City Government | – The Leader


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A drainage study from 1966 recommended that a 78-inch pipe be installed underneath 12th Street at its intersection with Seamist Drive, with the line expanding to 90 feet by the time stormwater runoff reached White Oak Bayou to the east. Nearly 56 years later, though, a good rain causes the intersection to flood. That’s at […]

BARC, the city of Houston’s animal shelter and adoption center, is offering a series of free events through the end of December to provide resources for pet owners who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, Rescued Pets Movement (RPM), Houston PetSet and Emancipet, BARC will provide more […]

State Rep. Jarvis Johnson played the role of Santa Claus for the third year in a row this week, putting on a red-and-white suit and hat and delivering toys to schoolchildren in need. He said this year’s toy giveaway was a “little bit of a letdown” for him and his volunteers, because they were not […]

The City of Houston announced Dec. 3 that an internet voucher program is available to Houstonians to help them stay connected to the internet for school, work and personal health reasons for a calendar year. Funded by nearly $625,000 from the city’s CARES Act funding, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force has […]

The last time the City of Houston held a public engagement meeting regarding its 11th Street Bikeway project, in May of last year, Heights residents saw a plan for a road diet that would reduce the thoroughfare from four vehicular lanes to three while adding protected bicycle paths on the outside of the road. The […]

In an effort to increase safe and affordable transportation options, Houston’s bike-sharing program recently took the next step in its mission. Houston BCycle, a nonprofit created by the City of Houston in 2012, released its first batch of electric bikes, or “e-bikes,” on Nov. 19 at one of its Midtown stations. Twenty-five e-bikes were put […]

The City of Houston announced Monday that it has partnered with nonprofit Comp-U-Dopt to distribute up to 1,900 free computers to qualifying applicants through Dec. 30 A partnership between Comp-U-Dopt and the city’s Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force, the $800,000 computer access program will help provide families with the electronic and digital means for […]

As multiple major holidays approach, City of Houston officials are urging continued caution during the COVID-19 pandemic. A news release from the city encouraged residents to limit gatherings to members of their own household during the upcoming holiday season. If residents attend a large holiday gathering for Thanksgiving, Christmas or another holiday, the city suggested […]

State Rep. Jarvis Johnson helped keep a concrete batch plant from operating in Acres Homes. Now he’s trying to minimize the impacts of such businesses all across the city and state, along with helping neighborhood residents avoid close calls like the one his constituents had with Soto Ready Mix. Johnson, who represents Acres Homes and […]

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Oct. 30 that the county has appointed Isabel Longoria to serve as the county’s first-ever elections administrator. Serving in a position created by the Harris County Commissioner’s Court in July, Longoria will conduct all voter registration work previously handled by the Tax Assessor-Collector as well as election management work […]

Whereas many voters might have made their decisions well before the election, Moe Raval decided not to rush to judgment. The 31-year-old Garden Oaks resident said he watched one of the presidential debates in its entirety and part of the other one. He also had discussions with friends about the merits of voting for President […]

Tuesday’s election represented a win for incumbency, especially in the races most relevant to local residents. The area’s representatives in Congress and the Texas Legislature held on to their seats, as did the previously elected officials on a countywide level, according to unofficial election results released Wednesday morning by the Harris County Clerk’s Office. About […]

Nearly 127,000 ballots cast inside vehicles during early voting in Harris County will not be kicked to the curb – at least not yet. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by four Republicans that sought to stop drive-through voting in Harris County and invalidate 126,912 votes that were cast in […]

The Houston City Council and Harris County Commissioners Court recently approved property tax rate decreases for 2020, although homeowners’ payments to both taxing entities figure to increase because of annual hikes in appraisal values. The county commissioners court on Tuesday unanimously voted to lower the county’s property tax rate by 1.3 cents per $100 valuation […]

Wendell Champion and Sheila Jackson Lee are both Houstonians who want to represent their city in Washington for the next two years. And both have roots in the northeast part of the United States, having lived in Queens, New York as youngsters. Both are African-American, too, and they pride themselves on being able to relate […]

The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday rejected lawsuits filed in part by the Republican Party chapters for Texas and Harris County that sought to stop the county’s practice of drive-through voting, which has proved popular during the first two weeks of early voting. The decision by the state’s highest court allows the practice to continue […]

