Council Member Dave Martin's

District E Newsletter

Issue 41

May 2016 



Dave Martin

Council Member

District E 





900 Bagby

First Floor

Houston, TX 77002


17629 El Camino Real

Suite 415

Houston, TX 77058



Office: (832) 393-3008

Fax: (832) 393-3279 




Lauren Laake

Chief of Staff 


Evan Austin

South Sector Manager


Jessica Beemer
North Sector Manager


Katherine Cunningham 

Administrative Assistant

City Contacts
City of Houston 311
(713) 837-0311

Mayor's Citizens Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955

Community Center
District E Community Contacts


Northshore Super Neighborhood Council

Meadowbrook/Allendale Super Neighborhood Council

 Clear Lake Super Neighborhood Council

Residents of District E,
Last month, Houston was overwhelmed by a significant rain event that caused major flooding and devastation across the city. One of the areas most significantly impacted were the Forest Cove/Northsore/Belleau Woods neighborhoods located along the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston. While these areas historically are prone to taking on water in a rain event like the one we saw, the levels seen along the river rivaled those that were seen in the 1994 storms. In all, a total of 30 residents were evacuated while others were provided resources by the Houston Fire Department. I want to thank all of the first responders who worked around the clock to ensure the safety of the residents impacted in this area.
Additionally, my office worked with Mayor Turner, the Public Works and Engineering Department,  the San Jacinto River Authority, the Governor's Office, and Texas State Representative Dan Huberty's office on a daily basis to ensure that Lake Houston released more water than it was receiving from Cypress Creek, Spring Creek and Lake Conroe to ensure that the flooding would not have an even greater impact on the community than it already had.
The devastation of these storms serves as a reminder of the upcoming hurricane season that will begin June 1 and run through November 1. In preparation, Hurricane Preparedness Week will take place May 15-21, 2016 and encourages citizens to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. To ensure that you are prepared, please follow the suggestions below:
  • Determine your risk
  • Develop an evacuation plan
  • Secure an insurance check-up
  • Assemble disaster supplies
  • Strengthen your home
  • Identify your trusted sources of information for a hurricane event
  • Complete your written hurricane plan
The city additionally offers a free Disaster Preparedness Guide for all Houston residents, which is available for download at For a free, printed copy of the guide, residents can call 311 at (713) 837-0311. This guide aides Houstonians through the emergency preparedness process, which include having an emergency kit, a disaster plan, staying informed, and knowing your neighbors.

It is a privilege serving you. As always, please feel free to contact my office should you have any comments, questions or concerns to share. 


Dave Martin

South Sector Manager

I want to congratulate my South Sector Manager, Evan Austin, for the exceptional job that he has done in the District E office, and for being accepted into law school at the University of Chicago, where he will attend this fall. We hate to see him leave this month, but know without a doubt that he will be extremely successful pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer. We wish him absolutely nothing but the best as he transitions into the next chapter of his career. Evan's last day at the District E office will be Friday, May 13.
Federal Aid Programs for Flood Victims

Council Member Martin advises residents of the below summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration recently issued for the State of Texas.
Assistance for affected individuals and families can include as required:
  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.  (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans' benefits and social security matters.
How to apply for assistance:

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling (1) (800) 621-FEMA (3362).  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call (1) (800) 462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call (1) (800) 621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Residents can follow FEMA online at,,  and  Residents can also follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at The social media links provided are for reference only.
Home Elevation Grant Opportunity 

The City of Houston, in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, will submit a grant application on behalf of interested homeowners to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant.  This grant will request funds for Elevation of Existing Homes damaged during the 2015 and 2016 flooding events.

Who is Eligible?

Only homeowners who have flood insurance.  The flood insurance must be from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and be effective at the time of the grant application.

How can this grant help me to avoid flood damage in the future?

If awarded, this grant will pay between 75% and 100% of eligible costs to elevate your home.  For this grant, home elevation means that your existing house will be lifted so that the lowest floor is one foot above the expected flood elevation and a new foundation will be built to support your home.

What are my chances of receiving a grant award?

