Get to Know District J City Council Candidate Edward Pollard

Get to Know District J City Council Candidate Edward Pollard
Image Credit: District J Office

District J council member Edward Pollard says that when he's deciding which projects to spend money on, “Everything is driven by the constituents.”

Pollard is running for re-election this November against Houston Millennials founder and president Ivan Sanchez. Both men seek to represent District J—covering much of the Sharpstown/Braeburn/Westwood/Mid-West/Gulfton area—on Houston’s City Council for the next four years.

Pollard, a former professional basketball player, may not seem like the likeliest candidate for a city council member. But after he graduated with his B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College and headed to law school, he interned at the Texas state capitol. One day, he looked out over the legislators in the House gallery: "I noticed that there were hardly any young people—there weren’t any young Black people—so I was like, 'They’re discussing issues that affect me and my community, but I don’t have a voice. I’m just a spectator...'"

Pollard decided he wanted to have a voice.

But he didn't run for political office right away. He started coming to Sharpstown Civic Association meetings and getting involved in the District J community. He also built his career: he's the primary owner of Pollard Legal Group, LLC, a firm that specializes in motor vehicle accident injury compensation. And he's the founder of Suits for Success, a nonprofit focused on mentoring young men.

In 2016, he ran for the Texas House of Representatives but lost to Gene Wu in the Democratic primary. But when he ran for City Council in 2019, he beat a field of six other candidates to win the District J seat.

Shortly after he took office, COVID hit. “The pandemic slowed up a lot of our initiatives," he says. "Many of our programs, like the District J Patrol, the District J Jobs, the private trash day, the HOT Team—those things are just rolling out... I believe in the second term we can do even better.”

How Does He Plan to Spend District J’s Money?

Each district council member receives a $1 million discretionary fund each year to spend as they wish. If Pollard gets reelected, he plans to continue spending 50% of District J’s discretionary fund on street repairs, sidewalk improvements, and "ADA accessibility" (making it easier for Americans with disabilities to get around).

How Does He Plan to Address Some of the Big Issues?

  • Sex Trafficking: Pollard has been striving to reduce local sex trafficking through measures like HPD’s blockade of the Bissonnet Track. He says, "When we put together strategies to deter people from coming there to buy sex, it has been working... The second stage is to be able to approach the women to see if we can get them some type of help," whether through job training or addressing mental health or substance abuse issues. He says District J partners with nonprofits like Eyes on Me and The Landing.
  • Policing: Pollard has already launched the District J Patrol, which pays officers overtime to drive the area in Polaris vehicles, addressing small-scale crimes: "quality of life concerns" and "neighborhood violations" like illegal dumping, panhandling, graffiti, junk motor vehicles, and property code violations. Pollard wants to "expand" the patrol by "continuing to educate residents on how to utilize it" and report issues to the patrol.
  • Homelessness: Pollard says the District J Patrol works with the COVID Cleanup Team, the Solid Waste Department, and the Mayor's Office to clear out homeless encampments with the goal of getting homeless people into "transitional housing."
  • Trash and Illegal Dumping: District J's HOT Team visits a "designated area of the district" every Thursday to clean up illegal dumping, rotating between Gulfton/St. George, Sharpstown, Braeburn, and Alief. Pollard is also considering setting up cameras near illegal dumping hotspots to help police arrest and prosecute dumpers. Pollard also holds private trash days to pick up heavy trash and tree waste for District J residents who request it.

What’s His Approach to Government?

Pollard proudly mentioned the 2021 KPRC-2 report that tested each City Council member with an email from a real constituent reporting a real issue. According to KPRC-2, District J’s office had the fastest constituent response time out of all sixteen council members (9 minutes).

Many of Pollard’s programs focus on responding to constituent concerns. The District J Patrol investigates violations that residents report by filling out an online form at The HOT team addresses illegal dumping that constituents report to 3-1-1. When Pollard holds free heavy trash removal days, his team serves homes that schedule their trash pickups with District J online or via phone call.

Overall, he says, "I show up and listen to all of the different communities. Whatever your issues and concerns may be, I try to be extremely accessible. My job is to ensure that the taxes that you pay are going to increase your quality of life. I want you to get bang for your buck."

District J voters, do you have questions that you'd like the Sharpener to ask Edward Pollard? Please let us know at