LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER -- EARLY VOTING FOR THE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS BEGINS ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2017 AND ENDS ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2017

A few of the people featured in this edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine© are Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Mayor Allen Owen, Dr. Letitia Plummer, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Manny Berrera, Daniel "DC" Caldwell, Robert Glaser, Victoria Bryant, Eugene "Gene" Pack, David Jaroszewski, Pretta VanDible Stallworth, Monica Flores Richart, Elizabeth Santos, Gretchen Himsl, Carlos Perrett, Sergio Lira, Rodolfo (Rudy) Reyes, Jesse A. Rodriguez, Susan Shafer, Sue Deigaard, Kara DeRocha, Sean Cheben, Daniel Albert, Robert Lundin and Holly Flynn Vilaseca, Anne Katherine Sung, John Luman, Wanda Adams, Karla Brown and Gerry W. Monroe. Houston Business Connections Magazine is published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. Call (832)212-8735 for more information.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Andrew C. Burks, Jr. An At-Large Houston City Councilman Shares How he Goes About Selecting the Best Candidate to Vote for in An Election -- The 2013 Mayoral Election in Houston is coming on November 5th

“Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper is currently asking leaders from across the state of Texas to give us an inside look at how they go about selecting the best candidate in an election. We are also asking these leaders to share their thoughts on a few of the characteristics they look for in a leader. Below are thoughts shared by Andrew C. Burks, Jr., the At-Large Position 2 Council Member in Houston, Texas. His interests on City Council include a strong dedication to working with civil clubs, super neighborhood organizations and local non-profit organizations, increasing accountability and cooperation between City Hall and neighborhoods. He is currently serving his first term in office and will be on the 2013 Mayoral ballot on Tuesday, November 5th, seeking voter approval to serve his second term in office.” – Aubrey R. Taylor Publisher


Andrew C. Burks, Jr., is the Position 2 At-Large Houston City Council Member

At-Large City of Houston Council Member Andrew C. Burks, Jr. Shares A Few Thoughts On How he Goes About Identifying the best Candidate In An Election

AUBREY R. TAYLOR: “As a voter, how do you go about selecting the person who is the best candidate in any given election? And what are a few of the characteristics you look for in a leader?”

COUNCIL MEMBER BURKS: “Our leaders should share our goals and values. When I am personally deciding who to vote for, I look for the candidate who best understands my needs and the aspirations of the community. Strong leaders listen to the people they represent, understand their concerns and aspirations and form a plan to deliver a solution. Successful candidates should be able to empathize with their voters and proactively work to solve the problems brought to their attention. Our neighbors who are hands-on and involved in the community make the best leaders.

Leadership is about more than just making decisions and giving speeches – it is about listening. Selecting a candidate who takes time out of their schedule to visit with you or an organization you are a part of goes a long way. I look for candidates who can roll up their sleeves and accomplish their goals. This takes hard work, perseverance and a willingness to find common ground. On Election Day, the candidate who understands the needs of the community with a plan to improve the lives of all he or she represents earns my vote.”



Andrew C. Burks Jr.
Houston City Council At-Large Position 2



Here’s A Little About Council Member Andrew C. Burks, Jr.

Andrew C. Burks, Jr. is a native Houstonian with a passion for making Houston the best city in the country to live, do business and raise a family. Growing up, Andrew’s parents instilled in him high moral values and taught him the importance of giving back to the community. Andrew grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and graduated from Jack Yates High School. Andrew continued his education at San Jacinto Junior College, Houston Community College and later Texas Southern University.

Andrew Burks served in the United States Air Force, and is a proud military veteran. Andrew’s commitment to community extends to his leadership with the YMCA and Red Shield Boys’ Club. Having served as president of his local civic club, Councilman Burks understands neighborhood quality of life issues. Andrew has dedicated his time to understanding constituent concerns and solving problems for Houstonians.

A successful small business owner, Andrew achieved entrepreneurial success in launching Am-PM Telephone Service, Inc., the first African American owned telephone company in Houston. Andrew continues to serve as CEO today.

Leading Our City Forward

Andrew Burks is committed to Houston’s future. As a small businessman, Andrew is focusing on economic development and job creation. As a veteran, Andrew is especially interesting in veterans’ quality of life issues. As a member of City Council, Andrew is working to bolster small businesses, international business, tackle homelessness, increase the quality of life for Houston seniors and boost tourism. Andrew is making sure the city uses resources responsibly and ensures the financial health of Houston for years to come.