FMA is a nationally competitive grant program.  Homeowners who have the strongest chance of award are those who own a property with a history of receiving large flood insurance claim payments over time.  These properties have special FEMA designations - FMA Repetitive Loss or FMA Severe Repetitive Loss Properties.  To have a chance of award, elevating your home must save FEMA more in future avoided flood claim payments than it costs to do the home elevation.  High priority will be given to properties that were damaged in the 2015 Memorial Day, 2015 Halloween and 2016 Tax Day Flood Events.  There is no guarantee of award.

How do I apply?

Follow the "Submitting Instructions" and complete the "Voluntary Interest Form and Checklist" published on the website under Rebuilding/Repairs. Attach the required documents and follow the instructions to submit your package to the City's Floodplain Management Office (FMO). DUE TO A COMPRESSED FEMA SCHEDULE, APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY MAY 6, 2016 AT 5:00 P.M.

How do I learn more?

Keep monitoring the website for more details.   You can also contact the City's Floodplain Management Office with your questions at (832) 394-8854 or fmo@houstontx.govINTERESTED HOMEOWNERS MUST SUBMIT THEIR INFORMATION BY FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016 AT 5:00 P.M. TO MEET THE FEMA DEADLINE.

If you chose to submit online, you still need to print sign and upload page 2 of this form:

If you chose to submit in person or via mail/fax/email, please print and complete pages 1 & 2 of this form:
For more information on repairing flood damage in the floodplain, please click here.
Valero Houston Refinery Tour

Council Member Martin and staff attended a tour of Valero's Houston Refinery, located adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel's Manchester Terminal, on Friday, April 8. During the tour, Council Member Martin learned about the plant's history and recent capital investments to improve its refining capacity and reduce environmental impacts. The group additionally toured the refinery's new, state-of-the-art control room, on-site volunteer fire station and other facilities. Council Member Martin was also reminded of the devastating impact unmitigated storm surge would have on economic assets in the Houston Ship Channel such as the Valero Houston Refinery, and the nation as a result.

Council Member Martin thanks Chip Gross of Valero for the informative tour.

South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce's Top Ten Luncheon

On Wednesday, April 20 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce's Top Ten Luncheon. At the annual event, the Chamber honored the top ten graduating seniors from Pasadena ISD's J. Frank Dobie High School, Clear Creek ISD's Clear Horizons High School and Lutheran South Academy. Dr. Victor Phan, an orthopedic surgeon at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and a Dobie High School graduate, provided the luncheon's keynote address and encouraged students to persevere in the face of adversity as he did as a young adult. Dr. Phan also announced his establishment of a new scholarship to be administered through the Chamber to fund the education of South Belt-area students. The Hon. Jo Ann Delgado, Harris County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Place 1, also provided one graduating student a scholarship, and the South Belt-Ellington Chamber provided an additional scholarship newly-named after interim-director Sally Mitchell.

Council Member Martin thanks the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce for holding the inspiring annual event, and congratulates all of the exceptional students recognized for their impressive educational achievements.
Bay Area Republican Women Monthly Meeting

On Wednesday, April 27 Council Member Martin spoke to members of the Bay Area Republican Women (BARW) at the club's monthly lunch meeting. In his remarks, Council Member Martin updated those in attendance on the City of Houston's ongoing Fiscal Year 2017 budget discussions and provided an overview of several projects underway or under consideration in the Clear Lake area before taking questions. 
Council Member Martin thanks BARW for the opportunity to speak and for members' work engaging Clear Lake residents in the local, state and national political process.
Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership's State of the Economy Luncheon

Council Member Martin attended the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership's annual State of the Economy Luncheon on Thursday, April 28. A number of local business leaders and elected officials from the Clear Lake area were in attendance at the event, and Dr. Bill Gilmer, Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business, provided the keynote address. In his remarks, Dr. Gilmer discussed the current state of the regional economy, focusing on Houston's energy sector and projections for global oil prices and production in the coming years.
Council Member Martin thanks Dr. Gilmer for the informative presentation and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership for organizing the annual event.

Clear Lake City Monument Signs

Last month, the two dilapidated Clear Lake City monument signs located on both the north and south sides of Clear Lake City Boulevard between I-45 and Highway 3 were demolished and removed at the direction of Council Member Martin. During construction, appropriate traffic control measures were in place and HPD's Clear Lake Division monitored the location to direct traffic when necessary.

