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IMG_0270Story and Photo By Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues

HOUSTON-In an attempt to clean up Houston and restore faith and pride to a historically Black community, Houston District B Council member Jerry Davis and Houston Mayor Annise Parker led a team on clean up mission initiative in Kashmere Gardens.

“Some residents don’t know what to do or who to call when they see stray dogs or illegal dumping in their neighborhood, ” said Davis said. “I would like to empower our residents by keeping them informed. An informed community is an empowered community, and an empowered community makes better neighborhoods, and better neighborhoods, make a better Houston!”

Dubbing it an educational sweep, the two were joined by the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods, Solid Waste Department, the Houston Police Department, BARC (animal control), and volunteer students from Kashmere, Wheatley and Barbara Jordan High Schools seeking to inform citizens about animal leash laws, illegal dumping, and other frequent violations that have a negative effect on the quality of life in communities throughout District B.

District B residents contact Council Member Davis’ office on a daily basis to report stray animals and illegal dumping. Both of these issues are a priority for the District and a reason for the sweeps.

This coordinated sweep goes hand in hand with Davis’ efforts to tackle the issues of illegal dumping, weeded lots and dangerous stray dogs.

His efforts stems from the increasing populations of stray dogs running Houston streets, increasing concerns about health and welfare of the neighborhood and more reports and incident involving vicious dog attacks on citizens.

In July 2013, a young lady was attacked by 15 stray dogs while standing at the bus stop going to work.

This initiative is in response to that woman who was killed last summer by that  pack of stray dogs along with a plethora of other systemic issues that plague this area.

Both seniors and juniors from her son’s high school, as well as, neighboring high schools will be knocking on doors to inform the community on spay and neuter practices and other chronic violations that threaten the quality of life in the community.

During the same event, city departments swept and cleaned neighborhood clearing it of nuisances including weeded lots and illegal dump sites within a quarter of a mile radius around Kashmere Gardens Elementary School.

“It is important that we get out in the community and make sure residents know to spay or neuter their pets and report nuisances in their neighborhood,” Davis said. “We want to make the environment safe for the kids and senior citizens in that community.”