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From the Office of Council Member Mike Laster 

District Journal

Official Newsletter of Houston City Council District J

Friday, October 17, 2014

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City Hall Annex
900 Bagby

Houston, TX 77002

PO Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562

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Sharon Shanahan
Administrative Services Director

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear . . .


President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the midst of the Great Depression, encouraged a worried nation with these hope-filled words: “. . . let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Those words seem to still ring true.


During the past few weeks, Houstonians have watched the developments of the Ebola victims in Dallas with deepening concern. For those of us who live in District J – Houston’s most extensive international community – these developments are quite personal. Many of us have friends, colleagues, and business associates who hail from, or who do business with, West African countries. For us, the fight against the Ebola virus on the African continent has also been a fight for our own community. 


This week, City Council was briefed on Houston’s state of preparedness to combat the Ebola virus. Dr. David Persse, the Houston Emergency Medical Services Director, explained that while no cases have occurred in Houston yet, the city’s vast medical community is prepared if such an event occurs. He then provided a detailed explanation of plans and procedures in case an infection was to occur. You can see their detailed video report here as well as general Ebola update information, an Ebola Fact Sheet, and a “What you need to know about Ebola” sheet.


Answering questions from Mayor Parker and the Council, Dr. Persse explained initial symptoms of Ebola can resemble those of other common diseases, including the flu. If you are medically able, join me in getting your flu shot in order to eliminate that source of worry.


Let’s do all we can to inoculate ourselves against an “unreasoning fear” of the Ebola virus. Let’s educate ourselves about the disease in all its facets. As always, please be diligent in maintaining standard sanitary and hygienic practices to ensure that our friends, neighbors and family members remain healthy.  


Be well,


Mike Laster - signature


-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J

October Food Drive

Sponsored by Sharpstown High School


The Sharpstown High School Theatre is sponsoring the 3rd Annual “Trick or Treat so You Can Eat Food Drive.” They are asking the community to donate non-perishable food items to benefit the Sharpstown High School Food Pantry. Donations will be accepted throughout the month of October and bins are located in front of the Sharpstown High School Main Office.


The Thespian Troupe will be “Trick or Treating” around the Sharpstown High School Neighborhood on Friday, October 24th asking for non-perishable donations.


If you have any questions regarding the food drive or the food pantry, contact Mr. Morales or Sharpstown Theatre Department 713-773-6127.


Betty Best Elementary Fall Festival


Our elementary school in the Westwood community will be holding a Fall Festival on October 25th from 9am to 12pm. This will be a good time and place for members of the surrounding community to come, meet your neighbors and engage in some good fellowship, with plenty of activities for the kiddos.


Upcoming Events

Please refer to the Community Events Calendar on our website for the time, location and other event details.

New events are added every

week. Be sure to check it often!


Monday, October 20
  •  Brays Bayou Association Meeting

Tuesday, October 21

  •  Sharpstown Rotary Club
  •  City Council – Public Session
  •  Braeburn PIP Meeting
Wednesday, October 22
  •  City Council
Thursday, October 23
  •  International District Board of Directors Meeting
  •  Sharpstown Civic Association Meeting
Saturday, October 25
  • Betty Best Elementary School Fall Festival
Monday, October 27
  •  Greater Sharpstown Management District Board Meeting
  •  Gulfton Super Neighborhood #27 Meeting
Tuesday, October 28
  •  Sharpstown Rotary Club
  •  Gulfton PIP
  •  City Council – Public Session
  •  Alief Super Neighborhood Council Meeting
Wednesday, October 29
  •  City Council

Friday, October 31

  •  Halloween