Residents of District E,
As the holidays and end of the year are quickly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for allowing me to serve you during my first year as your city council member. The 2013 year has definitely been one for the record books; this has been one of the most interesting, exhilarating, demanding and rewarding times of my life. I have been blessed with wonderful family, friends and career, all of which have allowed me the opportunity to serve you at City Hall. I have truly enjoyed meeting, and forming friendships with each one of you and I look forward to growing those relationships as I go into my first term and second year on the Houston City Council. I would also like to thank the many individuals who have provided me with a helping hand to me during my first year on the job, without you, year number one would not have been as successful.
In looking forward to 2014, I am eager to see District E and the City of Houston prosper more than ever, and I look forward to playing a key role in many of the important issues facing City Hall, most importantly with the Fiscal Year 2015 budget process. My hope is to work closely with Mayor Parker's Administration and other council members on creating a comprehensive financial policy for the City of Houston. Please continue to read future newsletters for more information related to this and other crucial issues.
Please note my city office will be closed on December 24th and December 25th for the Christmas holiday and additionally on January 1st in observance of New Years Day. Even while we are out, my office tries to monitor emails and phones, but please be patient as we will be back in the office on January 2nd and will be more than willing to assist you in any way we can.
In closing, I will officially be sworn in for my first term as your District E Council Member on January 2, 2014, prior to the first official 2014 Houston City Council Meeting. I encourage you to attend or tune in to the meeting via TV or online to watch as the first order of business in 2014 gets underway.
On behalf of the District E office, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Humble ISD Education Foundation Golf Tournament
On Wednesday, November 6, Council Member Martin joined other area community leaders to play in the annual Humble ISD Education Foundation Golf Tournament held at the Kingwood Country Club. The yearly event raises money for the foundation that provides funding for Humble ISD programs, campuses and student scholarships. The staff continuously promotes philanthropy in the schools and community at large. As a former Humble ISD School Board Member, Council Member Martin looks forward to participating in this event every year and thanks for the Foundation for their continued participation and involvement in the community.
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council Meeting
On November 20, the Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council met at the Kingwood Community Center to hear invited speaker, Sawyer Blackburn from the Friendswood Development Company, speak about an upcoming project in the community. Additionally, a new Advisory Board for the Friends of Kingwood Community Center was discussed with Justin Hagendorf leading the discussion.
If interested, the next Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council meeting will be held Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m. Jim Fisher, developer of the new Kingwood Parc City Center will be giving a presentation about the much anticipated mixed use development that will be located at Highway 59 and Kingwood Drive.
Kingwood Boy Scout Visits City Hall
Council Member Martin had the privilege of welcoming Boy Scout, Sean Delamer from Kingwood to City Hall on Wednesday, November 13. Delamer, who is a senior at Kingwood High School, has advanced through Boy Scouts and has recently just completed his Eagle Scout project, with the last step to apply for the rank of Eagle Scout. Council Member Martin met with Delamer prior to the weekly City Council meeting and wishes him nothing but the best for his future.
Delamer is a member of the National Honor Society and National Forensics League. He is a member of the Kingwood High School Debate team as well as a three year varsity player on the Kingwood High School Lacrosse team and a one year player on the Kingwood High School Varsity Football team. During his freshman and sophomore years, he was a member of the Kingwood NJROTC program where he had the honor of helping to raise money for and place wreaths on the graves of our beloved Veterans for Wreaths Across America.
Daisies Tour of City Hall
Daisy Troop 9642 from Summerwood visited City Hall on Tuesday, November 26 in an effort to add to their daisy petal for respecting authority. Council Member Martin's staff gave the Troop a tour of City Hall and spoke about the role of city government. Later, Council Member Martin met them in Council Chambers where the girls had the opportunity to ask him questions and sit in the council member's chair.
Kingwood Tea Party Meeting
Council Member Martin attended the Kingwood Tea Party monthly meeting last month held at Los Cucos in Kingwood. The membership invited Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman as the featured guest speaker for November. Smitherman has served in this position since 2011. The Railroad Commission of Texas was established in 1891 under a constitutional and legislative mandate to prevent discrimination in railroad charges and establish reasonable tariffs. It is the oldest regulatory agency in the state and one of the oldest of its kind in the nation.