Since being elected, Council Member Martin has been contacted by individuals and homeowners associations regarding the blighted condition of the two signs that were originally installed by Friendswood Development Company when the community was first established. Since then, the signs have naturally deteriorated, been hit by storms such as Hurricane Ike, have been involved in vehicular accidents, etc. contributing to their abating condition. Council Member Martin worked with the Association of Clear Lake Communities and received 11 letters of support from homeowners associations as well as Gateway Community Church for the demolition of the signs. As a result, he agreed to partner with the Clear Lake Property Owners Association and contribute $10,000.00 from his Council District Service Fund for the project.

Council Member Martin extends his thanks to all of the individuals who have been actively involved in this process over the past three years, and looks forward to improving the overall appearance of the entrance of Clear Lake.

For more information, please contact the District E office at (832) 393-3008 or
Clear Lake Homelessness Meeting

On Wednesday, April 6 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended a community meeting on the issues of homelessness and panhandling in the Clear Lake area. At the meeting, a number of local stakeholders including Gina Evans of The Mercy Tree, Sergeant Gregory Countie and Officer Jason Curtis of the Houston Police Department's (HPD) Clear Lake Division, and Harris County Precinct 8 Constable Phil Sandlin spoke about their efforts to address homelessness in the area and took questions from the audience.
HPD advises residents to call its non-emergency number at (713) 884-3131 when observing homeless individuals or panhandlers engaging in behavior which appears to be illegal. Such behavior may include but is not limited to trespassing on private property, drug-related activity and/or public intoxication, and solicitation in public streets. Calling HPD will also address concerns about illegal activity associated with homelessness by creating recorded calls for service which may help direct additional resources to the caller's area.
In addition, the City of Houston's Code of Ordinances deems it unlawful for individuals to solicit funds on public streets without wearing a high visibility traffic vest and requires that solicitors remain off the street and within 40 feet of a traffic signal. Additional City of Houston requirements relating to solicitation can be found in Article V "Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes" in the city's Code of Ordinances accessible here.
Following the April 6 meeting, Council Member Martin's office also followed up with the Mayor's Office of Homeless Initiatives. As a result, HPD's Homeless Outreach Team was dispatched to several locations across the Clear Lake area identified by HPD's Clear Lake Division. Over the past twelve months, the City of Houston has additionally conducted two citywide outreach searches to locate chronically homeless Houstonians and offer housing assistance and other supportive services.
Residents interested in assisting Houston's homeless are encouraged to contribute to accountable organizations that are part of the city's collaborative system to end homelessness known as "The Way Home." For more information, visit .  

Clear Lake Time Capsule Reveal

On Wednesday, April 20 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended a special event organized by Jim Johnson, branch manager of the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library, to unearth and open a time capsule buried in Clear Lake exactly 50 years before. Among those in attendance were State Representative Dennis Paul, officials from the Harris County Public Library system, University of Houston-Clear Lake archivist Sarah Canby-Jackson and a number of long-time residents from the Clear Lake area. Despite the discovery that water had infiltrated the capsule, a number of artifacts of significance to the Clear Lake area were ultimately recovered including an American flag carried by Astronaut Pete Conrad on the Gemini V and newspaper clippings from the opening of the Clear Lake Theater, which closed in 1983.

Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership Monthly Luncheon

On Thursday, April 21 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership's (BayTran) monthly luncheon held to bring together public officials, community leaders and transportation experts to discuss issues of importance and upcoming mobility projects affecting Houston's Bay Area. The keynote speaker for this month's luncheon was Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman, who in his address provided an overview of the numerous mobility projects scheduled to occur in Precinct 2 in the coming yearsThe Commissioner additionally recognized former BayTran President Barbara Koslov, who recently began her new role as Harris County Judge Ed Emmett's transportation policy advisor. 
New Space Center Houston CEO

Last month, Space Center Houston announced that William T. Harris will replace longtime CEO Richard Allen as the center's chief executive. Harris comes to Space Center Houston with more than 30 years in nonprofit leadership including senior positions at a renowned science center and universities, where he led multi-million-dollar capital and fundraising campaigns, principal and major gifts, marketing campaigns, communications, government relations and strategy initiatives.

