Residents of District E,
It is hard to believe that 2016 has come and gone. Over the past year, we have welcomed a new administration, passed a balanced budget, voted favorably on a resolution for comprehensive pension reform, made strides in road reconstruction and widening projects, used our Council District Service Fund on much needed projects in the council district, and above all continued to place constituent service as our number one priority. In the coming year, my staff and I look forward to continuing to serve and update our constituents about projects that will improve the quality of life in the district.
Additionally, I hope you will join me this Friday, December 2 at the 97
th Annual Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting presented by Reliant, an NRG Company. This free event will take place from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at City Hall in Hermann Square and will feature fireworks and family fun in addition to music from featured artist and former Destiny's Child member, Michelle Williams. My family and I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the holiday season and look forward to attending every year. We look forward to seeing you there!
Lastly, on behalf of the entire District E team, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Please note that our council office will be closed on Friday, December 23 as well as on Monday, January 2 for my staff to spend time with their families. We will be anxiously waiting to respond to your calls and emails when we return to the office on Tuesday, January 3.
Kingwood Bridge Safety Issue
In November, Kingwood Service Association notified the District E office about a pedestrian public safety issue that involved erosion on a bridge located along Kingwood Drive by Kingwood First Presbyterian Church and Willow Terrace Drive. Council Member Martin worked together with Harris County Flood Control and Public Works and Engineering to resolve the issue. Repairs were made to secure the bridge in late November. Public safety is of the utmost importance to Council Member Martin and he extends his gratitude to Harris County and PWE for working quickly and efficiently.
YMCA Sports for All Groundbreaking
On November 10 Council Member Martin and staff had the honor of participating in the Lake Houston YMCA's ground breaking celebration for their Sports for All complex that will be built inside The Groves located on West Lake Houston Parkway. This sports complex is being developed for adaptive sports and so that all children and adults regardless of their abilities ha
ve an opportunity to play sports. This new sports complex will feature wheel chair friendly fields for baseball and soccer in addition to adaptive playground equipment so parents of special needs can enjoy taking their children to the park without worrying about injury or being secluded from other families.
Thanks to a partnership with Humble Independent School District this YMCA Sports for All Complex is being built between a middle school and elementary school for maximum integration of students and will be used throughout the day for school and after school programs. One program that will benefit from this new complex is the YMCA Miracle League, which is a baseball league for special needs individuals.
There is only one other Sports for All Complex in the Houston Area and that is located in Langham Creek. For more information about this complex please visit http://www.ymcahouston.org.
Humble ISD Education Foundation Golf Tournament
On Friday, November 11 Council Member Martin played alongside community and business leaders in the Humble Independent School District's Education Foundation Golf Tournament at Oakhurst Golf Club. The Annual Golf Tournament is one of the foundation's three major events that helps support Humble ISD.
Through the Humble ISD Education Foundation, donors and volunteers help Humble ISD schools in their efforts to best serve their students by raising and providing the funding for new, innovative programs for their classrooms and schools. For more information about the Humble ISD Education Foundation, please visit
The Village Gala
On November 12 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended The Village Learning Center Gala. The Village is an organization that serves those in the community with special needs and their families on multiple levels. Their programs include Residential and Short-Term Respite Care, Transition Services, Transportation, Social Service Referrals, After-School Care, Supported Employment, Advocacy, In-Home Training, Parent Information/Support E-Group, Vocational Education & Training and Recreational & Social Activities.
Council Member Martin applauds this organization for all that they do for the Lake Houston Community.
Kingwood Touchdown Tour
On November 19 the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee held a Touchdown Tour event at Kingwood High School. Over the past few months, the Host Committee has made frequent stops throughout Houston to promote awareness and excitement about Super Bowl LI, which will take place at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017. The event featured a wide range of activities such as
interactive games, a Houston Texans mobile locker room, special photo booths, giveaways, music, food and fun for everyone. Council Member Martin had the opportunity to speak at the event and
share the excitement of the most anticipated game of the year.
