In honor of National Senior Citizens Day on August 21st, the District J office would like to express our appreciation for this special group of residents. Senior citizens in District J are invited out to a fun night of bingo, along with light refreshments, taking place at Bayland Park Community Center. Bingo game materials will be provided. We look forward to socializing with the seniors in our community.
Coffee With a Cop on Bissonnet
Council Member Pollard was on hand when officers from the Houston Police Department held a Coffee with a Cop event at the Burger King fast food restaurant on Bissonnet. In an effort to combat illegal activity in the area, it is imperative that law enforcement and businesses work together with community members. This is just one additional initiative of an overall comprehensive strategy to try and revitalize what was once a very thriving community. Thank you to HPD, especially the Westside Division, for all your efforts in working to make the neighborhood safter.
Bissonnet Track Clean-Up
While every neighborhood is important and worthy of attention, we all know that the problems along the Bissonnet Track have been especially egregious. Thanks to important partnerships between the District J office and law enforcement agencies, other city and county officials, and community leaders, we have finally started to see improvement in the area through the visible decline of prostitution and other sex-related criminal activity.
As another step toward making the Bissonnet Track safer for residents, businesses and visitors, we are excited to announce the Bissonnet Clean-Up initiative in partnership with the Houston Police Department, the Solid Waste Department and the Southwest Management District. The event will take place Saturday, August 26, at 8 a.m. We are asking for volunteers to join us in an effort to beautify the neighborhood and foster a more welcoming environment for everyone. As part of Mayor Turner’s One Clean Houston and One Safe Houston initiatives, we will be removing illegally dumped trash, debris, and other discarded items that cause blight in the community.
If you’re interested in being a volunteer, please register by either scanning the QR code on the flyer below or clicking this link so that we may have an accurate count. Equipment and supplies will be provided to all volunteers.
PSA: Hot Car Warning
As everyone tries to keep cool in the extreme Houston heat, the Harris County District Attorney’s office wants to remind the public to be careful not to leave children or pets in hot cars. Remember, a car can become sweltering in a matter of a few minutes. Be sure to check your back seat every time. If you see children or pets locked in a hot car, call 911 immediately.
Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council Meeting
The City of Houston’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has been updating the city-wide emergency and recovery plans to address severe thunderstorms, extreme heat, extreme cold, and winter storms. An important component of maintaining resiliency across Houston is to ensure the whole community is involved and that OEM understands the needs of its residents.
OEM in partnership with the Gulfton Super Neighborhood will be hosting a Community Readiness Meeting. During this meeting, OEM aims to identify the needs of the community regarding severe weather and recovery, increase community readiness by sharing resources and tools available, and identify ways to better prepare and equip residents. This meeting is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Additionally, they have developed a Severe Weather and Recovery Readiness Survey to help understand the needs of the Houston community as it relates to disaster preparedness. The survey also helps assess the community’s knowledge of the proper resources available. To participate in the online survey or for more information on the Community Meeting please review the details below.
Bayou Beat News Features CM Pollard
Thanks to Bayou Beat News for featuring Council Member Edward Pollard on the cover of its August edition, where he talks about having patience as a public servant. Visit this link to read the full article.
New Mural in Gulfton
Gulfton has a new mural, and the hope is that Houstonians from all over the city will come to check it out. Artist Mathieu JN Baptiste recently unveiled a work of art that depicts the neighborhood in vibrant colors. We encourage everyone to stop by to admire this new work located at the end of Elm Street.
Annual Houston Theater Week
The annual Houston Theater Week is back for a repeat performance with even more exclusive deals. Houston First Corporation is excited to again spearhead the city’s largest collaboration between local theater and performing arts groups to bring unprecedented access to some of the best ticket prices of the year to consumers. For one week only, August 14-20, 2023, new and established music and theater enthusiasts can take advantage of Buy One, Get One FREE ticket opportunities. The deal covers more than 200 performances to 102 exciting and diverse shows. For more information, visit HoustonTheaterWeek.com.
Annual Alliance School Drive, Health Fair and Business Expo
The Alliance 16th Annual Back to School Drive, Health Fair and Business Expo will take place Saturday, August 12th at PlazAmericas Mall. The event will feature on-site health screenings, school supplies, produce boxes, free children’s immunizations, educational opportunities and essential school supplies for 3,500 elementary school students in the Gulfton Area while supplies lasts. Family members are welcomed to join in the fun.The Back to School event is The Alliance’s largest community service project of the year and makes a huge difference in the lives of so many families in the Southwest Houston area.
HPD Partners with Community Leaders for Backpack Giveaway
The annual back-to-school event hosted by the Houston Police Department South Gessner-Gulfton storefront was a rousing success. With police officers and volunteers in attendance, more than 650 children were helped with school supplies and other items. Special thanks are in order for all the officers and other HPD personnel, as well as Tammy Alvarez, Veronica Hernandez and AT&T.
Housing Authority Scholarship Opportunities
Higher education is a goal for many residents in and around Houston. The Houston Housing Authority’s Carmen V Orta and Robert C. Weaver Scholarships are now open for application. There will be a total of (6) awards issued this year. Scan the QR codes on the flyer or click the links below to learn more and apply.
The city of Houston has a massive pet overpopulation issue, especially when it comes to cats. To help with this problem, Council Member Pollard allocated funds to support Team Feral Cat Rescue and Adoption. The team recently rescued 47 cats and kittens that received flea meds and were sterilized and vaccinated. District J is the first office to use Council District Service Funds (CDSF) for this type of effort. Special thanks to the Rescue Vet Clinic.
