Welcome to the Knox Report – July 2023


Upcoming Events


Hurricane Preparedness

Be ready for hurricane season. Understand your risk from hurricanes, and begin preparations now. Make sure you understand how to interpret forecasts and alerts, and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. Below are helpful links from City/State programs that contain helpful information regarding hurricane preparedness.

City of Houston METRO: click here.

Office of Emergency Management: click here.

Texas General Land Office: click here.

Independence Day

Hear that marching band playing patriotic music? Smell those hot dogs cooking on the grill? See those fireworks exploding in the night sky? Then it must be Independence Day!

Also called the Fourth of July, Independence Day marks the historic date in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress. The written declaration stated that the American colonies were tired of being ruled under the British Empire and sought to become their own country.

We here at the At-Large 1 office hope that you have a great 4th of July, that you spend it with friends and family, and that you stay safe and hydrated throughout the day.

Freedom Over Texas

This year’s Freedom Over Texas is an event filled with six-hours of festivities, tradition, and live concert stages, along Allen Parkway. Freedom Over Texas will feature local, regional, and national entertainment and will be capped off with a musically choreographed, “Texas-sized” fireworks finale.

This event has become Houston’s annual signature July 4th celebration with an average of 50,000 people in attendance and is televised live in Houston. The event will solicit television affiliates from across the state of Texas to simulcast a portion of the event.

Freedom Over Texas will feature a unique non-profit component that joins forces with the Houston Food Bank to help fill an extraordinary demand in our regional community. The event will donate a percentage of food and beverage sales to the Houston Food Bank. We look forward to enjoying a fun, engaging, and safe event for our nation’s birthday.

Admission is $10 per person, children aged five and under are FREE. Tickets are available online and at gates. Applicable service charges apply for online purchases. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Volunteer and receive the official event t-shirt, free parking, complimentary food, and drink! Register by clicking here.

Career Opportunity Fair

Click the image above to register.

Houston Advancing Homeownership Fair

Free Resource Fair hosted by Wells Fargo will take place Saturday, July 15th. If you have questions about buying and financing your first home, managing credit, and the home financing process, this fair is a great resource to attend.

Date: Saturday, July 15th

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Houston Community College: 6815 Rustic Street, Houston, TX 77087

Foster Fest

Barbecue days are the best days and there will be plenty of FREE hot dogs to share during the Foster Fest adoption event on July 1st! Mark your calendars and bring the whole family!

Meet adoptable dogs from foster care at BARC’s Adoption Center during Foster Fest! Adoption fees will be reduced to $20 for all dogs in attendance of Foster fest. There will be vendors, info tables, and more! Free giveaways and food courtesy of Friend of BARC!

Normally one would need to make an appointment to meet pets from foster care. However on Saturday, July 1st, adopters will be able to interact with and adopt dogs from foster care the same day! You won’t want to miss this!

BARC Adoption Center

3300 Carr St. Houston TX, 77026

12pm – 4pm


June Events


IAspire Youth Program Awards 

I kicked off June by attending the IASPIRE organization event with Pastor Terrance Hall on June 10th.

At the event, I presented awards to several graduating seniors involved in the IASPIRE program and listened to inspiring words from keynote speaker and local attourney, Carvana Cloud.

I wish the high school seniors the very best on their future endeavors.

“Legacy” Mural Unveiling at Antioch MBC

It was a pleasure to attend the 157th year celebration of Freedmen’s Town held at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 4th Ward, June 10th. The celebration included words by Pastor Lou McElroy.

At the event, a mural gifted by Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy and the Houston Arts Alliance and designed by Mathieu Jean Baptiste was also unveiled. A wonderful event in a historic community.

Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom

At Large 1 was present at the Juneteenth Celebrate Freedom event at Emancipation Park on June 10th.

The kick-off event saw historic communities showcasing their respective Juneteenth events and sharing their unique Juneteenth stories.

Even with the hot weather, we saw a great turnout!

Texas Women Veterans 

The Office of Veterans and Military Affairs celebrated the Texas Women Veterans Day and the 75th Anniversary of the Women Armed Services Integration Act on June 12th.

During the 85th Legislative Session in 2017, State Representative Victoria Neave filed House Bill 2698 to designate June 12th as Womens Veterans Day in Texas. The date was selected to coincide with the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act.

