Mayor Annise Parker wants to check off one last item on her mayoral bucket list before she leaves office: Winning in court so she can put in place Houston's non-discrimination ordinance.
Parker considers HERO as the one last, big item left on her agenda as she looks to the end of her three terms as mayor.
GSN: Do you feel that you've accomplished much of what you set out to do?
Parker: I did all the big things early on – the one big piece that took me until my last term was passing a non-discrimination ordinance. Now we're still litigating it and I intend to win before I leave.”
Parker put HERO on ice when it was clear the fight over the ordinance was headed to litigation. Opponents are haggling with the city in court over the validity of signatures on their petition to put the measure to a public vote.
But don't think for a minute that Parker is slowing down. (Skydive anyone?) The Top Mayor in the U.S. – and the nation's first openly gay mayor of a big city – says she's “going to be running to the tape as mayor.” Why? Courage. And she enjoys pissing off her opponents.
GSN: You've really ruffled some feathers while you've been in office standing up for what you believe is right. How do you get through the pushback that results from that?
Parker: There is no big city mayor in America that doesn't have the potential of really hacking off millions of people at a moment's notice. but I also believe if I'm not making a certain number of my constituents unhappy I'm not pushing hard enough. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.