Online Poll Features Six Nominees, Closing Next Monday 4/22 at 8AM
Mayor Annise Parker announced the public can help choose which community leader or volunteer will be recognized during her speech at this year’s State of the City.
Because it is impossible to recognize and thank each individual volunteer, nominations led to a group of six community volunteers who contribute in different ways. Their stories and an online voting poll is on the City’s website at www.houstontx.gov.
“Every day, the City of Houston works hard to ensure neighborhoods are safe, streets are fixed, libraries are staffed and so much more, but the City doesn’t do it alone,” said Mayor Parker. “We’re fortunate to have active citizens who go above and beyond in the community to raise issues, assist with locating blighted property, volunteer at the animal shelter and help ensure our libraries have working computers for those in need.”
The public is invited to vote on their favorite of these six nominated community leaders at http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/communityactivistrecognition.html. Voting ends on Monday, April 22, 2013, at 8 a.m. The six nominees are:
Kroger Store Co-Manager Steven DeGloria has been volunteering for almost 30 years with the United Way and Children’s Miracle Network. His commitment to the Children’s Network is unparalleled by many of his peers, exemplified by his exemplary leadership though their annual campaigns. Recently he was named Corporate Person of the Year by the Children’s Miracle Network in recognition of his efforts.
In addition to providing countless hours towards the Children’s Miracle Network and the United Way, he also gives back to his local community through the Houston Food Bank. Inspired by his works, he regularly donates extra time selling hunger bags and organizing committees. Eve n with a physical handicap, he personally helped load an entire Houston Food Bank truck during the Souper Bowl of Caring. He has raised the bar for engaging not only his entire store, but the district to support this local cause.
Anna Gonzales is the current president of the Denver Harbor Civic Club where she organizes community clean-ups on a regular basis, maintains the Kress Street esplanade in the area around the railroad tracks running through her neighborhood. Ms. Gonzales also monitors and fights the permitting of new cantinas in Denver Harbor.
Anna is highly regarded by her neighbors due to her commitment to the Denver Harbor community. On her own time, she teaches English at the Guadalupe Social Services, teaches Sunday school to children and assists senior citizens who have mobility issues, ensuring they make necessary trips such as to the grocery store or doctor’s office.
In addition, Anna has been employed with Harris County Pretrial Services for 23 years. Her days include working with defendants, helping them apply for social programs and employment opportunities.
Margaret Jenkins is the current president of the Greater Sugar Valley Civic Club, and Sunnyside SN 71& Crestmont/SouthAcres SN 76 Councils. She worked at the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years, and currently works for State Representative Borris Miles by representing him at many community events. In addition, she has held numerous community leadership positions and is currently a Keep Houston Beautiful Commissioner. She is concerned with the quality of education our young people receive and is involved with HCC Board and Worthing High School.
Ms. Jenkins constantly monitors and patrols her neighborhood, looking for areas of improvement and also organizes an annual National Night Out event in her area. In 2012, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department honored Ms. Jenkins by renaming Scottcrest Park in her name for her unwavering concern for the residents of the area and pride in the neighborhood.
Ritika Kapoor is a volunteer in HPL’s Information and Technology (IT) Department and has a degree in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai. Her love of libraries and expertise as an IT professional led her to assist the HPL IT Department. From personally setting up more than 700 computers to installing wireless router systems and upgrading HPL’s system and equipment, she has been an invaluable asset to HPL.
Ritika’s assistance has saved the City thousands of dollars. She has provided more computers and upgraded wireless capabilities and other technological advances to many libraries across the city, especially those in low-income areas. These additions provide the libraries with tools for research, computer classes and many other programs.
Ruby Mosley is a community activist of great importance to the Acres Homes community and the City of Houston. She worked as a health coordinator for 18 years at Gulf Coast Community Services, advocating to provide water, sewer and other city services to residents in the rural areas of Houston. Afterward, she joined the City of Houston Cuney Homes Housing Development as a community service supervisor for 13 years, providing essential services for senior citizens and children.
Through the years, she played an integral role in creating the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center and has been a member of multiple local organizations, including the Acres Home Advisory Committee, Acres Home Super Neighborhood, Houston Police Department Advisory Committee and Gulf Coast Community Services Association.
Ruby Mosley is affectionately called the “Mayor of Acres Homes,” and the Houston Chronicle named her Acres Homes’ Grande Dame of Community Activism, due to her commitment to improving the community.
When Gary Thomas is not fixing the ball bearings in a cart to transport supplies and animals at BARC, he is making a difference in a dog’s day by taking him or her out for a stroll. Gary has lived in Houston for 30 years, and recently discovered the joy of volunteering to help our city and its animals. As a retired Navy submarine mechanic who fought during the Vietnam War, Gary applies his personal background and specialized knowledge to various aspects of his life at BARC. Gary saves the City of Houston money by using his Navy engineman skills to fix essential mechanical resources at BARC, an especially important contribution during a recession.
Championing an active lifestyle, Gary combats his diabetes by volunteering regularly at BARC. He spends about five days a week working directly with the animals while also working to serve as a counselor for new adoptive families. When someone comes to adopt at BARC, Gary’s will efforts help ensure the best possible match, effectively changing the life of the owner and dog. Always friendly and genuine, Gary sets the example for his fellow volunteers, acting as Lead Volunteer for some of BARC’s community events. And while Gary spends his time with the dogs at BARC, he’s a true cat lover at heart. His passion for animals has made a difference for him and many others – human, feline and canine.
All six nominees will be invited to attend the Mayor’s State of the City on April 26, 2013, hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership. Event information is available at http://events.houston.org/?id=247&eid=347&Mode=ViewDetails.