Urban Reform Staff News
Ahead of a Thursday stop in Houston to launch his “Mike for Black America” initiative, presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg received the endorsement of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. The endorsement comes after a tough week for Bloomberg who has been criticized after an audio recording surfaced of making racially charged comments about his stop and frisk policy while serving as Mayor of New York.
When Houston passed its Historic Preservation Ordinance, supporters promised leery property owners that its passage wouldn’t mean government intrusion in every aspect of redeveloping private property in “historic” areas. Eight years later, it seems as though that has changed.
On Monday, both Bill King and Tony Buzbee released their versions of a flood control plan while Mayor Sylvester Turner released his plan to encourage the spread of “green” stormwater development to mitigate flooding. King held a press conference Monday morning where he laid out his 7-point plan to reduce flooding in the city.
Further escalating the fight between Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration and employees of the Houston Fire Department, more than 90 district chiefs signed a letter calling for a vote of “no confidence” in Fire Chief Sam Peña.
Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee held a press conference calling for an independent investigation into Mayor Sylvester Turner and the hiring of Airport System intern, Marvin Agumagu.
In a speech on Wednesday, Houston’s Mattress Mack endorsed Mayor Sylvester Turner’s campaign for reelection: “The mayor of Houston must be concerned – indeed obsessed – with helping the people of Houston. That’s why I’m here today to support Mayor Sylvester Turner..."
Just ahead of Election Day, mayoral candidate Bill King held a press conference in Kingwood rolling out his plan to address chronic flooding in the area. He focused on the need to dredge the mouthbar – a sandbar at the mouth of the San Jacinto River – and the city’s failure to do so, so far.
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, increase air quality, and speed up travel times, Houston blogger and Fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Tory Gattis, is proposing that Harris County’s transportation agency implement a free-fair policy going forward. Last year, Gattis encouraged Metro Chairman Carrin Patman and the rest of the board to halt approval of $100 million in new fare-collection equipment because they’d only be collecting $70 million in revenue.
Truth in Accounting released their annual Financial State of the Cities report which breaks down the annual financial reports from the nation’s 75 most populous cities. Notably, the report found that 63 of the cities did not have enough funding to pay all of their bills, meaning they deferred much of these costs onto future taxpayers. They also found that the collective debt for all 75 cities totaled more than $320 billion.
Last week, I had the chance take part in a panel with Dr. Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush; George Foreman, 2x World Heavyweight Champion; and State Rep. Harrold Dutton at Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2020 Policy Orientation.