City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

Hello From City Hall

February 15, 2024 --

Hello friends,

Mayor John Whitmire hit the ground running after taking the oath of office a little more than a month ago. In his first few days, the mayor has prioritized public safety, appointed a new City Finance Director and other members of his senior leadership team. He also has ended the city's lawsuit with firefighters, and addressed high water bills and infrastructure issues.

Mayor Whitmire plans to operate an ethical and transparent City Hall that is accountable to the people of Houston.

In doing so, the Mayor's Office of Communications will begin presenting newsletters highlighting the mayor's initiatives and announcements that interest and impact the daily lives of hardworking Houstonians. And as Mayor Whitmire says, "Let's Go to Work!"

Lakewood Church Tragic Shooting

Lakewood Church Press Conference
Mayor Whitmire joined law enforcement officials following a tragic shooting on Sunday, Feb. 11. According to investigators, a woman entered Lakewood Church and opened fire.

Two people, including a child, were injured by off-duty officers working security.

They also killed the shooter. Click here to see the mayor's comments during Monday's press conference.

A Moment of Silence

In light of the tragic shooting at Lakewood Church, Mayor Whitmire began Wednesday's City Council Meeting by reminding Houstonians and Council Members the importance of mental health awareness, saying, "You never know what's going through somebody's life" and reminding folks to be patient with one another.

He also asked for a moment of silence.

Promoting Government Transparency

Assisting residents in Fifth Ward Cancer Cluster
As part of the mayor's promise to maintain transparency, he visited with residents in Houston's Fifth Ward to hear their concerns about the cancer cluster. Last Wednesday, Feb. 7, the mayor and the City Council unanimously approved a $2 million contract with the Houston Land Bank to run a voluntary relocation program for the families affected by the Fifth Ward Cancer Cluster.

Cancer Cluster Photos Montage

Diverse Appointees

Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock as METRO Houston Board Chair
On Tuesday, Mayor Whitmire announced his appointment of Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock as Board Chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO), pending City Council and board approval She would be the first Hispanic woman to Chair the state's largest transit authority, which has a 1,309-square-mile service area and an annual budget of $ 1.6 billion. Keep Reading about Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock ...

Melissa Dubowski as Finance Director for City of Houston
As part of joined the City of Houston's Finance Department in August 2014 and has been deputy finance director since 2019. As deputy director of the Finance department's Treasury and Capital Management division, Dubowski manages the team that oversees existing and prospective debt citywide and forecasts the City's property and sales tax collections. She also chairs the City's debt finance working group and actively monitors the credit markets. Keep Reading about Melissa Dubowski ...

Jay Zeidman as Chairman for Houston First
Zeidman has served on the board of Houston First (HFC), the City’s destination marketing organization, since 2017. He most recently served as Vice Chair of the organization’s Finance Committee. Keep Reading about Jay Zeidman ...

Elizabeth Gonzalez-Brock Melissa Dubowski Jay Zeidman

Elizabeth Gonzalez-Brock

Melissa Dubowski

Jay Zeidman

In the Community

Welcomed the newest HPD Officers
Public safety is one of Mayor Whitmire's priorities. He attended the recent HPD Cadet Class #261 graduation and thanked the 77 women and men for their commitment to serving the city of Houston.

HPD Academy Graduates

The mayor is working with HPD Chief Troy Finner to recruit new officers, explore merging METRO police with HPD, and work with area law enforcement agencies and the Texas Department of Public Safety to enhance safety throughout the city.

Mayor Whitmire and Police Chief Finner

In fact, Mayor Whitmire even went on ride-along with Chief Finner just MINUTES after taking the oath as mayor. Keep Reading about this story ...

Fire Department LogoNext week, Mayor Whitmire will attend the cadet training graduation at the Houston Fire Department Training Facility.

Houston has 3,800 firefighters, and upon graduation, 31 men and women will join the department to fight fires and emergency calls throughout the city.


Discussed his First 30 Days on ABC 13
Thanks to Channel 13 for highlighting Mayor Whitmire's commitment to public safety. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner joined the mayor to discuss the first 30 days in office. Topics included police reform, public safety, and recruitment. You can watch click here to watch it now ...

First Thirty Days

Culture Montage Graphic;

Houston is blessed to be a melting pot of different cultures. On Feb. 10, the Southern News Group, Global Bank, and the International Trade Center hosted their 28th annual Texas International Lunar Festival. The Chinese Community Center hosted its annual Lunar New Year Festival on the same day.

This year is the Year of the Dragon, and we wish you safety, good spirit, and peace.

Mayor Whitmire attended both celebrations and presented two proclamations declaring Feb. 10 as Houston International Expo Center Day and Lunar New Year Festival Day!

Bolstering City - County Partnerships

Meeting with County Leaders
Mayor Whitmire held meetings with Harris County Commissars Adrian Garcia, Lesley Briones and Tom Ramsey to discuss projects of mutual interests including parks, roads and quality of life issues.

He was honored to recieve a unanimous resolution from Commissioner Ramsey on Thursdsay and Harris County recognizing his commitment to pubilc service and Houstonians.The mayor looks forward to the ongoing communication and coordination on projects.

County Resolutionn

City - County Leaders Montage

Solving Problems

Solving Problems Montage

Only two weeks into his term in office, Mayor Whitmire faced a major challenge following the National Weather Service's forecast for freezing temperatures and icy patches on roads and bridges January 15 -17, Mayor Whitmire led Houston’s emergency response to protect residents and the city’s infrastructure.

He directed municipal departments, including Houston Police, Fire, Public Works, Health, ARA, and the Office of Emergency Management, to coordinate opening eight warming centers and work to keep Houstonians safe. Mayor Whitmire also took time to visit with families seeking refuge from the cold inside some of the City's warming centers.

Revived Tour de Houston 2024

Whether you ride for fitness or fun, the 2024 Tour de Houston promises to take you on an adventure through some of Houston's unique neighborhoods.

Stay tuned for on registration information to ride for 20, 40 or 60 miles.

The event raises funds to benefit the city's RE-Plant Houston program, which is dedicated to reforesting Houston parks and greenspaces managed by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Keep Reading about Tour de Houston ...

Tour de Houston Statement