US: Houston mayor shortlisted for world’s best mayor

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Openly-gay Texas mayor, Annise Parker, has been shortlisted for the 2014 World Mayor Prize, an international contest for the world’s best mayor.

Parker is currently serving her third term as Houston’s mayor, and was the first openly-gay mayor of a major US city.

When first elected in 2009 with 53.6% of the vote, Parker said the victory was about the future of Houston becoming a welcoming city.

She said: “This race was about the future of Houston, and whether we will face that future proud to be an open, welcoming, and fair-minded city. Tonight Houstonians said yes to a future like that.”

Parker is one of three US mayors to make the final list for the international honour that is given to mayors who foster good relations between different cultural, racial and social backgrounds, and exemplify honesty, integrity, and social and economic awareness.

This May, Houston passed a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT people from employment discrimination. The ordinance was proposed by Parker to the City Council.

Parker said: “This is not the most important thing I have done or will do as mayor, but it is the most personally satisfying, the most personally meaningful thing I will do as mayor.”

The World Mayor Prize is presented by the City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank based in London.