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HOUSTON-(June 28, 2016) – Houston’s newly appointed Mayor Sylvester Turner invited members of the local media to lunch at the City Hall’s Legacy Room to brief them on the City of Houston’s status as to “where we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there.”
There were about 50 media representatives from mainstream and ethnic media outlets who attended and chatted over lunch for an hour and a half. This was the first time a mayor has met with this many members of the media at one time. Mayor Turner said he wants to maximize on Houston’s diversity. “This is one attempt to showcase that diversity,” he stated. Mayor Turner was joined by his staff Janice Evans, Director of Communications, Darian Ward, Press Secretary and Melissa Ragsdale, Social Media Director.
After brief introductory remarks, Mayor Turner had a Q & A round with the media members. While most of them touched on the current issues like the potholes, jobs, and the budget, some were curious to know about the Astrodome, what were the unexpected on his job and also how he picked out his outfit for the gay parade, which seemed to have humored the Mayor. “It is a roller coaster situation right now but will take off in a major way,” Turner said, referring to the oil and gas crisis, and layoffs.
He assured us that the transportation was going to boom, especially with the growth projection of more than 3 million additional people over the next 20 years. The population in the Greater Houston region is approximately 6.5 million. “It is so diverse that in the next 15-20 years from now, this is how the United States will look like,” he said.
Mayor Turner mentioned that the city is looking to build a major amusement park, not on the outskirts but within (just 640 sq. miles outside) the city limits. Events like the Livestock Show & Rodeo and Super Bowl are not here permanently, and children need a place to go to enjoy especially during the summer, he said.
Mayor Turner said that he would be limiting his travel and does not expect to leave for the next eight to ten months. His future plans for travel include trade missions to Cuba, Mexico, South Africa and China in the next year. Mayor Turner concluded, noting that Houston is diverse and he wished to make sure that we are being inclusive.