Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedication

To all our Vietnam veterans: welcome home.

This is the message and sentiment behind the new Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was unveiled on May 26 at Club Creek Park in District J. When many brave men and women returned to Houston from serving their country in Vietnam, they were not greeted with a hero’s welcome. Instead, they faced ridicule, disrespect and harsh criticism. This memorial will finally provide a proper “welcome home” to our veterans and honor them for their tremendous sacrifice.

This memorial has been three years in the making, thanks to the vision of Council Member Edward Pollard. More than 400 people, many of whom are veterans, were on hand at the unveiling. The memorial commemorates those who served in the Vietnam War and tell an experience that is unique to Houston.

Special thanks are in order for many people who contributed to this project including:

  • Mayor Sylvester Turner
  • TIRZ 20 Board under the leadership of Welcome Wilson, Jr.
  • Mayor’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs under the leadership of Director Robert Dembo III and Deputy Director Dr. LaShonda Jones
  • Mayor’s Office of Special Events under the leadership of Director Susan Christian and Project Manager Leigh-Ann McQuitt
  • City of Houston Parks Department under the leadership of Director Kenneth Allen
  • Hawes Hill & Associates
  • Vickie and Troy Kelly, the designer and sculptor of the monument
  • SWA Group
  • Walter P. Moore
  • Millis Development & Construction
  • District J Staff: Misty Starks, David Brizuela and Francis Ellis

And a very special thanks to the District J Chief of Staff, Paul Young, for his tireless efforts in making sure this project was executed with excellence.

Click here to see more pictures from the dedication ceremony.

Fighting Prostitution Along the Bissonnet Track

Fighting prostitution in Houston, and specifically along the Bissonnet Track, has been an uphill battle for years. Many agencies have tried different approaches with little to no success in making a dent in the illegal activity. A new initiative implemented by the Houston Police Department is helping curb elicit behavior in this area by barricading side streets along Bissonnet after regular business hours. So far, the efforts have caused a decline in prostitution in the area, and some business owners have expressed their appreciation. Click here to see the story on KPRC.

VIDEO: City Passes New Rules for BYOB Establishments

Many establishments that allow patrons to bring their own bottles of alcohol (also known as BYOBs) are upstanding businesses that are good community partners, However, some have become a danger to the city and our district. City Council members unanimously passed a new ordinance that requires BYOB bars to get a permit, security cameras, guards, and metal detectors and adhere to other rules. Until now, there were no regulations for BYOB businesses. In this video clip, Council Member Pollard addressed concerns of other council members in a push for the new ordinance.

District J Heavy Trash Removal

We are excited to announce the next installment of District J Private Trash Day, which will take place Saturday, June 17, 2023. This door-to-door concierge service is being provided to District J in response to residents who are in need of heavy trash and tree waste removal. Private Trash Day is a supplement to the work done by the city’s Solid Waste Department and does not replace your regular city schedule. We are the only area of the city doing this initiative, and it is only for District J residents.

To participate in the program, registration is required. If you do not register your home for heavy pick up, your waste will not be discarded, and you will be responsible for removing those items from the curb.

Waste removal workers will collect up to 8 cubic yards of waste for each registered home (about the size of two pickup truck beds or a 5-passenger mini-van). All tree shrubs must be bundled or bagged in order to be collected, andwaste must be put out on the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 17th.

This private curb-side service will be on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for heavy trash/tree waste collection at your home, click here to complete the request form. If you do not have access to the internet, please register by calling 832-427-9235. The deadline to register for pickup is June 9, 2023. We encourage you to please share this information with all your neighbors to enhance awareness.

Please note, below is a list of unacceptable items to discard. Any items on this list will not be picked up:

  • Whole Tires
  • Household Garbage (food, drinks, liquids/chemicals)
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Drums/Barrels
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Oils/Gasoline
  • Paint Cans with Liquid and/or lids attached
  • Refrigerators with Freon
  • A/C Unites with Freon
  • Mattresses

New Soccer Pitches in District J

Residents of District J have brand new soccer pitches at Burnett Bayland Park. Soccer is the primary sport of play in Gulfton, and these mini pitches are a cool new way to play the game with friends. This was a true collaboration of efforts between the city, county, and community to get this done. Shout out to Commissioner Briones for taking the lead on the project put forth by former Commissioner Jack Cagle. Special thanks to the District J office staff for all the heavy lifting. Thank you to Veronica Hernandez and Tammy Rodriguez for engaging the Houston Dynamo and Dash to be the title sponsors for the pitches. We appreciate the city and county Parks Department for working together and all the organizations and volunteers that provided input.