Prior to this new role, Harris worked at the California Science Center Foundation where he oversaw all external affairs including capital campaigns, board relations, annual and membership programs, public funding, marketing and communications as senior vice president of development and marketing. Harris additionally served as a leader on the team to bring the space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center, including its funding, promotion, transport, communications, marketing and exhibit opening.  

Outgoing Space Center Houston CEO Richard Allen was the second chief executive in the nonprofit's 24 years. During his tenure, the center garnered international media coverage and was called "The Big Draw" in Houston by USA Today. Over the last two years, the center debuted a new membership program, obtained Smithsonian Affiliation, held its first gala and set a new annual attendance record in 2015. In January, the nonprofit opened new landmark Independence Plaza exhibit, a complex featuring the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905 and shuttle replica Independence. Under Allen's leadership, the center transformed operations and strengthened the financial long-term growth of the nonprofit organization.

Council Member Martin congratulates Mr. Harris and welcomes him to the Clear Lake area within District E. He also commends Richard Allen for his many years of outstanding leadership at Space Center Houston and in the Clear Lake community.

On Thursday, April 28 United States Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced federal legislation to speed up the process by which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studies and begins construction of a federally-funded coastal protection project along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Corps' Obligation to Assist in Safeguarding Texas (COAST) Act will expedite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' process for completing the Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Study, a necessary prerequisite to any federally-funded protection project. The bill also streamlines Congressional authorization for the project once the Corps completes the feasibility study.

Additional details on the COAST Act are below:

Feasibility Study

The COAST Act would expedite the mandatory pre-construction review process by requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take into consideration studies already developed by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD) while completing its Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Study.  This provision was also included in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week. 

Authorization of Recommendations

The COAST Act would expedite completion of the reports for the Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Study and streamline the Congressional approval process by allowing the final recommended project to proceed to the building phase without additional authorization.

Council Member Martin commends Senator Cornyn for his leadership on this issue of critical importance to the greater Houston area and the nation as a whole. For questions on the COAST Act, please contact Drew Brandewie in Senator Cornyn's office at (202) 224-0704.

West Lake Houston Pedestrian Tunnel

On Thursday, April 14 the Lake Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ 10) voted to approve an addition to an existing public improvement contract with Friendswood Development Company to include the construction of a pedestrian tunnel on the northbound lanes of West Lake Houston Parkway between Appalachian Trail and Sycamore Springs Drive. 
Over the past year Council Member Martin worked diligently with the Mills Branch Homeowner's Association and many community members to persuade Friendswood Development Company to construct the much-needed pedestrian tunnel, which they agreed last month to now complete. The installation of this tunnel is extremely important to Council Member Martin because twin pedestrian tunnels can be found throughout the Kingwood community. It was because of the Council Member's attention to this detail and quick action that he was able to bring it to the attention of the developer. Council Member Martin continues to have a vested interest in the completion of the tunnel as it is will greatly improve public safety in the area.
The construction of the new pedestrian tunnel will be included in the offsite improvements currently underway by Friendswood Development Company. This addition to the public improvement contract will include redesign and construction of the northbound lanes of West Lake Houston, addition of a pedestrian tunnel, embankment, and new pavement to accommodate the existing pedestrian trail crossing the roadway. The overall capital improvement budget for the TIRZ is not increased by the inclusion of the pedestrian tunnel in the project costs. Construction of the northbound pedestrian tunnel is expected to be completed in advance of the 2016-2017 school year. 
Council Member Martin extends his thanks to all of the individuals who have been actively involved in this process over the last year and appreciates Friendswood Development Company for proceeding with the work as it will greatly improve public safety for children and residents of our community.
For more information, please contact the District E office at (832) 393-3008 or
YMCA Miracle League Opening Day

