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June 2021 Newsletter
Juneteenth recognized as a National Holiday
President Biden has signed a bill to recognize June 19, known as Juneteenth, and establish it as a federal holiday. This serves as a reminder to the nation of the struggles and progress made by Black Americans.

Mayor Sylvester Turner declared, “This recognition honors the many African-Americans, who have fought for decades to have Juneteenth National Independence Day.

“The state of Texas recognized the importance of that day in 1865 when Gen. Granger arrived in Galveston and read the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Although this announcement takes us one step closer to equality, we know that our work is not finished. Unfortunately, we see examples of racial injustice and inequity on a near-daily basis, and we must call it out and hold those in power accountable.

“Juneteenth is as important to the story of America as the Fourth of July – it recognizes that the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness apply to all.”

Read the full press release.
Hess Invests in Complete Communities Education Initiatives
Hess Corporation announced a $9 million financial commitment to the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities over the next three years as part of its Learning for Life Partnership. The Hess Learning for Life Partnership helps to fund educational programs and support services for children. The partnership will help support three economically disadvantaged communities that are part of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities Initiative. Hess employees will also volunteer their time and expertise to support these programs.
The Hess Learning for Life Partnership will benefit approximately 22 schools and more than 13,000 children enrolled in pre-K, elementary, middle, and high schools in Houston’s Second Ward, Third Ward, and Magnolia Park-Manchester, Complete Communities neighborhoods.
The partnership expands the scope and reach of Hess’ LEAP (Learn, Engage, Advance, Persevere) educational program that made a $7.4 million investment over the last eight years to provide educational support services to students in the Magnolia Park and Second Ward neighborhoods.
"Philanthropic support to local nonprofits and volunteerism from corporations, such as Hess, keep Houston’s workforce competitive and youth equipped with the tools they need to succeed. Local schools also need support and corporate stewardship to improve student achievement, reduce absenteeism, and develop strong school-community partnerships."

— Mayor Sylvester Turner
In the News: GreenBiz features Sunnyside Solar Project
A rendering of the community solar project planned for the Sunnyside landfill in Houston.
GreenBiz Group, a media and events company focused on energy transition, recently featured the Sunnyside Solar Project on its website GreenBiz.com. The article recognized the City of Houston’s efforts to convert a garbage disposal landfill on a major corridor in Sunnyside into the largest brownfield solar installation in the country. The Sunnyside Solar Project is expected to create green jobs and generate renewable energy. Because of the projects potential to have a significant economic impact in a Complete Community, Houston City Council approved the lease of more than 200 acres of city-owned land to Sunnyside Energy, LLC for $1 per year. The solar installation will generate power for up to 5,000 homes and will bring in nearly $70 million of private investment into one of Houston’s most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.  
Mayor Announces Educational Partnership Between HISD, Rapper/Actor Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
A unique partnership between rapper, actor, and philanthropist Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, his G-Unity Foundation, and the Houston Independent School District will help high school students in the Complete Communities learn the business skills that define successful entrepreneurship.
The groundbreaking initiative will locate the  G-Unity Business Lab in three HISD high schools - Kashmere, Worthing, and Wheatly – and assist students with reconnecting with learning and acquiring professional skills.
Students in the Lab will engage in MBA- level lessons that represent the full life cycle of a product or concept, from idea creation through market branding to running a company. 
This initiative will present MBA level lessons that represent the full life cycle of a product or concept from idea creation to market branding to running a company.

At the end of the program, students will present their product or concept to business leaders. Winners will receive seed money to advance their new business.
Explore Parks as an Agent of Discovery
Healthy Outdoor Communities launched a pop-up virtual activity in Sylvester Turner Park in Acres Home and along the Columbia Tap Trail in Third Ward.  Agents of Discovery is an augmented reality, geo-triggered app that gets you outside, active, and engaged in the world around you. With Agents of Discovery, you become a top-secret Agent, dedicated to solving the greatest mysteries of science, culture, technology, and nature. The app does not require any data or WiFi to run once it’s been downloaded. Download the Agents of Discovery app from the Apple Store or Google Play and travel to these Complete Communities neighborhoods, unlock challenges in the park or on the trail, and win a prize!
Curbside Recycling Pilot Launches To Improve Residential Recycling  
The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department launched a cart-tagging pilot program to improve the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected in the curbside recycling program.

The six-month pilot program will sample 60,000 of the 390,000 homes that receive City-provided solid waste services. If non-accepted items are found in the recycling cart, residents will receive an “Oops” Tag on the cart.

If non-compliant items are found on a subsequent visit, another tag will be left for the resident, and the cart may not be serviced. Oops tags will be given for trash items with food residue, batteries and electronics, long tangler items such as cords, hoses and chains, yard waste, household items, scrap metal, scrap wood and shredded paper.

