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As Mayor of this great city, I envision a Houston where every individual can prosper and reach their full potential. This vision is the impetus behind my Complete Communities Initiative—a program designed to revitalize Houston’s under-resourced communities. The initiative works closely with community residents, city departments, and public/private partners toward a goal of creating sustainable neighborhoods that are safe, affordable, economically viable, and that have access to quality education, affordable housing, transportation alternatives, green spaces, healthy food options, and well-maintained infrastructure.

We welcome the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries to Houston. As you know, Houston Public Library is a valuable, trusted and sought-after community partner helping to provide solutions to the challenges facing our city and the people it serves. With core values of exceptional customer service, equitable access to services, programs and resources that reflect and celebrate Houston’s increasingly diverse population, the Library leads and partners with strategic initiatives, like Complete Communities, focused on advancing human, community, and economic development in our city.

We are very proud that Houston is the most ethnically diverse city in the nation. The hard work and dedication of many with whom I work to make Houston a welcoming city, where opportunity is available to all, is essential to our success. I am keenly aware that an endeavor of this magnitude requires a comprehensive and concerted approach from many individuals and organizations to work together to build sustainable communities, ensure equity, and foster innovation.

I am extremely grateful to the Aspen Institute and their investment in Houston’s future. And I applaud and thank the elected officials, community leaders, and business and organizational leaders who participated in the Houston Dialogue on Public Libraries. This report will help generate broad based support and promote high visibility to the good work happening across our libraries and city. The report will help influence public policy and resource allocation decisions within our political, economic, social systems, and institutions to support the transformative change that must be realized for our city to thrive. Thank you for choosing Houston.

Sylvester Turner
City of Houston

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