Mayoral Run-off Candidate Luncheon: Sylvester Turner

The American Turkic Business Council in collaboration with the Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, hosted part two of the two-part luncheon series featuring Mayoral Run-off Candidate Sylvester Turner. The event took place December 7th, 2015 at the ATBC Headquarters.

The luncheon had a great turnout and housed many distinguished guests.

ATBC President Mr. Orhan Osman and Houston Metropolitan Chamber President Mrs. Peggy Wilson gave the opening speech. Mr. Osman highlighted their proactive efforts in providing a platform for Mayoral Candidates so that Houstonians can have the chance to get to know them before they vote. Mrs. Wilson introduced the Houston Metropolitan Chamber and welcomed Representative Turner to talk about his agenda.

Candidate Turner began his speech by talking about the sort of future he hopes for Houston. He stated that when we talk about Houston, the most important aspect to address is what approach will work best for our city. Mr. Turner emphasized that the “face of Houston has changed” drastically so any policy that was established 25 years ago will not be sufficient and is not in the best interest of the city.

Mr. Turner drew attention to the diverse nature of Houston and the importance of setting down fundamentals so that we can move towards a success filled future. On the note of success, Mr. Turner said “We needs to enhance Houston’s infrastructure so that going forward we can surpass any other major city. With better infrastructures, we can sustain and move along with the diverse nature and the development of a dynamic and vibrant city.”

On the note of city financials, Mr. Turner pointed out that we need a city that is run-well and is financially fiscal with responsible policies. He indicated that we need a city that is culturally sound and sensitive to the diverse population that exists. As part of Houston’s diverse culture, Mr. Turner indicated that all range of employment opportunities must also be diverse so that everyone can equally feel equally represented.

Mr. Turner said by having our communities work together fundamentally, we can truly have a city that is internationally recognized and welcoming.

In regards to the economic success of the city, Representative Turner included that we need to attract more individuals to do business in the city. He said “We must be able to venture out and be able to talk about the positive climate of Houston so that we can bring in and encourage businesses to do work here.”

Houston must have an environment that is safe and welcoming while also encouraging growth for existing and new coming businesses. One way to do this is by encouraging partnerships through sister-sister collaborations that can be extended throughout the globe.

Mr. Turner indicated that the first message that needs to go through to others is that “Houston is the most diverse city” while the second message is that “It is the most inclusive city.”

“We must move towards the direction of developing our city past other Texas cities, that can only happen when we put ourselves in the best position to be competitive”, said Mr. Turner. He gave an example of the high speed train and how a direct and open approach will enhance Houston’s position on the bigger market.

Mr. Turner ended his speech by strongly emphasizing the importance of leadership vision for Houston. He indicated that having a narrow vision for a city like Houston simply won’t be enough.

Following his speech, Mr. Turner answered questions from the attendees that addressed points regarding his support for establishing sister city partnerships, having an international advisory board that communicates directly with the mayor, and multi-tasking effectively so that all pieces impacting the success of Houston is understood completely.