Lake Houston Aquatic Vegetation
In response to calls received by constituents, Council Member Martin's office has worked with the Coastal Water Authority to rid Lake Houston of invasive aquatic vegetation that has recently appeared on the waters. Since 2004, the City of Houston has contracted an annual aquatic vegetation control program to the Coastal Water Authority. This year's unusual growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation can be attributed to recent mild winters and lack of access to the lake during the 2011 drought. Efforts are currently being made to help mitigate this abundant growth pattern now and in the future by increasing the number of spray applications. Adjustments will be taken as needed in the future. For more information, please contact Council Member Martin's office.
Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce's Third Tuesday Luncheon
Council Member Martin's Chief of Staff, Allie Smart, attend the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce's monthly Third Tuesday Luncheon at the Kingwood Country Club on Tuesday, November 19. David Gornet, Executive Director of The Grand Parkway Association shared a presentation focusing on "The Grand Parkway, Houston's Next Loop". The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce also recognized the successes of those volunteers who participated in the 2013 Total Resources Campaign which have raised a total of $323,154 as of the week of Thanksgiving, exceeding their goal of $260,000. Council Member Martin congratulates the individuals and teams that participated this year to raise this impressive amount of fundraising.
Feral Hogs and Water Quality
On behalf of Council Member Martin, Chief of Staff Allie Smart, attended the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Clean Waters Initiative workshop last month that focused on feral hogs and water quality. Mark Tyson from Texas A&M University lead the afternoon meeting directly speaking about how to effectively reduce the environmental impact of these animals. Topics included:
Feral Hogs in Texas - understanding the life processes of feral hogs will empower citizens to make informed decisions on feral hog related issues. The biology and ecology of feral hogs in Texas was covered.
Feral Hog Impacts to Water Quality in Southeast Texas - Watersheds throughout southeast Texas have been impacted by feral hogs creating water quality issues.
Feral Hog Abatement Strategies - Techniques were highlighted that can be used to reduce damage within these watersheds.
San Jacinto College Applied Sciences Building Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On November 7, San Jacinto College's South Campus celebrated the grand opening of their new Allied Health and Natural Sciences Building. The new building, which has an environmentally friendly, LEED designated design, will house all of the south campus science classes and allied health programs. All of the classrooms and labs are equipped with the most advanced technology and training equipment to prepare students for careers in health and science, fields with high employment demand right now in the Houston area.
Greater Houston Partnership State of the Port
On Thursday, November 14, the Greater Houston Partnership hosted the "State of the Port" luncheon featuring guest speaker and Chairman of the Houston Port Authority, Janiece Longoria. Chairman Longoria gave a comprehensive overview of the activities occurring at the Port, the future expansions the commission is positioning itself for, and the significant economic impact the Port has on the region, state and country. Council Member Martin's Deputy Chief of Staff, Lauren Laake, attended the luncheon and thanks the West Gulf Maritime Association for the invitation.
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Toy Drive
The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals are hosting their annual Toy Drive this holiday season. The members are collecting new, unwrapped toys for special children who will receive donations through Communities in Schools - Bay Area. If interested in contributing, please drop off your toys to the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce office located at 1201 E. NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058 or to Council Member Martin's office located at 900 Bagby, First Floor, Houston, TX 77006.
For more information please contact Matt Griesmyer at 281.488.7676 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13th Annual Salute Our Heroes Veteran's Day Parade
On Monday, November 11, nearly 150 companies and organizations participated in the 13th Annual Salute Our Heroes Veteran's Day Parade in downtown Houston. Council Member Martin joined Mayor Parker and his other council colleagues on the City of Houston float that paid tribute to the nation's Armed Forces.
Houston Ship Channel Security District's 4th Annual Luncheon
The Houston Ship Channel District hosted their 4th Annual Luncheon on Thursday, November 21 where where Council Member Martin listened to invited guests, City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Chairman of the Port of Houston Commission, Janiece Longoria, speak. The ultimate purpose of the Houston Ship Channel Security District is to provide a greater degree of security for those communities, facilities and employees surrounding the Houston Ship Channel. The district leverages installation of proven modern technology and security infrastructure funded by Department of Homeland Security federal grants with maintenance and operations dollars from assessments to fund enhancement programs. Infrastructure and equipment used to mitigate threats, funded by the HSCD, was on display during the luncheon. As public partners of the District, both the City of Houston and the Port of Houston Authority provide significant security support surrounding the Houston Ship Channel.
Houston Police Awards Ceremony
Council Member Martin joined the Houston Police Department on Tuesday, November 19, to recognize more than 100 officers and citizens for their achievements and exceptional service to the community during an awards ceremony held at the L.D. Morrison Sr. HPD Training Academy. Awards included those for Medal of Valor, Life Saving, Humanitarian Service and Hostile Engagement. Council Member Martin thanks the men and women in blue for their continued dedication and service to the community, and for choosing to go above and beyond their assigned duties.
