Vol. 4, Issue 02 – 01.20.23
Dear F(riends):

Thank all of you who joined me and others in Alief for the ribbon cutting of the long-awaited community center. If you have yet to be able to visit or sign up for programs, please make it a point to stop by and visit 11903 Bellaire Blvd. Job well done to all involved – it truly takes a village, and I am proud to be in this work with you.

Last week HPD Chief Troy Finner presented crime statistics before the city council. The good news is that violent crime is down overall in the city, especially in District F. Per the data report, our crime has decreased by 14% in 2022 and 10% in 2021, with numbers lower than in 2019. This is excellent news – thank you for joining me in ensuring our neighborhoods are safe by reporting crime, notifying my office of suspicious activity, and attending PIP meetings. The investments to improve public safety are working. I want to have more of an impact with our recently installed LPR cameras throughout the district.

However, I want to bring to your attention the one area that continues to increase in the district and citywide: domestic violence. Unfortunately, this form of violence eludes us. Resources and information are available to you.

I had a very meaningful meeting with the CEO of West Houston Assistance Ministries on Thursday, January 18th, to discuss a local approach to addressing homelessness in our communities, especially in response to extreme weather events. Stay tuned for a more formal statement on this very soon.

Most of the highlights are throughout the newsletter but check your mail over the weekend for the 2022 District F Annual Report, which provides a complete snapshot of our work together. In the next few weeks, I will come back to you with a listing of the street, sidewalk, and drainage projects in the queue (design) and those scheduled for construction.

Lastly, as you know and can appreciate, District F is the city’s cultural currency. Please consider attending and participating in our community’s various Lunar New Year celebrations.

Chinese Lunar New Year (Rabbit)
Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Cat)

ALIEF NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER GRAND OPENING 
On Saturday January 14, 2023 over 2,200 Houstonian descended upon the new state of the art 70,000 square foot Alief Neighborhood Center. The new neighborhood center is erected on the same grounds of the old Alief Community Center affectionally known as the Quillian Center. This structure features services areas for music, the Houston Library, WIC, skate parks, state of the art pool, and so much more. The grand opening was well attended by dignitaries across the City of Houston and covered by local media. The following links below are all media coverage that include video and articles that captured the joy of this historic occasion.

Articles
KPRC Ch.2 Houston – “PHOTOS: New Alief Neighborhood Center reps skatepark, library and more” 

Texas Monthly – A Skate Park, Health Center, and Library Will Open Under One Innovative Roof in Houston

Sunny 99.1 – Dana & Jay in the Morning – “The New Alief Neighborhood Center Opens This Saturday”

Houston Business Journal – “’20 years in the making’: New Alief Neighborhood Center opens to the public”

Houston Chronicle – “’Something of our own’: Alief Neighborhood Center opens doors to hundreds of community members”

Houston Defender – “C/M Thomas, COH cheer new Alief Neighborhood Center”

Forward Times – “Alief Neighborhood Center Open House Showcases City of Houston’s Newest One-Stop Shop for Array of Services, including Health Services”

The Philadelphia Tribune – Across America (picked up via Houston Defender)- “Open house held for new neighborhood center”

Videos 
Zainob+Mathew – “Dear Alief, A film about the Alief Neighborhood Center” documentary

Houston Newsmakers: New Alief Community Center scheduled for grand opening in January 

Good News Alief CM Thomas Feature

VieTV: Phóng Sự-Lễ Khánh Thành Alief Neighborhood Center

Learn more about the Alief Neighborhood Center here

DISTRICT F NEWS
HOT SPOT TEAM HIGHLIGHT
WEEK OF JANUARY 9TH
  • Total Work Orders: 10
  • Hotspot of the Week: 3800 Overture
  • Total Man Hours Worked: 48
  • Tree Waste: 120 lbs.
  • Mattresses: 1
  • Furniture Waste: 1 piece
  • Tires: 13
  • Trash Debris: 180 lbs.
  • Shopping Carts: 0
  • Bandit Signs: 232
  • Landscaping: none
SOLID WASTE OPERATIONS UPDATE

As of Monday, January 17, 2023

Yard Waste collections is experiencing additional delays in all quadrants of the City. Crews are working to complete these routes. Residents may also utilize one of the six neighborhood depositories to dispose of your yard waste, recycling, and bulk waste https://bit.ly/3YkivS2

If your collection day for Tree Waste is the 3rd week of January, please continue to place your debris at the curb.

