Celebrating the Life of Councilman Larry Vincent Green: He Ran. He Fought. He Won.
It was a homegoing celebration fit for a king.
That is the way the late Council Member Larry Vincent Green would have wanted it, as he was remembered by his constituents, staff, colleagues, family and friends, during an extremely celebratory service that was filled with fond memories, laughter, heartfelt emotion and tears.
Cars were parked down the street as far as the eye could see, as hundreds of people gathered at Brentwood Baptist Church to celebrate Larry’s life; so much so, that many had to view the service in the overflow area because the main sanctuary could not hold all of the attendees who showed up for this influential public servant who made a huge impact on the City of Houston.
Prior to the funeral, hundreds of members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. showed up for their Omega service to honor their fellow fraternity brother.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, who not only worked with Larry every week on City Council, was also his fraternity brother. He participated in the Omega service, but also shared remarks during the funeral and honored his colleague and fraternity brother with a proclamation.
“He (Larry) was a good man who not only made his mark on his district, but has made his mark on the City as a whole,” Mayor Sylvester Turner declared while giving expressions.
“So for the last time Council Member Green, I, therefore, Mayor of the City of Houston, hereby proclaim this day, March 12, 2018, as Councilman Larry V. Green Day in the City of Houston. May God bless him for the work that he has done.”
In addition to Mayor Turner, several other individuals participated on the program and offered expressions, such as Reverend Dr. Remus E. Wright, The Fountain Of Praise; Martha Castex-Tatum, Green’s Constituent Liaison for District K; Christine Sampson Willie, Family Member; Tonja Wagner-Jackson, Madison High School classmate; Stephen C. Pipkin, The Pipkin Law Firm; Herbert Hardwick, The Hardwick Law Firm; Harry E. Johnson Sr., 31st General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th Congressional District; Congressman Al Green, 9th Congressional District; State Senator Borris Miles, Texas State Senate-District 13; Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Harris County, Precinct One; Donald Perkins, Green’s Chief of Staff for District K; Vice Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis; gospel recording artist Kathy Taylor; Brentwood Mass Choir; and Jazz Houston.
“We are grateful for a young man that left us too early, but my friends, he left his mark,” said Commissioner Ellis. “For that we want to thank Larry Green.”
Donald Perkins spoke about the commitment Larry had to the community and to his job. He also talked about the number of infrastructure projects that had recently been completed in District K, along with the projects that are currently under construction and scheduled as part of the City of Houston’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which will be spread equitably across the district.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee remembered Larry as an extraordinary human being with a dedicated passion for the city of Houston, its neighborhoods, its future, and most of all, its people.
“Larry Green worked for me, helping to serve the constituents of the 18th Congressional District and I am proud to have served as one of his mentors,” said Congresswoman Lee. “The joy and passion that Councilman Larry Green brought to his work on behalf of the people of Houston will never be forgotten and his memory will always be cherished.”
Senator Borris Miles regarded Larry as an incredible leader, an advocate for the community, but most importantly, a friend.
“Council Member Green and I have been friends since we were 13,” said Sen. Miles. “As we grew up, we talked about how we would make our community better. As elected officials, we did just that. He worked every single day as a public servant for Houston City Council District K. His only wish was to serve the community honorably with passion and dedication. He did just that and more. He was my frat brother, my colleague and one of my closest friends. His loss has left a hole in the hearts of many in the community, including myself. Rest in peace, Larry.”
Congressman Al Green referred to his friend and fraternity brother as a fierce advocate and public servant who dedicated his career in service to his constituents.
“I knew Larry for many years and he served Houston honorably by creating a sense of community throughout his work within Houston and Fort Bend County neighborhoods and businesses,” said Congressman Green. “The City of Houston has lost one of its greatest assets, but his legacy will continue and support for his efforts will surely grow throughout the community.”
The short, but powerful eulogy was delivered by Reverend Dr. Joe Samuel Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist Church, where he talked about the impact of Larry’s life on the people he encountered.
Larry’s overall life was one that truly left an impact and will live on.
Larry was born May 16, 1965, to the late Jesse Green and Catherine Geraldine Brown-Green in Houston. He was raised in Houston along with his older brother, David Alan Green and his younger sister, Melanie Gail Green.
Growing up in the Hiram Clarke community, Larry attended Hobby Elementary School, (the former) Dowling Middle School and graduated from James Madison Senior High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Houston and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. He was a 1984 initiate of the Eta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and an active member of Alpha Eta Lambda Graduate Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., having previously served as president. Larry joined Brentwood Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Ratliff, and became a dedicated member and trustee of Brentwood.
Larry was a tenacious and successful trial lawyer for over 25 years, and was considered an advocate for those who had been discriminated against, having successfully won several high profile cases on behalf of his clients.
Larry was also devoted to education and community service.
