Mayor Sylvester Turner Delivers 4th State of the City Address

Houston is stronger, resilient and sustainable
Job gains are up, unemployment reaches a record low, public safety remains a priority

Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his fourth state of the city address on Monday, May 20, in front of a record crowd at the Greater Houston Partnership.

The mayor outlined an impressive list of the City’s accomplishments and future priorities involving the economy, digital innovation, a proposed new program for local businesses to support neighborhood parks and long-term recovery and resiliency after Hurricane Harvey.

Below are excerpts from the mayor’s speech. The full state of the city speech may be found below.

Since we met last year, together more than 86,200 jobs have been created in our region, and the city now has the lowest unemployment rate since 1981 (almost four decades).

  • The city’s state-of-the-art recycling center is now open in NE Houston; curbside recycling of glass is back.
  • Pension reforms are working, with the unfunded liability down from $8.2B to $4.0 B, and we are fully paying the annual pension costs for the 2nd year in a row.
  • Since 2016, city council has approved three balanced budgets; the fourth balanced budget (FY2020) will be without layoffs or deferrals and fund five police cadet classes for public safety.
  • We look forward to working with the GHP to nudge the federal and state governments to advance the billions of dollars of federal flood mitigation funds, already approved, to expand our water channels, construct more detention basins, and build another reservoir and the coastal spine. To date we have not received one dollar for needed infrastructure projects 19 months after Harvey.
  • Houston is blessed with signature parks that have attracted generous donors. In the last decade, Houston has earned a national reputation for its ongoing green renaissance fueled by transformative public-private partnerships. However, the work to uplift all our parks is far from complete. Today I am asking GHP, the Houston Parks Board, and the Parks Department to help me bring together 50 companies to form a city-wide coalition for our neighborhood parks primarily in communities that have been under-served. With 50 companies partnering with 50 parks, the “50-for-50” effort will touch every district in the city because all Houstonians should have easy access to welcoming, well maintained, safe and fun parks.
  • As we build complete communities, the end goal is to build one complete city from recovery to resilient to sustainable.