Texas Liberal

All People Matter

With Hestiancy, I’m Supporting Annise Parker For Mayor Of Houston

With some hesitancy, I’m supporting Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston.

(Above–Annise Parker)

Ms. Parker, our current Houston City Controller, is the best bet to address issues of importance to Houston’s poor and working class. Ms. Parker is the candidate most likely to pursue anything approaching a liberal and progressive agenda that involves social, environmental and economic fair play.

Though all three serious candidates for Mayor of Houston are Democrats, each has run to the right so as to appeal to Republicans. It is not the fault of Democrats, and of people in Houston who could use help from government, that no credible Republican thought Houston important enough to run for Mayor.

Into this vacuum , Ms. Parker and the other leading candidates have talked at length about crime and so-called fiscal conservatism.

If you’re a Republican reading this please be clear—Annise Parker, Peter Brown and Gene Locke are Democrats. 

Nobody wants to be a victim of crime and it is the poor who are most likely to be victims of crime. Yet it must be noted that crime rates have been going down in Houston.

It is one thing to address an issue that all people are concerned about. It is another thing to use that issue to obscure the facts and to deflect attention from the wide range of critical issues that have been ignored in this empty campaign.

On economic issues, Ms. Parker’s occasional embrace of the “fiscal conservative” label has been disheartening. 

I was ready to write in support of Ms. Parker last week. However, I was given pause after the Parker campaign circulated a blog post written by my fellow blogger Martha Griffin. Ms. Parker’s campaign used Ms. Griffin’s post to appeal to so-called fiscal conservatives.

Ms. Griffin’s post discussed how Ms. Parker had saved the City of Houston taxpayer dollars in her capacity as City Controller.

That’s good. That is what Ms. Parker should be doing as Controller.   

However, fiscal conservatism is a philosophy of governance. It is about far more than how one  executes the duties of City Controller. To confuse the two is to confuse the voter. Ms. Griffin was saying that Ms. Parker has done a good job as Controller. Yet it is hard to think that this is what the Parker campaign was trying to convey in circulating the post.

Did Ms. Parker pitch herself as a fiscal conservative when she won the endorsements of the Houston Federation of Teachers, the Harris County AFL-CIO Council, HOPE Local 123 and the Service Employees International Union?

Is this what we have come to in our majority-Democrat City of Houston? If I want a fiscal conservative, I’ll vote for a Republican. The fact that no credible Republican is running suggests that voters in Houston are not as receptive to a Republican message as our 2009 Mayoral candidates seem to believe.   

Still, the union endorsements and some aspects of Ms. Parker’s record provide hope that Ms. Parker offers more to the people of Houston than she’s been advertising in her campaign.

Ms. Parker has done great work in helping low income residents of Houston gain access to banks

Ms. Parker has supported efforts by janitors in Houston to be better paid and to receive benefits.

Ms. Parker has a personal history of fighting for the political and social rights of people seeking a rightful place in society.

The Houston of 2009 is not of Ms. Parker’s making. We’re all trapped to some extent in a world we did not create. Ms. Parker must run a campaign that is mindful of Houston’s political climate.

That said, there is also a place for courage and for leadership. This is not a place Ms. Parker has yet realized in this campaign.

My hope is that Ms. Parker wins the chance to serve as our Mayor, and that her tenure is one dedicated to the aspirations and needs of all citizens of our city.

This post can also be found at the Houston Chronicle where I am a featured political reader-blogger. 

(For those seeking a better understanding of the social, environmental and economic landscape of Houston, the book Energy Metropolis–An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast connects many of the dots.)

October 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. why is her head so much smaller than her body? looks like a bad dynasty actress from the 80’s

    Comment by bill brady | November 1, 2009

  2. Oh good lord. Why is Peter Brown so old? Why does his head look like a rectangle? Why does his voice irritate me in his 24/7 advertising campaign? And have you noticed that he has trouble with proper grammar? “I think different.” No, Mr. Brown. You think differently. If you don’t know the difference between an adjective and an adverb, then I am not inclined to vote for you. I am tired of linguistically-challenged politicians in/from Texas.

    Comment by Denise | November 3, 2009

  3. Maybe Mr. Brown seeks to connect with the people by fumbling some of his words. I wish Nr. Brown had better connected with some real issues over the past few months.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 3, 2009

  4. I just went to vote and Annise Parker was there. I gave her my vote because she showed up and confirmed she was a democrat. I really only went to vote for Prop 9 because I hadn’t been following the mayoral race. I sure am going to miss Bill White!!

    Comment by Melanie Black | November 3, 2009

  5. “If I want a fiscal conservative, I’ll vote for a Republican.”

    We’ll put you down as someone who likes wasteful spending. Something tells me you don’t pay much in taxes.

    Comment by GEAH | December 13, 2009

  6. I favor the spending we need to have a decent society. I’d pay more taxes if asked for universal health care, military pay raises, better schools and a bunch of other things. Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 14, 2009

  7. “I’d pay more taxes if asked for universal health care, military pay raises, better schools and a bunch of other things.”

    As I said, you like wasteful spending. And, yes, it was duly noted that you didn’t deny that you don’t pay much in taxes.

    Comment by GEAH | March 3, 2010

  8. The spending we need for a more decent society would be money well-spent.

    Why would I tell you what I pay in taxes?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 3, 2010

  9. If someone says some money is worth spending, it’s helpful to know how much money of theirs they are willing to spend.

    Comment by GEAH | March 4, 2010

  10. I’m willing to spend a percentage of my income on taxes that matches well or better with the percentage that others are often willing to pay.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 5, 2010

  11. As I suspected, you don’t pay much in taxes.

    Comment by GEAH | March 5, 2010

  12. You go right on assuming that.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 5, 2010

  13. red light camers on on on what is wrong here we need the money we need to drive better………………………….

    Comment by victormbrown spring tx | August 24, 2011

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