The Daily Cougar
Mayoral candidate leads UH lecture
Parker emphasizes community activism, supports more city parks
By Sarah Krusleski
Published: Monday, March 2, 2009
Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker plans to cut costs while launching initiatives that will increase the
number of Houston parks if elected mayor.
“(Parker) is so accessible. She’s very bright, so she can answer fully,” said Renee Cross, associate director
of the Center for Public Policy.
The UH Government Internship Program invites elected officials from various levels of government to lecture
each semester’s interns about public service.
“Learning about how local politics worked was refreshing to me,” political science junior Taylor Kilroy said.
Parker, who serves as Houston’s city controller, spoke on Friday with UH Center for Public Policy’s
Government interns about animal control, city parks, graffiti and working in local government.
“The next mayor is going to be cutting budgets, and hopefully, the next mayor will not be laying people off.
More than 70 percent of the city’s budget is salary and overhead, so that’s where the money is,” Parker said.
One third of the city budget goes to the police department, with the remaining two-thirds going to public
safety, Parker said, leaving little money for projects to improve the quality of life for Houstonians.
“You hope that by carefully managing the budget, you’ll be able to make progress on all of those things,”
Parker said she hopes the budget will allow an increase in the number of parks in Houston through property
donations. Community members and property owners also need to help increase the number of parks, she
She also called the development of the inner city a problem that filled potential open spaces with townhomes
and other developments.
She urged community members to claim their own neighborhoods and parks by maintaining lawns as
“I’ll make sure I don’t waste a penny of your tax dollars and every dollar I can, I will pu