Funds for Veterans Assistance Available
The Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans' Assistance has posted the Housing4TexasHeroes 2014-2015 Request for Applications.
The purpose of this Request for Applications is to seek applications from eligible applicants for home modification reimbursement grants. The amount available for this two-year grant is $1,500,000 each year, for a total amount of $3,000,000. Applicants can request a grant from $5,000 to $500,000. The number of awards made is dependent on the grant amounts awarded.
Grants awarded for Housing4TexasHeroes two-year grant will begin on July 1, 2014 and end on June 30, 2016. All applications must comply with the Request for Applications posted on the FVA website. Applications are due no later than 4:00 PM on Thursday, January 9, 2014.
The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) established the following priorities to provide guidance to the FVA Advisory Committee in developing funding recommendations to present to the Commission. These priorities are:
- Outstanding grant applications
- Widespread distribution of grants across the state
- Services should be varied in geographic areas to ensure no over-saturation or duplication of services in areas of the state
- Full funding of grant requests, when possible
The above priorities will be used in the funding recommendations made for this grant. Please review our website for additional application information.
Please visit the Texas Veterans Commission website at www.tvc.texas.gov within the next few days for more additional information regarding events that will be held regarding the Housing4TexasHeroes 2014-2015 application.
New Director for the Office of Veteran's Affairs
Council Member Martin welcomes the city's new Director for the Office of Veterans Affairs, Carl Salazar. Mr. Salazar is committed to ensuring that Houston remains a leader in providing assistance to transitioning service members and their families by helping veterans gain employment, supporting their mental health needs and ending veteran homelessness.
Mr. Salazar replaces E.A. "Buddy" Grantham who served as COHOVA Director since the office's inception and worked hard to help position Houston as the best city in the nation for veterans and their families. Mr. Grantham is now Assistant Director of the City of Houston Fleet Management Department.
Mr. Salazar is a Navy veteran who enlisted in 1984 and was accepted into the Naval Academy the following year receiving his commission as an Ensign in 1989. He served on two combat ships, including aboard the USS Ford during its deployment in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. He comes from a strong military family, with uncles who served in World War II and Korea, a brother who served in the Navy and other family members who are veterans of the Army, Air Force and National Guard.
In 1995, Mr. Salazar left the Navy to attend the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Upon receiving his Master of Business Administration degree, he worked in the steel industry for 13 years. He moved to Houston in 2008, and started a non-profit, Expedition Balance that serves veterans. He regularly volunteers at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, teaching yoga and meditation to veterans. Along with his non-profit and volunteer service, he also worked for Accenture, a management consulting firm.
Council Member Martin thanks Buddy Grantham for his time, dedication and service to the COHOVA.
For more information about the services provided by COHOVA, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/vetaffairs/.
28th Annual Comida Food Drive
Join the Houston Police Department in its 28th annual Comida/Food Drive and help feed less fortunate families during the holiday season. Since December 1985, when several HPD officers responded to a call for service and saw a family in need, the Department has worked with its partners, Fiesta Mart and Pepsi Cola, to distribute food boxes to Houston's under privileged families.
HPD's Comida/Food Drive has grown significantly over almost three decades, and has become one of the largest food drives in Houston. During that first year approximately 600 families received a box of non-perishable food to feed a family of four. Last year, the drive provided 3,500 families with a box of food for the holidays. This growth has been the result of generous donors, along with the effort and support of sponsors and volunteers who have contributed both time and money to guarantee the food drives' success.
Major corporate sponsors of the Comida/Food Drive are Fiesta Mart. Inc. and the Pepsi Bottling Company. The Houston Citizens' Police Academy Alumni Association (HCPAAA) is also a valuable co-sponsor and provides necessary support at the Fiesta Marts in the collection of food and money. Local inner city churches identify families for food distribution, as well as help in the collection of food, money, packing and loading of boxes for distribution.
The Houston Police Foundation provides support for those who wish to make a cash donation online with a credit card at: houstonpolicefoundation.com. On-line donations can be made from November 1 to December 7.
Additionally, citizens are also encouraged to visit one of the following Fiesta Mart locations to make a donation of cash or food.
The following Fiesta Marts will be collecting food and cash donations from noon to 8 p.m. on December 5 and 6 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 7 and 8.
