International Focus Magazine Vol. 4, #1 - Page 47

HeidiPP: You have always served the community in some capacity: 27 years in the Texas House as the rep- resentative for District 139, on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years, as Speaker Pro-Tem for three terms, and more with a stellar record. What inspired you to serve as Mayor of Houston? Mayor Turner: First, I am a native Houstonian. Second, I grew up in a community underrepresented and underserved for decades. You want to see improvements? One of the ways is to become a part of the municipal government and address the commu- nities that have been under-resourced for decades like the 5th Ward, 3rd Ward, Denver Harbor, Sunnyside, and even out in Ft. Bend, to make sure that they are not overlooked. There are many ways to do it. One of the many ways is to be the manager and CEO, the Mayor of the City of Houston. The policies come through the Mayor’s office; the implementa- tion comes through the Mayor’s of- fice; and ultimately, the appointments of department heads are made by the Mayor; and the budget is set by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.This gives you a front row seat for a limited period of time. You try to be as impactful as you can in the time you have been allotted. HeidiPP: So, your advice to some- one who wants to effect change in their community would be to? Mayor Turner: To become a part of iF Magazine | 47