Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his eighth and final State of the City address Wednesday to a sold-out audience of 1,500 community members and business leaders.
The mayor began his remarks by thanking Houstonians for their support and highlighting the work of all City of Houston employees. He gave special recognition to 35 outstanding municipal workers who have demonstrated dedication and passion for serving the public.
A highlight of the event included the release of “A Winning Legacy,” a book detailing the mayor’s achievements and legacy of resilience and transformation during his administration.
“Together, we have faced many storms – seven federally declared disasters in eight years. From floods or a freeze, from a Super Bowl or the pandemic, we rose and met the challenges of the day,” the mayor said.
“From inequities in neighborhoods investments to billions of dollars in pension unfunded liabilities, from One Safe Houston to One Clean Houston, we confronted each issue head on and set the City on firmer footing.”
During the address, Mayor Turner announced the City of Houston and FEMA have reached an agreement on building a new municipal courts building damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Other parts of his speech included:
- His administration will leave a $420 million surplus to the next mayor's administration. When Mayor Turner was elected, the city faced a $160M deficit.
- The City's pension liability has been reduced from $8.2 billion when he became mayor to $2.2 billion.
- Houston will get nearly $2 billion in the coming years to transform the convention center and the surrounding district, a project that will catalyze further development in that part of downtown.
- The Sunnyside Solar Farm will be operational in 2024.
- Groundbreaking of a new cutting-edge Solid Waste Northeast Transfer Station to open in 2025.
- The North Canal Stormwater Project and the Lake Livingston Flood Water-gates in Kingwood are in the design stage.
- The I-45 Expansion Project is moving forward.