District K Friends,

As we embark on the beginning of summer, I am thankful for the many strides our communities have made together. It is nice to be back in the city hall chambers and meeting in person again. While our Tuesday public sessions are still virtual, we have resumed in person city council meetings on Wednesdays with a virtual option if needed. I think hybrid meetings are great, as they offer both on-site and online engagement.

As the summer approaches and the masks are removed, I urge you to remain cautious and alert. Continue to practice hygiene recommendations by the CDC and for those who have not done so yet, see the vaccine resources in this edition of our newsletter.

I'm so proud of how we came together as a service-oriented community over the past 18 months, and demonstrated District K is definitely an important part of what makes #HoustonStrong. Community members showed up, wherever they were needed, supporting our frontline health care and essential workers, hosting food drives to help those affected by unemployment, providing housing and rental assistance, and helping to increase awareness and availability of Covid-19 testing and vaccinations.

I'm looking forward to continuing to join your community meetings either virtually or in person as we keep striving to make our district better for all residents. Keep sending those invitations to Joe.Gatson@houstontx.gov.

It is my hope that this summer will be our best summer yet. Take a deep breath and let's live life to the fullest. Your District K Team is here to serve and support you and your neighborhood. Don't hesitate to reach out to us. Stay safe and be kind to each other.
 
In service,
-Martha
Southwest Crossing Community Meeting with CenterPoint Energy Today
Residents of Southwest Crossing are invited to attend the Southwest Crossing Homeowners' Association Board meeting on Monday, June 14, 2021, at 12:30 PM. A CenterPoint Energy representative will be available to discuss the construction on Hillcroft and West Orem.

Almeda Plaza Neighborhood
Safety Meeting is Wednesday
Residents of Almeda Plaza neighborhood are invited to a Safety Meeting on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm at the Southwest HPD Police Station located at 13097 Nitida St., Houston, TX 77045.

Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, Chief Troy Finner and other HPD personnel will be available to discuss recent and ongoing problems in the area.

We need all residents in attendance. Please make sure you share this info with your neighbors and meet us on Wednesday, June 16th at 6:30pm. We must work together to ensure our neighborhoods are safe.
BARC in District K
The District K office has received an increase in calls in reference to loose dogs in neighborhoods. Residents have complained of their inability to walk safely in their communities. We have also received reports of these loose dogs chasing the mail carriers and attacking pets on leashes.

In response to this serious community concern my office partnered with the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC) in an enforcement effort to pick up these stray animals.

Pets bring joy to our lives and require responsible pet ownership. At a cost of $13,000 approximately 50 dogs that were roaming without their owners were picked up. While some of the pets have been returned to their owners, paying $260 per animal to be removed is quite expensive for our office. Please be a responsible pet owner and if you need help please ask. Pet ownership is a lifelong commitment! If you are looking for a family pet, I hope you will consider fostering or adopting from BARC.

For additional information or resources click on the image below.
One Step Closer to More Green Space in Westbury to Help with Flooding
In November 2020 my council colleagues and I, along with Mayor Turner authorized the purchase of the 1960s built, 132 units of The Spring Village Apartments, which comprises 6.5 acres of land on Chimney Rock Road in Westbury. That purchase was finalized last week!

Over the next 10 months residents will work with a housing counselor on their relocation plans. Once current residents have relocated, this complex will be taken down and the land will be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity as open green space, recreational or for floodplain management.

Protecting homes in this area of the district that have flooded repeatedly, continues to be a priority for me, and we are one step closer. I’m looking forward to having the additional acreage of detention. We can’t have enough green space!
Police Transparency Hub
Launched in Houston
On June 1st, the City of Houston launched the Police Transparency Hub website. The new initiative is based on recommendations by Houstonians, council members and the Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform. This hub provides an accessible platform for citizens to file a complaint against a police officer and search information about the Houston Police Department's encounters and demographics.

The five dashboards allow community members to access data, policies and other information related to Cite and Release, Use of Force, Traffic Stops, HPD Disciplinary Actions and HPD Employee Diversity. The online transparency hub allows members of the public to upload photos and videos and include other information about their encounter with a police officer.

The newly created Office of Policing Reform and Accountability, led by Deputy Inspector General Crystal Okorafor, will oversee the investigation of online complaints from the Independent Police Oversight Board. The data will be updated each month.

Did you know residents can file complaints with community organizations like NAACP, LULAC, Anti-Defamation League, Islamic Society of Greater Houston, Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities, and the Mayor's LGBTQ Task Force to name a few, in addition to directly online.

Complaints can be made in person at 900 Bagby, 4th Floor, Houston TX 77002 or via mail to Office of Policing Reform and Accountability at P.O. Box 368, Houston, TX 77001-0368.
The phone number to the office is 832-393-6772 and the email address is COH_Policing_Reform@houstontx.gov.
Take the Survey- How Should We
Reuse the Astrodome?
CALLING ALL FRIENDS OF THE ASTRODOME - Future Dome is the first ever public outreach effort around the reuse of the Astrodome. The Conservancy wants our input, and since the Astrodome is in our district, let's participate and take the survey!


The Astrodome is a quintessential part of Houston's history and culture, and we at the Astrodome Conservancy are excited about its future. Since its closing, there have been many ideas proposed for its reuse, but all have failed for one reason or another. We are asking for your help to develop and demonstrate support for an innovative, feasible, and community-backed approach to the reuse of the Dome.

Can Your Organization Help
During a Hurricane?
The Housing and Community Development Department is working to better equip our community with hurricane preparedness. They are looking to partner with organizations to organize and execute community outreach programs that will effectively reach historically underserved populations and share valuable information.

Programming should take place at the neighborhood level and increase awareness about numerous topics. Organizations with established relationships with underserved communities and have the capacity to effectively execute outreach and education programs.

All online applications must be received by11:59 p.m., CST, on June 16, 2021.
All applicants must attend at least one of the Fair Housing 101 Workshop sessions in order to qualify.

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Also, as we experience more rainy days, residents may experience street flooding caused by blocked or clogged drains. Please call these situations in to 311 and get an SR# for future reference. Once you have the SR#, email our office (Perdita.Chavis@HoustonTX.gov) so we can keep a running list of areas experiencing major street flooding in the district. We want to address these concerns as soon as we possibly can. Your email should contain the address where flooding is happening, SR#, contact information and a picture if possible.
 
It is important for all of us to do our part in our neighborhoods. Before a rain event, there are steps you and your neighbors can take to help. Clear drains before storms and call 311 or our office if you see debris blocking ditches or roadways.
 
Let's work together to make our community better and remain safe throughout the hurricane season.
Do You Love Music?
The Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs is coordinating the first Make Music Day Houston! "Make Music is a free celebration of music around the world on June 21st. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries. Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion are invited to participate. All of it is free and open to the public!

Performers and vendors are invited to sign up and if you are just looking to listen, login to https://www.makemusicday.org/houston/.

"Where words leave off, music begins." -Heinrich Heine
Funds Still Available for Fort Bend County
Business Owners
June is Pride Month
Happy Pride Month! My very first parade after being elected was the 2018 Pride Parade. I will never forget that electric moment in time. Although there is no parade this month, I still celebrate with my friends.

I am looking forward to the parade next year and the progress we will continue to make for LGBTQ+ Houstonians. I am a proud ally and I hope you will join me in fostering a diverse, inclusive, accepting, welcoming safe space for everyone.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them, humanity cannot survive."
Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available all over the Houston area. The schedule is available on the vaccine page of HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.