A lot can change in eight years.

Eight years ago, Sylvester Turner was one of 13 candidates vying to become Houston’s 62nd mayor, the Houston Astros hadn’t yet won a single World Series championship and it would be two more years before flooding from Hurricane Harvey would devastate the city.

Now, Turner is nearly halfway through his final year in office, ending a two-term mayorship marked by unprecedented and life-altering events for Houstonians.

Eight years ago, I was a high schooler in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, worried about math classes (writing was always more of my thing) and learning how to drive.

Now, I’m one of Houston Landing’s two civic engagement reporters, looking for ways to connect with residents across the region and write stories that will empower communities to better understand the issues that matter most.

More than 86 percent of respondents to the Landing’s ongoing coverage survey said they were most interested in learning about civic and governmental affairs, elections and politics.

One of the first ways the Landing aims to accomplish just that is by creating a comprehensive and interactive voter guide for this year’s mayoral election.

Because as Turner’s tenure draws to a close, a historic mayoral race is beginning to heat up.

Political titans with multi-million dollar war chests and community activists alike have all tossed their hats in the ring, hoping to lead the nation’s fourth largest city for the next four years.

And while the official submission period for applicants to get on the November ballot as mayoral candidates does not begin until late July, we are starting our coverage now.

Houston City Hall
Houston City Hall on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Joseph Bui for Houston Landing)

A mayoral voter guide, guided by you

At the Landing, we want to be a thorough and informative resource for every aspect of this year’s mayoral election. And that begins by making sure residents have their voices heard and their questions answered.

Candidates will have their own platforms and talking points, but we want to hear from the community first.

What questions do you want mayoral candidates to answer? What issues do you think are most important for Houston’s next mayor to address?

Houston Landing’s mission is to strengthen our democracy and better the lives of Houstonians through journalism. That mission guides the work we do every day.

Once we receive input from the community, your questions will become a roadmap for a questionnaire we will send to each mayoral candidate. Their responses will then become our 2023 mayoral voter guide, a tool to both hold candidates accountable and inform voters ahead of the November election.

We have a tagline here at the Landing — “Essential journalism. Empowered Communities.”

The sentences go hand in hand. We believe one cannot exist without the other.

So please use our mayoral voter guide survey to make your voices heard. Empower your community and help us create essential journalism.

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Tim Carlin is the Houston Landing's civic engagement reporter. An Ohio native, Tim comes to Houston after spending a year in Greenville, South Carolina, covering Greenville County government for The Greenville...