The 14 area Fiesta Stores are:
- 2300 N. Shepherd Dr.
- 1175 Edgebrook Dr.
- 800 S. Wayside
- 4711 Airline
- 10401 Jensen Dr.
- 12201 East Fwy.
- 8320 FM 1960
- 7510 Bellfort
- 5600 Mykawa
- 4200 San Jacinto
- 6200 Bellaire Blvd
- 11240 Fondren Rd.
- 12355 Main Street
- 12584 Westheimer Rd.
94th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Ring in the season with the 94th Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Presented by Reliant on Friday, December 6 at Hermann Square outside of City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. This free event is a holiday tradition of music, fireworks and family fun.
Danielle Bradbery, winner of The Voice 2013, is the featured artist of the holiday variety show, which will also include performances by the Winter Wonderettes, the KIPP SHARP Singers and more.
Immediately following the performance, Mayor Annise Parker and Reliant President Elizabeth Killinger will light the Official Holiday Tree and ignite a spectacular fireworks finale perfectly timed to the Hallelujah Chorus from "Handel's Messiah" featuring Music Director Ernest Walker, his award winning band and a 100-voice choir from Westbury High School.
Public parking is available in the Theater District. For more information, visit www.houstontx.gov or www.houstonspecialevents.org.
HFD Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive
Be a part of one of the largest toy drives in Houston and help the Houston Fire Department (HFD) bring some holiday joy to thousands of Houston area children in need. Through the Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive, HFD, KBR and KPRC Local 2 are teaming up once again to bring some holiday joy to the hearts of local underprivileged children this season.
From Friday, November 22 - Wednesday, December 18, bring a new, unwrapped toy to any HFD Fire Station or any of the other toy collection locations, a list of which will be available online beginning November 22 at www.houstonfire.org and www.click2houston.com. Please note: due to the tremendous demand for toys, clothing donations will not be accepted, but there are many agencies that will welcome such donations.
For more information on Operation Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive and how you, your business, place of worship or neighborhood can help, email Paul Box, HFD Public Affairs, at email@example.com or call him at 832.394.6636.
To learn more about HFD, visit www.houstonfire.org. Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives. Test your today!
Houston Chosen as Finalist in UF2020 City Competition
The City of Houston has been chosen among 13 cities named as US2020 City Competition finalists selected from a pool of 52 applicants nationwide. The US2020 City Competition supports the role of cities as innovators in efforts to build Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentoring capacity at the local level. The other finalists include: Allentown, PA; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Research Triangle, NC; San Francisco, CA; Tulsa, OK; and Wichita, KS. The first round of applicants represented over 500 organizations, including nonprofits, school districts and businesses from 29 states.
The finalists will join peers and STEM experts in Boston for "Ideas Camp" on December 4-5. Over the two-day session, the teams will devise concept implementation plans and collaborate with experts and peers to refine their strategies. Applications for the second round of the competition are due in January. The winning cities will be announced in February. The winners will share nearly $1 million in resources from US2020. The awards will be based on the teams' proposals and strategic plans to significantly increase STEM mentoring for girls, low-income youth and students of color.
The Mayor's Office of Education Initiatives, a division of the Department of Neighborhoods, is the lead applicant for Houston's US2020 proposal. The guiding coalition for the first round of the competition include the Center for Houston's Future, CenterPoint Energy, Citizen Schools-Texas, Genesys Works, The Harris Foundation, Houston Independent School District, Microsoft Corporation and Wells Fargo. For information about the City's education initiatives and how to participate in US2020, visit www.houstontx.gov/education.
Solid Waste Managemen't Holiday Pick Up Schedule
As a friendly reminder, the city's Solid Waste Management Department has revised their pick up schedule for the month of December. Please note the following changes.
Regular garbage, curbside recycling, yard waste, 4th Tuesday's junk waste will be collected
No collections; all Solid Waste Management facilities will be closed.
Day After Christmas
Resume regular garbage and recycling schedule. 4th Wednesday's and 4th Thursday's junk waste collected today
New Year's Day
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!
Note City offices are closed
November 22 - January 4
Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo
December 5Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce's Kingwood Bizcom December 74th Annual Snowball Run
Kingwood (Lake Houston) Musical Arts Society's "Hanedel's Messiah"December 17Kingwood PIP Meeting
Southeast Houston/Clear Lake
Meadowcreek Village Potluck Dinner
Clear Lake/Southeast Houston PIP Meeting
Clear Lake Area Republican's Club meeting
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's General Membership Luncheon
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Holiday Open House