Creating jobs and honoring our veterans and seniors is an important focus for Councilmember Burks. Working together, Andrew is moving toward making Houston a world class city for individuals of all backgrounds. To that end, Andrew brings religious and community representatives to the table from all walks of life to help create policy benefiting all Houstonians.

Andrew’s interests on City Council include a strong dedication to working with civil clubs, super neighborhood organizations and local non-profit organizations, increasing accountability and cooperation between City Hall and neighborhoods.

Andrew welcomes input from Houston residents and looks forward to helping solve problems for the citizens of Houston.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS EDITION 

Monday, April 29, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Houston Mayor Annise Parker Announces Innovative Public-Private Partnership that Combines Social Networking With Job Searching for Houstonians Seeking Jobs


Job Searches Just Got Easier in Houston!

"Houston may be the biggest economic success story in America, but that’s not enough if you don’t have a job or you are looking for a better job.

That’s why I’m announcing a new City of Houston initiative called TweetMyJobs Houston! It’s available today – free of charge – to everyone in the city.

It combines social networking with job searching, providing job matches where you want them, when you want them.

It’s easy to use and free to join at www.Houston.TweetMyJobs.com or at the app store for your mobile device. Go to the site and it will tell you where to find a job by category and even by what part of town you’re in.

TweetMyJobs Houston! is another example of real progress that will make life better for thousands of Houston workers, families and small businesses.

This innovative public-private partnership — between the city and TweetMyJobs — is a solution for many small to mid-size businesses with limited recruitment budgets as well as thousands of Houstonians looking for work.

Houston has the best economy in the nation – and this new initiative will help the best get even better. Let’s go!"  —Annise

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS EDITION 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Hightower High School's Digital Media Academy to host Summer Camp, June 18-19 on the Hightower Campus at: 3333 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City, Texas 77459

For more information, call the Digital Media Academy Office at 281-634-7880 or the school at 281-634-5240.The camp will be held on June 18-19, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, on the Hightower campus (3333 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City, 77459).

Hightower High School's Digital Media Academy to host Summer Camp, June 18-19

FORT BEND ISD - Hightower High School's Digital Media Academy will host a summer camp for Fort Bend ISD students, who are entering grades 5-8 and are interested in film/video, graphic design, 3D animation, web design, broadcast journalism or photography. The camp will be held on June 18-19, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, on the Hightower campus (3333 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City, 77459).

During the two-day summer camp, students will take part in various activities, including storytelling, a scavenger hunt, stop motion video, a PSA production, as well as group discussions regarding Digital Media Academy courses and career choices. The registration fee is $80 and includes a camp t-shirt, lunch and snacks. Onsite registration will take place on Saturday, May 4, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, in the school’s lobby.

To obtain a summer camp registration form, visit the Digital Media Academy website and click on "Summer Media Camp." For more information, call the Digital Media Academy Office at 281-634-7880 or the school at 281-634-5240.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS ISSUE OF YOUR THOUGHT MATTERS NEWSPAPER

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayor Annise Parker Delivered her 2013 State of the City Address for Houston on Friday, April 26, 2013

Mayor Annise Parker has spent many years in service to the people of Houston, with six years as a City Council member and six years as City Controller. She is the first person in Houston's history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor. This is her second term as mayor; and she is seeking re-election to a third in the 2013 Mayoral Election to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 in the City of Houston. 

2013 State of the City Address Delivered by Mayor Annise Parker on Friday, April 26th

(As written – There may have been slight deviations in delivered version)

I love this city. I still love going to work every day and I love the future we are creating for Houston. In our 3.5 years together we have gone from fighting a severe recession---with necessary cut backs and layoffs ---to having the hottest economy in the nation. Today we’re the job producing capital of America--– the place to which more people are moving than anywhere else in the nation.

Just this year we have hosted an NBA All Star Weekend that was second to none, we have started major programs to improve our parks, streets, and libraries, and announced two new international flights to Houston. We will have two international airports, so you can fly directly from Houston to your international business meeting in Turkey, China or Mexico.

Our current list of “Top Ten” rankings could fill all the time available for my speech today so I’ve only selected a few as a reminder of what we’ve done together:

We’re the best place in the country to start a new career.

