Business

Greater Houston Partnership Names City Pension Reform As Top Priority For 2016

Houston Texans’ president Jamey Rootes succeeded JPMorgan Chase’s Gina Luna as Partnership chair at the group’s annual meeting.

Partnership Tower
Partnership Tower, under construction next to the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Greater Houston Partnership’s new home will open in July.

The Greater Houston Partnership held its 2016 annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center earlier Monday. Partnership leaders used the occasion to highlight the business group’s policy goals for the year ahead.

The Partnership spent much of last year trying to draw attention to the city’s mounting public pension debt. That will remain a top priority of Houston Texans’ president Jamey Rootes, who took the gavel as the partnership’s chairman for 2016.

“The facts are clear,” Rootes said. “This is a mounting problem that will have a significant impact on our long-term economic growth if we don’t act with a sense of urgency.” Rootes said the business group will work with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in trying to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, Partnership CEO Bob Harvey acknowledged the group had fallen short on some of its policy priorities in 2015,  notably its effort to preserve Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.

“With or without a new city ordinance,” Harvey said, “the business community of Houston, the city that prides itself on diversity and openness and inclusivity, cannot and hopefully will not accept discrimination in our city against any group, and that includes the gay and transgender communities.”

Harvey also said that, in the year ahead, the Greater Houston Partnership will redouble its efforts on K-12 public school reform and on criminal justice reform.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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