The Lake Houston Family YMCA's Miracle League baseball season kicked off on Saturday, April 16 at Humble High School. The program is designed to give children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to play and thrive through sports, regardless of their ability. The Miracle League also provides parents the ability to cheer on their children as the kids experience the joy of being part of a team. Opening Day kicked off with members of the Kingwood Park High School Drumline hyping up the crowd, Kingwood High School Choir members singing the national anthem and local Congressman Kevin Brady reading a letter from Texas Governor Greg Abbott officially opening the Miracle League season. Council Member Martin attended and had a great time cheering on the Miracle Leaguers as they ran the bases during their first game of the season. Weather permitting, additional games days are scheduled at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on May 7, May 14 and May 21, located at the Humble High School Softball Field. 
2016 Dancing with the Lake Houston Stars

On Thursday, April 28 Council Member Martin delivered the opening prayer at the Lake Houston Family YMCA's 2016 Dancing with the Lake Houston Stars fundraising event. The annual event included dinner, an auction and performances by dancers from the Lake Houston community. Proceeds will support the YMCA Annual Campaign, which ensures that all community members have the opportunity to learn, thrive and grow at the Y.

Council Member Martin congratulates the Lake Houston Family YMCA on a wonderful event, and thanks Memorial Hermann for inviting him to join them at their table.
Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce D.C. Fly-In

Last month, staff from Council Member Martin's office joined a delegation from the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce on a trip to Washington, D.C. On the trip, delegates met with members of Congress to advocate for issues of local importance such as tax reform, overtime regulation, healthcare and education, and to receive briefings on federal legislation affecting the Lake Houston Area business community. The group met with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady, as well as Congressman Ted Poe.
Council Member Martin thanks the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce for organizing the successful trip.
Public Hearing Notice

On Thursday, May 5 a public hearing will be held regarding the FM 2100 roadway widening project from FM 1960 to South Diamondhead Boulevard in Crosby, Texas. The hearing is being held to present the proposed design and to seek comments from local officials and citizens. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Newport Elementary School cafeteria located at 430 North Diamondhead Boulevard, Crosby, Texas 77532. All are invited to attend.
The project information can also be viewed prior to the meeting on the following TxDOT's websites:

HFD Cadet Steven Whitfield II

On Wednesday, April 6 Council Member Martin attended Houston Fire Department Cadet Steven Whitfield's memorial service along with his colleagues on City Council and Mayor Sylvester Turner. Cadet Whitfield passed away on Thursday, March 31 after he collapsed during a training exercise. Whitfield was hired by the Houston Fire Department in October of last year and was a member of Class 2015-G. His cadet class will graduate in June of this year.
Council Member Martin extends his deepest condolences to the Whitfield family and continues to keep the honorable men and women of the Houston Fire Department in his thoughts and prayers. 

Celebrity Softball Game

Council Member Martin attended and participated in Mayor Turner's 9th Annual Family Day at Sylvester Turner Park on Saturday, April 9. The fun event included family activities, entertainment, local food, and baseball games and competitions for the children in attendance.  

A highlight of the event was a celebrity softball game. The City Hall All Stars featuring Mayor Turner along with his staff and city council members, including Council Member Martin, played against a team made up of members of the local Houston media.  After a great game by all team Media emerged victorious.

Council Member Martin enjoyed participating in Mayor Turner's 9th Annual Family Day  and looks forward to a rematch at next year's event!

41st Annual Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast

Council Member Martin attended the 41st Annual Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, April 27. The yearly event connecting faith and public service featured a number of Houston's elected officials and business leaders, as well as remarks from legendary collegiate football coach and television analyst Lou Holtz. For more information on the Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast, please visit
New City Attorney

Last month, Houston City Council confirmed Mayor Turner's appointment of Ronald C. Lewis as Houston's new city attorney. Lewis was selected by Mayor Turner from a pool of 30 applicants after a competitive search coordinated by a panel comprised of local lawyers. 

Like the mayor, Lewis received his J.D. at Harvard Law School and has run his own law firm Houston for many years. Before co-founding Marshall & Lewis LLP in 2006, Lewis was a partner at Baker Botts LLP, which he joined after graduating from Harvard with honors in 1983.  He is a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience handling complex cases for businesses and individuals in the energy, real estate, construction, financial and manufacturing industries. Lewis is also a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association as well as a Life Fellow at the Houston Bar Foundation, where he was chairman of the board in 2000. In addition, Lewis volunteers for the Center for Public Policy Priorities and has previously served as a member of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the South Texas College of Law Board of Trustees, Texas Appleseed, Neighborhood Centers Inc., and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. He received his undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Council Member Martin congratulates City Attorney Lewis and looks forward to working with him in the coming years. He also thanks outgoing City Attorney Donna Edmundson for her dedicated service and counsel in the role.
Zika Virus Prevention

The City of Houston's Health Department shares the following mosquito prevention tips to prevent the spread of the Zika Virus.