Egg-Mania Ribbon Cutting
Council Member Pollard helped welcome a new restaurant concept to District J at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Egg-Mania, an Indian restaurant in the Gandhi neighborhood. Egg-Mania is a national franchise, and the Hillcroft location is the first restaurant in the city of Houston.
India House Classes and Resources
The nonprofit organization India House offers free resources to the community every month. Classes range in topics and include fitness, art, sports, language, technology, music and so much more, both in person and online. See additional information below or by visiting indiahouseinc.org. The mission of India House is to unite cultures, create bridges, and help the community by bringing resources, education, services, and Indian culture to Houstonians.
Build It, Don’t Sell It
The City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods has partnered with GEJ Properties LLC, Community Collective for Houston, and the Houston Black Real Estate Association to bring the “Don’t Sell It, Build Wealth with It” program series to the Houston community on August 26 at the Community Collective. This program will educate attendees about alternatives to selling inheritance properties. Presenters will discuss how to protect your generational wealth, and attendees will be able to meet with a real estate agent to talk specifically about their property.
Braeburn Neighborhood Resilience Planning
Braeburn hosted its first Neighborhood Resilience Planning Vision and Purpose Meeting at the Bayland Community Center, led by the Planning and Development Department. Many residents attended and provided input to help shape the vision of a resilient Braeburn community.
Save the Date: Gulfton Parade Celebrates Mexican Independence
The whole community is invited to the first parade in Gulfton celebrating Mexico’s independence, Celebracion de ja Independencia.
Honoring Commander A. Rodriguez
District J Chief of Staff Paul Young presented Commander A. Rodriguez of the Houston Police Department with a Certificate of Recognition as he leaves the South Gessner Station in the district to work in another substation. Commander Rodriguez has been a very supportive of the District J office, the community and, most importantly, District J Patrol. He follows in the footsteps of other HPD leaders from the South Gessner Substation including Chief Troy Finner, Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwite, and Executive Assistant Chief Ban Tien.
Hygiene for Hope
Busy Bee Wellness Center hosts its Hygiene for Hope back-to-school event. Families will receive school and hygiene supplies and enjoy a fun and festive atmosphere. The event will take place at the Busy Bee Wellness Center at 8785 W. Bellfort.
On behalf of Mayor Sylvester Turner and Council Member Edward Pollard, District J Chief of Staff Paul Young presented a proclamation to CurvChella founder Kimberly Williams. CurvChella is an annual event that provides plus and extended sized women a safe and positive shopping environment. The event is centered around supporting local minority businesses and creating a weekend of events that supports local restaurants and nightlife.
Southwest Well 13 Replacement
The City of Houston and Houston Public Works is pleased to announce a significant investment in its continuous effort to provide safe and accessible drinking water. City Council recently approved a $5 million upgrade to Southwest Well 13 in District J, located on the corner of Westpark Drive and Hillcroft Avenue. Weisinger Incorporated will oversee the upgrade construction of the well to ensure it will operate to meet the increasing demand for clean, safe drinking water and compliance standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The City of Houston’s Water and Sewer System Consolidated Construction Fund will finance the project, with an expected year-and-a-half completion date. You can learn more about water, street, wastewater and drainage projects at Engage Houston.
Matching Grant Process
The Houston Department of Neighborhoods (DON) Matching Grant Program has published an updated webpage and application process for fiscal year 2024. Below are some important dates to keep in mind when considering applying for the grant program:
Intent to Apply form due Thursday, August 31st with approval signatures from Council Member (Applicant cannot move forward without submitting form by deadline)
Matching Grant Application due Wednesday, November 1st with all supporting documents
Matching Grant Projects must be completed by Friday, May 31, 2024
For more information about the Matching Grant Program, visit this link.
Events at India House
India House is hosting two upcoming events in District, and the public is invited. On Saturday, August 12th, volunteers will have the Seventeen Fruit Tree Plantation event, where there will also be the creation of an eye catching Labyrinth. On Tuesday, August 15th, there will be a celebration of India’s Independence. Light refreshments will be served.
District J Projects
Speed Cushions: Fairdale Estates and Beverly Village
Construction is underway on two projects to install traffic calming devices, or speed cushions, at Fairdale Estates and Beverly Village.
S. Gessner Concrete Panels
Construction is underway to replace concrete panels on S. Gessner between Beechnut and Highway 59. The work began in mid-July and is expected to be completed in approximately 8 weeks.
District J Jobs
Looking for a new job is a job in itself. Between searching for positions online, updating your resume and preparing for interviews, job hunting takes a lot of effort. DistrictJJobs.com is a resource for Houstonians looking for work. The site provides access to dozens of companies with hundreds of jobs at various levels and in many industries. In addition to links to employment opportunities, the website now has a new “Resources” section with videos and articles containing tips to help anyone searching for a job. Resume writing, interviewing, negotiating salary and other topics are available.
Interested job seekers can also scan the QR codes posted in select METRO bus stops throughout the district. Residents all over Houston are encouraged to use this resource in their search for new employment.
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
Shopping Cart Roundup
The District J HOT Team cleared more than 10 abandoned shopping carts left in several locations in the Dashwood area from Renwick to Bellaire. Thanks to involved and concerned residents for reporting this problem.
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.