Mayor's Office Press Release

2 Years After Taking the Oath of Office: A Letter from the Mayor

January 4, 2018 -- Dear Fellow Houstonians,

Two years ago today, I had the privilege of being sworn in as your mayor. Doing the job continues to be the honor of my lifetime.

I opened my remarks that day with words my late mother said often in my youth: “Tomorrow will always be better than today.” She was right then and she is right now. My mother was optimistic and forward-looking, kind and generous, determined and unstoppable – and so is the City of Houston.

The spirit of Houston was on display for all the world to see during and after Hurricane Harvey, but we see it every day: a city where neighbors help neighbors, where everyday people are heroes, where we work hard and always keep an eye on a brighter future.

I am most proud to lead a city that works every day to blast through barriers that could divide us – race, class, age, gender, orientation, ability, education, partisanship – so that we can build a city of opportunity for our children and their children.

That can-do approach helped us solve the pothole crisis that was dominating headlines when I took office. Little did we know at the time how easy that first big test would seem after the challenges that followed.

With the same action-based attitude, we broke through 16 years of gridlock to solve a pension crisis that threatened to bankrupt our city and leave retired city workers without their hard-earned benefits.

We’re rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and becoming more resilient before the next storms, with the same mindset – working across party lines, taking care of our most vulnerable neighbors and creating a stronger city for all of us.

And in middle of it all, we showed the world what we’ve always known: We’re a city of champions. Our hometown Astros won the World Series. It could never have meant more than it meant in 2017. And that was after Houston put on an amazing Super Bowl.

Houston still faces huge challenges. But I know we can solve them by working together – because, for a people who come from all over the globe, who engage in all walks of life and who have a generous spirit and unlimited gifts in our hearts and minds, tomorrow will always be better than today.

I closed my remarks two years ago with words from the American poet R.L. Sharpe. I will end this letter with the same words, because they are as true today as they were then:

“Isn’t it strange that kings and queens, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common folk like you and like me, are builders for eternity? To each is given a book of rules, a shapeless mass and a bag of tools. And each must shape, ere life is flown, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.”

The Bible says to him whom much is given, much is required. Houston, this is our city, let us preserve it. Houston this is our home, let us protect it. Houston this is OUR Houston, let us invest in it. And together, let’s move forward to make this the best city that this world has ever seen.

God bless us all!

Mayor Sylvester Turner