Your paycheck will stretch further here than anywhere.

We are one of the best cities in which to own a home.

We are in the top ten cities for college graduates.

The New York Times suggests we are the seventh best city to visit in the world.
Forbes Magazine named us “America’s Coolest City.”---which I don’t think is a reference to our climate.

And, best of all, Travel and Leisure says we are the best burger city in the country.

There are more, but I will stop there. Do an Internet search. Look it up for yourself. It’s a proud list of achievements. These are the facts that allow me to proudly say the state of our city is strong--- and getting stronger.

Personally, though, I think that list isn’t enough. We have a lot more to do. I love having others recognize how great our city is. But it’s not going to be enough until every Houston family’s life is better---from the roads on which we drive, to the jobs we work, to the neighborhoods in which we live in, to the schools we attend and the parks where our children play. The best city can and will get better.

That’s been my goal as Mayor: to improve our role as a global city of business...while also focusing on making Houston a great place to raise a family and a great place to live.

No one person can do this. We are two million people working together to do it. Everyday we are building our tomorrow. Call us a City of Change. Call us the City of the Future. Call us the best city in America - a city that is still working to get better. We have the plans, the vision, the imagination, the ability…and the will to go there, and we’re on our way.

A City of Opportunity--Jobs and Our Economy

A great city is many things. And it starts with opportunity. My economic philosophy is simple. I don’t believe in trickle down. I believe in building up.

The best way to grow our economy is also the best way to lay the foundation for a strong future: executing on the fundamentals, with sound city finances and good public services. We’ve done that together.

We’ve laid that foundation. We’ve cut waste in the vast city bureaucracy. Put our finances in order. Made city departments more efficient. Balanced the budget without raising taxes. Begun pension reform.

All that work is not the goal. They are the tools to make our city even better. When we recruit new business to come to Houston, we have something to sell.

Houston is the biggest economic success story in America. In the last three years, the Houston region has created more than 250,000 jobs, exported approximately $300 billion in locally produced goods and services and issued permits for the construction of nearly 74,000 single-family homes. Houston was the first major metro area to fully recover from the recession. We lead the nation.

A year ago I stood before you and announced that incentives and other measures offered by the City of Houston had resulted in more than $1 billion in new economic development since 2010. Today, I am proud to say that we have more than doubled that number. With limited incentives and aggressive pro-growth policies our city government has helped attract more than $2.2 billion of economic development.

Growth begins at home, so we started the Hire Houston First program, giving priority to local firms to keep our tax dollars here and build our local economy. In the first year, more than $139 million of city business was awarded to certified firms, sustaining more than 6,000 jobs.

Many of these firms had never done work for the city prior to their Hire Houston First designation.

One of those first timers is Generators of Houston, owned by Lewis Giddings. Mr. Giddings please stand. He and his team won a $144,399 contract with the Houston Airport System. His company has 22 employees and has been in business for nine years, selling, installing and servicing virtually all makes and models of Power Generation Equipment. Generators of Houston got involved in the city’s contracting process due to the Hire Houston First initiative. Join me in celebrating Houston business owner Lewis Giddings and the Generators of Houston team.

Since last year at this time, the number of designated firms has risen from 250 to more than 600, and growing monthly. The local preference offered by the program only kicks in for registered companies, so get registered!

We’ve also taken an existing program and made it better.

The city awarded a total of $340 million in contracts to small, minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises during fiscal year 2012. This is the highest percentage of work awarded to certified vendors in Houston history. It reflects our commitment to creating a competitive and diverse business environment.

And there’s more to come.

Thanks to the financial backing of Capital One, we are launching Lift Off Houston, a business plan competition to engage individuals seeking to start a new business--- utilizing resources available at the Houston Public Library and the city’s Office of Business Opportunity. Participants will be provided with the resources and mentoring to research, develop and present their business plans. They will receive more than a $1,000 in in-kind services. At the end, there will be three cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to jump start those business plans. Join me in acknowledging Directors Carlecia Wright and Rhea Lawson for their innovative collaboration, work and commitment to the citizens of Houston.

Bringing in major investment is important. Growing opportunities for small businesses of all kinds is important. But it isn’t enough. What if you don’t have a job or you are looking for a better job?

