The invocation was led by Lee Maxcy, Executive Pastor at Second Baptist Church. Rev. Bill Lawson, of Wheeler Baptist Church and Judge Alan Zimmerman, both co-treasurers of the Ben Hall for Mayor campaign made introductions and called on our city to unite behind Hall as the candidate with a proven history of success and the person to lead Houston forward. Hall set forth his priorities for going beyond the status-quo of the current administration and shared his vision for making Houston an international hub for business, world-class entertainment and retail centers, and establishing a new approach on leadership in Houston.
"This is not business as usual," said Hall. "Houston doesn't need a mere manager. Houston requires a leader with grand ideas and a plan to get us there.
"The current philosophy at City Hall is to just keep on managing our city based on stagnant tax policies and increased licensing and permit fees. As mayor I will not continue the stranglehold of taxes and fees that are choking the taxpayers. We must not tax residents to death, but rather expand our revenue opportunities by opening our doors aggressively to world markets.
"I am running for Mayor because I am confident this city, with strong leadership, has not even glimpsed the extent of its world-class greatness," continued Hall. "I am running for mayor because I know that the best is yet to come."
"We need an aggressive revenue-building and business friendly approach to economic growth inside the city. We must encourage businesses to come here, to create secondary markets here to service businesses that are already here. If you own a business or want to start a business, big or small, I want Houston to be the only choice you consider. Houston is open for business!"
Hall's leadership agenda also included setting the tone for a "tough on crime" message. "Some say that this is the business of the District Attorney's office, but I disagree. I want criminals to know that you are not welcome in Houston. That message needs to be made clear and it is absolutely the job of mayor to set that tone for our entire city. And, for those that commit non-violent crimes, we are not going to let you cool your heels in jail on the taxpayer's dime. I get up and go to work every day to pay for my keep, I don't need to be paying for theirs while they kick up their heels in jail. They owe a debt to our community and they can work to help clean our streets and bayous."
(Follow Ben Hall's campaign online at http://www.benhallformayor.com/. Also on Facebook and Twitter)