Read the full press release.
Families with K-12 Students Can Receive P-EBT Benefits 
Texas Health and Human Services is offering food assistance through Pandemic - Electronic Benefit Transfers (P-EBT) to families with students who would have received free or reduced-price lunch while attending school but were unable to attend due to COVID-19 school closures.  
To be eligible, students must: 
  • Be enrolled in a Texas school 
  • Participate in the National School Lunch Program at an eligible Texas school
  • Attend a school that was closed, had a delayed start to reduce attendance or hours for five consecutive days 
Additionally, students must:  
  • Meet income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals; or 
  • Attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 (P2) school where all students receive free meals 
Applications are available from June 2 through Aug 13 and are processed in the order they are received. Find out more about this one-time assistance program.
Foster or Adopt a Fury Friend From BARC 
Companions are plentiful and available for fostering or adoption at BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoptions Center. The shelter is near capacity and Houston City Council Members Amy Peck and Abbie Kamin are asking for the public’s assistance and lowering adoption fees to give cats and dogs a new home.  
“I encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting or buying a pet to consider going to BARC,” said Council Member Amy Peck. “They have a lot of amazing animals who need homes now.”  
Visit BARC's website or their adoption center. They're located at 3300 Carr St. and open Tuesday–Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come and meet your new family member.
Freedom Over Texas Returns To Salute America’s Frontline Heroes on July 4 
Enjoy music and fireworks during this year’s Shell Freedom Over Texas, the city’s official Fourth of July Celebration on Sunday July 4 via live broadcast, or that evening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on ABC 13.
Freedom Over Texas will feature country music artists Lee Brice and Jimmie Allen. Other musical artists include Alanis Sophia, Brian Jack & the Zydeco Gamblers, along with the Houston Symphony and Houston Methodist Singers.  
Fireworks will reach 800 feet, so more Houstonians can view them from further distances. Open spaces and neighborhood parks with a view of the western downtown skyline are ideal. Eleanor Tinsley Park will be open for fireworks viewing only for families that wish to park downtown and walk (Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive will be closed for fall out). Read the full press release
Acres Home
Memorial Assistance Ministries Trains Students For Success in the Medical Industry
The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program offered by Memorial Assistant Ministries (MAM) is currently accepting applications for the CNA training program from July 19 through August 19. This five-week course offers both virtual and in-person classes at the Academy of Exceptional Healthcare, located at 8200 Wednesday Lane.
A recent graduate shared her success story: When she enrolled in MAM’s CNA training program in January 2020, Dionell, who preferred not to share her last name, had no income to support her household while she pursued her studies.
While she worked on improving her employability skills, she enrolled in MAM’s STEP Employment Program and received financial assistance to pay her rent, utilities and car payment. Upon completion of the program in December 2020, she attended a Memorial Hermann job fair and was hired. Now, she has a full-time job with benefits as a Patient Care Technician.
“The coaching was great! Very accessible & I felt like I had someone in my corner throughout the entire program.” said Dionell. “It was a long year but now I have the education, certification, and confidence to pursue a rewarding career."

Applicants should complete the intake form and contact:
IBC Bank Hosts Free Recycling Event 
Bring your old electronics and discarded paper to IBC Bank for recycling on Saturday, June 26, at 8203 S. Kirkwood Rd. This event is free and open to the public.

District J Job Fair

Looking for employment? Please attend Councilmember Edward Pollard’s District J Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 2 at Gethsemane Church, 6856 Bellaire Blvd.
Business owners and managers are coming to the job fair ready to discuss job opportunities that need to be filled immediately so please come prepared to interview with someone who could be your next employer.
HOT Team Keeps District J Clean
Recently, City Council unanimously voted to double illegal dumping fines from $2,000 to $4,000. District J does its part to clean up illegal dumping sites with the HOT team.
The HOT team conducts illegal dumping pick-ups in Gulfton on the second Thursday of each month. Residents are strongly encouraged to call 311 to report illegally dumped debris, tree waste and heavy trash. 
Kashmere Gardens
Rice Develops Flood Information and Response System
FIRST, a new early flood warning system was developed by Rice University engineers under a federal grant from Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED). FIRST is a radar-based flood assessment, mapping, and early warning system. It covers several flood-prone areas such as Kashmere Gardens.

The interactive online map covers critical facilities such as urgent care facilities, storm shelters, public schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. Go to the FIRST website to view the map and get more information.

Visit the FIRST website. Read a Rice University article about the program.
Keep In Touch with the Magnolia Park – Manchester Neighborhood Support Team (NST) 
Watch the pre-recorded May NST Meeting to learn more.
Near Northside
District H Seeks Participants for STEM Internship 
District H residents ages 16–24 with an interest in technology can apply to the TechConnect Internship for the upcoming school year this fall. Interns can earn $11 per hour for up to twelve hours of work per week, Monday–Thursday.
Job duties include engaging patrons of all ages with computer classes and STEAM tutorials, leading activities for Councilmember Karla Cisneros’s TechConnect Fairs, and assisting with programming at Clark Community Center, Moody Community Center, Proctor Plaza Community Center, Montie Beach Community Center, Settegast Community Center, Eastwood Community Center, Woodland Community Center, Stude Community Center, Melrose Community Center, Independence Heights Community Center, or Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center.
For more information, visit the District H web page.  
Second Ward
Summertime Drive-In Movie Nights
The Second Ward Complete Communities group invites you to watch Disney's Fantasia, the final film showing in the three-part series Drive-In Movie Nights at the Talento Bilingüe de Houston, 333 Jensen Dr. Screenings are at 7:45 p.m., Thursday, July 15. The event is free
For more information, contact the Second Ward Complete Communities lead planner, Abraham Zorrilla, at Abraham.Zorrilla@houstontx.gov

Sampling The City with Air Alliance
Air Alliance Houston, in collaboration with several Sunnyside community partners, hosted an air sampling event on June 5th. Over 80 community stakeholders and residents joined and chose to participate in either a 3-mile bike ride, 6-mile bike ride, mobile van tour, or 1-mile walk, while using Flow 2 air monitors to gather data on the atmosphere.

These monitors, provided by Air Alliance, can detect Volatile Organic Compounds, a variety of gaseous chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. More information can be found at the Air Alliance Houston website.
Harris County Precinct One Drainage Improvements
in Third Ward Near Completion
The reconstruction of Cleburne Street near Texas Southern University and Jack Yates High School is almost complete. The improvements include:
  • expanded drainage to reduce street flooding,
  • wider sidewalks to keep pedestrians safe, and
  • landscaping to create a beautiful gateway in front of the Cuney Homes, TSU and Yates.
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