Help is on the way. Today, I am launching a revolutionary new recruitment tool called TweetMyJob Houston! This hyper-local website and app matches current job postings with qualified job seekers- at the click of a button. Right now you can download the TweetMyJobs Houston app on any Apple or Droid platform and find more than 150,000 available jobs in the greater Houston area. Today, small and mid-size businesses with limited recruitment budgets now have the same opportunities as many of the Fortune 500 companies to recruit the best talent that Houston has to offer. TweetMyJobs Houston combines social networking with job searching and matching- where and when you want them. This service is easy to use and free to join by both business and job seeker. Tweet your jobs today.

A City That Works: Modernizing Our Infrastructure

A city is only as strong as its physical structure---utilities, streets, and drainage. It must work well so the community can function. Houston is now pioneering new ways to accomplish this. Good management and fiscal responsibility go together. You can’t have one without the other.

Good management means making it easier for your customers to talk to you and let you know what’s going wrong. We have restored our 311 helpline to a 24/7 schedule and launched a new smart phone app that makes for easy reporting of potholes and other issues. Just click a photo, tag it and send it in.

With voter approval we’re in the second year of our comprehensive infrastructure modernization program that this year will provide more than 100 miles of road improvements and good paying jobs. Our transformative, bold, pay-as-you-go approach to addressing drainage issues and improving overall infrastructure will provide benefits for decades to come.

We have already invested approximately $180 million in improvements to our infrastructure since the program began and we are just getting started. In the first year we completed, continued or started a total of 46 street and drainage improvement projects. We resurfaced 136 lane miles of asphalt streets, cleaned 75 miles of storm sewers and re-graded 277 miles of road ditches. In 2013, we will complete or start another 38 improvement projects.

Voters stepped up again last fall by approving $410 million in public improvement bonds for city building projects and park improvements. In my first state of the city I talked about my concern about debt, and I’m proud that this is the smallest borrowing request in 30 years. The bond proceeds will fund five years of city public improvements ranging from roof and foundation repairs to new police and fire stations. Together, we’re rebuilding our city and I thank you for your commitment to making the best city, even better.

A Safer City

Over the past three years one of our top priorities has been to make Houston a safer city. We’ve made real progress. Since 2010, the crime rate is down eight percent. Despite budget problems during the recession, we did not layoff a single police officer or fire fighter and protected our investment in public safety. Join me in recognizing the first responders who work tirelessly to keep us safe. Please stand and be acknowledged.

We’ve tackled long-neglected problems.

We’ve modernized our public safety radio and technology systems.

In the last three years through Demolition Days we have demolished more than two thousand blighted or abandoned homes and some of the worst apartments in Houston. We have removed crack houses, cutting away a cancer that eats away at neighborhood vitality.

Just last month we launched Make Safe Saturday, a new neighborhood cleanup initiative that secures blighted properties that are in violation of City codes but do not meet the criteria for demolition.

We are eliminating the city’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits that date back decades. They are in testing today. Within 12 months the backlog will be gone. I know how important this is to rape survivors. It’s a problem that was years in the making and we began working to solve it as soon as I took office, with no resources to accomplish it). Frankly, I I wish we could have solved the problem sooner, but we’ve done it now.

To improve law enforcement in the future, we are transitioning to an independent city crime lab to catch criminals, and to protect the innocent.

Last month we opened the doors at the Houston Center for Sobriety, an innovative facility that is an alternative to jail for people detained for public intoxication, allowing them the opportunity to regain sobriety in a safe, medically monitored environment.

The best can get better.

A More Livable City---Our Quality of Life

Houston’s a great place, but one of my top goals has always been to make it an even more livable city. Our history - making new Bayou Greenways Project, which voters approved in the recent bond election, does just that. This is the stringing of the beads along our bayous, linking existing trail segments into a seamless whole. Using a mix of public and private funding, it will eventually complete one of the largest continuous park/trailway systems in America, along every major bayou segment in the city. This year we have begun working with many communities and partners and are completing designs on the first $20 million worth of projects.

Quality of life can mean many things. It can mean access to parks or the arts. To some it means finding a roof over their head and food on the table. Unfortunately, this includes many veterans. Now through an unprecedented community-wide effort we are finding homes, social services and jobs for homeless veterans. More than 1,000 homeless veterans now have a place to call home as a result of this initiative.

