Sylvester Turner filed his paperwork today to appear on the ballot for a second term in the November 5 city election. Today is the first day that candidates can file.
“Every voice in Houston matters,” said Mayor Turner. “That’s what drives me to get ready for the next big hurricane, bring more jobs and opportunity to our city, keep our city safe and find the money to fix the roads – no matter what part of town you live in.
“Together, we went through Hurricane Harvey and came out stronger,” said the mayor. “Together, we saved our city from bankruptcy by fixing the pension crisis. Together, we’ve created more than 80,000 jobs in our region in the last year and brought Houston’s unemployment rate down to the lowest it’s been in years.
“I am grateful for the support I’m receiving from every corner of Houston,” continued Mayor Turner. “We’re running a grassroots campaign that Houstonians can be proud of. Please join us – there is a place for everyone on our campaign.”
From a booming economy to budgetary responsibility to flood mitigation to multi-modal transportation, Houston has proven to be strong, resilient and sustainable under the leadership of Mayor Turner:
In the past year, 82,900 jobs have been created in the region, leading to the lowest unemployment rate in years. The technology sector
Since 2016, City Council has approved four balanced budgets. This year’s budget funds five police cadet classes and has no layoffs. Pension reform has lowered the city’s unfunded liability from $8.2 billion to $4 billion and the city is now paying the full annual pension costs for the third year in a row.
Build Houston Forward (formerly Rebuild Houston), Houston’s pay-as-you-go, dedicated fund for drainage and streets, was reauthorized by the voters in a landslide. Now the city is working on accelerating the repair and rehabilitation of drainage and streets, with a greater focus on neighborhood projects.
To prepare for and prevent future flooding, we have added more high-water rescue assets and more technology and sensors. The city borrowed $46 million from the Texas Water Development Board to help the Harris County Flood Control District complete Project Brays, which will widen the channels of Brays Bayou and retrofit bridges. New regulations will require higher construction of buildings in the floodplain.
Flood hazard mitigation grant funding of $275 million will focus on four projects: More gates in Lake Houston to protect Kingwood; improvement to the North Canal to reduce downtown flood risks from Buffalo and White Oak Bayous; a detention basin project in northwest Houston in cooperation with TIRZ 17; and turning the former Inwood golf course into a detention basin. It doesn’t require a hurricane to flood a community; it can be a system that dumps ten inches of rain in a six-hour period, as we saw recently in Kingwood.
Park equity in Houston is becoming a reality in Houston. We have big, signature parks that are absolute gems. But we can’t have complete communities without parks and green space; parks can transform a neighborhood for the better. Mayor Turner has created the 50-for-50 program and is asking corporations and other organizations to adopt a neighborhood park and work with the local community with both dollars and volunteers to transform their park. And the Mayor is about halfway to his goal.
METRO is bringing forth, with the mayor’s support, a bold plan to increase and improve multi-modal transportation — with funds for sidewalks and road improvements; new HOV lanes on freeways; more park and rides; bus rapid transit; and more rail.
After ten years without a resolution, Mayor Turner has negotiated an agreement with the EPA that will lower the city’s potential liability for improvements to the sewer system from an estimated $5 billion to an estimated $2 billion. This agreement will allow Houston to ensure continued protection of the environment and residents’ health while improving the system performance for generations to come.