In 2007, he left Houston and joined the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) in Washington, D.C., where he served as Vice President of Government Affairs & Development that blazed a trail for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). Working alongside the CEO, he raised unprecedented federal and philanthropic support for TMCF and its member institutions and could often be found in his Washington satellite office advocating for legislative support for the public HBCU member institutions of TMCF.
In 2008, Larry returned to Houston, after being selected as the lone finalist in a nationwide search for the position of President & CEO at HoustonWorks USA (HWUSA). Under his leadership at HWUSA, the organization experienced unprecedented growth in revenue and diversified its funding base to include first-time legislative appropriations and support from individuals, corporate foundations and other private entities.
When the City of Houston announced that the south/southwest district would create a new district for the 2011 municipal elections, Larry announced to the HWUSA Board of Directors that he would be filing his candidacy to become Houston’s first council member for the inaugural District K seat. Larry won the race, took office in January 2012 and won two subsequent races. Personally and professionally, Larry believed that public service was his calling, and serving the constituents of District K was a gift.
District K serves from the edge of the Texas Medical Center to the portion of Houston within Fort Bend County. The District includes three management districts – the Five Corners District, Stadium Park District, and the Brays Oaks District – as well as two school districts – Houston ISD and Fort Bend ISD and two Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones – TIRZ 9 & 25.
Larry brought close to $2 billion worth of economic development projects into District K, including, but not limited to a new Houston Police Department substation, neighborhood street reconstruction and repair projects, a senior citizen center in Fort Bend Houston, a Federally Qualified Health Center, a newly created Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone – TIRZ 25 for the Hiram Clarke/Fort Bend Houston areas and the expansion of TIRZ 9.
Larry was a strong and prominent leader in the efforts to increase the City of Houston’s MWBE participation goals from 22 percent to 34 percent, and also insured that women-owned businesses were included back into the City’s affirmative action contracting goals and worked with the Public Works and Engineering Department on its Contractor’s Construction Program. He was appointed the Chair of the Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Council Committee (TTI) by former Mayor Annise Parker and remained in this post under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner. This Committee is charged with overseeing the City’s Information Technology, General Services, and Houston Public Works departments, as well as the ReBuild Houston streets and drainage and water resources and conservation projects. In addition, the TTI Committee oversees the interest of the City of Houston relative to the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) and the Port of Houston Authority. The TTI Committee regulates the revenues and expenditures garnered from the City’s general fund, enterprise funds and special revenue funds. He also served on other various Council Committees — Budget and Fiscal Affairs; Ethics, Election, and Council Governance; and the Economic Development.
Larry was elected to the Board of the National League of Cities (NLC) and served on the Finance, Administration & Intergovernmental Relations Steering Committee. This committee has the lead responsibility for developing NLC federal policy positions on issues involving national economic policy, general financial assistance programs, liability insurance, intergovernmental relations, census, municipal bonds and capital finance, municipal management, antitrust issues, citizen participation and civil rights, labor relations, Native American sovereignty and municipal authority.
“On behalf of the National League of Cities’ officers, the board of directors, and the 19,000 cities, towns and villages we represent, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Councilmember Green’s family and the entire Houston community,” shared in a statement. “He will be missed, but his legacy will live on through our work to build stronger cities.”
Furthermore, Larry served on the Texas Municipal League (TML) Board of Directors, Budget and Audit committee, Resource Allocation Task Force, and the Resolutions Committee. He was also active in the Greater Houston Partnership, a former board member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Workforce Development Committee. He was also a visiting professor in the master’s program at the Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, and was a municipal finance attorney with the Kansas City based, Hardwick Law Firm, LLC.
Larry’s parents, Jesse Green and Catherine Geraldine Brown-Green, preceded Larry in death.
His sister, Melanie Gail Green died in 1989, after a courageous battle with leukemia at the age of 19. His survivors include his brother, David Alan Green; nieces, Meggan Green-Miller (Robert) and Kelsey Green; his nephews, Dylan Green and Joseph Johnson-Green; great-nephew, Robert Miller, Jr.; aunts, Agnes Sampson and Betty D. Brown: cousins, Nathan O. Sampson, Sr. (Gwenda), Christine Sampson Willie (Dr. Joseph R. Willie, II), Mark Anthony Sampson (Stephanie), George Brown, Jr. (Tammy), Karen Brown Pierre (Sammy), Linda Brown Broussard (Jules), Darnell Prejean, Brian Martin, Dr. Julius Martin, III and Kenneth Martin; very special friends, Vernita Harris, Desrye Morgan, Juanita Jackson, Stephen C. Pipkin, Dwayne Ashley, Dr. James W. Ward, Dr. Monica Williams-Davis, Ronald C. Green, George A. Anderson, Gregory Jammer, Pat Laster, Dallas Jones, Dr. Remus E. Wright, LaRence Snowden and a host of other beloved and dear family and friends.
He ran. He fought. He won. He will forever be remembered. Rest well Council Member Larry V. Green.