One of them is Paul Lewis, an army vet who was living on the streets. Mr. Lewis please stand. As he said, when you lose your livelihood, you risk losing your self-respect. But with the help of this new city supported program, he found a new home and updated his automotive repairs skills at Houston Community College. Today, he is back on his feet and has opened a car repair shop on Veterans Memorial and Antoine. Thank you Mr. Lewis for your service to your country and God bless you in your new life. Together we won’t be satisfied until all our heroes have a safe place to stay at night.

In addition to our Veteran Affairs accomplishments, homelessness is down overall by 27%, and still the best can get better. I’d like to thank our many partners including Houston Housing Authority, Harris County Housing Authority, the Coalition for the Homeless and the many faith and community-based organizations that are working tirelessly to stamp out homelessness.

Houston is a City of Innovation

We’re taking the lead in new technology to make us a modern, efficient, sustainable city.
Houston has been the number one city government for using renewable energy for four years in a row; and this year we’ve expanded the city’s use of renewable energy by 50%.

I am especially proud that Houston was selected as one of the winners of the Bloomberg Challenge, a national competition that judged innovative ideas from cities all over America. The city has received a one million dollar prize to use as seed funding for the development of a One Bin For All recycling system. The goal is an innovative system to allow residents to mix trash, recyclables and lawn waste in a single bin ready for automatic sorting. It is a transformative approach with the potential to improve the city’s recycling recovery rate to 75%.

I love Houston. I was born here. I grew up here. This city is planted in my heart and soul. I know many of you in this audience personally. I have worked with most of you… and I even fought with some of you from time to time. We’re all in this together. So many of the good things in our city actually start at the grassroots level, from people who care passionately and work tirelessly---without pay---to improve life in our community.

Six of Houston’s community leaders are in the audience today.

     * There’s Steve DeGloria, a Kroger Store manager, who volunteers for the Children’s Miracle Network, the United Way and the Houston Food Bank.

     * Anna Gonzales - the current president of the Denver Harbor Civic Club where she organizes community clean-ups, maintains the neighborhood esplanade and fights the permitting of new cantinas.

     * Margaret Jenkins is the current president of the Greater Sugar Valley Civic Club, and Sunnyside Super Neighborhood 71& Crestmont/SouthAcres Super Neighborhood 76 Councils.

     * Ritika Kapoor is using her love of libraries and expertise as an IT professional to help at the Houston Public Library where she has personally set up more than 700 computers, installed wireless router systems and helped upgrade other library systems and equipment.

     * Ruby Mosley is affectionately called the “Mayor of Acres Homes,” and the Houston Chronicle named her Acres Homes’ Grande Dame of Community Activism. Her community involvement includes serving as a member of the Acres Home Advisory Committee, Acres Home Super Neighborhood, Houston Police Department Advisory Committee and Gulf Coast Community Services Association.

     * Finally, there’s Gary Thomas, who was voted fan favorite in our Facebook contest honoring these volunteers. He’s a retired Vietnam vet, who volunteers five days a week at BARC, working directly with the animals and serving as a counselor for new adoptive families.

These volunteers, and the countless others I do not have time to mention, are the true heroes of our city. Please join me in acknowledging their contributions and the contributions of all our volunteers across the city. We all share the same goal. Making Houston better has been our great joint endeavor. I want to thank you for the privilege of working with you to achieve that. I want to thank you for your vision of a better city.

We’re a city of change and innovation, a city of opportunity, a city that’s growing better for all of us who live here. We still have much to do, but we’re making terrific progress. The state of our city is strong. The state of our future is unlimited. And the best will continue to get better.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS ISSUE OF YOUR THOUGHT MATTERS NEWSPAPER

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Annise Parker the Mayor of Houston Shares How She Goes About Selecting the Best Candidate to Vote for in An Election -- The 2013 Mayoral Election in Houston is coming on November 5th

“Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper is currently asking leaders from across the state of Texas to give us an inside look at how they go about selecting the best candidate in an election. We are also asking these leaders to share their thoughts on a few of the characteristics they look for in a leader. Below are thoughts shared by Mayor Annise D. Parker of Houston, Texas. She is the first person in Houston's history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor. She is currently serving her second term in office and will be on the 2013 Mayoral ballot on Tuesday, November 5th, seeking voter approval to serve her third and final term and mayor of Houston.” – Aubrey R. Taylor Publisher

Mayor Annise Parker has spent many years in service to the people of Houston, with six years as a City Council member and six years as City Controller. She is the first person in Houston's history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor. This is her second term as mayor; and she is seeking re-election to a third in the 2013 Mayoral Election to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 in the City of Houston. Don't forget to vote!


