Friday, February 20, 2009

Council member Johnson takes overseas trip

Council member Johnson is presently across seas visiting a foreign nation to explore opportunities and build alliances. Please look for more details in an upcoming blog!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Councilmember Johnson loses 7lbs and takes on Yoga!

District B!

How is your exercising going so far this year? You know we have alot of work to do this year in our neighborhoods, so our bodies have to be able to keep up with this non-stop pace!

I just wanted to let you all know how my fitness progress is going. I am happy to announce that I have lost 7lbs...that's right, it is not a typo! We are bringing sexy back to District B(smile) and I'm going to lead by example.

Have you been out to the Fonde Recreation Center with me yet? What are you waiting for? I need as many workout partners as I can get so I hope you can come by on Monday or Thursday.

Lastly, I have started taking Yoga classes to add to my fitness schedule. I'm winning my body back and I hope you are too. I will let you know next time what I have learned from taking Yoga.

Jarvis Johnson
City Councilmember

Alicia's Diary: B-Healthy Challenge Update

Hi District B,

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have been making progress with my fitness goals and I am determined to complete this challenge set forth by Council member Johnson.

To show you just how serious I am, I wanted to share with you all an experience I had on Saturday, February 9 with my children and other family members on some farmland.

I decided that I wanted to ride a horse that day because I know that is a good workout for the legs, burns calories and overall can be a good outdoor exercise for anyone. Well, unfortunately the saddle was not on tight enough and I actually fell off of the horse! Yes, fell completely off! Boy what an experience for me. Not only did I hurt my hip a little but I sprained by wrist. So I am wearing a wrap until it heals.

This may delay a few of my workout plans for the week but it won't stop me from finding alternatives and continuing to eat right. That's what life is all about...overcoming challenges.

I Will Not Lose!

More coming soon.

Alicia J.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Spirit of Unity: Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves

At this most difficult and trying time in our nation, the "Spirit of Unity" is one of the key themes our new president has continuously reiterated-on the campaign trail and now from the oval office. When the house is on fire it doesn't matter what color, political affiliation or religion you adhere to; the only thing that matters is who has the bucket of water!

Our new president has said in so many respects, I will work with who ever is willing to bring their bucket to the table to extinguish the house fire, not just a room in the house. Partisan bickering has no place in the halls of power when our nation is facing bankruptcy, consumers are losing their homes, businesses are failing and unemployment is sky rocketing, especially in the African American community.

What does all this mean for the neighborhoods I serve? As the president has shown us through his community organizing background, leadership must come from the grass roots level as well as the echelons of mahogany congressional suites. As civic leaders, we must put aside petty differences, roll up our sleeves and get to work in our communities. When we work together as a cohesive unit, in spite of our differences, we engage in a process called "operational unity". The human anatomy is the best example of how operational unity works. The body consist of operational units called organs-heart, lungs, liver etc. Each organ very different and serve a different function; however they work in concert with one another to give the body life.

Many of us come from different backgrounds and have different talents but we must learn how to work together with unity of purpose for the betterment of our community. As your Houston City Council Member, I am making a clarion call for community leaders to put aside petty differences, roll up your sleeves and let's get to work in 2009 to improve the quality of life in the community you call home.

Council Member Jarvis Johnson

District B

District B’s “Team Up to Clean Up” Community Partnership!

The “Team Up to Clean Up” community initiative is a collaborative effort among community churches, civic clubs, government and businesses to implement and execute an integrated civic engagement agenda focusing on public health and public safety issues.

Project “Team Up to Clean Up” will be executed using the following three guiding principals: 1. Community Involvement 2. Reducing Neighborhood blight 3. Reducing Crime

Community Involvement
Objective: Organize a sustainable network of community stakeholders to address public safety and public health issues in District B.

1. Monthly combined stakeholder meetings to address specific concerns within a specified geographical boundary.
2. Churches should be responsible for at least a 3-block radius surrounding their church
3. Civic leadership training with the City of Houston’s Planning Department will be available for stakeholder leadership.
4. In addition to consistent physical stakeholder meetings, the Internet can be used to increase communication among key stakeholder leadership.

Reducing Neighborhood Blight
Objective: Significantly reduce dangerous abandoned buildings, weeded lots, junk motor vehicles and graffiti in neighborhoods in District B.

1. Reduce the number of abandoned buildings.

• Policy Changes: The state law that limits how many abandoned buildings a municipality can demolish must be amended or repealed.

• The City of Houston should initiate special operation initiatives to target areas with a concentration of dangerous buildings.

• Negligent owners must be held accountable. An aggressive effort should be coordinated with Linebarger to find negligent owners. Their names should be published in the newspaper for being negligent property owners.

• Utilize LARA to acquire more tax delinquent property for development.

2. Reduce the number of weeded lots

• Coordinated community clean-ups with stakeholders, probationers and city departments
• Adopt a lot(s) program with local churches

Reducing Crime
Objective: Significantly reduce bodily and property crimes in low-income neighborhoods in District B.


1. Stakeholders should partner with multiple law enforcement agencies to develop a Citizen on Patrol (COP) network in their neighborhood. Reduced crime stats support the effectiveness of such programs.
2. Neighborhood Watch programs
3. Surveillance web cams so stakeholders who live in the community can monitor high crime areas in real time. (Ask business in the area to sponsor)

Proposed Sweat Equity Program
Objective: To create an incentive for adjacent property owners and community-based organizations to abate weeded lots and abandoned buildings.


1. As a municipality propose state law changes to give the City of Houston the power via ordinance to place foreclosable liens on properties with multiple unabated weeded lot violations.
2. Adjacent property owners should have “First Right of Refusal” and their Sweat Equity should be discounted from the purchase price of said lot.
3. Provide contracting opportunities for community-based organizations (CBO) to abate properties. This will allow CBO’s to hire people that live in the community to take care of neglected property.

I Need Your Help to Implement This Plan. Let me know how you would like to help.

Jarvis Johnson
Council Member, District B