Luis La Rotta knows he’s trying to win an election in a part of Houston that has consistently voted Democrat over the years. But the young Republican and Northside native said he has a good pulse on the area, having grown up in the district he wants to serve in the state legislature. And while […]

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office focuses more on the outskirts of Houston than the city itself, which is patrolled first and foremost by the Houston Police Department. But the Greater Heights has long been a focus for Ed Gonzalez, who planted deep roots in the area long before he was elected as sheriff in 2016. […]

The Houston City Council adopted an ordinance Wednesday that makes it illegal to block or park a motor vehicle in a dedicated bicycle lane, even if a “no parking” sign or similar signage is not present. The ordinance is in support of the Houston Bike Plan, which the council adopted in 2017 with the goal […]

With many community members facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office is trying to keep residents in their homes amidst the struggles. On Wednesday morning, the nonprofit Harris County Precinct 1 Foundation unveiled the pilot phase of its new pop-up eviction assistance program, which is aimed at providing […]

Area property owners will have two opportunities next week to make their voices heard about the proposed 2020 tax rates for the City of Houston and Harris County, both are which intend to lower their rates compared to the year before. The Harris County Commissioners Court last month proposed a property tax decrease between 1.3-2.0 […]

Nichole Nech and her son, Devon, wanted to vote Tuesday, but they did not want to go inside a building and be near strangers who might have been infected with COVID-19. Fortunately for the Timbergrove Manor residents, they didn’t need to worry about the latter in order to do the former. They also didn’t have […]

The office of Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen invites area residents to take advantage of its eviction assistance program, which aims to provide resources for those facing eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. At 9 a.m. Wednesday, leaders from Precinct 1, South Texas College of Law Houston and the Eviction Defense Coalition will gather at […]

How can you tell which local political race is the most hotly contested? Like most things in life, by following the money. The campaign for congressional candidate Sima Ladjevardian, an Iranian-born attorney and activist, has raised more than that of any other Democrat involved in a locally relevant race that will be contested on Nov. […]

Three months after the City of Houston started charging residents a monthly fee to lease their garbage and recycling bins, there are not enough to go around. Harry Hayes, director of the city’s Solid Waste Management Department, said it has had a shortage of bins for at least a month because of supply chain issues […]

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was sued in federal court Friday over his decision to limit counties in the state to one drop-off location for voters’ absentee ballots in the upcoming election, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. Abbott’s Thursday order drew immediate criticism from the top elected officials in Houston and Harris County, […]

Houston police officers can now issue citations instead of making arrests for Class A and B misdemeanors as the city attempts to improve response times and reduce the jail population. A news release from the City of Houston said Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an executive order authorizing the city to join Harris County’s Cite and […]

Like politics in general, the issues surrounding the upcoming election have become divisive. Democrats tend to prefer the expansion of voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have pushed for that, while many in the Republican Party are opposed. They also are mostly split on the issue of straight-ticket voting, with Democrats in favor […]

Jack Cagle, the Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 4, announced Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19. Cagle, 59, began experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms the night of Sept. 25, later experienced mild fatigue as well and sought medical testing Monday, according to a statement released by his office. His COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday, when […]

Texas Central Railroad got the federal approvals it needed to construct a high-speed railway between Houston and Dallas, which in the coming years could transform travel in the Lone Star State. The Dallas-based company announced this week that the Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Final Rule of Particular Applicability, which is a series of […]

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced that most businesses in most locales around the state can soon serve more customers at the same time. The plan to relax COVID-19 restrictions was met with skepticism by the top elected official in Houston, which approached a grim pandemic-related milestone around the same time Abbott made his […]

Even as the city and region continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston residents could soon begin seeing more people out on the streets. Mayor Sylvester Turner announced last week that city officials will begin allowing a limited number of city-sponsored special events, provided the organizers follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols such as […]

Nonprofit and neighborhood-based organizations can apply for City of Houston support as they work to improve their area. The city announced Sept. 9 that the application period for its 2020 Neighborhood Matching Grant program is open through Nov. 6. A news release from the city said the program provides dollar-for-dollar reimbursements ranging from $500-$5,000 to […]

