Outrage: Democrat Houston Mayor Cancels Republican Party Convention
HOUSTON, TX – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday announced his decision to cancel the upcoming in-person Republican Party of Texas convention at the last minute as the dispute continues between the Republican Party of Texas and Houston city officials.
Turner made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, following a decision about whether to proceed with the event, which was expected to draw a crowd of approximately 6,000 attendees next week.
Turner tweeted Wednesday stating, “Today I instructed the Houston First Corporation to exercise it's right contractually in canceling the State’s Republican Convention that was set to take place next week at GRB."
Turner also wrote, “the public health concern for our first responders, convention workers, and those who would have attended weighed heavily in our decision making."
RPT chairman James Dickey could not be reached immediately for comment, but said in a Facebook live video on Tuesday evening the party had “no plans to cancel our in-person convention.”
In a statement Wednesday Dickey wrote, “After allowing tens of thousands of protestors to peaceably assemble in the same city, in the same area, without any of the safety precautions and measures we have taken, he is seeking to deny a political Party’s critical electoral function that should be equally protected under the constitution."
Houston Mayor Turner quickly addressed the GOP's comparison between protestors gathering outdoors and the indoor convention in a tweet by saying, “It is one thing to be talking about an indoor convention where people are in close proximity with each other for a substantial amount of time rather than walking outside in a protest, When people are marching and protesting, no one is making lunch/dinner, cleaning up behind them.”
Houston, one of the top five most populous cities in the nation, sits in Harris County which currently has the most COVID-19 cases in the state of Texas at 23,996 active cases as of Tuesday afternoon, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
On Wednesday afternoon, the party released their instituted precautions for next week’s planned convention which complied with several of the Mayor's demands including:
- thermal scanning of each attendee as they enter the convention center
- limited entryways for attendees
- revised floor plans for the caucuses and general sessions to accommodate social distancing
- established deep cleanings after every meeting/session
- provided contactless registration
- established one-way traffic in our exhibit hall
- elevated curtain height to create further separation at exhibit booths
- provided contactless hand sanitizer
- obtained masks for attendees use
In it's statement Wednesday following the Mayor's decision RPT chairman James Dickey said, “With his words today, Mayor Turner is saying Houston does not want business. He does not want Houston to get back to work. He is not able to move forward and rise to these new challenges."
“Is the City of Houston never going to get back to work? Is the City of Houston never to hold another convention at their cavernous Convention Center?
This is an opportunity to show how to get back to work safely and how to hold conventions safely with cutting edge technology.
Our legal team is assessing the ability of the City to act at this time in this manner and weighing our legal options. We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights."
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