Inauguration of City Leaders & District J Reception

On January 2, thousands of Houstonians gathered to witness the swearing in of Houston’s new mayor and members of the City Council. The inauguration ceremony took place at Wortham Theater, where Mayor John Whitmire gave his first address. Council Member Edward Pollard was sworn in for a second term alongside 15 other council members. Afterward, CM Pollard and his staff welcomed a host of constituents, city leaders and supporters at a reception held at the Julia Ideson Library downtown. The District J staff extends heartfelt gratitude to everyone in attendance.


Funding Announced for New Sharpstown Community Center

Having great community amenities is one aspect to an improved quality of life. Last month, City Council passed an ordinance allocating $5,000,000 as the city’s commitment to construct the Sharpstown Community Center at the golf course. Last week, Council Member Pollard was joined by Mayor Turner, Alice Lee with Harris County Precinct 4, Parks Director Kenneth Allen, TIRZ 20 member Dale Davidson, and other stakeholders for a press conference formally announcing the project.

The development is proposed to be a state-of-the-art 37,300 SF facility to replace the existing community center at its original location. This new two-story building will incorporate a 23,068 SF first floor plan with a restaurant and bar with outdoor dining area, including a full commercial kitchen and catering area. The first floor will have the community center administrative offices, a two-story grand lobby with public circulation corridor, plus a banquet hall with outdoor event area. The second-floor plan is 14,232 SF and will have a golf club lounge with bar and six golf simulator stations, as well as a fitness room and exercise equipment. 

The overall cost is estimated to be $16M, with $2M of federal money thanks to Congressman Al Green, $5M in partnership with Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones, and another $2M from TIRZ 20. The balance will be handled with private and mixed use dollars.

Council Member Pollard will hold public community meetings to ensure residents are able to give input on the project before details are finalized. Special thanks to everyone who played a role in making this happen.


BARC Offering Lowered Adoption Fees

Start the new year off on the right paw! All January long, BARC is offering $20 adoption fees for all pets. Find your new BFF and give them a loving home this year. To adopt you must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid, government issued photo ID. If the address on your ID does not match your current address, please provide an alternate proof of address such as a recent utility bill, lease agreement, or car insurance. Digital or hard copies will be accepted.

ALL PET ADOPTIONS INCLUDE: Spay or neuter surgery, dewormer, age-appropriate vaccinations, rabies vaccination, flea prevention, a pet microchip, and a one year registration with the City of Houston.


Food Insecurity Board Report

For the past two years, the Houston Food Insecurity Board has researched effective and comprehensive approaches to addressing the issue of food insecurity by looking at policy suggestions, guidance and best practices. Recently, members from the Board made a presentation of their findings to former mayor Sylvester Turner and the City Council. The presentation provides valuable insights into its efforts and strategies to combat food insecurity and highlights strides the members are making toward addressing this critical issue.

The Board has made public a transcript of the presentation as well as a brief report of its activities. You are encouraged to read the materials to gain a better understanding of the challenges we face and the steps being taken to mitigate them.


Harwin Drive Community Meeting

The public is invited to attend the community meeting to discuss plans for Harwin Drive. The purpose of the meeting is to engage residents in dialog regarding the path forward to improve safety and truck operations along the corridor. The Houston Public Works Department will host the meeting, which will be held on January 11, from 6 – 7 p.m. at the HPD Midwest Station’s meeting room located at 7277 Regency Square Houston, TX 77036.

Safer Commute Along the Bering Ditch

Residents who live near the Bering Ditch are currently taking advantage of the newly completed sidewalk in the area of Westpark and Richmond Ave. Many constituents who commute by walking frequently traveled along this path, which was covered with grass, rarely maintained and had no safety barriers. It was nearly impossible for people in wheelchairs, the elderly or those pushing strollers to pass by safely.

The District J office, in partnership with Commissioner Lesley Briones and the St. George TIRZ, collectively invested $630,000.00 to develop a wide sidewalk from Westpark to Beverly Hill St, with hopes to continue to Richmond Ave. in the next phase. A study showed that over 1,000 people traveled on that path in less than 5 hours when evaluated. 

This investment in this community will be transformative for the people who live and work here. Special thanks to the District J staff, Precinct 4, TIRZ 1, Bayou Preservation Assoc., Goodman Corporation, and all others who helped make this possible.


