Houston Community (Vol 8 Iss 22)

Bar-B-Q with Sheikh: Unique Way of Inviting People towards Good

Mosques, where Muslims pray, in history, have been centers of community activity. That included learning and healthy clean recreation. One of the newest mosques of Houston is the beautiful Jama Masjid located at 6550 Tarneff Drive near US 59 and Hillcroft in Southwest Houston.

In order to create a community activity and raise much-needed funds for the ongoing operation of the mosque, the Administration together with one of the most beloved Islamic scholars of Houston, Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, came up with the idea of a community barbecue preceded by a presentation on the basics of Islam by the sheikh.
Most of the people came with their families: Everybody had a good and spiritual time, contributed well towards the masjid, and enjoyed a nice dinner.

For more information on different activities at Jama Masjid, call 713-772-4665.

City May Hit Tax Cap

Houston City to Make a Modest Tax Cut This Fall

A voter-approved 2004 proposition, supported by Mayor Bill White, limits the amount by which Houston can increase tax collections each year to the combined growth of inflation and population. This year, White says the city is coming close to the projected cap.

City Finance Director Judy Johnson says the numbers won’t be confirmed until next month. White has said its unlikely he’ll take money out of city cash reserves to reduce the tax rate.
On another note, the Houston Independent School District will no longer collect taxes, and that will save the district some $750,000. Houstonians will still pay school taxes, of course, but Harris County will now do the collecting—County Tax Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt says county tax bills and school tax bills will now be mailed together.

Houston Police Department’s Annual “Day of Prayer”

Representatives of Islamic Community Not Present

Representatives of the Islamic Community of Houston were invited to the Houston Police Department (HPD) Ministers against Crimes Annual “Day of Prayer” in front of HPD Headquarters at 1200 Travis Street.

Unfortunately no representative of the Muslim Community showed up.

Chief Harold L. Hurtt, along with the HPD Ministers against Crime and Houston Area Ministers from various denominations, participated in a brief prayer session to show support for the safety of Houston law enforcement. They belonged to Christian, Jewish and Hindu faiths. Other citizens and clergy members of all faiths were also in attendance.

The “Day of Prayer” is intended to increase the public’s awareness of the difficult and dangerous job police officers have in our society and to remind police officers that the public supports their efforts. The gathering of clergy, citizens and police officers further reinforces the partnership that exists between the community and HPD. The observance, as well as others scheduled during National Police Week, honor law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

For more information about “Prayer Day” and other HPD Community Meetings, contact Mike Martinez of the HPD’s Public Affairs/Community Outreach Unit at (713) 308-3283.

Replacing Tom DeLay

A group of three Fort Bend County officials will be deciding, who will replace Tom DeLay as the Republican candidate in November. The County Republican Party sent out a survey to 18,000 primary elections GOP voters to find out who they wanted as a replacement. Only 1,325 voters replied.

The maximum number of votes, 640, went to the Sugarland Mayor, while Tom Campbell, who ran against Tom DeLay in the Republican Primaries, got 216 votes and was 3rd on the list. State Representative Charlie Howard, with 292 votes, came in 2nd place.

Another of Tom DeLay’s opponent in the primaries, Pat Baig, came in at 8the, while M.J. Khan was placed at 10the spot although he had made an official announcement that he did not want to run for the office. Congressman Tom DeLay himself came in 19the place.

Mr. Gary Gillen, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Fort Bend County said of the results and the process: “Thank you to all, who participated in our straw poll, and a great many thanks to those volunteers who stayed late into the night to help count the results.”

The disclaimer issued by the Republican Party of Fort Bend County Executive Committee says: “This survey was conducted early in the process of selecting a nominee. Many candidates whose names appear on this survey are no longer candidates for the nomination for Congressional District 22. Many other candidates have come forward since this survey process was initiated, and did not appear on the survey; therefore the results of this survey are inconclusive.”

Immigration Debate Heating Up at Houston City Hall

At issue is whether the city should fund day-labor sites where workers can connect with area businesses seeking help. Curtis Collier, president of U.S. Border Watch, says his group has proof such sites encourage illegal immigration. Collier says the group has tested the hiring process, and more than 87 percent of those seeking work at the sites could not produce a social security card or green card.

Cindy Kimmey with the East End Management District says, however, that the city needs to control laborers on the streets looking for short-term work. Kimmey says if they’re going to be in the U.S., she’d like for them to have the benefit of workers’ rights, some job training, and access to employers.

A City Council vote on money for the proposed labor site is set soon—stay tuned for that.


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