Eliminate Standing Water
  • Eliminating standing water is the best way to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
  • The earlier you eliminate standing water, the better off your home and neighborhood will be.
  • Rain gutters should be clean and free flowing.
  • At least weekly, remove standing water inside and outside.
Use Repellents
  • When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable and should protect themselves with repellents.
  • Use EPA-registered repellents and look for these ingredients:
    • DEET
    • Picardin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • IR3535
Cover Up
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Light-colored clothing is the best.
Keep Mosquitoes Outside
  • Use air-conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.
For more information, visit, call 311 (713-837-0311) or the Harris County Mosquito Control District at (713) 440-4800, or contact the City of Houston HR Safety at (832) 393-SAFE.

Save the Date: National Bike to Work Day

May is Bike Month, and Houston is celebrating with communities across the nation. Join Mayor Turner and friends on Friday, May 20 for a celebratory bike ride on National Bike to Work Day. 

The four-mile ride will start and end at Houston City Hall, located at 901 Bagby Street, and will take place from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. The ride will showcase a variety of bicycle facilities on Washington Avenue (shared lane marking), Spring Street (shared-use trail), the Heights Hike and Bike Trail (off-street trail) and Lamar Street (cycle track).
Post-ride celebrations will include sponsor giveaways, food, and music. Event sponsors include BikeHouston, METRO, B-cycle, Bike Barn, Houston Dynamo, Corner Bakery, Shipley Do-nuts, the YMCA, American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure Houston and Whole Foods.
In recent years, Houston has made strides in planning for and providing new facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, such as the Bayou Greenways Initiative, currently under construction, and the recently-released draft Houston Bike Plan, which provides a vision for biking in Houston and identifies future projects to create a high-comfort, low-stress citywide bicycle network in the next 10 years.
For more information and to sign up for the City of Houston's National Bike to Work Day celebration, visit or contact Anita Hollman with the city's Public Works and Engineering Department at or (832) 395-3010.

On Thursday, May 19 the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) will also hold its inaugural Bike to Work Day to encourage employees from surrounding municipalities to bike to the JSC. For more information on schedules, routes and registration, please visit
Houston TranStar 20th Anniversary and Expansion

On Thursday, April 14 Council Member Martin attended the celebration of Houston TranStar's 20th Anniversary and recent expansion. Houston TranStar celebrated its 20 years of transportation and emergency management with the completion of a 26,000 square-foot expansion and the 11,000 square-foot renovation of its original facility. 
TranStar is a partnership of the four government agencies (City of Houston, Harris County, TxDOT and METRO) that are responsible for coordinating the planning, design and operations of transportation and emergency  management in the greater Houston area. TranStar houses the city's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) which serves as Houston's "situation room" during such events as hurricanes, floods or other widespread emergencies. OEM and regional officials worked out of TranStar during last month's historic flood event. TranStar's expansion also benefits the public in non-emergency situations  by providing state-of-the-art monitoring systems for around-the-clock transportation and incident management. 

SSPEED Center "Avoiding Disasters" Conference

On Tuesday, April 26 staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the "Avoiding Disasters: How to Reduce Impacts from the Next Big Storm" conference held by Rice University's Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center. During the opening portion of the conference, attendees received a welcome from SPEED Center Director Philip Bedient and researcher Jim Blackburn, who spoke on last month's historic flooding along Brays Bayou as well as the Center's coastal protection proposals developed over the past two years. Dr. Sam Brody of Texas A&M at Galveston also presented on the National Science Foundation's PIRE Flood Risk Reduction Program, and Dr. John Anderson of Rice University additionally discussed recent research on global sea-level rise as it relates to the present and future of the Upper Texas Coast. Morgan's Point Mayor Michele Bechtel, Dr. Bill Merrell of Texas A&M at Galveston and Fredell Rosen of the Bay Area Coastal Protection Alliance also attended the event.
Final Four

Last month, the City of Houston hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four Championship for the third time in the tournament's 78-year history. The event brought in an estimated 70,000 out of town basketball fans, and it is predicted that Houston saw a 4.5 percent increase in growth for transactions compared to the same time last year, the second highest among the previous Final Four host cities. The tournament also drew in community involvement through events such as the Final Four Dribble, which was well attended by many students in District E schools. 