In September, multiple constituents from the Bay Forest neighborhood reached out to Council Member Martin's office regarding a neglected footbridge in need of maintenance and repair. The footbridge connects the Bay Forest neighborhood to Moonrock Drive off Bay Area Boulevard. Due to the proximity of the bridge to Falcon Pass Elementary, Council Member Martin saw this issue as needing attention immediately. Public Works & Engineering was able to inspect the bridge and found that 20% of the deck boards were showing signs of rot while others had split. The District E office reached out to Commissioner Morman's office who offered to repair the bridge.
Houston Ship Channel Industry Luncheon with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
On November 1 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Houston Ship Channel Industry Luncheon at San Jacinto College - South Campus. The event featured Keynote Speaker, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's presentation educated the members on what
can be expected in th
e upcoming legislative session.
Important topics include
transportation, and the importance of public safety and protecting our law enforcement. Lt. Governor Patrick is confident that the Senate and House can come together to solve the issues.
TxDOT I-45 South Tour of Progress
On November 1 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the TxDOT Interstate 45 South Tour of Progress. The project will widen portions of I-45 to 10-main lanes with an additional diamond lane in each direction. The purpose of the project is to reduce traffic congestion, improve mobility, correct design deficiencies and reduce hurricane evacuation times. Currently the demand along the corridor exceeds capacity during morning and evening commute periods. Additionally, improvements are needed at various locations throughout the I-45 corridor due to non-standard or outdates design configurations. Likewise, many of the bridge crossings required placement or major reconstruction. The $77.5 million dollar project is expected to be completed by Summer 2017.
Council Member Martin would like to thank the constituents of District E for their patience with this project as it has affected major thoroughfares such as Gulf Freeway and Bay Area Blvd to Dixie Farm Road.
Clear Lake City Boulevard Association Meeting
Staff from Council Member Martin's office had the opportunity to speak at the Clear Lake City Boulevard Association Annual Meeting on November 1 at North Pointe Elementary. The Clear Lake City Boulevard Association includes the residents of the Pinebrook, Bay Pointe, and Northfork communities. At this meeting, District E staff had a chance to update the residents on important projects taking place in the Clear Lake are
opics discussed included updates on Sylvan Rodriguez Park, the current Space Center Boulevard
project, and the future widening of El Dorado Boulevard in partnership with Harris County Commissioner Morman's Office.
San Jacinto College State of the College
Staff from Council Member Martin's office had the opportunity to attend the November 2 San Jacinto College State of the College at Sylvan Beach Pavilion.
The audience had a chance to hear updates from Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer about San Jacinto College and its three campuses. San Jacinto College serves 29,054 students-college wide and was able to award 6,520 degrees and certificates in the Fall 2015-Summer 2016 school year alone. The college has been named among
the top 150 in the nation and is now 1 of 10 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships. Their mission is to ensure student success, create seamless transition, and enrich the quality of life in the communities
On Tuesday, November 15 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended an INSIDE
Clear Creek Independent School District
tour. INSIDE stands for "Interested Neighbors Staying Informed on District Efforts". The "INSIDE" program is an engagement model leadership program that brings
13 municipalities and its citizens together to learn about the school district and serves as a forum to receive feedback f
many stakeholders. INSIDE CCISD also encourages members to grow in their advocacy for public education and Clear Creek ISD and even explore roles of future leaders of the District.
The tour included stops at Falcon Pass Elementary, Seabrook Intermediate, and Clear Lake High School,
and gave an up close and personal look at these
outstanding and ever-evolving Clear Creek ISD campuses.
Council Member Martin thanks CCISD for putting on this interactive and informative event.
From November 15-17 SpaceCom took place at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Space Commerce Conference and Exposition is the premier interactive, three day event packed with education, applications in action and connections that showcase how business challenges can be solved with the new array of products, services and solutions fueled by space technologies.
