By Travis McGee

Rebuild Houston was voted on in 2010 and 14 years later its still missing in action. Rebuild Houston was said to be a dedicated fee that could only be used for drainage and infrastructure. The alleged “Lock Box” seemed to have an excessive number of keys and a wide range of individuals who were aware of the combination, making it easily accessible.


The voters basically voted without knowing who, what, when, where, how, or how much of Rebuild Houston they would receive if any at all. Details of the program became apparent months after the proposal was passed by voters. The taxpayers basically voted unknowingly on giving the City of Houston a blank check to do everything, but fix drainage and infrastructure. We essentially pay for excessive flooding, problems with our drainage systems, and driving on extremely poor roads. The plan was supposed to have 10-year planning cycles to identify the worse cases first to reduce flooding, improve mobility, and reduce structural flooding, but when we ask longtime community leaders like Tracy Stephens who is a retired Public Works Engineering Supervisor with almost 3 decades of experience about the state of city services, he has a great concern about the wasteful spending, lack of services, and routine maintenance just to name a few.


From his experience the city provided much better services when it was proactive vs reactive. Routine services include such things as mowing, street sweeping, drainage maintenance, mosquito spraying, street repair, and etc. The commonsense approach worked better than the reactive approach of the 311-call center that is basically a counting mechanism that may or may not address your problem or concern in a timely matter. The customer service was better even though they didn’t have the technology the currently have. Stephens recounts the times they had to go speak to taxpayers face-to-face to address their issues and concerns versus them waiting months for things that could be corrected in a matter of minutes. He also believes that the proactive street maintenance and preventative programs can save the city hundreds of millions when it comes to our drainage and prehistoric infrastructure.


The Proposition known as Rebuild Houston was very misleading to voters. Instead of addressing drainage and infrastructure the “Lock Box” actually paid off debt, but what debt was actually paid and how was bonds paid prior to this particular PROPOSITION. The ordinance doesn’t mention any past or present debt being paid with the drainage fees charged to Houston citizens. (The Utility Drainage Maintenance Ordinance 2011-254 Chapter 47) When Capital Improvement and SNAP -Super Neighborhood Action Plans were in place communities were actually getting things done, but now most if not all of the projects submitted for review are ineligible for funding.


The city once had a program called” Neighborhood to Standard” which addressed all issued proactively on a more routine preventative basis versus calling 311 and becoming a service request number. Simply throwing money at the problem without properly diagnosing or identifying it only makes it that more expensive. The City of Houston department heads only answer to the mayor, but everyone should be answering to the taxpayer. In order for the city to set a standard, they must bring back” Neighborhood to Standard.”

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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