Council Member Martin thanks all of the dedicated organizers and volunteers for making the event a great success. He also congratulates the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion Villanova Wildcats and the other three Final Four teams on their fantastic 2015-2016 seasons.

IRS Scam

Council Member Martin has been advised that there continues to be an "IRS" scam occurring regularly across the City of Houston and particularly in the Kingwood community.
In the "IRS" scam, an individual will receive a telephone call from someone who states that they are from the "IRS" or even the Social Security Administration (SSA). The initial caller will leave a name and will not hesitate to leave a voicemail.  The message oftentimes says, "Call the SSA immediately for a legal matter and do NOT ignore this message," or, "This is regarding a legal allegation. Do not disregard."
The suspect will use many intimidation tactics to keep the victim on the phone and to agree to send money. The suspect will even threaten that a warrant for victim's arrest will be issued.  If the call is terminated for whatever reason, the suspects will call back and try to intimidate the victim by identifying themselves as the police.  Caller ID will even identify the suspect's number as the local police department telephone number.
To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, please be aware of the following:
  • If you do not recognize the incoming telephone number, don't answer the call.
  • Remember that the IRS or the SSA will not contact you initially by telephone.  If they need to contact you they will make attempts by mail.
  • Any call where the caller is instructing you to go to the bank and withdraw money is almost certainly a scam.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social Security Number.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver's license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
What do I do if I get one of these calls? 
  • If there is any doubt in your mind that it is a scam, call the police.
  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at (1) (800) 829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue - if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (1) (800) 366-4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose "Other" and then "Imposter Scams." If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to
METRO Veteran Pass Program

On Monday, April 11 the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) launched the pilot program of its new METRO Veterans Pass (MVP). The pass allows qualified disabled veterans to ride METRO light-rail, bus and Park & Ride services for free. To qualify for the pass, applicants must be either a disabled veteran who has suffered, as a result of military service, an at least 50 percent service-connected disability; a 40 percent service-connected disability because of the amputation of a lower extremity; or have earned one of the following military medals of valor: Air Force Cross, Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Purple Heart.

For more program details, and to apply, please visit

Around the World Lunch

On Friday April 1 the District E office participated in the annual Around the World lunch on the Council floor at the City Hall Annex. For the event, council district offices grouped together and presented different foods, music and décor from a variety of cultures. District E joined with District G and At-Large offices 1 and 5 to recreate Cuban food and culture. Mayor Sylvester Turner toured the different groups and was able to sample the different cultures' cuisine.

The District E office enjoyed this event and looks forward to participating again next year! 

Upcoming Events 
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! 
City Wides
May 5
National Day of Prayer

May 16-20
National Police Week

May 16-20
Hurricane Preparedness Week

May 17-18
Council Break Week

May 20
National Bike to Work Day

May 25
City Council Consideration of Fiscal Year 2017 Proposed Budget

May 30
City Offices Closed for Memorial Day

May 31
No City Council Public Session

June 1
Consolidated City Council Meeting

May 5
Kingwood Service Association's Parks Committee Meeting

May 5
Public Hearing on FM 2100 Widening Project

May 11
Kingwood Service Association's Public Safety Committee Meeting

May 13
Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce's Party on the Green

May 17
Kingwood PIP

May 18
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Meeting

May 24
Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce's Transportation Outlook Luncheon

Southeast Houston/Clear Lake    
May 12
Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership's State of the Counties Address

May 16
Rotary CCISD Teacher of the Year Luncheon 2016

May 17
Clear Lake PIP

May 24-27
Citizens for Space Exploration Annual Trip to Washington, D.C.

May 25
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's General Membership Luncheon