Six very special honorees who ranged in age from 76 – 104 were recognized at the event.

Texas has the highest number of women serving in the military, and it is important that we recognize them when they are serving and after.

HPD Cadet Class Graduation

It is always with great excitement that I attend a Houston Police Department (HPD) graduation ceremony and this time, it was no different with the graduation ceremony of class 258 on June 13th.

We wish these brave men and women the best in their future. We know they will make us proud.

As a former Houston police officer, I want to congratulate Class 258 on their graduation and I wish them the best.

Interested in becoming a police officer? Click here to learn more about the application process. 

U.S. Army and New Hope Housing Proclamations

On June 13th during Public Session, the City of Houston gave proclamations to two outstanding organizations.

The U.S. Army was recognized with a City of Houston Proclamation celebrating their 248th Birthday.

As the oldest and largest of the six military branches within the Department of Defense, the Army can look back on a long and rich history, starting in the year 1775. It is important to remember the sacrifices and achievements of its Soldiers, past and present.

The second Proclamation was given to New Hope Housing honoring their 30th Anniversary. New Hope seeks to provide life-stabilizing, affordable, permanent Housing + Services for people who live on very limited incomes. Congratulations to New Hope Housing for their hard work these past 30 years.

For more information about New Hope Housing, click here.

Juneteenth Mural Dedication and Artist Talk

The Houston Public Library invited At Large 1 and the public to attend a mural unveiling inspired by the Juneteenth observance on June 14th.

We joined Reginald Adams and other local artists as they dedicated the Absolute Equality Juneteenth-Houston mural. The mural is a true sight and honors the events of Juneteenth remarkably.

The mural is now on display to the public at the African American History Research Center at the Gregory School.

The Houston Alumni & Youth Center Affordable Housing Groundbreaking

City and partners broke ground on new campus serving youth and young adults aging out of foster care on June 15th. The Houston Alumni and Youth Center is an affordable 50-unit complex serving youths and young adults aging out of foster care.

The campus can house up to 60 youths and young adults transitioning out of foster care. The center will provide extensive onsite supportive services and programs that youth aging out of foster care have identified as crucial for a successful transition to adulthood.

The City of Houston proudly contributed $5 million of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Harvey Disaster Recover funds toward the nearly $40 million cost of this new construction.

This development is a collaboration of the City of Houston, The HAY Center Foundation, Harris County, Texas, Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults, Harris County Housing Authority, and Harris County Community Services Department. The Harris County Housing Authority will coordinate the development, and Harris County will be the landowner.

Juneteenth Parade

A very special occasion was celebrated Saturday, June 17th. The annual Juneteenth parade took place early in the morning, beginning at the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center and ending at the Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

A joyous event that filled the streets with people, and a great way to celebrate and honor Juneteenth. We hope everyone who attended had as much fun as we did.

Langwood Park Ribbon Cutting

A sunny Thursday, June 21st saw theHouston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Parks Board announce the improvements made to Langwood Park.

The improvements include an upgraded ADA-compliant playground with new play equipment and surface, new volleyball net and sod (turf), improved picnic area, new exercise station with shade sail, resurfaced and restriped parking lot, upgraded park furniture, including new benches, picnic tables, trash cans, and grills, and new LED lighting. 

We are excited about the changes going on in district A and we encourage Houstonians and the people from the community to check out and enjoy the park.

Flip the Switch to Solar Ceremony

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club invited At Large 1 to attend their “Flip the Switch to Solar” Ceremony on June 27th.

Solar energy now powers up Hope Farms’ new Sun Club Sustainability Plaza. Funded by a grant from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, the newly installed solar system will allow Hope Farms to power 100% of its core operational needs with renewable electricity, including on-site battery storage, putting the farm on the path to energy independence.

The facility will also generate back-up power to draw upon during power outages. The new system includes multiple solar panel installations distributed throughout the site to support critical power needs. The system is designed to showcase small-scale, approachable opportunities to inspire consumers who want to incorporate solar into their homes in ways large and small. This was a collaborative effort by the architecture students from the University of Houston and the Recipe for Success Foundation.

Devarjaye “DJ” Daniels Proclamation

I could not be happier for Devarjaye “DJ” Daniels. “DJ” Daniels’ story is a true inspiration to everyone.

