Houstonians Celebrate Juneteenth
June 20, 2011

Houstonians held parades, picnics and musical tributes to commemorate Juneteenth, often referred to  as African-American Independence Day.

The holiday fell on Father’s Day this year,  but that didn’t stop the community from remembering the day in 1865 when  General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to read the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed more than 250,000 slaves throughout Texas.

On Saturday, St. Representative Sylvester Turner  hosted the Juneteenth Centennial Parade.

The parade route went through the heart of the Acres Homes community and featured horses, marching bands, community groups and politicians, including Mayor Annise Parker and City Council Members Jarvis Johnson and Melissa Noriega. 

“I am very excited to be able to celebrate the community of Acres Homes and to have a parade that is a worthy tribute to our rich heritage,” said Rep. Turner.

Lobbying For More Police Officers
July 22, 2009

Newly elected city council member Ed Gonzalez, along with fellow council member Melissa Noriega  left Houston Wednesday afternoon to fly to the Nation’s Capitol.

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The two city leaders traveled there to  lobby the Texas Congressional Delegation for money to fund additional cadet classes in the Houston Police Department.

I spoke with council member Noriega at city hall before she left town. 

She  had a busy day, from discussion of problems facing the fire department to attending a rally on the front steps of  city hall

She told 2 on the Beat that the city is pushing for “legislation that will allocate money for at least four cadet classes in the police department.” 

At the time, Noriega could not tell me exactly how much money the city would need to fund the four cadet classes, but clearly the investment is worth the price of protecting residents in the city of Houston.

The Houston Police Officers Union recently sent a letter to Mayor Bill White demanding that he add four new cadet classes  and reinstate the police overtime budget.

If memory serves me correctly, the mayor said that  the cadet classes alone would cost the city an estimated $20 million, and the city didn’t have that kind of money available in the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget.

Gonzalez and Noriega should return to Houston in a few days.

I will keep you posted on their progress.