When All Hope was Seemingly Lost...Gloria Sanderson of Pioneer Bank Showed Up for Arthur J. Smith Sr. and His Family with a $15,000.00 dollar Check

Arthur Smith Sr., his wife Darlene Koffey Smith, son Arthur Smith III, also known as “Yung Giant”, Gloria Sanderson, SVP, CRA/Fair Lending Officer for Pioneer Bank are the featured individuals on the cover of “VERSION 1” of Houston Business Connections Magazine’s “2017 Year-End Review” edition. Houston Texans football player J.J. Watt is also featured on the cover of this version. Inside this edition, J.J. Watt shares how he plans to distribute the millions of dollars the J.J. Watt Foundation received in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Beyoncé, Mattress Mack, Jim Crane, State Senator Borris L. Miles, State Rep. Shawn Thierry, Dr. Letitia Plummer, Judge Loyd Wright, Judge Christine Riddle Butts, Judge John Schmude, Judge Renee Magee, Attorney Sandra Peake, and Attorney Melanie Wilcox Flowers are just a few of the other distinguished individuals featured inside this edition. Houston Business Connections Magazine© is published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. All Rights Reserved. Cover photo by: Kennedy Hall, Phillis Wheatley High School Journalism Department/Photographer

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR JANUARY 19TH, 2018


Gladys Knight is coming to Houston on Friday, January 19, 2018, for the Diamond Dreams Gala at Minute Maid Park

Held on the field at Minute Maid Park, the Diamond Dreams Gala features seven-time Grammy winner, Ms. Gladys Knight -The Empress of Soul, as well as Astros players and legends. The event benefits the Astros Foundation and New Hope Housing, an organization combatting homelessness by providing housing and support services for those in need. In case you don’t know, The Astros Foundation supports local 501(c)3 nonprofits and their causes through fundraising events. They support organizations whose efforts benefit Youth Baseball/Softball, Education/Literacy, Childhood Cancer, Military and Quality of Life.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayor Allen Owen Urging All Missouri City Voters to Vote For All 15 Charter Propositions in the 2013 General Election

EARLY VOTING BEGINS ON MONDAY, APRIL 29TH AND ENDS ON TUESDAY, MAY 7TH


"The City had the Charter Review Commission look at changes that needed to be made and updated to the Charter which we are required to do periodically. In their review some minor changes need to be made and it takes voter approval to change the Charter. City Council unanimously approved the changes and are offering them to the voters on the ballot on Saturday, May 11, 2013. We would ask that the voters approve all of the changes."  -- Allen Owen, Mayor of Missouri City, Texas


About The Mayor of Missouri City

Mayor Allen Owen is Missouri City’s 10th mayor since the city’s incorporation in 1956. Mayor Owen and his family have lived in Missouri City more than 36 years. Mayor Owen continues to dedicate much of his time and expertise towards the development of a community where he and his wife of 46 years, Jane, raised their three children.

Owen has served as mayor since his election to that position in 1994. Prior to that time he was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for five years and a City Council member for eight years, including serving as mayor pro-tem.

Mayor Owen earned degrees from Southern Methodist University’s Graduate School of Finance and Banking and from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Community Involvement

From the beginning of Mayor Owen’s association with Missouri City, he has been highly visible in the community that now has grown to 68,000 residents and numerous businesses. He continues to play a major role in building a strong economy evidenced by Missouri City’s attraction of quality residential and commercial development.

Mayor Owen combines his former position, before retiring as senior vice president and Texas government liaison for Wells Fargo Bank of Texas with assuring he is available to hear and work with the City’s residents on their needs. He actively participates in numerous community activities, including tireless volunteer hours with the YMCA, United Way, March of Dimes, and many other organizations.

Additional Service 

He serves on the boards for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, Fort Bend Women’s Center, Fort Bend Literacy Council, and the Fort Bend Community Justice Council. Mayor Owen is also a lifetime vice president and director of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a lifetime member of the Fort Bend Fair, past president of the Texas 4H Foundation, and president of the Asian American Family Counseling Center.


"City Council has unanimously approved these changes to the Missouri City Charter and are offering them to the voters on the ballot in the 2013 General Election . We would ask that the voters approve all of the changes." -- Allen Owen, Mayor


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 1

Shall Sections 2.01, 2.02, 2.03, and 2.05 of Article II; Sections 6.01, 6.05, and 6.07 of Article VI; Subsection C of Section 9.03 of Article IX; and Section 11.10 of Article XI of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended and Section 6.08 of Article VI of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be deleted in its entirety to conform to requirements and provisions of state law and to remove redundant provisions otherwise provided for in state law?