Council Member Martin had the chance to attend the SpaceCom Opening Session at GRB as well as the SpaceCom Luncheon on November 15th. The
peaker Dan Berkenstock, the Founding CEO of Google's Terra Bella (formerly Skybox Imagery). In 2009, Stanford University PhD student, Berkenstock, had an idea about combining hi-definition satellite imagery with advanced data analytic tools to look at the Earth in a fundamentally more comprehensive way. In this keynote, Berkenstock shared the evolution of his disruptive thinking and demonstrated how Terra Bella, and technology like it, will dramatically inform terrestrial industries including maritime, agribusiness, mining, and emergency and disaster response.
Council Member Martin also joined executives from NASA JSC, elected officials, conference speakers, sponsors and distinguished guests at the SpaceCom VIP Reception at Partnership Tower, which celebrated Houston's annual space commercialization conference.
On November 16 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Bay
Area Houston Transportation Partnership (BayTran)
luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Dr. Steve Roop with Texas A&M Transportation Institute was the keynote speaker and presented information about the new Freight Shuttle System (FSS) concept that is currently being developed. The FSS is a low-emission alternative for moving heavy freight
while relieving congestion on
roadways. The concept was introduced over a decade ago and now it has been brought to reality and gaining popularity. Council Member Martin looks forward on learning more about this new advancement and is encouraged that if implemented.
GLO Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan Meeting
On Wednesday, November 16 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Texas General Land Office (GLO) Coastal Meeting. The regional meeting took place to inform the attendees about the development of the GLO's Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, a long-term framework to mitigate damage from future coastal natural disasters and to preserve and enhance the state's coastal natural resources and assets.
At this meeting, elected representatives from Brazoria, Galveston and Harris Counties presented information on the scope of the GLO's plan, the methodology used to establish the resiliency strategies and a preview of draft findings that will be included in the Plan. Coastal experts from state and federal agencies, universities, non-profits, engineering firms, port representatives, and regional trusts, foundations, and partnerships were also in attendance. The Plan will be presented to the Texas Legislature in 2017.
Soyuz 49S Spacecraft Launch
On Thursday, November 17 staff from Council Member Martin's office had the opportunity to attend the Soyuz 49S Spacecraft Launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Staff viewed the launch from a mission control room at Johnson Space Center. Prior to the Launch, NASA Flight Director and Astronaut Shannon Walker, a Houston native, briefed attendants about the processes the astronauts go through to prepare for their mission. Attending the ISS launches at JSC is always a great chance to participate in the excitement of ISS and learn more about NASA missions and the complexities of launching humans into space.
Mayor Turner and GHP Kick Off Hire Houston Youth 2017
On November 7 Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Greater Houston Partnership kicked off the second year of Hire Houston Youth at a breakfast at the new Partnership Tower adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Hire Houston Youth provides summer internships and jobs to youth ages 16 to 24. Youth are employed for a minimum of seven weeks and earn at least $8 an hour. The program placed more than 1,100 local youth in jobs last summer.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than a third of American teenagers held a job last summer, and their participation in the workforce is at a historic low. At the same time, 40-50 percent of large US employers report they cannot fill entry-level positions.
Hire Houston Youth brings together government institutions, businesses, community organizations, and schools to significantly reduce youth unemployment while meeting the workforce needs of employers today and in years to come. Together, the Mayor and the Partnership are calling on the local business community to join Hire Houston Youth for summer of 2017.
There are three ways businesses can help:
1. Hire and pay the salary of a Hire Houston Youth participant.
2. Pledge $2,500 to sponsor a youth's salary, training and benefits.
3. Support the initiative with a tax deductible donation
Council Member Dave Martin encourages District E businesses to support the Hire Houston Youth Program. To make a pledge or learn more about Hire Houston Youth, visit
Mayor's Proud Partners Luncheon
On Monday, November 7 Council Member Martin attended the Mayor's 32
Annual Proud Partners Luncheon at Hilton Americas. The luncheon raises funds for Keep Houston Beautiful, a non-profit organization that provides conservation services to the city. This year there were many awards presented recognizing outstanding environmental and beautification projects and the people who execute them. This year's Outstanding Proud Partner acknowledgement was awarded to Jim (Mattress Mack) McIngvale of Gallery Furniture for his leadership and success in making a positive difference in the lives of Houstonians for over three decades.
