Vol. 3, Issue 9- 05.02.22
DISTRICT F NEWS
Dear Friends,
Please take your time and read through this week’s newsletter.  There are several meaningful updates related to constituent services.  I want to make sure you know the status and time of delivery.
As of April 27, the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate is at 4%, a slight increase (1%) from last week but tremendously lower than our previous 30-40%.  Remember, free testing is still available throughout the district.  I continue to get tested before and after attending public events with large crowds.  Details are here for locations in and near District F for your reference.
We work hand in hand with solid waste to communicate status reports regarding trash, recycling, and bulk waste.  By the numbers, District F has 23 garbage routes, 19 recycling, and 28 bulk waste routes.  You are always encouraged to utilize one of the six depositories throughout the city.  Remember, HTXCollects or HoustonRecycles.org is readily available for you to print collection schedules.  You can even add calendar reminders to your iPhone or Android.  Always submit a 311 request and share the service number to districtf@houstontx.gov so we can expedite missed service, replacement bins, and the likes — photos are always helpful too.
I cannot stress the importance of using the 311 system.  This data center allows us to do a few things: 1/ track the status of your issues, 2/ provide data-driven insights on the district’s needs and inform financial investment 3/ City departments also use this system to propose street, bike, and drainage repairs.  Although not perfect, it is our system, and it is helpful to resolve your issues.  Please note that when you receive a “closed” case, the problem has been routed to the appropriate department – not “resolved.”
Public safety is an ongoing discussion we are having with residents.  Most recently, Mayor Turner has shared his One Safe Houston Plan that outlines strategies and next steps to curb the crime wave in our city.  It’s working.  I am happy to report that in both SN 20 and 25, violent crime has decreased from this time last year.  Please note that the statistics I am sharing are from FEBRUARY and MARCH reporting.  This does not mean it is time to relax our standards and get comfortable. This does mean the financial and human resources we are deploying are yielding positive results.  I am investing close to $100,000 in public safety by purchasing 40 cameras that HPD will monitor throughout the district.  Last month I introduced a street light survey to enhance dark intersections and public spaces.  The survey is still available for public participation.  FOX26 will feature a story on our street light initiative this week.  Stay tuned on this issue.
Two converter etching events are in the planning process with International Management District (IMD), Midwest HPD, and Walmart on Dunvale.  Confirmed details are forthcoming.
My office is working through parking issues from Alief to Westchase to Tanglewilde in partnership with ParkHouston.  Several citations have been issued, and we are working with the neighborhoods to provide them with the accurate information to report and understand when a ticket versus towing is warranted.  Click here to learn more.  I also serve on the Regulatory Neighborhood Affairs committee.  I will be presenting updated language to strengthen this ordinance this summer.  Please stay tuned.  If you are interested in participating as a stakeholder, email me so I can keep you informed.
Residents in Briarmeadow (south) were concerned with the rainfall and the condition of their drains this week.  HPW inspected five main drains and identified debris and rooting in another.  Drain clearing/maintenance is scheduled to be completed by May 26, 2022.  We are also hosting a community pop-up with this neighborhood on May 3, 2022, at 6 pm at the Briarmeadow clubhouse.  I have a robust agenda planned, including a briefing from HPW Storm Water Action Team (SWAT) regarding drains and an update on district f led investments.
I am EXCITED to announce to some and remind others about our first in-person District F Town Hall on May 17, 2022, at 6 pm at the Alief ISD Center for Talent Development / 14411 Westheimer Road 77077.  Mayor Sylvester Turner will discuss capital improvement projects (CIP), such as pending and scheduled drainage and pavement projects, street rehab projects, redistricting updates, and more. I need you there – please make this meeting a priority.
I will leave you with some good news; as you can see, my office is actively working through many complex issues on your behalf.  It is easy to get lost in the demands of our city – that is why I am excited to share that the District F office now has two BRAVO Award Winners.  Bravo Awards celebrate city employees who go above and beyond their professional role and in the community where they live and play. Na’Shon Z. Edwards, Sr., received the 2022 Bravo Award for his work and service with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., which has received state and regional attention.  As you may recall, Cherrelle Duncan was a 2021 recipient for her work through the early stages of COVID-19 and the National Urban League Young Professionals.  As you can see, District F is committed to service in and out of the workplace.  Send them a note for all of their good deeds if you get a chance.
National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 5, 2022.  Regardless of your faith practice, please consider taking a small moment in time to pray for yourself, your neighbors, and our city.
With deep appreciation,
Councilmember Tiffany D. Thomas
Celebrate National Day of Prayer with us on May 5th.
HOT SPOT TEAM HIGHLIGHT
WEEK OF APRIL 18-25
Total Work Orders Completed: 27
Hotspot of the Week: 12220 7th Street
Total Man Hours Worked: 72
Tree Waste: 420 lbs.
Mattresses: 7
Furniture Waste: 17 pieces
Tires: 38
Trash Debris: 570 lbs.
Shopping Carts: 3
Bandit Signs: 134
Landscaping: none
COUNCIL DISTRICT SERVICE FUND CALL OUT

