“This election proved that a positive, issue-oriented message can yield a winning margin. This election also makes a great statement about Houston, in particular about the diversity of our great city. All you have to do is look around this room to find people of every race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, and income level, and across the political spectrum—and I expect the vote totals to reflect that diversity as well.
“We are Houston. And we are the promise of Houston—a place where all people are welcome and what you do matters more than who you are.”
With those words, Annise Parker declared victory as city controller in the December 6 runoff election (Annise is pictured [right] with her partner Kathy Hubbard in a photo by Dalton DeHart). Some of us who have followed Parker’s public-service progress—community volunteer, Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus president, business owner, two-time unsuccessful City Council candidate, eventual three-time winner for an at-large seat—might consider her success as just inevitable, something to take for granted. But her achievement is astounding, historic. Parker is the highest-ranking openly gay elected official in any of the 10 largest U.S. cities. And on election night she savored that achievement with her partner Kathy Hubbard and their daughters Daniela Parker and Marquitta Parker.