City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 2


Shall Section 2.06 of Article II of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to require that notification of a lawsuit against the city must be provided to the city manager within six months of the date on which the cause of action accrued?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 3

Shall Section 3.05 of Article III of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to clarify that the mayor shall sign official plats of city property and to clarify inconsistent language?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 4

Shall Section 3.11 of Article III of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to require the City of Missouri City to publish an ordinance imposing a penalty, fine, or forfeiture at any time after the passage of the ordinance to become effective?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 5

Shall Section 4.01 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to provide that the city manager may appoint one or more assistant city managers with the concurrence of the city council, to provide that the city manager set the compensation of such assistant city managers, and to provide that, if designated as the acting city manager, an assistant city manager shall act in the absence or disability of the city manager?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 6

Shall Section 4.02 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to provide that the city attorney appoint one or more assistant city attorneys with the concurrence of the city manager and to provide that the city manager set the compensation of such assistant city attorneys?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 7

Shall Section 4.04 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to provide that the city secretary appoint one or more assistant city secretaries with the concurrence of the city manager, to provide that the city manager set the compensation of such assistant city secretaries, and to change the title of the “assistant city secretary” to the “deputy city secretary?”


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 8

Shall Section 4.06 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to update and modernize certain terms, particularly “personnel,” “classified service,” “merit and fitness,” “pension,” and “in-service training program” and to clarify conflicting language?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 9

Shall Section 5.03 of Article V of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to add state law requirements for an initiative petition?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 10

Shall Section 7.01 of Article VII of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to more accurately describe the functions of the city’s finance department which administers the assessment and collection of the city’s taxes?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 11

Shall Section 8.01 of Article VIII of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to clarify the requirements for membership on the planning commission by substituting the term “citizens” with the term “residents” and by removing the requirement that a member of the planning commission must own real property in the City of Missouri City?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 12

Shall Section 8.02 of Article VIII of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to remove the requirement that the planning commission submit an annual list of recommended capital improvements to the city manager before the beginning of each budget year?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 13

Shall Section 8.03 of Article VIII of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be deleted in its entirety to allow the appointment process for the director of planning, currently named the “director of development services,” to be consistent with the appointment process for other city department directors as provided in Section 4.01 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of Missouri City?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 14

Shall Section 9.04 of Article IX of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to allow the transfer of unencumbered appropriations among programs within a department, division, or office or, with city council authorization, between departments, divisions, or offices not later than the 60th day after the last day of the fiscal year?


City of Missouri City Special Election
- Charter Proposition No. 15

Shall Sections 10.02, 10.04, and 10.05 of Article X of the Charter of the City of Missouri City be amended to add language to clarify that the City of Missouri City may take action regarding franchises only to the fullest extent authorized by law?


ELECTION DAY IS SAT., MAY 11, 2013
"The Show Me City" is the Region's Most Diverse City!
- Paid. Pol. Ad by the Allen Owen for Mayor Campaign.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS SPECIAL EDITION FEATURING COUNCILMAN MARSHALL


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS EDITION OF YOUR THOUGHT MATTERS NEWSPAPER

The Importance of Voting In Local Elections featuring Thoughts from Mayor Annise Parker and other City of Houston Leaders 

“The feature of this “Special Edition” of Your Thought Matters Newspaper is the section on the importance of voting in local elections. This “Special Edition” was made possible by Mayor Annise Parker, Mayor Allen Owen, Congressman Kevin Brady, Houston Controller Ronald C. Green, Houston Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez, Houston At-Large City CM -Andrew C. Burks, Jr., Missouri City At-Large CM - Danny Nguyen, Houston City CM - Ellen Cohen, Houston City CM – Wanda Adams, Houston City CM – Mike Laster, Houston City CM – Larry V. Green. 2013 Candidate Georgia D. Provost for Houston’s District – D, 2013 Candidate Rodney Griffin for Missouri City’s District – A, 2013 Candidate for Re-Election to the FBISD School Board Jim Rice, and 2013 Candidate for FBISD School Board Cynthia Lenton Gary. Call Aubrey R. Taylor Communications at: (832)212-8735 to discuss your inclusion in the next edition of Your Thought Matters Newspaper." -- Aubrey R. Taylor, Publisher