Youth Diversion Center Opens

A new Youth Diversion Center has opened in District J to serve teenage boys and girls ages 13 to 17 who are in need of temporary respite care due to mental health crisis often brought on by family conflict that cannot be readily de-escalated on the scene. The mission is to divert youth from penetrating deeper into the criminal justice system by providing this safe, temporary space to stay for up to 30 days instead of being locked up in juvenile detention.

The YDC will create a normalized environment, utilizing biopsychosocial interventions targeting at the current crisis, while fostering community and family reintegration. Individual and group skills training will be provided to aid in achieving person-centered crisis plan goals. Supervision will be provided 24 hours a day by trained professionals with procedures in place to aid in all situations.

Special thank you to The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, Harris County Resources for Children and Adults, HCJPD, HCDAO, the Kinder Institute, and HC Commissioners Court for the partnership and collaboration.

Blessing of the Badge

Council Member Pollard was honored to participate in the Blessing of the Badge ceremony at Antioch Baptist church downtown. Members of several law enforcement agencies were on hand to pray with clergy during Police Appreciation Week. Former Houston mayor and police chief Lee P. Brown was the special honoree. Thanks to Pastor Art Lou McElroy for opening the church doors for this event and all elected officials in attendance.

CM Pollard Speaks to Southwest Students

Council Member Pollard was asked to give words of wisdom to students at the end-of-the-year program at Southwest Schools in District J. He spoke to 150 high school juniors and seniors about his role as a city council member and shared advice about realizing their potential. Thank you to Superintendent Felicia Adams, the entire board and faculty for the invitation. Wishing all students a safe summer.

Houston Style Magazine Features CM Pollard

Houston Style Magazine recently featured Council Member Pollard in a feature article titled “Pollard Proves That Race Doesn’t Matter.” The article highlights Pollard’s service to constituents who represent the most diverse district in the city. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

SHEIN Event Celebrates AAPI Month

Council Member Pollard welcomed the global beauty and fashion brand, SHEIN, to Chinatown in District J to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month. SHEIN coordinated a popup shop with clothes, food, and entertainment with major discounts for the community to enjoy. The highlight of the event was focused on the Art Discovery Project, which highlighted the work of five talented local Asian artists. Shout out to one of the artist, Amy Malkan, for all her efforts. Council Member Pollard presented Certificates of Recognition to the artists. Thank you to the Southwest Management District and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs for their leadership. Also, big thanks to Dan and the entire SHEIN team for selecting Houston and District J for this event.aving you back next year.

Sunshine Senior Center Mother’s Day Celebration

A very special Mother’s Day celebration took place at the Sunshine Senior Day Center in Chinatown, which included a concert and cake cutting ceremony and distribution of flowers to all the mothers at the center. Sunshine Senior Day Center has been providing recreation, resources, and activities in District J for decades, and the seniors were all smiles during the celebration. Thank you to the Sunshine board of directors, specifically Oliver Feng, for continued engagement and support.

Arbor Day Tree Planting

This year marked the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. In honor of the holiday, Trees for Houston gave out free Common Persimmon, Shumard Oak and Pecan trees to residents in District J. Special thanks to Sandra Rodriguez and the Gulfton Super Neighborhood, Maria Hernandez and Madres de Parque, Judge Isreal Garcia, Sharpstown Park Alliance, State Farm, HPD District J Patrol, and all the other organizations and volunteers that made the event a success.

Frontier’s Club Graduation Ceremony

Council Member Pollard was honored to be the keynote speaker for the Greater Houston Frontier’s Club, where deserving high school graduates received a total of $100,000 in scholarships. Thanks to the entire GHFC for being a source of continuous service and contributions to the city of Houston.

Pollard Receives Police and Clergy Award

The Police and Clergy Team (PACT) honored Council Member Pollard with the Outstanding Service award at the 15th Annual Police Prayer Luncheon. Special thanks to Mrs. Veronica Hernandez for her continuous efforts and leadership that contribute in a major way to the city of Houston and District J.

Houston Lawyers Association Awards

Council Member Pollard was honored to stand beside other accomplished leaders to receive the Aloysius Wickliff Community Service Award by the Houston Lawyers Association at the George R Brown Convention Center. Other distinguished honorees included Christian Menefee and former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. Thanks to the HLA board and gala committee.

