City of_houston_seal
From the Office of Council Member Mike Laster 

District Journal

Official Newsletter of Houston City Council District J

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mike Laster_District_J

City Hall Annex
900 Bagby

Houston, TX 77002

PO Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562

Chief of Staff
Agenda & Policy Director

Sharon Shanahan
Administrative Services Director

Constituent & Community Affairs Director
Community Links

District J Parks 

Anderson Park

 Bayland Park (Harris County, Pct 3)

Bonham Family Nature Park

Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail

City Contacts 

HPD (non-emergency) 



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 Great Things Happening in Gulfton




As I have always said, “District J is the Ellis Island of Houston” and there isn’t a neighborhood that exemplifies that better than the Gulfton area. It is a tremendously diverse community of 53,000 residents, hailing from more than 80 different nations. Over the last decade, the Gulfton community has been undergoing a transformation that continues to this day. The old nickname “Gulfton Ghetto” no longer rings true.


Neighborhood Centers, Inc. began working in Gulfton nearly ten years ago, and its construction of the Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center in 2010 has driven much of the improvements in the area.


According to a recent report, between 2010 and 2012, crime has decreased by 8%. Nearly $29 million dollars have been refunded to residents through tax preparation programs, and with residents now working more hours in higher paying jobs, median household income has increased by 24.9%. Lee High School has experienced a 41% increase in graduation rates from 2008 to 2012.


Today, over 8,000 people visit Baker-Ripley monthly. Its extensive community-based programs, such as childhood and adult education, family and financial development, and productive citizenship training have been directly responsible for much of this change in Gulfton.


In addition to these great achievements, I am proud to announce that your District J office will be hosting the Gulfton Skatepark Kick-Off Event on January 27th at 4:30pm at Burnett Bayland Park. Please join us for important announcements regarding plans, timelines, gifted monies, and how you can help contribute to this exciting project.




Mike Laster - signature


-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J

2015 Homeless Count


The Coalition for the Homeless will be embarking upon its 2015 Homeless Count starting with the Volunteer Orientation on January 15th. Volunteer efforts, such as this one, have helped document a 37% decrease in homelessness from 2011 to 2014. The annual count, which will take place January 22nd, and is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to receive funding for housing and support services. (The City of Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County received $24 million in 2013 from HUD.)


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Gary Grier at or 832-531-6006. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Trash Schedule


Schedule a Speaker With County Attorney


Interested in having a speaker from Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s Office visit your community group? It’s easy!


You can review the list of topics that speakers can address (deed restrictions, dangerous animals, and human trafficking, etc.) and contact Debby Tyler Dillard at or 713-274-5109 to schedule.

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!

Tuesday, January 13
  •  Sharpstown Rotary Club
  •  City Council – Public Session
  •  AARP Chapter 50 Meeting
  •  Chief’s Citywide PIP
Wednesday, January 14
  •  City Council
Monday, January 19
  •  Martin Luther King Jr. Day – City Holiday
Tuesday, January 20
  •  Sharpstown Rotary Club
  •  City Council – Public Session
  •  Braeburn PIP Meeting
Wednesday, January 21
  •  City Council
  •  GSMD – Environmental & Urban Design Committee Meeting
  •  Midwest PIP Meeting
Thursday, January 22
  •  International District Board of Directors Meeting
  •  Sharpstown Civic Association Meeting

Tuesday, January 27

  •  Gulfton Skatepark Launch