CITY LEADERS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING IN LOCAL ELECTIONS

The City of Houston leaders at Houston's City Hall who contributed to this Your Thought Matters Newspaper feature are: Mayor Annise Parker (top left) At-Large Position 2 Houston City Council Member -- Andrew C. Burks (top right), City of Houston Controller -- Ronald C. Green (second row left), Houston's Mayor Pro-Tem and District H Council Member -- Ed Gonzalez (second row right), Houston City Council Member for District D -- Wanda Adams (third row on left), Houston City Council Member for District C -- Ellen Cohen (third row on right), Houston City Council Member for District J -- Mike Laster (bottom on left), and Houston City Council Member for District K -- Larry V. Green. All these individuals will be on the November 5, 2013 Mayoral Election ballot for the City of Houston; with the exception of Councilwoman Wanda Adams who is term-limited and can't run for re-election for her seat.

Mayor Annise Parker, Other Houston City Hall Leaders Answer Call to Share Their Thoughts On The Importance of Voting

“Mayor Annise Parker the 61st Mayor of Houston, and only the second woman to hold the position of chief executive officer for the City of Houston recently took a moment to share her thoughts on the importance of voting at the request of Aubrey R. Taylor, publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper. Other Houston City Hall leaders who also took the time out of their busy schedules to share their thoughts on the importance of voting in local elections were: Houston’s City Controller Ronald C. Green; Houston’s Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez; Houston’s At-Large Position 2 Council Member Andrew C. Burks, Jr.; Houston’s District C Council Member Ellen Cohen; Houston’s District D Council Member Wanda Adams; Houston’s District J Council Member Mike Laster; and Houston’s District K Council Member Larry Green. I’m thankful that these leaders found value in our quest to inform, empower, inspire, and encourage Americans to get involved in local elections. For in the end, all politics are local.”


Mayor Annise Parker, Currently Only the Second Woman to serve as Houston's Chief Executive takes a Moment to Share Her Thoughts on The Importance of Voting 

"I remember voting as a kid with my parents. That was back in the days when you walked into a voting booth, pulled a red curtain behind you, picked your candidates and pulled a lever to cast your ballot. My parents took me every November, and I’ve gone every year as an adult. It’s important to vote for many reasons, but I’ll focus on three.

1) It’s the only opportunity we have, as citizens, to hold our elected officials accountable to the promises they make to us when they’re running for office. I’ve been elected eight times now, so I know that when I make a promise on the campaign trail, voters are listening, and voters will remind me of my promises when I come back in two years.

2) Someone said to me recently – if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Elected officials make very important decisions about how your money is spent and what limits are placed on your life. It’s important that your elected officials know that you care about your rights and your money – and the best way to show them that you care is to vote.

3) And finally, 150 years ago, voting was reserved for a privileged few. African Americans and women risked their lives fighting for the right to vote. They won in 1870 and 1920, respectively. That isn’t very long ago, and every election I am proud to honor those brave civil rights activists by heading to the polls and casting a ballot."

Sincerely,

Annise Parker
The 61st Mayor of Houston, Texas
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Houston City Controller Ronald C. Green Shares His Thoughts on the Importance of Participating in Local Elections

“In times like these it is important that all who can vote should exercise their right to. Not at any moment in our time has our country been so politically polarized, we have gun law bills, budget and deficit issues, the issues that are currently being discussed in Washington have a trickle-down effect to cities and local municipalities. It is important that we have the right leadership in place so that our city is ready to handle those problems. Locally, our economy, public project initiatives and quality of life all depend on the representation YOU the citizen vote for. The City of Houston’s leadership helps in making decisions that make sure that the aforementioned are available to you. That is why it is important for you to participate in local elections. In no other elections, state or nationally, can you personally hold your elected official accountable for the well being of the city that you live in. You want and need responsible men and women to make sure that your taxes are being put to good use, whether you are Republican or Democrat. We need YOU to help Houston thrive as a city, we need YOU to ensure Houston has the quality of life for families and visitors to enjoy and prosper in. Your vote helps in achieving those goals.”