As an ex-oficio board member of the Houston First Corporation, Council Member Martin congratulates the organization on receiving the Innovation Award. Additionally, Council Member Martin congratulates the Oak Meadows Civic Club who received an Honorable Mention for their 2016 Spring Cleanup. For a complete list of the award recipients, please visit http://www.houstonbeautiful.org.
Soaring in the Clouds Reception
On November 10 Council Member Martin attended the celebration for the new sculpture "Soaring in the Cloud" at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The sculpture contains 14 layered units, 300 elements total, that dangle 67 feet from the ceiling and drift slightly as they catch air currents. Artist Ed Wilson was excited about displaying his art and being a part of Houston's investment to draw visitors for the upcoming Super Bowl. As a Houston First ex-oficio board member, Council Member Martin congratulates Ed Wilson on this great achievement.
C.T. Bauer College of Business/Institute for Regional Forecasting Fall 2016 Symposium
On November 10 Council Member Martin attended the C. T. Bauer College of Business/Institute for Regional Forecasting Fall 2016 Symposium, "Waiting on Oil Markets: Houston's Economy Seeks Direction". The event's featured speaker, Robert W. "Bill" Gilmer, Ph.D., Director of the Institute of Regional Forecasting, provided updates on progress in oil markets, the US economy, and eastside construction, and what it all means for the economic outlook of Houston. The Symposium also presented revised prospects for retail, healthcare, single- and multi-family housing, as well as an in-depth look at commercial real estate. To view Dr. Gilmer's presentation go to
Greater Houston Partnership's State of Energy Luncheon
On November 17 Council Member Martin attended the Greater Houston Partnership's State of Energy luncheon as a guest of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips served as the featured speaker. Although it has been a rough few years for the oil and gas industry, Houston companies are seeking opportunities to emerge from this historic downturn in a stronger position. Lance sat down with former White House energy advisor Jason Bordoff and discussed strategies for succeeding in the low-price environment, and the speakers offered their observations on the key public policy issues pertaining to the energy industry.
Council Member Martin thanks the Greater Houston Partnership for putting together another informative event.
Staff Tour of HPD Mounted Patrol and K-9 Unit
On November 22 staff from Council Member Martin's office toured the Houston Police Department's K9 and Mounted Patrol units. The HPD K9's Unit Program has 39 teams in the unit and is assigned to various sectors throughout the police department. The Mounted Patrol is HPD's most prominent unit and performs certain duties like handling crowds, search and rescue missions, and conducting public service demonstration.
For information about scheduling a tour of the Mounted Patrol Facility, please click
Mayor Turner Selects New Public Safety Chiefs and Housing Director
On Wednesday, November 30 Council Member Martin and fellow council members voted to confirm the appointments of the new Police and Fire Chiefs, as well as the director of Housing that were selected by Mayor Turner. Art Acevedo of Austin will assume the position of police chief and El Paso's Samuel Pena will take over the fire department.
Chief Acevedo has served as Austin's police chief since 2007. His 30 years of law enforcement experience began as a field patrol officer in East Los Angeles. In Austin, he oversaw a department with more than 2,400 sworn officers and support personnel and a $370 million annual budget. He joined the department at a time when relations with minorities were strained due to questionable police shootings. He has been credited for a commitment to police legitimacy, accountability and community policing and engagement. His accomplishments include creating a special investigative unit to criminally investigate officer involved shootings and a new disciplinary matrix. Acevedo holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the University of La Verne, is a graduate of the FBI's National Executive Institute and speaks fluent Spanish.
Chief Pena joined the El Paso Fire Department in 1995 and rose through the ranks to the position of fire chief, which he has held since 2013. He has previous experience as a fire fighter, paramedic, media spokesperson, advanced medical coordinator, Combined Search and Rescue Team member, Hazardous Materials & Special Rescue Task Force member and academy training chief. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served for four years as an air control specialist. Like Acevedo, he is fluent in Spanish.