We want to hear from you! We are taking suggestions for projects that need to be funded throughout the district. Please use the links below to submit recommendations for us to review. Based on survey results, submissions will undergo a field investigation to determine feasibility. We will follow up within 60 days with a response on what can move forward.  If you have trouble completing any form, please email Districtf@houstontx.gov

Deadline has been extended to April 30, 2022. 

Street Lights: https://form.jotform.com/220624209191146
Let’s light up District F together by identifying locations that could use streetlights. Take a look at your neighborhood, parks, intersections, and submit your request here. 

General Recommendations: https://form.jotform.com/220765528971162
Use this form to submit recommendations for ARA, Parks, Public Works, public benefit initiatives, etc.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT UPDATE

Tree Waste Operations: May 2, 2022

Those who receive 1st week Tree Waste collections, please leave your debris at the curb.
Recolección de Arboles: 2 de Mayo de 2022.

Aquellos que reciben recolecciones de árboles de 1ª semana, por favor dejen sus despojos en la acera.

For more information, visit the Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Center web page or call 3-1-1. You may also use the following resources.

Facebook – Updated daily
Link: City of Houston Solid Waste Management – Posts | Facebook

HTX Collects- an app used to update you about your service in real-time. You can also use the link on the website to get an update.

Link: https://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/htxcollects.html

CONSTITUENT REPORT 
Tanglewilde & Richmond is riddled with speeding cars and commercial activity. While CM Thomas has approved speed bumps, traffic enforcement, more must be done. TM received a voicemail on Friday, April 29th at 5:50P from KPRC. Read the article here.

Sra. Ortega por favor llame al 832-393-3002 se habla español en la oficina.

Houston Chronicle covered the rundown trailer located on Alief Clodine / Westpark. Thank you all for your emails, messages and notes about the status of the trailer. It is up to us to protect and take care of our neighborhoods – and hold those accountable when they violate ordinances in place. Appreciate the collective effort. Let’s keep our foot on the gas!

Read article here.

On April 19th Houston Planning & Development Department joined District F for a street light field trip. We observed many locations and took your feedback from our recent street light survey. On Thursday, April 28th, CM Thomas wrapped her night with FOX 26 reporter Tiffany Justice explaining the street light initiative in District F.

Public safety must center tangible community investments if we are going to create safer neighborhoods. Her plan will install NEW lighting and also trim overgrown canopies limiting current structures.

Do you have recommendations for more lighting? Buzz us at districtf@houstontx.gov

MAY IS LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH
Join us at 6pm on May 11, 2022 at the Tracy Gee Community Center for a discussion on Lupus and Your Community of Care with in partnership with the Lupus Foundation of American Gulf Coast Chapter.

Panel discussion with resources provided by:
GSK
Prolato Clinical Research Center
Dr. Medha Airy, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Christine Le, DO, Kelsey Seybold Hope Clinic
City of Houston Health Department
Dr. Alfreado Sardinas
Comcast Affordable Internet Program

More information can be found here.

CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

DISTRICT F COUNCIL ITEMS

Item #2- Recommendation passed from City Attorney for settlement of eminent domain proceedings styled City of Houston v. Southbound Ventures LLC, et al; located at 10880 West Bellfort, Cause No.1157149, the West Bellfort Paving and Drainage Improvement Project, Parcel AY18-058 – $400,000.00

The West Bellfort Paving and Drainage Project intends to improve drainage, reduce the risk of structural flooding, and improve traffic circulation by providing for the design and construction of storm drainage improvements, necessary concrete paving, curbs, sidewalks, driveways, and underground utilities as well as providing for shared use paths along the project and the replacement of traffic signals.