Sincerely,

Ronald C. Green
Houston City Controller
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


City of Houston Mayor Pro-Tem, District H Council Member Ed Gonzalez Shares His Thoughts on Why Voting Matters

“Voting is a fundamental right granted to us by our forefathers, it is a right that sets our nation apart from many in the world, and it is a right that I encourage all citizens to exercise. Elections impact who represents us at every level of government, those representatives are the individuals that advocate for the needs of our communities, of our families, and of our future generations. Electing a representative ensures that your voice is heard at City Hall, at the State Capitol, and in Washington D.C. As a local elected official, I take pride in fighting for the needs of the District H constituents that I represent. Keeping our neighborhoods safe, ensuring that our roads are in good condition, increasing the amount of greenspace in the community, and encouraging economic development are some of my main priorities. I know that I was elected to serve my community and I strive to listen to its needs each and every single day. I sincerely hope that all voters will take time to cast a ballot, particularly during a local election. Our government is only as good as the people that we send to represent us. Make sure that you head to the voting booth and continue to make your voice heard.”

Sincerely,

Ed Gonzalez
Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Houston
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Houston City Council Member Andrew C. Burks Shares His Thoughts On The Importance of Participating In Local Elections

"Exercising your right to vote in local elections gives you a powerful voice in the issues that directly impact our family. When we think about the political decisions that make the greatest differences in our lives, we often think about Washington, D.C. But the truth is that some of the decisions that have the largest impact on us are made at City Hall.

The brave police officers and fire fighters keeping us safe depend upon responsible local elected officials to ensure they are effective. The roads we drive on, the water we drink, and the parks and libraries our families use are all maintained by your local elected officials.

The services we use most are local. That is why it is important to participate in local elections. When you have a concern, it is your locally elected officials who are the most responsive. As members of the community, mayors and council members are more in touch with the everyday needs of our neighbors. As a voter, you want to ensure that the services impacting you the most are in the hands of someone you can trust and who understands your needs.

Your vote makes its biggest difference in local elections. Low turnout in local races means your voice is louder and stronger. Your participation ensures your needs are represented and that our city will remain a great place to call home for generations to come.”

Sincerely,

Andrew C. Burks Jr.
City Council At-Large Position 2
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Houston City Council District C Representative Ellen Cohen Takes A Moment to Share Her Thoughts On The Importance of Participating in Local Elections

“Democracy is the cornerstone of our country from the federal level down to the local level. I was raised to believe that democracy means “one person, one vote,” and that exercising your vote is a responsibility as well as a right. In a politically polarized nation, making your voice heard from the ballot box becomes even more urgent.

In Houston, though voter turnout in our last national election (2012) was above 60%, unfortunately, in our last localelection (2011) turnout was less than 15%. This is particularly regrettable because all politics is local. Local government is responsible for the most immediate concerns of our citizens’ daily lives. From streets to parks to libraries to water, your local government officials make or influence the policy decisions that impact our lives. Consequently, holding elected officials accountable for their decisions is vital to a well-functioning city, state, or nation.

Furthermore, particularly in a local election, every vote is critical. Elections that are determined by 10, 100, or 500 votes are more common than many citizens are aware. Since a small voting pool magnifies the effect of a singular vote, participating in a local election can have a great impact on your life. Enfranchisement for all has been hard-won in America, and we owe it to our forebears to honor their sacrifices by exercising the right and responsibility to vote.”

Sincerely,

Ellen Cohen
Houston City Council District C
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Houston City Council Member Wanda Adams Shares Her Thoughts on The Importance of Voting in Our Local Elections

“Many times, local elections do not receive a high voter turnout rate because individuals feel that those elections are not as important as voting for national elected officials. Voting in local elections is actually more important because it is the best way to have your voice heard immediately. Local elected officials are the individuals who carry-out fiscal mandates, laws, and actions that are created on a national and state level. Citizens should see their local officials working in their communities by the projects that are being completed in their neighborhoods. The Mayor and City Council choose city department leaders who make decisions regarding infrastructure repair, water services, health services, solid waste services, libraries, parks, and many other services that affect everyone living in the city. These elected officials are the public servants that you should see physically working in the community and working for the community. They have vested interests that are parallel to their constituents because they drive your streets daily, visit the parks with their loved ones, receive city services, and live in your neighborhoods. Local officials know your concerns because they share them. If someone isn’t voting in local elections, they are saying that they are not concerned with the issues that matter most – the issues that affect home.”