“DJ” Daniels is an 11 year old from Houston who was diagnosed with terminal brain and spine cancer.

The news, however, did not deter him in pursuing his dreams. DJ has made it his mission to be sworn in by as many law enforcement agencies as possible, to spread awareness about childhood cancer and also to honor the memory of his friend, Abigail Arias, who died of childhood cancer when she was 7 years old. As of March 29th, DJ Daniels has been made an honorary officer 758 times spanning many police divisions all over the country.

On May 27th, Devarjaye “DJ” Daniels was recognized by the City of Houston for his unwavering determination and the way he has inspired so many others.


Helpful Information


How to Speak at Public Session

Meetings Information

  • City Council meetings are conducted each week on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays beginning at 9:00 a.m. Any citizen may speak before Council on a Tuesday beginning at 2:00 p.m. To reserve time to address City Council (up to three minutes), contact the City Secretary’s Office (832.393.1100) before 5:00 p.m. Monday prior. All Council meetings are open to the public. 

Agenda Information

  • In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, the agenda is posted for public information, at all times, for at least 72 hours preceding the scheduled time of the meeting on the bulletin board located at the rear entrance of the City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby. Copies of the agenda are available at no charge in the Office of the City Secretary in the City Hall Annex, Public Level. The Council Agenda is also available online.

Tree Waste & Junk Waste Program

Residents may dispose of their Tree Waste and Junk Waste at their curbside. Tree Waste is collected during ODD numbered months and Junk Waste is collected during EVEN numbered months. This method of collecting large waste comes with the benefits of diverting materials that can be recycled from landfills, saving landfill space and valuable tax dollars. 

  • Tree Waste months are January, March, May, July, September, and November.
  • Junk Waste months are February, April, June, August, October and December.

Residents who wish to dispose of Tree Waste or Junk Waste before their scheduled once-per-month collection may use one of six Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Centers.

For more information and details, please click here.

METRO Summer of Fun Free Rides for Students 

Attention Houston students! The METRO Summer of Fun Free Rides for Students program is here.

Students with the METRO student discount fare card can ride the entire system for free from June 1st to August 31st. This includes free rides on METRO allows students K-12 and College to experience riding METRO especially to get to summer programs and jobs. Click the picture above to apply.

Back to School Tax-Free Weekend

It is never too early to start thinking about school materials. After all, we all know how busy the weeks before school starts can get. This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 11, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 13.

The sales tax exemption applies only to qualifying items you buy during the sales tax holiday. Items you buy before or after the sales tax holiday do not qualify for exemption, and there is no tax refund available.

Click here to see a list of qualifying items.

ION District

The Ion District is a technology park and innovation district in Midtown Houston which was established as a joint initiative between Rice University and the City of Houston. 

Their goal is to provide wide-reaching space and support to perfect, protect, and project your idea into the world so that it thrives. Through a state-of-the-art prototyping lab (build it), an investor studio (pitch it), an accelerator hub (fast-track it), and a network of corporate and academic partners (sustain it), every aspect of the Ion is tailored for collaboration and growth—whatever your industry or experience level. Work spaces range from casual nooks to reservable rooms to the open sweep of the Forum Stairs, which features a robust rotation of speakers, skill-building workshops, and networking events: a perpetual buzz of inspiration and opportunity.

Click here for more information on the ION District.

Extreme Weather Tips

Report City Concerns to 3-1-1

The best way to address an issue is to always report it to 311 first and receive a service request number. 311 is the City of Houston’s non-emergency department directory and self-service city request line. The 311 website allows the citizens of Houston to access information, request city services and report problems at anytime of the day or night.

Remember to follow up with your District and/or At Large Council Office to ensure your concern doesn’t fall through the cracks.

To file an Online Service Request, you must provide the address of the corresponding location of which the service need or problem is being reported. In most cases, you must also provide a valid email address for follow up purposes.

You can access 311 services below:


or Call

Phone: 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311

City of Houston Human Resources

City of Houston HROne

The City of Houston can’t function without great employees. The City is always on the lookout for talented, passionate people to hire. Employment with the City of Houston represents more than just a job – it’s an opportunity to make a difference and improve our community.

