Council Member Edward Pollard Re-elected

On November 7th, constituents in District J overwhelmingly voted to re-elect Council Member Edward Pollard for a second term with a wide margin of victory. Our office is grateful for the support of the residents, and we are honored to continue to serve you. As we go into the new year, our district boundaries have expanded due to redistricting as a result of the previous census count. District J now covers the Larchmont and St. George areas around the Galleria (previously District G). We also picked up Robindell and surrounding neighborhoods near Meyerland (previously District C). We are also now proud to represent Strake Jesuit and St. Agnes Preparatory Schools (previously District F). A map of the exact boundary lines is below.

Saying Goodbye to Alvin Byrd, Jr.

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our colleague, mentor and friend, Mr. Alvin Byrd, Jr. Mr. Byrd, or “Godfather” as we affectionately called him, was the Deputy Chief of Staff during Council Member Pollard’s first term, and he became an endeared member of our team. Words cannot truly capture what he meant to each member of the District J staff, but we can say he will be greatly missed.

Born on June 25, 1953, Alvin Byrd was a Houston native who passed away on Nov. 20 at the age of 70. After graduating from Phillis Wheatley High School and attending Texas Southern University, Byrd joined the United States Navy, where he became a shipbuilder by trade in San Diego, CA. and a friend of labor as a member of the Iron Workers Union and Pipefitters Union.

Upon his return to Houston, Byrd shifted his career focus to social services, working for the Star of Hope Women and Families Shelter, Bread of Life, Inc., Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, Extended After-Care Recovery Center, and the Houston Recovery Campus in Fifth Ward.

He was sensitive to the needs of young people serving as a mentor with My Brother’s Keeper Houston Chapter, board member of Harris County Drug Court Foundation, and as an active member of the Shared Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) for both Atherton Elementary and the Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.

Expanding his commitment to public service, Byrd served as the first president of the Greater Fifth Ward Super Neighborhood Council, was selected as vice chair of former Mayor Lee Brown’s Commission for People and Disabilities, chaired the Fifth Ward Weed and Seed Initiative Steering Committee and was a member of the Northeast Branch of the American Red Cross.

Because of his extensive ties in the community on multiple levels, Byrd was drafted by several Houston city councilmen to serve on their teams. Byrd was former City Councilman Richard Nguyen’s (District F) chief of staff, former City Councilman Jarvis Johnson’s (District B) constituent services director and current City Councilman Edward Pollard’s (District J) deputy chief of staff.

With a deep understanding of how Houston City Council works, Byrd offered his talents and ran for the District B council seat. Known for giving invaluable advice and counsel, Byrd was often sought by political candidates and elected officials on an ongoing basis.

He leaves to cherish his legacy his soulmate of 20 years, Sandra Martin Polk; five sons, Cory Smith Sr., wife Katina; Alvin Davis, wife Peaches; Dominic Byrd, wife Adreanna; William Polk, wife Sandra; Marcus Ellison, wife Nikki; ten grandchildren; Devan Smith, Kaylin Smith, Cory (CJ) Smith Jr., Anthoney Davis, Darrion Davis, Corey Davis, Donesha Antwine, Sierra Polk, Brianna Polk, Kaleick Pullam; two brothers, Louis E Jones Sr., Ricky Lee; three sisters, Rotella Byrd, Percilla Byrd, Ernestine Portis; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and so many friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Alvin D. Byrd Sr.; stepmom, Jimmie Lee; one sister, Sandra Ann Washington; two sons, Marcelus Davis and Sam Antwine.

We will miss you, Godfather.


Financial Times Ranks Houston #1

Financial Times has ranked the city of Houston in the number one spot in its second annual FT-Nikkei top 20. According to the publication, Houston offers a business friendly environment and serves as an “international hub for a growing number of multinational corporations.” Although the city is known best as an oil town, the publication touts the fact that Houston offers fertile grown for the growth of other industries as well. Besides Houston taking the top spot, the cities of Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, Irving, Arlington and Austin also made the list. Click here to read the article about the ranking in its entirety.


Gulfton Community Highlighted in Award-Winning Documentary by ABC 13

ABC 13 produced a short documentary that details efforts of community leaders, like Tammy Rodriguez, who are actively working to make life better for the residents of the Gulfton neighborhood. That body of work was recently awarded a coveted National Edward R. Murrow award in the category of Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is a tremendous honor as the Edward R. Murrow award is one of the highest achievements in journalism. Congratulations to journalists Richard Guerra and Francisco Barragan on receiving the recognition. Click this link to watch the documentary in its entirety.


Celebrating Veterans Day in Houston

Last month, Council Member Pollard was privileged to bring remarks on behalf of the city at a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day. The event took place on the steps of City Hall and celebrated the 248th Marine Corps. Council Member Pollard presented a proclamation celebrating the Marines and another recognizing the Montford Point Marines.

In 1942, approximately 20,000 African-American recruits in the Marine Corps trained at Montford Point Camp, North Carolina, eventually ending the military’s longstanding policy of racial segregation in 1949. Council Member Pollard stood with members of the Montford Point Marines Association, including his father, to pay tribute to the life, service and sacrifice of these veterans. Special thanks to Director Dembo and Dr. Jones for their efforts in coordinating. Thanks to all who have served in every branch of the military.

Keeping Your Health in Mind with Memorial Hermann

Memorial Hermann Southwest is the flagship hospital in District J. Council Member Pollard met with members of the hospital’s executive team to discuss the vision and strategies for more healthcare services specifically targeting the community. The group explored low- to no-cost primary care and prenatal education, professional services, job trainings, employment opportunities and expanding the free food pantry. Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates on these initiatives.

Catholic Charities Offers Services for the Community

Catholic Charities has a variety of services for families and individuals in need. One of their most important offerings is their Housing Stability Services, where they help people with resources and costs related to creating a stable living environment. In addition, Catholic Charities has a number of other programs related to parenting, licensed counseling, and disaster recovery as well as services for seniors, veterans and refugees. Click this link to read more about their programs, or visit


PSA: Avoid Celebratory Gunfire

As we get ready to count down the last days of 2023, residents are encouraged to avoid engaging in celebratory gunfire. The act of firing bullets into the air to celebrate an occasion can lead to serious harm or even death when those bullets inevitably come back down to Earth. Countless tragic incidents have occurred where innocent bystanders, including children and adults, have been injured or killed by stray bullets from celebratory gunfire. Please choose safer and more responsible ways to mark your special moments and keep our communities safe. Happy New Year!

Gain New Skills Through WorkTexas Programs

If you or someone you know is interested in learning new skills that could lead to a rewarding career, consider WorkTexas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people improve their lives through workforce training. There are programs for both adults and students. WorkTexas partners with local businesses to help students achieve their high school diploma and learn and practice trade skills. For more information, or scan the QR code in the flyer below.


District J Projects

Fondren Westpark Project

Work is underway to replace concrete panels on Fondren Rd. from Westpark to Richmond. The project began in mid-November and is expected to be completed by the end of December.


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. 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.


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
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
To learn more about our new modern approach to community policing, or to file a report regarding a quality of life issue, please visit To retrieve data, research policy, or to file a complaint online, visit

District J Office Staff

The District J office staff is here to serve you.
David “Alex” Brizuela, Deputy Chief of Staff
Ana “Francis” Ellis, District Coordinator
Council Member Edward Pollard
Misty Starks, Director of Communications
Paul Young, Chief of Staff