Si su día de recolección de desechos de árboles  es la 3a semana de enero, pongan sus escombros en la bordillo para recolección.

For more information on the Neighborhood Depository and Recycling Centers, please visit our website https://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/depositories.html.
We understand these delays in collections are frustrating and we thank you for your continued patience.

For more information about SWMD and our services, visit us at www.houstonsolidwaste.org, “LIKE” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste, and follow us on Twitter @HoustonTrash, or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Helpline. Download our app HTX Collects on Google Play or IOS Store to Never Miss an Update again!

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: http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/htxcollects.html

JANUARY 2023 NEIGHBORHOOD & POLICE MEETINGS

The District F Office strives to keep our constituency informed on community issues and success. A key way to do this is via community meetings. Please see meeting postings for the month of January below:

Schedule

SN-17 Meeting: Wednesday, January 11th at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: Eagles Trace, 14703 Eagle Vista Drive in the Austin Square building catering roomWestside PIP Meeting: Thursday, January 19th at 6:30PM
Location: Westside Station, 3203 S. Dairy Ashford Street, 3rd floor

Midwest PIP Meeting: Wednesday January 18th, 2023 at 7PM
Location: 7277 Regency Square Boulevard

COUNCILMEMBER RECEIVES PHI BETA SIGMA COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD
On January 14th, Councilmember Thomas received the the Community Champion Award from the Brothers of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. during their Conclave Kick-Off Reception. Chief of Staff Cherrelle Duncan received the award on the behalf of the Councilmember.
COUNCILMEMBER ATTENDS A PINEY POINT CIVIC CLUB MEETING
On January 10th, Councilmember Thomas met with Piney Point Civic Club for their first meeting of the year. There she shared updates about street overlays, police, and speed cushions.
COUNCILMEMBER THOMAS ATTENDS IBN SINA’S PRESS CONFERENCE 
On January 19th, Councilmember Thomas attended a press conference in celebration of Ibn Sina’s $1.6M funding to support mental and behavioral health needs in the community. Rep. Al Green presented Ibn Sina Foundation with the funds which is the largest grant Ibn Sina has received to date.
JANUARY HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING 
On January 17th, Councilmember Thomas facilitated the Housing & Community Affairs Committee meeting. Click here to watch the meeting and here to review the agenda.
COUNCILMEMBER THOMAS ATTEND COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON JANAURY 18TH 
On January 18th, Councilmember Thomas attended the NCAA Men’s final Four Kickoff alongside council colleagues, community partners and industry leaders at Blue Triangle Community Center. She later attended a meeting with community leaders about the status of Rasmus Park, highlighting the work of previous council members and outline the future of the park. This endeavor has been in the process for several years and it is the Office hope that efforts and resources can be combined to support Rasmus Park.
MEET AND GREET FOR ALIEF ISD SUPERINTENDENT 
On January 11th, Councilmember Thomas and staff attended the welcome reception for the new Alief ISD Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Mays. Trustees, teachers, education advocates, community partners, families and civic leaders attended to greet him and demonstrated an overwhelming amount of support.
BELLAIRE WEST COMMUNITY MEETING 
On January 12th, Councilmember Thomas joined Bellaire West for their annual meeting. As one of the largest neighborhoods in the district, the meeting focused on crime stats, LPR cameras, speeding, spay and neutering services, homeless encampments, and 311.

CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS

DISTRICT F COUNCIL ITEMS

January 11, 2023
Item #11
ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 24 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to Overdue Fees for Library Books and Materials

Item #24
RECOMMENDATION from Director Houston Public Works for approval of final contract amount of $1,557,819.83 and acceptance of work on contract with INTEGRATED CORROSION COMPANIES, INC for Cathodic Protection Installation and Rehabilitation – Package No. 2 – 1.63% over the original contract amount and under the 5% contingency amount.

January 18, 2023
Item #12
ORDINANCE AMENDING BUFFERING AND STANDARDS CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 42 CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to subdivision platting and development; amending the National Electrical Code as adopted and amended by the City of Houston on Light Buffering; amending Chapter 39, Solid Waste and Litter Control on related matters; containing findings and other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; providing for severability; containing a savings clause; establishing an effective date.

Learn more here.

