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Posts published in June 2021

Celebrating Juneteenth in East Aldine

Vendors, food trucks, music, crafts, and more were present at the BakerRipley Juneteenth celebration.

BakerRipley, East Aldine, and Studio 59 host Street Festivities

EAST ALDINE – Last Saturday, June 19th was busy with public events all over the district, including a Juneteenth celebration at BakerRipley in Town Center on Aldine Mail Route, and a Studio 59 Market Square monthly event on the southbound frontage road of US59.

Both events took place in stifling 100 degree heat, but lots of shade from the tents and BakerRipley’s open building helped the crowds be comfortable.

BakerRipley provided two hours of dancing, crafts and game participation, music and food to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and the end of the school year.

BakerRipley has music and dance performances, including these authentic African dance moves.

Local Democrats meet with VP Harris

The Democratic Caucus of the Texas Legislature, chaired by Senator Carol Alvarado of Houston, (in the green dress top left) meets with Vice President Kamala Harris, (top center in front of flag) to discuss federal and state legislation that is attempting to restrict voters’ rights. Also around the table, Houston State Representatives Armando Walle, Senfronia Thompson, and State Senator Boris Miles.

Discuss Texas Voter Restriction bills

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week a group of Democratic state legislators met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the ongoing fight to protect voting rights in Texas and to urge the US Senate to pass H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 to combat coordinated voter suppression efforts taking place across the country.

Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, released the following statement after the meeting:

“Today the members of the Texas delegation had a productive conversation with Vice President Harris about the fight against voter suppression in the Texas Legislature and the importance of H.R. 1 and H.R. 4.

“We are grateful for Vice President Harris’ partnership and support in our nation’s capitol as Democrats aim to preempt Jim Crow style laws from every level of government. As we look toward the next special session in Austin, the Texas Senate Democrats will continue to do our part in the fight to ensure that our sacred right to vote is not taken away by blatant Republican voter suppression tactics.”

East Aldine offers free grants to $10,000 to improve your property in new BIG program

By Gilbert Hoffman

The East Aldine District goal is to improve the Quality of Life for residents of the district, and that includes the visual appearance of the area. To that end, the business and economic committee, headed by board member Joyce Wiley, has proposed a new program for businesses, to clean, remodel, and improve the appearance of their physical buildings and landscape. The Program is known as the Business Improvement Grant program, or BIG acronym.

The District has established and funded the program, and will provide matching grant funds to eligible businesses, developers, and individuals within the East Aldine District boundaries.

Commercial Exterior Projects to be considered for Grants include but are not limited to Exterior Painting, Parking Lot Repairs or improvements, and Power Washing.

Qualified grantees include any commercial lot or structure located within the District boundaries. Residential properties and District Board, Staff, and their families are not eligible.

County initiates program to help Homeless

Homeless Program participants removing Graffiti in East Harris County.

HARRIS COUNTY – Last week, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales launched a workforce development program in collaboration with Harris County Precinct 2 and Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. that supports those experiencing homelessness in east Harris County.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, nearly 4,000 people in the Houston area are experiencing homelessness. This innovative partnership – rooted in community development – empowers our most vulnerable neighbors with the tools, skills, and support to help them overcome barriers to success. It connects program participants to affordable housing, employment resources, and other critical services through Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. It also allows them to earn an income by completing community development projects.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Office funded the six-month pilot program, which actively recruits participants and provides them with transportation, meals throughout the workday, personal protective equipment, and the necessary training and tools to properly remove graffiti from bridges, roads, and buildings. Weather permitting, participants will have the chance to work on a first come, first served basis Monday through Thursday for about $50 a day.

Pct. 2 programs win 4 national awards

WASHINGTON, DC – Harris County Precinct 2 has been recognized with FOUR Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. According to a NACo database, no Harris County entity has ever won multiple NACo awards in the same calendar year.

NACo recognized Precinct 2 for the following programs:

— Health Services for the innovative SmartPods Access2Health, a partnership with Baylor

— Veterans Services for the work with Operation Yellowbird alternative PTSD treatment

— Partnership with the American Chemistry Council for a grant to fund air monitors

— Parks Dept. for the innovation and design of James Driver All-Inclusive Park

Lone Star College reopens campuses for fall semester

Lone Star College is expanding its face-to-face classes while continuing to offer hybrid and online courses to meet student needs.

HOUSTON (June 8, 2021) – Lone Star College will enter the fall semester with expanded offerings of face-to-face classes while continuing to provide hybrid and online courses to meet student needs.

“We know the last year put a serious strain on our students, faculty and staff,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “Lone Star College has worked hard to ensure we provide a safe and friendly environment as we welcome everyone back to our campuses.”

LSC students will have three class options this fall: in-person classes that take place entirely on campus; hybrid classes which are a combination of online and face-to-face learning; and online classes which provide a flexible and convenient choice for busy schedules and freedom to self-direct.

Sheriff hosts virtual Safety Forum

Harris County Sheriff’s deputies, from District II, held a virtual Safety Forum last Tuesday night, June 8 for a presentation to the public of crime prevention measures. There were about 40 participants, some from the community and some from various HCSO departments. The Forum did not, however, take public comments or open the event for public discussion. Instead, contact phone numbers and email addresses were posted for the public.

After a brief introduction by Capt. Chris Sandoval, who is in charge of the Patrol Division of District II, and HCSO Chief Mike Lee, the meeting was turned over to deputies to speak about their particular department activities.

Get Vaccinated; let’s move the Threat Level to Green

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Since the COVID-19 virus was first detected in Harris County, we have been working non-stop to beat it. We stayed home, wore our masks, maintained social distance, and sacrificed many, many moments with friends and family. When safe, effective vaccines became available, Harris County Public Health rushed to acquire and distribute them equitably, establishing over 100 vaccination sites, including a mega distribution site at NRG stadium that has become a model for the nation. Many of our residents are getting vaccinated, moving us closer to a place where COVID-19 is no longer a major threat to vulnerable populations and our hospital capacity. Thanks to all of this hard work, we have made substantial progress in turning a corner against this virus.

Last week, based on this progress and the meeting of the relevant thresholds, I moved the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level from Level 2: Orange to Level 3: Yellow, the system’s second-lowest threat level. We should all be proud of reaching this significant milestone. Under the Yellow threat level, unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask and social distance. Fully vaccinated individuals, however, may resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where otherwise required.

We are making considerable strides, but our success is fragile.