Houston City Council Member Larry Green…Dead at 52
It is with great sadness that the Forward Times reports that Houston Council Member Larry Green (District K) was found dead in his home this past Tuesday. At our press deadline, the cause of death had not been determined.
Green was the first and only council member to represent District K since the district was created back in 2011 following the municipal elections. District K covers the area from the edge of the Texas Medical Center to the portion of Houston within Fort Bend County. The district also includes the Reliant Complex, two management districts, and two school districts, which are Houston ISD (HISD) and Fort Bend ISD (FBISD).
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement regarding Green’s death:
“I am shocked and grieving over the untimely death of Houston Council Member Larry Green. But one person’s feelings are secondary to the fact that all of Houston has lost a groundbreaking advocate for equality, economic opportunity and neighborhood safety.
“Larry Green was the first and only District K council member following the south/southwest district’s creation for the 2011 municipal elections. He was the right person to give definition to this new alliance of neighborhoods and businesses: A hard worker. Not a grandstander. He shared in the economic advances and public safety strides of the district without taking the credit for himself. ‘We’ have fought together ‘to build up the economy of District K,’ he wrote on his campaign website.
“Council Member Green was fond of pointing out that his council district had more undeveloped land than any other and was therefore ‘filled with opportunities.’ Well so was he, and part of this tragedy is that he is no longer with us to follow through in his uniquely industrious way.
“He advocated persistently for all business people to have a fair shot at doing business with city government, such as for construction and supply vending. That focus of his, he said, was ‘so that every business owner has an opportunity to do business with the city – regardless of their age, race, sex, sexual orientation or distinguishing factor.’
“Council Member Green captured the essence of being an enlightened public servant for Houston. My heart goes out to his family, his colleagues and all city residents.”
As the mayor and members of Houston City Council began their usual Tuesday council session, this time, it was different. Absent from the dais was Green. The mayor and members of Houston City Council broke away from their traditional routines and observed a moment of silence, with everyone then taking to the microphone to provide personal memories and remarks about the life that Green lived. In addition, members of Houston City Council implored the citizens of Houston to wear green on Wednesday, March 7th, in honor of their colleague – Council Member Green.
One of Green’s colleagues on council, Councilmember Jerry Davis (District B), remembered him as one who fought for businesses, especially African American business owners.
“Council Member Green always went deep into the contracts to make sure the MWBE was not just the standard,” said Councilmember Davis. “Larry took it to another level, where it wasn’t just a vague minority focus. He wanted to know about how BLACKS specifically would be a part of the contract.”
Sworn into office in January 2012, Green has been a true advocate for his district. During, his first term on Houston City Council, Council Member Green has brought over 20 million dollars’ worth of economic development projects to District K including but not limited to a Houston Police Department station, neighborhood street reconstruction and repair projects, a senior citizen center in Fort Bend Houston and has brought a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) for the Hiram Clarke and Fort Bend Houston Area.
Additionally, Green led the efforts to increase the MWBE / SBE participation goals from 22 percent to 34 percent. He also insured that women-owned businesses were included back into the city’s affirmative action contracting program.
Green was elected to the National League of Cities (NLC) board of directors by NLC’s membership at the group’s annual business meeting, where he was elected to a two-year term to play an important role as a leader of the nation’s largest and most representative membership and advocacy organization for city officials. In his role on the board, Green met with his colleagues to guide NLC’s strategic direction and set the organization’s advocacy priorities and operational goals. Prior to his board appointment, he was appointed to serve on the 2014 Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Steering committee. As a member of that committee, Green addressed things such as national economic policy, general financial assistance programs, intergovernmental relations, the census, and municipal bonds issues.
Engaged in private practice of law for 21 years, Green was responsible for all matters relative to a general practice. He was appointed by former Mayor Annise Parker to be chair of Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee, which is responsible for the Information Technology, Houston Airport System, METRO, Port of Houston and the Public Works and Engineering department projects as well as Rebuild Houston Projects, Water & Sewer, and water resources and conservation.
Green earned his B.A. 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 proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was also a part of the Greater Houston Partnership, a former Board Trustee of Brentwood Baptist Church, served on the Board of the Texas Black Expo, and served on the College of Science and Technology Advisory Board at Texas Southern University. He was also active in supporting youth-oriented initiatives.
The city is planning under state law to conduct a May 5 special election to fill the District K seat. The city also received permission from the governor’s office to lower the Texas flag to half-staff in front of Houston City Hall and other municipal buildings in honor of Green, until the day of his funeral.
The homegoing services for Council Member Green will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018, at Brentwood Baptist Church. There will be a public viewing at 8:30 AM and the funeral service will begin at 11:30 AM.
The Forward Times would like to extend our sincerest condolonces to his family, friends, colleagues and constituents.