Mayor Annise Parker and her life partner Kathy Hubbard have been together for more than 20 years and are advocates for adoption, with two adopted daughters and a son.
Mayor Annise Parker Shares A Few Thoughts On How She Goes About Identifying the best Candidate In An Election

AUBREY R. TAYLOR: “As a voter, how do you go about selecting the person who is the best candidate in any given election? And what are a few of the characteristics you look for in a leader?”

MAYOR ANNISE PARKER: “It is wrong to run for office just to be in politics; elected officeholders should want to work toward change that will improve the lives of those they represent. I have often said that my job is the best job available because I have the opportunity everyday to truly impact our great city and its residents for the better. When I am personally deciding which candidates to support in an election, obviously, I look for someone who shares my views and positions on the issues. I also look for someone who is passionate, exhibits leadership qualities and is motivated to serve.

Leadership is not simply taking the reigns and getting the job done. A leader also has to be willing to listen to different points of view, flexible enough to change course when the original path proves unworkable or will create an undesirable outcome. And a leader must be willing to compromise. They need to be genuinely concerned about their constituents, and about improving the area they will represent. Ultimately, however, a leader needs to be able to generate consensus through a cooperative approach and stand strong even when the final decision may not be politically popular.”



Annise Parker
The 61st Mayor of Houston, Texas





Here's A Little About Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Parker is Houston’s 61st mayor and one of only two women to hold the City’s highest elected office. As the City's chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the City and for enforcement of all laws and ordinances.

Parker has spent many years in service to the people of Houston, with six years as a City Council member and six years as City Controller. She is the only person in Houston history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor. This is her second term as mayor.

Parker’s accomplishments as mayor include job growth far exceeding the number of jobs lost during the recession, resulting in Houston being named the job growth capital of the nation. In addition, she bucked the trend of most other major U.S. cities by balancing three city budgets during the tough economic times without raising taxes or having to eliminate police or firefighter jobs.

The mayor’s tenure also includes passage and implementation of Rebuild Houston, a pay-as-you-go comprehensive street and drainage improvement program that will provide jobs for Houstonians for years to come; voter approval of a $410 public improvement bond program; creation of an independent organization to oversee the City’s crime lab operations; a unique sobering center for public intoxication cases; adoption of a long-term financial plan that ensures the stability of the City’s water department and reorganization of City departments to achieve cost savings and more efficient operations. She created a new City department focused on the needs of neighborhoods and the Office of Business Opportunity to help minority and women-owned small business enterprises compete for City contracts. Additionally, she won City Council approval of a Historic Preservation Ordinance that, for the first time, provides real protection for historic properties in City-designated historic districts and she issued one of the most comprehensive non-discrimination orders in the nation.

Fast Company magazine selected Houston as City of the Year for 2011 and in 2010, Time magazine named Mayor Parker one the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards during her career, including the 2011 Guardian of the Bay Award from the Galveston Bay Foundation, Scenic Houston’s 2010 Scenic Visionary Award and the 2010 Guardian of the Human Spirit Award from the Holocaust Museum Houston.

In addition to her duties as mayor, Parker is an active member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Advisory Council and on the boards of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium and Houston Galveston Area Council. She is an advisory board member of the Holocaust Museum, Center for Houston’s Future and Montrose Center.

Mayor Parker is a second generation native Houstonian. She graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. In the private sector, Parker spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry, including 18 years with Mosbacher Energy Company. She also co-owned a retail bookstore for 10 years.

