFUGEE DAY
On June 21, Councilmember Thomas welcomed representatives from World Refugee Day to City Hall. All refugees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. District F, the City of Houston, and the world celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.
Currently, there are around 32.5 million refugees in the world who have been forced out of their home countries.
Click here for more information on World Refugee Day.
GAY PRIDE SPOTLIGHT:
PRIDE Month is a time to celebrate, educate, and advocate for the diverse and vibrant LGBTQ voices and stories that enrich this nation. District F will spotlight these individuals who have worked tirelessly, influenced our lives, and made major contributions to the culture of our town.
Julie Phommasak is one of those individuals. In addition to her avid participation in GoRuck challenges and Strongman competitions, Phommasak is a highly successful National Personal Training Institute-certified instructor, as well as a licensed massage therapist.
Happy PRIDE Julie…District F salutes and thanks you for all you do for the community!