After a brief and relatively routine City Council meeting Wednesday September 4, Mayor Annise Parker, joined with several City Councilors and the Human Trafficking Task force to announce a new public awareness campaign to highlight the problem of human trafficking.
The Council heard the monthly financial report. Comptroller Green announced the launch of a new Investor Relations web site to provide live updates on City bonds, ratings, and other information of interest to city investors. The cite is now live at www.houstontx.gov/controller/investorrelations. The site was developed over a period of several months in close consultation with the City's Legal Department and the Controller's disclosure council.
The Mayor and Council also appointed or re-appointed 11 members of the Houston Commission on Disabilities. Jesse A. Rodriguez was appointed to position 10 for Position Ten on the Houston Media Source Board of Directors, and three new members were appointed to the Independent Police Oversight Board.
Virtually all issues on the agenda were passed on a voice vote or unanimously on separate consideration.
The press conference following the council meeting addressed both Human Trafficking and solidarity with those relying on foods stamps, as well as expenditures for new tazers and outreach efforts for clincis.
“Human trafficking is a crime that impacts children and adults around the world, in cities across the nation and in our very own communities here in Houston,” said Mayor Parker. “Today, we join forces with HPD and the Harris County Sheriff's Office, calling on all citizens to shine a light on the problem. We want to put a stop to human trafficking and we need your help.”
Today, was only the first step of the program. Mayor Parker read a proclamation declaring September Human Trafficking month. The official campaign will begin on September 24 from 6:30 PM till dusk. The evening will feature community gatherings at other locations, including the Houston Galleria and various neighborhood centers. “
In addition to the Shine a Light Campaign Mayor Parker joined the director of the Houston Food Bank. They explained that the Food Bank helps supplement only a small portion of the food needed by more than 1 million people served in the southeast Texas region by the Food Bank. Food stamp recipients are alloted about $4 per person per day. Mayor Parker and others will commit to join the Food Bank challenge and eat only $4 of food purchases for several days. Participants agree not to count food previously purchased except spices already on hand. Food grown in a home garden or herb garden can be included. Mayor Parker stated that she has both, but participation is somewhat complicated because she is often invited to participate in meals sponsored by various groups.