Burnt Orange Report endorses Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston because she is an experienced candidate and committed grassroots activist we can trust to put the people of Houston first.
When we at Burnt Orange Report write about local city races, we normally focus on Austin — simply because that's where most of us live. However, the City of Houston — which is both the fourth largest city in the country, and the third fastest-growing city in the country — will, in one week, select a new mayor to replace the long and respected tenure of Bill White.
We believe the most qualified candidate to be Houston's next mayor is Annise Parker.
Annise Parker is a strong Democrat who has separated herself from the rest of the field with her positive campaign for progress in Houston. Her twelve years of experience in Houston city politics — she was on the Houston City Council for six years, and is now at the end of her sixth year as City Controller — stand out as examples of her delivering results, and not just talking about, the issues that matter to the city of Houston.
Parker came into politics through neighborhood activism, a path of determination and sacrifice that resonates both with our own personal experiences as well as with the values we champion throughout the BOR community. Her recent profile in the Houston Chronicle discussed some of her most impressive grassroots work:
Parker hasn't budged from Houston since returning here in 1974 to attend Rice University. Her involvement in gay politics began in 1979, the year after she graduated, when she helped organize a gay student group at Rice.
After college, Parker went to work using new computer software to do economic modeling in the oil and gas industry. In her free time, she plunged into community involvement, joining the boards of gay and lesbian organizations and riding in Houston's first Pride Parade in 1979.
Many of her nonworking hours are devoted to community activities. It was a desire for something new, Parker said, that prompted her to move from gay activism to the next chapter in her life.
“I was bored with gay stuff,” she said. “I threw myself just as hard into 10 years of neighborhood activism.”
A rash of arson fires near her home prompted Parker and a neighbor to create the East Montrose Civic Association in 1990. Five years later, she became president of the Neartown Association, a coalition of Montrose-area civic clubs, making connections that would help her in her campaigns for public office.
When we take away all the campaign attacks, and television ads, and look at this Houston mayoral race closely, we find that Annise Parker is one of us, and she is someone we can trust. In times like these, trust counts.
Despite what our current Governor would have everyone believe, Texas — and especially the city of Houston — is facing challenging economic times. At a time when the specific policies of the mayoral candidates are, by most accounts, broad and indiscriminate, we find ourselves searching for the candidate we can identify with and trust the most.
Our fellow Houston blogger, Martha Griffin, makes her case that Parker is the person to trust:
Parker is the most experienced candidate for mayor, and as she said in one debate, “I'll always tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it.” I personally know her to be smart, loyal, and an extremely hard worker. From day one, the City will be run effectively and efficiently.
In a community, you trust your neighbors that work hard and share your values. Burnt Orange Report endorses Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston because she is an experienced candidate and committed grassroots activist we can trust to put the people of Houston first.