Hobby Center for Public Policy Hosts Mayoral Debate Sept. 29 at Wortham Center

Event to Benefit Center’s Leland Fellows Program

The first day of early voting for the November municipal elections in Texas is quickly approaching (Oct. 19), and the race to be Houston’s mayor has a crowded field.  

The University of Houston Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) will host a debate for the leading Houston mayoral candidates at noon, Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater in downtown Houston. The event includes a luncheon and awards presentation. Registration begins at 11 a.m. Ticket information is available here. HCPP

The HCPP hosts an annual luncheon to benefit its full-time undergraduate internship programs. This year’s luncheon assists the Leland Fellows program, which offers undergraduates opportunities to work as interns in the Washington, D.C. offices of Texas congressional members. Leland Fellows learn about the legislative process by assisting in the research and drafting of legislation, attending committee hearings and working on special projects. In addition to college credit hours in political science, Leland Fellows receive a stipend, paid housing and airfare.

“Selecting the mayor of the fourth largest city in the nation is important business,” said Jim Granato, professor and director of the HCPP. “Houston is doing well in many aspects, but still has critical issues to address, such as a crumbling public infrastructure, traffic and skyrocketing pension obligations. Our debate will showcase the differences among the candidates in tackling the problems most important to Houstonians.”

Veteran reporters Mimi Swartz of Texas Monthly magazine and Doug Miller of KHOU-TV will moderate the debate.

Candidates participating are Chris Bell, Stephen Costello, Adrian Garcia, Ben Hall, Bill King and Sylvester Turner.

Additionally, the HCPP will present the Hobby Leadership Award to a former intern and a graduate of the center’s Certified Public Manager program. The annual award recognizes outstanding leadership and mentorship in the Houston region. This year's award winners are: Carla Hulsey, Deputy Chief of Staff for Houston City Councilmember Ed Gonzalez, and Michelle Graham, Interim Director of Human Resources for the City of Pearland. Last year’s recipients were Alexander W. Obregon, special projects coordinator in the Executive Division of the Office of the Houston City Controller, and Lt. Darren Chambers, assistant division commander in the Criminal Warrants Division of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

For more information on the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Mayoral Debate and Luncheon, visit http://www.uh.edu/class/hcpp/debate/.

WHAT: UH Hobby Center for Public Policy Houston Mayoral Debate and Luncheon

                Benefiting the 2016 Leland Fellows program

WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, Sept. 29

WHERE: Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, 501 Texas Ave.