City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

This Is Not Mayor Whitmire's First Rodeo!

February 23, 2024 --

Hello friends,

"This is Not My First Rodeo!"

As Rodeo Season kicks off in Houston, we're reminded that Mayor John Whitmire often says, "This is not my first rodeo," when solving problems and tackling the challenges he inherited at city hall. As he reviews programs and city finances, the mayor remains fired up to meet the responsibilities voters gave him, and he is committed to promoting government transparency, improving public safety, and solving problems.

More than six weeks into his role, the mayor is building a team of experienced public servants who share his vision of a stronger Houston. Additionally, he is working closely with Council Members to ensure constituent's needs are being met and everyone has a seat at the table.

If you need information about the city, you may call 311 or visit the city website at any time.

Houston Rodeo 2024

Hundreds of Houstonians showed up and showed out at City Hall for "Go Texan" Day, the unofficial kickoff of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The entire Houston community was invited to celebrate Western heritage and raise awareness of Rodeo season.

Go Texan Day

On behalf of Mayor Whitmire, Vice Mayor Pro Tem presented a proclamation making Feb 23 "Go Texan" Day in Houston.

It's a full day of activity. Remember the trail riders, World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, and the Rodeo parade is on Saturday, Feb.24. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, including the carnival, concerts, agriculture experience, runs Tue, Feb 27, 2024 – Sun, Mar 17, 2024.

Promoting Government Transparency

City Council MeetingNew Housing Authority Commissioners appointed

Recently, Mayor Whitmire announced the appointment of seven new Houston Housing Authority commissioners to help lead the organization and address his concerns about financial mismanagement.

The new leadership will focus on improving HHA's operational effectiveness and work to achieve the organization's mission to improve lives by providing quality, affordable housing options. Read more about Housing Authority Appointments.

City Council endorses 17 new affordable housing proposals

Mayor Whitmire SpeaksCity Council unanimously voted Wednesday to support 17 proposed housing developments as part of a competitive state housing program process.

The proposals allow them to now compete for the state's 9% Housing Tax Credits Program, which plays a huge role in developing affordable housing across the city and state.

The full applications are due to the state by March 1. Read more about Afforable Housing Proposals.


New Appointees

Mayor Whitmire and Elizabeth Gonzalez BrockElizabeth Gonzalez Brock officially appointed METRO Chair

Mayor Whitmire and the City Council appointed Centerpoint Energy executive Elizabeth Gonzalez-Brock as the new Chair of METRO on Wednesday. She is the first Hispanic woman to lead the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO).

Brock said she plans "to [work] collaboratively with the mayor, the METRO Board, and all levels of government to transform METRO into a best-in-class model of transit, accountability and transparency.

We will empower a strong management team that will drive measurable results and work directly with customers to understand their real needs to make public transit a safe, clean, and viable option for everyone." Read more.

Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock Appointed

New Port of Houston Commissioner

Thomas JonesAs the leading advocate for the Ship Channel, Port Houston drives economic opportunities forward daily.

This week, the city of Houston appointed Thomas Jones to a vacant position. 

Thomas is the president of the Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity and recently retired from one of the country's largest Black-owned tax and accounting firms. 

A 2022 study by Martin Associates reports that business activity at the Port of Houston supports 1.54M jobs throughout Texas and 3.37M jobs nationwide.

This activity helps generate more than $439B in statewide economic value and $906B in nationwide economic value.

Moreover, the Houston Ship Channel contributes nearly $10.6B in state and local tax revenue and $62.8B in national tax revenueKeep reading about the New Port of Houston Commissioner.


Supporting Our First Responders

Welcomed the newest HFD Cadets

Today, Mayor Whitmire attended 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 respond to emergency calls throughout the city.

It was the first time in years a mayor attended an HFD cadet graduation. And Mayor Whitmire was proud to be there and expressed his support for First Responders and thank them for their dedication to protect and serve our community.

HFD Cadet Graduation

Healing After Tragedy
One week after Lakewood Church experienced a deadly shooting, Mayor Whitmire attended a special service at Lakewood to show support for Pastor Joel Osteen and the congregation. Joined by Police Chief Troy Finner and other law enforcement agencies that responded minutes after the shooting, the mayor was overwhelmed by the many Houstonians who united in solidarity.

All places of worship should be safe spaces for Houstonians, and the mayor will ensure residents’ safety by working tirelessly alongside our dedicated first responders.

Lakewood Church Photo Collage

Collaborating with International Partners

The mayor was honored to meet with a delegation from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MILT). They discussed federal and municipal climate resilience and disaster recovery policies.

Houston and Japan have a long-standing relationship and Mayor Whitmire says he and his administration will continue to work with our international partners to configure new ways to improve our city.

International Partners Photo Collage

Meeting with Diverse Community Leaders

As Lunar New Year celebrations continue, Mayor Whitmire spent time with our Asian American community this past weekend to deliver two respective proclamations.

On Saturday, The Asian American Real Estate Association is full of dedicated, passionate individuals eager to help Houstonians in their quest for homeownership. And as he joined the Asian American Real Estate Association for their 20th anniversary, He was proud to present them with a proclamation for their incredible milestone. February 17th will now be known as Asian American Real Estate Association Day.

And on Sunday, he spent time with our Vietnamese American residents and reminded attendees Houston wouldn't be the same without them and was honored to present a proclamation making February 18th as Vietnamese Community of Houston and Vicinities Day.

The mayor was also honored to speak at the Houston Hispanic Architects and Engineers (HHAE) reception. He remains committed to working alongside the great engineers of this city to create a more cohesive infrastructure in Houston.

He added how great it was seeing old friends State Senator Carol Alvarado, Representative Armando Walle and Council Member Mario Castillo who he's committed to working with to maintain a good relationship between Houston and Austin.

Meeting with Diverse Leaders Photo Collage

Animal Welfare: Looking after our Furry Friends

Mayor Whitmire attended a press conference at Crime Stoppers of Houston Thursday morning to address the state of animal welfare in our city. Local nonprofit Houston Petset Co-Presidents Tama Lundquist and Tena Lundquist Faust held the event. Dozens of municipal shelter directors from across the region, including BARC and the Harris Co. Animal Shelter, also attended.

During his time in the Texas Senate, Mayor Whitmire was a steadfast champion for animal welfare, spearheading and sponsoring marquee animal bills. He intends to commit to the animals in his first term as mayor.

Mayor Whitmire with Tama Lundquist and Tena Faust