The Houston Fire Department announced that Capt. Tommy Searcy, who since 2014 served at the station in Acres Homes, died Tuesday from COVID-19. Searcy, 45, a father of three whose twin brother also is a Houston firefighter, is the third HFD firefighter to die from the disease after catching the coronavirus in the line of […]

A plan to send ballot-by-mail applications to every registered voter in Harris County was placed on hold Wednesday, when the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from doing so, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. The ruling by the state’s highest court followed a lawsuit filed Monday by the State […]

As he continues to campaign for the elected role of Harris County Sheriff, Joe Danna is grieving the sudden death of his wife of 48 years. Donna Jean Danna died Thursday at the couple’s Houston home, according to a statement released Friday by Joe Danna’s campaign. She was 66. The statement said, “Early reports indicate […]

Residents of Northwest Houston awoke Thursday to clear and sunny skies as well as pleasant temperatures. There were no flooded streets or downed trees, and the power was on as usual. The Houston region was spared from the wrath of Hurricane Laura, which made landfall early Thursday morning in southwest Louisiana. It was a high-end […]

Farrah Lowe lives down the street from Shepherd Park, but she cannot walk there with her 8-year-old daughter. That’s because she cannot walk at all, with a brain injury having left her confined to an electric wheelchair. But Lowe, a 43-year-old resident of Shepherd Park Plaza, still wanted to go to the nearby park without […]

Houston City Council member Abbie Kamin, who serves much of the area in District C, will provide free food, masks and hand sanitizer during a community distribution event scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29 at the site of the former Pinemont Park and Ride at 6301 Pinemont Dr. The event starts at 10 a.m. and will […]

The City of Houston announced Monday that applications for its Small Business Economic Relief Program (SBERP) will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday as the city and its residents try to weather the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. About $15 million of the city’s federal CARES Act funds have been set aside for the program, […]

The City of Houston is extending the suspension of all scheduled trials by jury, according to Houston Municipal Court. According to a news release from the city, all trials will remain suspended through at least Sept. 30 due to the continued presence of COVID-19 in the region. If a jury trial was scheduled from June […]

Houstonians struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic could soon have more help coming their way. The Houston City Council voted Aug. 5 to approve $20 million for a second round of rental relief to help city residents who cannot afford to pay rent due to economic challenges caused by COVID-19, according to a news […]

A month after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring most residents of the state to wear masks when in public, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city will issue citations to those who violate the order. Turner made the announcement Monday, when the city reported 1,104 new cases of COVID-19 as well […]

When the Texas Legislature convenes again in January 2021, State Rep. Anna Eastman will not have the ability to introduce a bill or vote at the capitol building in Austin. She lost a Democratic primary runoff in mid-July to Penny Morales Shaw, who will face Republican Lui La Rotta in November’s general election. But Eastman, […]

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period for November elections by nearly a week in an attempt to combat the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally set to begin Oct. 19, registered voters will now be able to make their way to the polls beginning Oct. 13. The Oct. 30 […]

The Harris County Commissioners Court recently approved a proposal by Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, an avid cyclist who serves part of the area, to invest an additional $1 million in Houston’s bike-sharing program. According to a news release from Houston BCycle, a nonprofit created by the city in 2012, the money will go toward […]

Kari Noser wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but she had concerns about going to a polling place during a pandemic. Would it be too crowded to ensure adequate social distancing? Would there be enough air circulation to prevent the new coronavirus from lingering in an indoor space? Would she have to touch any surfaces […]

The first time she ran for the District 148 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, less than a year ago, Penny Morales Shaw placed sixth among 15 candidates. On Tuesday, in the runoff from the Democratic primary earlier this year, she finished first while unseating the incumbent who had beaten her twice before. Morales […]

Robert M. Cadena and Wendell Champion both have their sights set on unseating U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the 13-term Congresswoman who is a model of the power of incumbency. But first they must beat each other. Cadena and Champion are squaring off in the Republican primary runoff for the District 18 seat in the […]

Penny Morales-Shaw said she supports affordable housing. But she does not agree with the way State Rep. Anna Eastman supported a mixed-income apartment complex proposed in the Heights area. In February, about a month after being elected to the District 148 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, Eastman wrote a letter of support for […]

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