Pet Food Distribution

District J, in partnership with the Houston Humane Society, provided free pet food for dozens of families within the district. Pet owners also received free spay/neuter vouches. Special thank you to Sharpstown Baptist Church for hosting this event, and for all the families for coming out.

Complete Communities Civic Leadership Development Project

Applications are now being accepted for the Complete Communities Civic Leadership Development training and mini grant proposal project. This is a great program for those interested in developing programs to benefit the community. Participants are not required to have a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The next cohort begins in late June. For more information, contact Kelli at 832-641-8325 or send an email to [email protected].

Liberty Fest Call for Vendors

Applications for vendors are now being accepted for this year’s Liberty Fest, a celebration of Independence Day in District J. The event takes place on July 2 at PlazAmericas. It will offer entertainment, food, a variety of vendors and a special fireworks display. Vendors will be provided with a tent, table and two chairs. For more information, email [email protected].

Restoring Gas Service to Residents

Several District J residents reached out to this office for help in getting their gas service restored after construction work in the area had been completed. Contractors engaged in excavation of sidewalks but failed to restore the gas service. Our office made Centerpoint aware of the issue, and as of the writing of this newsletter, their crews were working on the issue on site at:

  • 6135 Birdwood
  • 6103 Birdwood
  • 6147 Imogene

Roundabout Coming to Renwick at Dashwood

This fall, the City of Houston will be partnering with TxDOT to bring a significant safety improvement to the intersection of Renwick at Dashwood. The intersection will be transformed into a roundabout, which is a proven safety countermeasure for the types of safety concerns at this intersection. The roundabout will be designed to ensure that all drivers slow down to safe speeds as they make their desired movements while also accommodating movements by large vehicles such as trucks and buses. Additionally, the design will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety by providing new sidewalks, curb ramps, and enhanced bicycle accommodations. The project is fully funded, and construction is planned to start in late summer and last approximately 6 months. You can find out more information, ask questions, leave comments, and sign up for updates at the project website: https://www.engagehouston.org/hsip-renwick-dashwood.

Working With Private Partners for Community Improvement

The District J office was informed that a private bank located in the 8000 block of Fondren had a parking lot surface in serious need of repair with many large potholes causing damage to vehicles and impeding safety. Our office alerted the bank leadership, and they had work done to complete an asphalt overlay, which should improve vehicular mobility and safety. We appreciate their executives being receptive to the concerns and taking action.

Clearing Encampment of Unhoused People

Keeping District J safe and inviting for residents, businesses and visitors is a priority for this office. Reports of violent crime, fatalities, fires and other nefarious activities plagued the area of Glenmont and Fondren, where an encampment of unhoused people were gathered. The area has been cleared and debris has been removed. TIRZ 20 has also erected a fence to enhance security. Special thanks to the Houston Police Department Midwest Station and the Solid Waste Department.

District J Projects

Curb Improvement Project at Carvel and Jorine Underway

A project to make curb improvements on Carvel between Jorine and Augustine is currently underway. Replacement curbs and ADA ramps are being installed to help those with mobility needs to better navigate the area.

Bering Ditch Sidewalk Now Open

The Bering Ditch Sidewalk from Windswept Lane to Westpark Drive has been completed. The crew is working on the final touches to the crosswalk and getting sod in place. There will also be another extension added to access the existing sidewalk on Westpark to connect to the Hillcroft Ave intersection.

This is the second phase of a pedestrian access improvement project by the St. George Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ 1) to help students walking to and from Wisdom High School and the Pilgrim Academy. Phase 1 from Beverly Hill St. to Windswept Ln. was completed last year. TIRZ 1 was the project sponsor and District J and Harris County Precinct 4 were financial partners.

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. DistrictJJobs.com 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.
As you travel in the district and throughout Houston, you may also notice new billboards around town promoting the District J Jobs initiative. 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 www.DistrictJPatrol.com.
To learn more about our new modern approach to community policing, or to file a report regarding a quality of life issue, please visit www.districtjpatrol.com. To retrieve data, research policy, or to file a complaint online, visit houstontx.gov/policetransparency.

District J Office Staff

The District J office staff is here to serve you.
David “Alex” Brizuela, Director of Constituent Services
Ana “Francis” Ellis, District Coordinator
Council Member Edward Pollard
Misty Starks, Director of Communications
Paul Young, Chief of Staff