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Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Mayor visits SGA meeting, advocates youth participation


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Accompanied by several personnel, Houston Mayor Annise Parker was welcomed with standing applause from the Student Government Association’s senators when she attended Wednesday night’s SGA meeting.

Parker began the meeting by discussing Houston’s operation during her term and her role in it all.

“Every city in the world is a service organization,” Parker said. “The city is a $5 billion corporation, and I’m the CEO of a $5 billion corporation, and 22,000 employees. What we do affects the lives of 2.2 million Houstonians and 6.2 million people in the region.”

In addition to reducing homelessness and the Bayou Greenways initiatives, when asked about her most significant accomplishments as mayor, Parker cited the Rebuild Houston initiative.

“A key to Rebuild Houston was that we no longer debt finance that portion of our infrastructure,” Parker said. “It meant we had to transition from taking a mortgage for the house and paying cash for the house and there was a period there where we couldn’t do a lot of infrastructure work.”

Another issue brought up was what young people could do to have a bigger role in shaping what Houston will become.

Parker stressed participation.

“Just show up,” Parker said. “The voting percentages for people under 30 are really, really terrible. The most important thing someone can do is register to vote and go out to vote.”

Parker addressed finances as the most salient issue that Houston’s next mayor must tackle — especially pension under-funding.

“We’re a $5 billion corporation but only $2 billion a year is what runs the city,” Parker said. “Finances are a big issue.”

As for the future, Parker said Houston is on the right track.

“Within the next three years, you’re going to see a complete transformation (of Houston’s infrastructure),” Parker said. “A lot of things are going in the right direction.”

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