Sylvester Turner: The Best Choice for Mayor

Texas Organizing Project PAC and SEIU COPE Endorse Sylvester Turner for Mayor of Houston

Today, SEIU COPE and TOP PAC announced their endorsement of Sylvester Turner for mayor of Houston. SEIU and TOP members voted to endorse Turner because they believe he will win, and will champion our vision for economic and racial justice for Houston’s neighborhoods.

“As groups organizing communities of color fighting for better jobs, immigrants’ rights and neighborhoods of opportunity, we cannot separate our economic and racial justice analysis from our endorsement process,” said Rev. Feldon Bonner, a TOP member. “We know we need a mayor committed and well prepared to lead on our issues.”

Turner recently stood with fast food workers supporting their call for a living wage and the right to form a union, and publicly questioned why Houston, the fourth largest city in the US, doesn’t have the authority to set our own living wage, challenging the state legislature’s inaction.

His top campaign issues center on addressing inequality in a way we haven’t seen before. He is also identifying issues and policy solutions, which is unique amongst other candidates. And Turner has endorsed and committed to SEIU and TOP’s Houston4All’s platform that would improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Houstonians.

“A strong mayor should help lift up our most neglected neighborhoods by promoting good jobs,” said janitor and SEIU Texas member Catalina Miranda. “I am standing with Sylvester Turner because he is a champion for economic and racial justice in Houston. As the nation’s most diverse city, we need a mayor who will no longer allow our communities of color to be locked out of opportunity. SEIU Texas and TOP are ready to mobilize to elect Sylvester Turner and create a Houston 4 All.”

The endorsement was announced at Market Square Park, across the street from a luxury apartment building slated to receive $7 million in city tax credits through the Downtown Living Initiative, subsidizing apartments that will cost as much as $5,800 a month with amenities that include a golf simulator, a cantilevered pool, sauna and an indoor basketball court. This site represents a trend of opting to give away our tax dollars with no guaranteed return on investment for the public. The next mayor of Houston has the opportunity to ensure the city leverages its economic incentive dollars to benefit low-income workers and long-neglected neighborhoods.

"This endorsement isn't about me," Sylvester Turner said. "It's about bringing communities together to build a Houston where everyone has a chance to prosper and our neighborhoods are all neighborhoods we can all be proud of."

The endorsement will be followed by coordinated get-out-the-vote efforts to engage community members who are too often overlooked. With TOP’s and SEIU’s track record of engaging the community and increasing the vote in Latino and African American neighborhoods, we know we can win, and move forward with our agenda for good jobs, neighborhoods of opportunity, sound infrastructure and immigrant rights.