COUNCILMEMBER THOMAS POP OFF COMMENTS FROM JANUARY 11, 2023 COUNCIL MEETING
To View City Council Agendas
To Watch Videos of Previous City Council Meetings
COMMUNITY NEWS
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.

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY IS NOW A ‘FINE FREE’ SYSTEM FOR CARDHOLDERS

With the support of Mayor Sylvester Turner and approval by Houston City Council, Houston Public Library (HPL) is no longer charging late fines on overdue books and other borrowed items, effective January 11, 2023. By eliminating late fines, HPL joins other public library systems across North America in lowering financial barriers to library access and creating more equitable services for all users.

RTH HARVEY IMPACTED HOME REPAIR PROGRAM  
Rebuilding Together Houston will be providing home repairs to a limited number of homes that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Below is a list of the repairs and qualifications for the program. To refer homeowners, please send an email to info@rebuildinghouston.org or call 713-659-2511. 

Repairs Qualifications
Roof Restoration Single Family Home in Harris County
Electrical Systems Low-income individuals and families
Structural Stabilization Proof of Ownership
Plumbing Systems Full time resident of the home
Sealing the Envelope of the home: siding, trim, soffits, fascia Current on Property Taxes (or official payment plan
Sheetrock Do not own more than one property
Flooring Must confirm intent to stay in the home
Assessment for mold and removal of damaged materials Meet income level requirements

 

Rebuilding Together’s work makes homes safer and more resilient against disaster. We do not return homes to a previous condition (for example, unsafe wood floors are replaced by vinyl plank flooring,

which is much more cost-effective) or provide cosmetic improvements (for example, we do not paint interior walls).

 

*RTH will evaluate the home through its standard 25-point Health and Safety checklist and provide its Volunteer Home Repair Program if eligible.

APPLICATIONS FOR UTILITY SAVINGS ASSESSMENTS
Start the new year off right by applying for the 2023 Smart Utility Check-up Program. This free program provides one year of professional water, electric, and gas utility assessments to the first 50 qualifying Houston Water commercial customers. Each assessment is completed by Imperial Utilities & Sustainability, Inc.  and includes data analysis on utility use and a monthly break-down of cost and consumption patterns. Recommended practices, guidance on potential cost savings, and rebate assistance are also included!
   Previous program participants have saved millions of gallons of water and tens of thousands of dollars in overhead costs. Eligible participants must:• Be a Houston Water customer• Own or manage a building at least 40,000 square feet in size or have a cooling tower• Be fully operational for two years or more• Applicants with a central plant that services multiple buildings are not permitted
The application period closes on January 31, 2023, and the assessments will run through the 2023 calendar year. To learn  more about the program, visit the Smart Utility Check-up website or apply for the program here.
For questions, please contact WaterConservation@houstontx.govClick Here to download the Flyer.
COMPLETE COMMUNITIES UNIVERSITY CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

Spring 2023 session starts March 8 

Application Deadline – February 8, 2023

The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) invites Houston residents to apply for enrollment in the Complete Community University (CCU) Spring 2023 leadership training course. The course will run 8 weeks, March 8 to April 26, 2023, Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m., in person and online via Microsoft Teams.  In-person classes will be held at the City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby Street.The CCU program coaches emerging leaders on civic engagement methods and techniques, cultivates positive relationships between community leaders and the City of Houston, and promotes the participation of residents in civic activities to vitalize neighborhoods.

The CCU curriculum focuses on leadership development through civic engagement, volunteerism, and voter education. Participants explore how city and county government function and relate to neighborhoods and how to effectively access City and community resources. The classes are conducted by DON staff with extensive experience in civic engagement and knowledge of Houston communities and feature presentations by City department and community subject experts.
Apply today!
At least 30 enrollees will be selected through a competitive application review process conducted by department staff. Selection criteria includes commitment to civic involvement in the City of Houston, leadership potential, skills, and experience. Diversity and representation from all City Council districts will also be considered. The application deadline is February 8, 2023. For the application guidelines and forms, go to www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods/ccu.html.  For questions, call 832-393-1061 or email CCUniversity@houstontx.gov.

UPCOMING EVENTS
EVENTS AT INDIA HOUSE
HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY EVENTS
Season’s Readings
December 1, 2022 – January 15, 2023
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Settle in with a good book for Season’s Readings! Youth ages 0-18 are invited to read and log to win a prize at program completion.Heart Gallery Houston
November 5, 2022 – February 2, 2023
Central Library, 1st Floor Gallery