This eminent domain proceeding involves the acquisition of one street widening and drainage easement containing a total of 153 square feet of land, plus the closure of a non-compliant driveway which provided the primary point of ingress and egress to the property from Wilcrest Drive. The property is located at 10880 West Bellfort Street in the City of Houston. The property is owned by Southbound Ventures LLC. Prior to sending the matter to the Legal Department, the City attempted to negotiate a purchase of the property, but those efforts were unsuccessful.  The matter was then referred to the Legal Department to initiate eminent domain proceedings to acquire the needed property.

A Petition in Condemnation was filed, a Special Commissioners’ hearing was convened, and the Special Commissioners ordered an award of $222,033.00.  With Council approval, the City Attorney deposited this award into the registry of the court.

The Defendant then filed an Objection to the award of the special commissioners and the litigation was docketed for a jury trial setting.  The court also ordered the parties to attend mediation. At the conclusion of the mediation, the court-appointed mediator recommended a Mediator’s Settlement Proposal. Both parties agreed to the proposal and the result was an increase of $177,967.00 above the award of the special commissioners to fully settle the litigation, which resulted in a final compensation total of $400,000.00 for the property condemned and possible damages due to the closure of the driveway.

City’s Trial Appraisal: ……………….…………………………..$199,148.00

Landowner’s Trial Appraisal : ……………………….………..$885,741.00
Award of the Special Commissioners’ Hearing. ……….$222,033.00

Settlement Amount: ………………………………………………$400,000.00

Item #15- Pull ed ORDINANCE AMENDING VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 30 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to Noise and Sound Level Regulation and establishing a Commercial Establishment Permit and a fee therefor; containing findings and other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; declaring certain conduct to be unlawful and providing a penalty therefor; providing for an effective date

 

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COMMUNITY NEWS

Budget And Fiscal Affairs – FY2023 Budget Workshops

Every year each City Department presents their individual budgets. After City Council is briefed, they discuss, offer amendments, and vote on the entire yearly budget. Listed below is the schedule for the public meetings and copies of the presentations that are made.

The City is embarking on a process to adopt new City Council district boundaries using the information from the 2020 US Census. There will be multiple opportunities to comment and be updated on the process.

The redrawn districts will aim to:

  • Maintain relatively equal population numbers
  • Be composed of whole county voting precincts
  • Have easily identifiable geographic boundaries
  • Maintain communities of interest/neighborhoods
  • Be compact and contiguous
  • Avoid packing or cracking
      • Packing – diminishing voting power by calculated demographic concentration
      • Cracking – diminishing voting power by calculated demographic dilution
  • Preserve incumbent-constituency relations

Read the Redistricting Frequently Asked Questions for more details about redistricting criteria.

Public Engagement:

Phase 1: Town Hall meetings will be held in April and May in each district to obtain public input on how the districts should be reconfigured. The City wants your input before drawing the new maps; no new maps will be presented at the town hall meetings. Residents may also submit their own redistricting plan to the Planning & Development Department by July 20.
Phase 2: District boundaries are redrawn based on 2020 Census data, the redistricting criteria approved by City Council, and public input.
Phase 3: Draft Redistricting Plan is completed and presented to City Council.
Phase 4: Public may comment on the proposed new maps at three public hearings in July (External link)

Town Hall Meetings

Each City Council district will host a Town Hall meeting to explain the redistricting process, and to allow members of the public to give input to the City on how they want their district to look in the future. These meetings will be conducted in person. Capital Improvement Project (CIP) meetings will follow the Town Hall meetings.

Meetings are scheduled in person in each Council District, but anyone can attend any redistricting meeting. Capital Improvement Project updates are specific to the district in which the meeting is held.

Residents who cannot attend the meetings in person may choose to attend the virtual meeting. This meeting will only cover Redistricting; CIP updates will not be on the agenda.

