Monday, November 9, 2009
Normally I don't radiate patriotic fervor - though I'm more inclined that way than I was a year ago last Tuesday. This year's election day was very special for me too. Because I recently relocated out of one of the small cities inside of Houston (it's kind of like an amoeba that has ingested small surrounding communities), I was able to vote in the Houston city elections. This came just in time for me to cast my vote for Annise Parker for Mayor of Houston.
A few days having passed, there were thoughtful reflections in the Sunday newspaper. The newspaper, by the way, had endorsed both Annise Parker and Gene Locke in the mayoral race, and these are the two who will face each other in a December runoff. These were not the two with the most money. But there's new aphorism much in evidence in the local media - and Annise said it on TV on election night: Money doesn't elect people. People do. Of all the candidates, she had, not the most money in contributions, but the most individuals contributing. Each contributor was somebody who really wants to see her as Mayor, either because of her track record as a Councilwoman and City Controller, because she's a Rice University graduate, because she's a fine capable woman politician, or because she's long been one of few openly gay people elected to office in Texas, and her becoming Mayor of Houston would be a victory for GLBT people everywhere.
The individuals most unhappy about the election results (apart from the losing candidates who ran long, hard, expensive, and generally fair races), are the die-hard social conservatives. Some of these folks will not vote for a gay woman no matter how good her track record is. These voters, however, will be faced with the choice between a gay woman who started out as a campus and community activist and a black man who started out as a civil rights activist! It's going to be an interesting few weeks until the December 12th election. Then, oh joy, I'll get to go out and cast my Houston vote again.