Braeburn Park Renovation

Council Member Pollard was on hand at a press conference to debut the new Braeburn Glen Park in District J. This project was part of the 50/50 parks initiative under former mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration, which is a public/private partnership to improve neighborhood parks. Braeburn Park has a new playground, walking trails, grass, lap track, three volleyball courts, lighting, tables, trash cans, fencing, and connects to bayou biking trails. This was a collaborative effort between many entities. Special thanks to former mayor Turner, Houston Parks & Rec, HPARD, Commissioner Briones, HEB, Greater Houston Partnership, HPD, HFD, my District J staff, and most importantly all the residents Shout out to Rep. Shawn Thierry for joining as well. 


SamarLayte Texas Tree Planting

Council Member Pollard served as the guest speaker for the SamarLayte Texas ceremonial tree planting event in celebration of their 25 years of service to the community. The project is in partnership with the Hermann Park Conservancy. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to plant dozens of trees to help make a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful Houston. Special shout out to Loloy Reyes, Dr. Noemi Frias, and the entire board of SLT.


CM Pollard Named Social Justice Champion of the Year

Black Book Houston, the city’s largest directory of Black-owned businesses, named Council Member Pollard as the Social Justice Champion of the Year at its gala last month. The Mission of Black Book Houston is to advance economic growth and development in Black-owned businesses by promoting business through education, networking, and advocacy while providing locals and tourists with a platform to interact with these businesses. The platform hosts over 1,000 Black Owned Businesses in over 100 categories. Special thanks to Jeremy and Rashika Craft for their vision and leadership, and congrats to all the other honorees who were recognized for their accomplishments and successes.

Free Appliances for Families in Need

District J partnered with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and Lowes to donate free washer/dryers and window AC units to families in need during the holiday season. Thanks State Rep. Ron Reynolds for his leadership and to Treveia and David Dennis for all their efforts in helping the community.

3rd Annual Black Entrepreneurs Week

Council Member Pollard gave remarks and presented a proclamation at the third annual Black Entrepreneurs Week (BEW), a full week of events dedicated to bringing recognition to and uplifting the efforts of Black-owned businesses. During the week, these companies are able to connect with the local community and take advantages of opportunities to grow and build wealth through in-person and online events. Congratulations to Philip Yates and Cheri Green for their third year of bringing this important initiative to Houston.


Spark of Love Toy Drive

Nealy 100 families received gifts during the holidays as part of the 14th Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive at the Southwest Multi-Purpose Center. Big shout out to Veronica Hernandez for all your leadership. Thank you to Commissioner Briones, Chief Finner, Judge Isreal Garcia, CM Letitia Plummer, HPD, Houston Dynamo, Fendi Onobun, Community Health Choice, Chinese American Relief Effort, Police & Clergy Team, Chinese Business Women, SWMD, Attorney Jose Lopez, Tammy Rodriguez and many more who helped make the day special.

Harvard Group Urgent Care Grand Opening

District J has a new medical facility in the area that specializes in serving the immigrant and refugee communities. Council Member Pollard presented a proclamation at the grand opening of Harvard Group Urgent Care, a medical provider that also offers an on-site lab. Thanks to Azeb Yusuf for coordinating and special congrats to owner Maha Ahmed.


Black Men’s Mental Health Summit

Men from diverse backgrounds gathered at the Black Men’s Mental Health Summit held at Houston Community College downtown. This conference, under the visionary leadership of Camillia Harris, was a pivotal platform for sharing personal stories, experiences, and insights into the mental health challenges specific to the Black male community. The event featured a range of discussions, focusing on addressing mental health concerns and fostering positive societal changes. Council Member Pollard spoke at the summit along with experts and advocates from the mental health profession. Special thanks to Camillia Harris for her vision and for organizing this conference and tour. Also, a shoutout to moderator Jazmin Porter and coordinator Tiara Johnson.

CM Pollard Named Change Maker of the Year

The Houston Museum of African American Culture has recognized Council Member Pollard as the 2023 Elected Change Maker of the Year. The museum presented Pollard with the award during its annual Champagne and Ribs Fundraiser, where donations benefit the museum’s programs and mission. Thanks to John Guess IV, Davina Reed, and the entire board for the recognition. Council Member Pollard also received a plaque from Tres Generaciones honoring him for his advocacy of music and the arts. Huge thanks go to Big Reeks for the recognition.

Complete Communities University Application

The application period for the Complete Communities University Spring cohort will be January 8 – February 9. Classes will be March 13 – May 1. Complete Communities University teaches those interested in civic engagement how local government works. Details for the application process are below.


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