For more information click the City logo 

There has been much confusion recently regarding water bills. May and June saw my staff receiving many calls from constituents saying they received water bills in the $2,000-$3,000 range. Every year around summer time Houstonians use more water. That’s a fact. However, using $3,000 worth of water in a month is nonsensical. Something was clearly wrong.

This leads into this month’s Behind the Curtain. My staff received a call mid-May from a constituent who had received a $3,000 water bill. The constituent informed us that her water bill was never higher than $200 and she always paid her bills on time. This time, however, it was a couple thousand dollars higher.

We went straight to work to address her concern. First, we ruled out any possible reasons why a water bill could be that high. We asked the constituent about possible water leaks, her water meter, and other necessary information. The constituent informed us that there were no water leaks in her house. After getting all the information, we contacted Houston Public Works (HPW) to get more information about her account.

Around this time, Houston Public Works had put out a statement regarding some customers receiving high water bills due to old water meters. We wondered if this was the case with our constituent. Turns out it was.

HPW replaced our constituent’s old water meter with a new one and then gave the constituent the paperwork to request a bill adjustment. The Water Department was extremely helpful and communicative with us throughout the whole process. These types of cases take time, but the teamwork and patience displayed by the constituent, our office, and HPW was remarkable. Especially, the patience shown by our constituent. When she spoke to us, she mentioned the thought of having to pay $3,000 by the end of the month or having her water turned off prevented her from sleeping at times because she was so worried.

Finally on June 22nd, our constituent informed us that her water bill reduction was approved, and she would have to pay approximately $300 instead of the incorrect $3,000. We could not be happier for her. My office will continue to do our best and help every call we get.

(It is important to note that the constituent called 3-1-1 first to create the case, and then called us. It is always helpful to provide our office with the Service Request Number. We encourage everyone to call 3-1-1 first for any city related issue.)

June 7:

I voted against the mayor’s annual budget for the city. I opposed this year’s budget because it is not structurally balanced. Expenditures were once again higher than revenue. This year’s general fund revenues increased by 2.58% while expenditures rose 4.31%. Over the past four years, the city received $1 billion in federal funds, which the mayor has relied on to balance the city’s annual budgets. To create a balanced budget, this year’s budget consumes the remaining $160 million in federal dollars. The mayor has designated these federal dollars for ongoing operating expenses, such as employees’ payroll, rather than one-time expenses such as capital purchases. I don’t consider this to be the responsible way to operate a city or a business. Unfortunately, the next mayor and council will have to make some very difficult choices on how many hundreds, or even thousands, of city employees will have to be laid off due to financial constraints. Meanwhile, we can’t grow our way out of financial hardship because our city’s population growth has not increased over the past several years. Unless this recipe of no population growth and structurally unbalanced budgets is reversed quickly, Houston will have some very difficult financial challenges ahead. City Council passed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget by a vote of 15-2.

Council approved spending $200,771 to purchase three forklifts for the airport system. These forklifts will allow the airports to maintain operational readiness at supply warehouses to maintain runways, taxiways, and aprons. The funds utilized for this purchase were provided by the airport system.

Council approved payment of $1.8 million to the Houston Recovery Center for operation and management of the HRC facility. The facility was created in 2012 and provides triage, observation, and necessary outpatient services to enable staff to manage intoxicated individuals and eventually ensure safe withdrawal. Additionally, the HRC building houses the Houston Police Department Mental Health Unit and other community agencies to facilitate efforts in reducing substance abuse through intervention.

Council approved an interlocal agreement with Harris County. The agreement is for the design and construction of a three-span Pedestrian & Bike Bridge over Brays Bayou from North Braeswood Blvd. to South Braeswood Blvd. Upon project completion, the bridge will become the City’s asset. The City will be responsible for long-term maintenance of the bridge, which will become part of the Brays Bayou Greenway project managed by the Houston Parks Board.

June 14:

Council approved payment of $7 million for street repairs throughout the City. This particular contract was for concrete panel replacements, curb improvements, and accessible ramps. The city has similar ongoing contracts to improve street conditions around Houston.

Council approved the purchase of 22 Ford 150 Hybrid trucks for the Public Works Department. These vehicles will be used to transport personnel and materials to job sites around the city. These trucks are replacing vehicles that have reached their end of life and will be sent to auction for disposal. This vehicle purchase contract is part of the city’s continuing effort to replace its aging fleet.