Council also confirmed Tom McCasland as the permanent director of the Department of Housing and Community Development. McCasland has been serving as interim director of the Houston Department of Housing and Community Development since July. He was previously employed as the chief executive officer for the Harris County Housing Authority and also has experience working as a contractor for the Bayou Greenways 2020 project and Vinson and Elkins LLP. His law degree is from Yale University, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree from Hobe Sound Bible College and a Master's Degree from Baylor University.
Council Member Martin welcomes Chief Acevedo and Chief Pena to Houston and looks forward to continuing to work with Director McCasland.
Mayor Turner Announces Agreement with Uber to Remain in Houston
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a comprehensive strategy to streamline the City's vehicle-for-hire licensing process to ensure that Uber remains in Houston and that Houstonians and visitors have as many transportation options as possible during the upcoming Super Bowl. As part of the plan, Uber has committed to continuing operations in Houston with the use of fingerprint background checks through the Super Bowl.
As part of the agreement, the City will bring forward process-improvement changes to Chapter 46 of the City Code which regulates vehicles-for-hire such as taxis, limos, and TNCs (transportation network companies such as Uber). The streamlined changes will reduce the costs of licensing from nearly $200 to $70, cut the licensing process in half, and allow drivers to be licensed in under 20 minutes. The City's policy on background checks will not change. The proposed changes are expected to come before City Council before the New Year.
Mayor Turner also announced the launch of Arro, the City's official multimodal transportation app, which will help make the City's fleet of over 9,000 taxi and limo drivers more readily accessible to the general public. Building on Top Taxi, Houston First's initiative to improve the quality and customer service of Houston's taxi industry, Arro will help transform the taxi experience in Houston. While initially offering taxi rides, Arro's offerings will expand in the coming months to include limos, wheelchair accessible vehicles, and collaborations with other forms of vehicles-for-hire and METRO. Arro is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
TXU Turkey Trot
On Thanksgiving morning Council Member Martin and his family participated in the annual TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot. The TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot is the largest race in Houston and has been a Houston tradition for over two decades. Proceeds from the event go towards Neighborhood Centers, Inc., a local nonprofit organization that provides free services such as tax preparation and business development and many other opportunities which allow hardworking families to succeed.
Mayor's Holiday & Tree Lighting
Mark your calendars! The 97
Annual Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Presented by Reliant will take place on Friday, December 2 in Hermann Square outside of City Hall. A massive 64' holiday tree glowing with LED lights, unique ornaments and a shining gold star topper will light up the streets of downtown Houston. This year's celebration will feature musical performances by Michelle Williams as well as SVET, an Electro Hip-Hop Violinist as seen on America's Got Talent. Also featured will be the Shlenker Star Singers and appearances by costumed characters from the Houston Ballet.
There will also be the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer through the Salvation Army annual toy drive. Attendants are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Reliant booth at the Mayor's Holiday Celebration to help make the holidays brighter for a child this season.
The event will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Know Before You Go
In preparation for the city to host Super Bowl LI, the Super Bowl Host Committee has included a transportation guide, "Know Before You Go", on their website. The guide provides information to residents and visitors regarding downtown parking, travel tips, road closures, recommended routes, maps, public transportation, alternative transportation, etc. The Super Bowl Host Committee has been working with the City of Houston to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all and remind residents to allow extra time when traveling downtown during this great event.
For those interested, please click here.
Please refer to Council Martin's District E website for location, time and more event details. Email the District E office if you would like us to include your upcoming event in future newsletters!
97th Annual Mayor's Holiday and Tree Lighting
Consolidated City Council Meeting
City Offices Closed for Christmas
Council Break Week
City Offices Closed for New Year's Holiday
Summer Creek BizCom
Southeast Houston/Clear Lake
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Boat Lane Parade
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce's General Membership Luncheon Holiday Celebration