Thursday, May 17, 2018

Happy Birthday to Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Annise Parker was born today, May 17, in 1956. She is American politician who served as the 61st Mayor of Houston, Texas, from 2010 until 2016. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to 2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010.

Parker was Houston's second female mayor (after Kathy Whitmire), and one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, with Houston being the most populous U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor.

Parker was born in Houston on May 17, 1956, and grew up in the community of Spring Branch, where she attended public schools. Her mother was a bookkeeper, and her adoptive father worked for the Red Cross. In 1971, when Parker was 15, her family moved to a U.S. Army post in Mannheim, Germany for 2 years. In Germany, she volunteered in the Red Cross youth service organization and worked at the post library.

Parker began attending Rice University on a National Merit scholarship in 1974, working several jobs to pay for her room and board. A member of Jones College, she graduated in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

Prior to serving as an elected official, Parker worked in the oil and gas industry as a software analyst for more than 20 years, including 18 years at Mosbacher Energy. In addition, she co-owned Inklings Bookshop with business partner Pokey Anderson from the late 1980s until 1997, and served as president of the Neartown Civic Association from 1995 to 1997. In 1986 and 1987, she was president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

Parker and her partner, Kathy Hubbard (above standing at left), have been together since 1990. On January 16, 2014, Parker and Hubbard were married in Palm Springs, California. They have three foster children together as well as a son (standing center) whom they informally adopted when he was living on the streets at age 16.

As of January 2018, Parker is currently CEO and President of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. She is also a professor at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. In 2017 after her role as Mayor of Houston, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for BakerRipley.

Parker currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Holocaust Museum Houston and Girls Inc. and the Advisory Boards of the Houston Zoo, the Montrose Counseling Center, Bering Omega Community Services, and Trees for Houston. She is also involved in historic preservation efforts in Houston and received the “Good Brick Award” from the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance for her restoration of historic properties in the Old Sixth Ward.


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