Council approved spending authority of $343,174 to purchase thirty-four large recycling containers for the city’s neighborhood depositories. The city is expanding its recycling capabilities and will need additional containers for that purpose. The containers are also needed to replace aging equipment. These new containers will improve service delivery by having the additional containers available while others are hauled and emptied at the recycling processing facility.

Council authorized an interlocal agreement with the Harris County Flood Control District relating to twenty-four flood mitigation projects. The city and HCFCD are each contributing $19.7 million to construct these projects to reduce flooding throughout the city. Projects range from rehabilitation of existing infrastructure to upgrades of infrastructure within specific neighborhoods. Once these projects are completed, the city will maintain them. 

June 21:

Council approved the Fiscal Year 2024-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The five-year $11.5 billion plan includes projects for drainage, transportation infrastructure, mobility, quality of life, affordable housing, and public safety. Please note that just because a proposed project is listed in the plan does not necessarily mean the project will be constructed in the proposed timeframe. Quite often due to funding challenges, future projects are “pushed out” to later years. 

Council approved a contract with a third vendor to provide staff augmentation services for the city’s permitting center. These three vendors will be providing services for plan reviews for the permitting center. Unfortunately, the city’s permitting center has been understaffed, which has caused severe delays in reviewing and approving permitting applications for Houstonians.

Council approved spending $350,000 in funds provided by the state of Texas to purchase an armored tactical vehicle for the Police Department. The Houston Police Department said this vehicle will be utilized to respond to “special threat situations,” such as an active shooter or hostage scenario. This emergency response vehicle is another available tool for the Police to remain safe and protect Houstonians. 

Council approved spending $15.8 million over five years to purchase scientific products for several city departments.  The federal government provided $12.5 million of the $15.8 million in funding. The products being purchased include glass and plastic wares, microscope slides, centrifuge tubes, container tubes, culture tubes, specimen containers, specimen transport bags, lab hoods, scales, and testing jars to be used citywide to supply departmental research laboratories. The Houston Health Department uses these items for environmental and chemical testing, such as testing toxic pollutants in the air and water and performing laboratory studies in hematology, serology, and virology. Houston Public Works uses these items to conduct water purity and treatment studies. The Police Department uses these items in various sections of the crime lab. The Houston Airport System uses these items to protect clothing and for general purpose cleaning. Finally, the Fleet Management Department uses these items for oil analysis.

June 28:

Council approved the purchase of three Tahoe vehicles for $114,795 for the Fire Department. These vehicles will be used by HFD District Chiefs to respond to extended emergency events with spare equipment, including oxygen tanks for breathing apparatus. The equipment always remains in the vehicle to minimize response time and opportunities for vandalism.

Council approved spending $1.4 million to purchase 554 Dell laptops for the Houston Police Department. These laptops will be used in HPD vehicles to replace existing aging laptops. Bond funds were utilized to purchase these items.

Council approved a Loan Agreement between the City and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, providing a forgivable loan in the amount of $750,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. These funds will be used for the rehabilitation of the new Fifth Ward Technology Center (FWTC). This two-story project is located at 2600 Chew Street in the Fifth Ward’s Kashmere Gardens Complete Community. The FWTC will provide 10 offices of various sizes, over 60 individual desk options, conference rooms, a large training room, and a collaborative space that will offer affordable lease options for business owners. This project will provide opportunities for small business owners to network with other entrepreneurs in a collaborative, high-growth environment. Organized in 1989, Fifth Ward CRC is an established entity focused on the comprehensive redevelopment of Houston’s Fifth Ward.

Council approved a five-year, $33 million contract between the city and a contractor for sludge dewatering and drying equipment. This equipment will be utilized by the Public Works Department for the treatment of wastewater. In addition, this equipment will be used to reduce the amount of waste for disposal, thereby reducing the cost for Houstonians.

Council approved spending $8.8 million with a contractor for the Storm Water Action Team (SWAT) program. This contract is for projects located throughout the city to resolve localized stormwater drainage problems and rehabilitate streets and roadside ditches to further improve drainage. This contract is similar to several other contracts in place to rehabilitate and remove debris from city ditches.