Sincerely,

Wanda Adams
Houston City Council District D
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Houston City Council Member Mike Laster Shares his thoughts on the importance of voting in local Elections

“Local elections are important because local government is the foundation of democracy. Your voice is heard the most at the local level and local officials are some of the most accessible and responsive to the voting public. Your daily life is directly affected by local government – from trash pick-up to pot holes to police and fire services to building permits. All of us are called upon to build up our communities and participation in local elections is the most effective way to do that.”

Sincerely,

Mike Laster
Houston City Council District J
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT


Shared Thoughts from Houston City Council District K Council Member Larry V. Green on Why it's Important for Voters to Participate in Local City-Wide Elections

“It is important for voters to participate in local city-wide elections because elected officials can help determine the economic, educational and social well-being of entire communities. For example, two very important tasks of city council members include making laws and allocating money. Elected officials are the gatekeepers for millions of dollars in tax revenue—that is, money paid by anyone in the public old enough to purchase taxable merchandise, own property, or earn a paycheck. Elected officials control which individuals, groups, communities, businesses, and institutions receive taxpayer dollars, how much they receive, and the purpose for which they can use the money.

Local elected officials are public servants who serve at the pleasure of ordinary citizens—like you and me. For example, in city elections in Houston, every two years voters go to the polls to decide whether their elected officials deserve another term in office. Ultimately, elected officials, including me, are judged by the quality of our leadership. Are we accessible to the public? Do we represent all demographics, rich, poor, everyone? Do we bring money or other resources back to our Districts? Do our decisions or voting record reflect the priorities we promised when asking for your vote?

The policies generated from your participation in local city-wide elections shape almost every aspect of our lives. It is important that voters do not take a back seat in the political decisions that result in these policies. Let your voice be heard by voting in all local city-wide elections.”

Sincerely,

Larry V. Green, Esq.
Houston City Council District K
CLICK HERE TO SEE SPOTLIGHT



-- CLICK HERE FOR OPEN LETTER FROM GEORGIA D. PROVOST
Businesswoman Georgia D. Provost is running for Houston City Council for District D in the 2013 Mayoral Election for Houston. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2013 for the 2013 Mayoral Election in Houston. The Houston City Council District D seat is currently held by Councilwoman Wanda Adams who is term-limited and can't run for re-election. Click this link to read the "Open Letter" from Georgia D. Provost a 2013 candidate for Houston City Council. 


DON'T FORGET TO REMIND EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN FORT BEND COUNTY TO VOTE IN THE SATURDAY, MAY 11TH GENERAL ELECTION



MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS: Watch Out for the Missouri City Council District A Race involving Bobby Marshall, Rodney Griffin and Yolanda Ford on Saturday, May 11, 2013

By Aubrey R. Taylor
President, Aubrey R. Taylor Communications
The Publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper

Back in the 2011 General Election face off in Missouri City for the District A City Council seat Rodney Griffin came within 33 votes of unseating the incumbent Bobby Marshall. However, a dismal 6.52% voter turnout in the (6) six precinct district largely made up of African-American voters proved a little too much for Griffin to overcome in his quest to unseat the incumbent. But Rodney L. Griffin is back on the ballot again in the 2013 General Election to be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013. However, he's not facing the incumbent alone this time around. Yolanda Ford, a local architectural designer and urban planner is also in the race seeking to unseat Councilman Bobby Marshall.


-- CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TRUSTEE JIM RICE





Missouri City At Large Position II Council Member Danny Nguyen (far left) is the Economic Development Committee Chair. Council Member Nguyen at an Economic Development effort with Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert (second photo). Council Member Nguyen at the appreciation of safety event with Constable Ruben Davis.


-- CLICK HERE IF YOU CAN VOTE IN THE MISSOURI CITY 2013 ELECTION





-- CHECK OUT THE STATE OF MISSOURI CITY -- BY RODNEY L. GRIFFIN

Businessman Rodney Griffin continues to campaign tirelessly for the revitalization of Texas Parkway. He has served the Missouri City community as the Presiding Election Judge for many terms. Presently he serve Precinct 2059 as the Democratic Chair and on the State Democratic Executive Committee in Austin. According to Griffin he was the first State (Texas) party official to endorse then candidate Obama for president (Feb, 22, 2007). During the de centennial census, he made sure that every person in the Missouri City community was counted.