Parker and her life partner Kathy Hubbard have been together for more than 20 years and are advocates for adoption, with two adopted daughters and a son.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

INFORMATION: Here Are Your Early Voting Locations for the 2013 General Election in Missouri City in Fort Bend County

"On Saturday, May 11, 2013, Bobby Marshall, the incumbent was forced into the Saturday, June 15, 2013 runoff by Yolanda Ford. You are hereby notified that Bobby Marshall is not seeking the vote or support of Your Thought Matters Newspaper readers in the Saturday, June 15, 2013 runoff election. We wish Mr. Marshall well in his bid for re-election. However, since Mr. Marshall is not seeking your vote, we respectfully ask for you to consider Yolanda Ford. We have provided a little information we found on Yolanda Ford's website below for your consideration. We will keep you posted and up to date on any future developments in this race. Also, we have not received any monies from the Yolanda Ford for Missouri City Council District A campaign for the posting of this campaign update. Don't forget to vote in this important election." -- Aubrey 

"As a resident of Missouri City District A, I see a community that needs BETTER growth and leadership that is experienced, knowledgeable and educated in community development. A leader who can identify with their constituents, who is energetic and who believes an all male city council should represent men and women equally." – Yolanda Ford

ELECTION UPDATE: There are only 12 days left before the Saturday, June 15, 2013 runoff between Yolanda Ford and Bobby Marshall to decide the race for Missouri City Council District A


MEET YOLANDA FORD

Urban planner and land development professional, Yolanda Ford, has declared her candidacy for the Missouri City City Council – District A seat.

“It is time for better growth and experienced leadership that can identify with District A’s constituents. Our community, currently being represented by an all male council, should be represented by both men and women.”

“For the first time in many years, voters can elect a community leader that is experienced and educated in community development, city policy and who will actively advocate for improved quality of life for District A’s residents.”

Ford has been a resident of Missouri City for 35 years. Her professional experience includes more than 14 years of working in community development, urban planning, architecture, construction, government contract management and city policy for municipalities and nonprofit entities. She has a master of architecture degree and she is currently a land development specialist for a local nonprofit where she focuses on land acquisition, construction management and government contract procurement.

Ford states that District A needs a candidate who understands beneficial development that will increase property values and improve the quality of life for all residents. She stated she wants to focus on economic development, engaging residents and building relationships with school districts which she believes will assist in encouraging involvement and developing a family oriented community. Ford wants voters to know she is the strong, energetic leader with knowledge that is needed to make District A the community residents expect and deserve. She states more than half of our residents are of female gender, but currently there are no women on council. Ford says a city should have representation from both men and women alike.

Ford has experience and various excellent working relationships with professionals in transit authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, departments of transportation, utility companies, developers, contractors, city officials, city staff, neighborhood associations and other entities that are essential to getting issues with sidewalks, streets and neighborhoods resolved quickly. Since she was once a former city planner for the City of Missouri City, her understanding of Missouri City policy, planning and economic development will be essential in reviving Texas Parkway, working with TX DOT to alter some of the newly implemented road improvements along Texas Parkway and bringing in better development for District A.

“The economic development I want to bring into District A is substantial. My development plan will take a methodological approach and seek residents for their input and ideas. It will improve residential neighborhoods, grow Highway 90A, create jobs, businesses and retail locations along District A’s major corridors so that District A is a safe, vivacious community for everyone to enjoy.  No longer will residents need to drive into another city to shop for basic necessities.”

Ford has listed her phone number for any voter in District A and Missouri City to call her. She would like to hear from voters and welcomes any questions, comments and ideas.

“It is never too early to start learning about your candidates,” states Ford. “And using that knowledge to vote is the most powerful way for citizens to be heard and make their community a better place to live.”

The runoff election will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

EARLY VOTING ENDS TUESDAY, MAY 7TH

“Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper would like to take this moment to thank Congressman Kevin Brady, Mayor Allen Owen, Mayor Annise Parker, FBISD Trustee Jim Rice, Candidate Cynthia Lenton-Gary, Councilman Bobby Marshall, Councilman Danny Nguyen, Businesswoman Georgia Provost, Businessman Rodney Griffin, Businesswoman Stephanie Boutte-Phillips, Founder of Blue Cure Gabe Canales, Controller Ronald C. Green, Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez, Councilman Andrew C. Burks, Jr., Councilwoman Ellen Cohen, Councilwoman Wanda Adams, Councilman Mike Laster, Councilman Larry V. Green, Businessman Jimmy Coleman, Congressman Al Green, and Constable May Walker. All of these individuals contributed in one way or another to the success of this issue of Your Thought Matters Newspaper. Click this link to read Your Thought MattersNewspaper. And call (832)212-8735 if you have something to share! And let’s continue to work together to put people over politics.” – Aubrey R. Taylor, Publisher

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS ISSUE OF YOUR THOUGHT MATTERS NEWSPAPER

