Council Member Boykins Comments on Proposed Southlawn Safety Zone

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Andre Wagner (832) 393-3001; andre.wagner@houstontx.gov

Houston, T.X. - Recently, there has been a great deal of attention focused on the proposed "Southlawn Safety Zone" gang injunction suit, which was filed by the offices of the Harris County Attorney and Harris County District Attorney. I believe that it is critical to work toward the common goal of eliminating crime within our communities, as all people deserve to feel safe within their homes and throughout their neighborhoods. I do not, however, support any type of discrimination or racial profiling against individuals based on their appearance, current residence, or prior mistakes made for which they have paid their debt to society.

Through meetings and conversations, I have been assured that there has been a proper vetting process of those individuals named in the petition, and I commend county officials for working toward a compromise by significantly reducing the number of individuals named in the petition, from 92 to 46. They have also reduced the size of the zone to focus specifically on the high crime areas, which includes five schools and two parks.

As the child of a single parent growing up in South Union, which is covered by the original zone boundaries, I walked down the streets of Scott and Yellowstone; I walked to Cullen Middle School; I played with my friends and siblings in the parking lot that now houses Pyburn's Grocery store. The memories I have are of youthful fun, and I was fortunate to not have to worry about my safety on a daily basis. Today, many residents in the same area do not consider themselves as fortunate. It is my sincere goal to bring the same level of comfort I experienced, back to those residents, my constituents.

I look forward to all key stakeholders working collaboratively to protect the public safety of residents not only within the zone, but throughout District D and the City of Houston. 

Sincerely,

Dwight Boykins