Houstonian Corner (V9-I13)

Congressman Al Green Celebrates St. Paddy’s Day–grand opening of Gulfton satellite office / Leads effort to increase fair housing funding

Constituents and Community Leaders joined Honorable Congressperson AL Green (TX-09) last weekend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which also marked the grand opening of his new satellite office in the Gulfton Houston Area. This new office is located at 6065 Hillcroft – Suite 203. Hon. AL Green’s main office in Houston is located at 3003 South Loop West – Suite 460.

People got an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with the Congressman and his staff about issues of concern to them. The Gulfton Area office will better serve this well-defined constituency within 9th Congressional District.

Congressman AL Green (TX-09) announced that he has requested together with 48 other congresspersons for additional program funding for our nation’s fair housing programs. In a letter submitted to Chairman Olver and Ranking Member Knollenberg of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee Congressman AL Green and 48 colleagues requested $26 million for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and $25 million for HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP). The Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) and the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) fund fair housing organizations and other non-profit groups to provide vital services to their communities.

“For many Americans the dream of owning a home is cut short by the more than 3.7 million fair housing violations that are committed solely against minority communities each year. Current funding for fair housing is not nearly enough for what is needed by fair housing groups to combat the level of discrimination that persists throughout the country today. With increased funding, fair housing organizations will be able to assist more individuals, the housing industry and communities in forming integrated neighborhoods, free from discrimination”: said Hon. AL Green.

For more information on the constituent services provided by Hon AL Green office, one can contact: Ms. Sahar Wali – Communications Director – Office of Congressman AL Green (TX-09) – Telephone: 713-383-9234 – Fax: 713.383.9202 – E-Mail: sahar.wali@mail.house.gov

Local Activists Bridge Peace on Hwy 59

The 4th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq got commemorated with a Houston-Style Freeway blogging and candlelight vigil, on the six suspension bridges spanning Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway), west of downtown Houston.

Freeway blogging generally refers to the practice around the country of hanging banners and signs near major freeways and thoroughfares that protest the invasion/occupation and other Bush administration actions. The freeway blogging is practiced as an exercise of free speech in the form of guerilla advertising. Since Houston ordinances prohibit fastening signs to public property, Houston freeway bloggers adapted to these ordinances by holding the signs on various bridges and overpasses, waving at the drivers below and encouraging drivers to honk in support of the sentiments expressed. Local freeway bloggers have noted a marked increase in support since the last Presidential Election.

“This illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq; resulting in undue human and material sacrifices needed to be stopped right away; with immediate withdrawal of United States troops and mercenaries”: These were the sentiments of those attending the Peace Rally, which was sponsored by a number of groups including the Harris County Green Party, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, the World Can’t Wait, Houston Peace and Justice Center and 90.1 KPFT Radio for Peace.

Most of the groups started to gather on the bridges at about 6:00 PM., holding signs for traffic below to see. Starting shortly after sunset (7:35 PM.), this effort was supplemented with candles. The signs read: “Peace Now”, “Honk for Peace”, “Bring ‘em Home Now”, “End Operation Iraq Quagmire”, “Call Congress – Troops Home Now”, etc.