Please Help Us Spread The Word

If you live in Fort Bend County or know someone who lives in Missouri City (Texas) or Fort Bend County please do us a favor and tell them about this very important General Election about to go down in their county/city on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

We're currently focusing our efforts on highlighting the 2013 General Election in Missouri City, Texas. This is a very important election as Mayor Allen Owen and the entire sitting Missouri City Council are presenting over (15) fifteen propositions for voter approval. There are also, two Missouri City Council seats being contested in this election. In District A Incumbent Bobby Marshall is being challenged by Rodney Griffin and Yolanda Ford. In District B Incumbent Don Smith is being challenged by Henderson James Hunter, Jr for his seat at the Missouri City Council table. Please remind everyone you know about the importance of this election taking place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 in Missouri City Texas. If you have any questions, or would like to be included on our blog or in our new newspaper call: (832)212-8735.You can call me directly at: (832)894-1352.

Important Dates for the Saturday, May 11, 2013 General Election to be held in Fort Bend County/Missouri City Texas:

Ballots by Mail May Be Requested
-- Tuesday, March 12 - May 3, 2013

Last Day to Register to Vote
-- Thursday, April 11, 2013

Early Voting Period
-- Mon., April 29 - Tues.,, May 7, 2013

The 2013 General Election Day
-- Saturday, May 11, 2013

Don't Forget To Help Us Spread The Word About The Upcoming Election!


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS SPECIAL EDITION FEATURING COUNCILMAN MARSHALL

Mayor Allen Owen, Danny Nguyen, Jim Rice, Cynthia Lenton Gary, Bobby Marshall, and Rodney Griffin Are All Urging Fort Bend County Registered Voters to Vote Early 

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

Recently Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper was asked by Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen, Missouri City Council Member Danny Nguyen, FBISD Trustee Jim Rice, Former FBISD Trustee Cynthia Lenton-Gary, Missouri City Council Member Bobby Marshall, and 2013 Candidate for Missouri City Council Rodney L. Griffin to inform you that they’re asking for your support and vote in the upcoming Saturday, May 11, 2013 General Election to be held in Fort Bend County. With the exception of Mayor Allen Owen, and Councilman Danny Nguyen, all these individuals will be on the ballot this year.

PLEASE CONSIDER THESE REQUESTS

These individuals are not connected or associated with one another unless otherwise noted. However, each have supported our effort to inform, inspire, encourage, and uplift people throughout the region in one way or another. Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen is urging you to vote in 2013 General Election for all 15 Charter Propositions on the ballot. Click here to view the 15 Propositions Mayor Allen Owen wants you to vote for in the 2013 General Election.  Missouri City At-Large Position 2 Council Member Danny Nguyen is urging all Missouri City voters to exercise their privilege to vote. Click here to view his message. FBISD Trustee, Jim Rice, is asking Fort Bend County voters to vote for him in the upcoming election. Click here for more information on Jim Rice. Former FBISD Trustee, Cynthia Lenton Gary is asking for Fort Bend County voters to help her unseat Dave Rosenthal (the current FBISD Trustee for Position 7) in the upcoming election. Click here for more information Cynthia Lenton Gary. Missouri City Council Member Bobby Marshall is asking for all Missouri City Council District A voters to vote to re-elect him in the upcoming election. Click here for more information on Councilman Bobby Marshall. And finally, Rodney L. Griffin, the candidate who came within 33 votes of unseating Councilman Bobby Marshall in the 2011 General Election in Missouri City, is asking all Missouri City District A voters to help him unseat Bobby Marshall in the 2013 General Election. Click here for more information on Rodney L. Griffin.

VOTE EARLY IN THE 2013 GENERAL ELECTION

Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Your Thought Matters Newspaper is urging all Fort Bend County voters to vote early at one of the locations listed below:

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday -- April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday -- April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 - CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precint (s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday - May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday - May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 --8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday - May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday -- May 6 - 7, 2013 - 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 --10:00 AM - 7:00 PM 
Saturday -- May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday - May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Precinct(s): All

Monday - Friday - April 29 - May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday - May 4, 2013 -- CLOSED
Sunday - May 5, 2013 -- CLOSED
Monday - Tuesday - May 6 - 7, 2013 -- 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM




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









-- CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LIST OF LEADERS BACKING BOBBY MARSHALL


-- 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.