Saturday, April 30th marked the 47th year of the Fall of Saigon. Generations continue to feel the impact of war and its heavy hand. American soldiers and thousands of Vietnamese lost their lives because of this painful war. District F is the center of cultural currency in the city; and whether you are an American by choice or birth, Houston and District F have a place for you.
On April 28th, CM Thomas represented the City as Mayor Turner was in D.C. at the African Americans Mayor’s Conference. She was able to share remarks on his behalf at the Inaugural State of Homelessness.
On Saturday, April 23rd, CM Thomas supported Sewa International USA and the Dharmic Organizations of the United States and their DHARSHANA exhibit.
On April 29th, District F staff joined CM Alcorn and her team for a pet pantry and tree giveaway. In collaboration with Trees for Houston and the Houston Humane Society we achieved the following:

  • 50 Trees Distributed
  • 88 Households Served
  • 321 Pets Assisted
  • 4500 Pounds of Food Distributed
COMMUNITY MEETINGS
On April 21st, CM Thomas attended the Imperial Point Community Improvement Association meeting and discussed quality of life, sidewalks, public safety, gunshots, stray animals and catalytic converters. Imperial is one of the larger neighborhoods in F with 850 homes. They hold no punches here. Residents were ready with opinions, notes, and long memories! It was great to know how many of them have been there since 1974, 1980s, 1999.

If you live in this neighborhood you are in good hands with new leadership and neighbors that care. Please get involved. They are working on rebuilding and need your help.

On April 20th, CM Thomas attended the Midwest HPD PIP Meeting. She updated them on our street light project, redistricting, camera ordinance, and noise ordinance updates from the RNA meeting.
MBK Houston Community Action Council’s Leadership Application Open Now

Program participant requirements:

·  Live in the Houston / Harris County boundaries

·  Target age 18 to 30

·  Desire to expand civic leadership and development skills

·  Interest in social impact work within Houston and our Complete Communities
Program highlights to look forward to:

·  Hands-on workshops

·  Interactive meetings where your thoughts and options matter

·  Opportunities to meet and interact with Houston city leaders

·  Service projects planned and implemented by HCAC

·  Expanding your network

·  Community social impact

Application: https://bit.ly/3I3Wgr8 and the recruitment materials attached. Due by May 7th.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATES

Phone messages in English and Spanishnotify residents about city services,new programs & civic engagement opportunities

Voice/text messages a convenient servicefor residents without easy access to internet sources
The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) invites residents to subscribe to Neighborhood Updates to receive brief voice or text messages in Spanish or English about essential services and resources.  The messaging service is for everyone, especially for seniors and others who may not have easy access to online information, persons with disabilities who need information in audio or written format, and residents who prefer notices in Spanish.

 

UPCOMING HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY EVENTS
Books Alive for Teens! Featuring Author Malinda Lo
Saturday, May 7, 2022
11:00am – 1:00pm
Asia Society Texas Center
Celebrate reading and writing with Malinda Lo at the Asia Society Texas Center, located at 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004. A limited book giveaway and Q&A is part of the program. Activities, book sale and signing follow the presentation!A Virtual Evening with Vanessa Hua
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Virtual
Join the Houston Public Library in celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Vanessa Hua, author of River of Stars​​​​​​, speaking about her new book Forbidden City! A novel about a teenage girl living in 1960s China who becomes Mao Zedong’s protégée and lover–and a poster child for the Cultural Revolution. Fans of Jeffrey Deaver and Gish Jen will enjoy this talk.

HPL Days at the Museum
Saturday, May 21 & Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00am – 11:00am
Join HPL at the MFAH for storytime events (kids ages 0-5), book discussions for adults, and view the commissioned portraits!

Mental Health Awareness Fair
Saturday, May 21, 2022
11:00am – 3:00pm
Central Library – Downtown
Discover, relax and repeat at an inaugural event offering mental health and wellness resources, activities and presentations for all ages. Enjoy art, yoga, meditation and other healing practices including a talk by TikTok’s most popular gardener, Marcus Bridgewater—aka Garden Marcus—on his new book, How to Grow: Nurture Your Garden, Nurture Yourself. VAX HOU will also be on site to provide free vaccinations and boosters shots. People ages 5+ are eligible for the protection of vaccination.