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Best mayor in the world? Annise Parker on short list for big international prize

World's Best Mayor? Parker on short list for big international prize

The Influentials Mayor Annise Parker January 2014
Mayor Annise Parker, shown in 2014 photos, is among the 26 finalists for the world's best mayor. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Mayor Annise Parker wins election November 2013
Annise Parker celebrated her election to third term as mayor in 2013.   AnniseParker.com
3 Pride Parade Houston June 2014 Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard
Mayor Annise Parker and spouse Kathy Hubbard. Photo by Dalton DeHart
The Influentials Mayor Annise Parker January 2014
Mayor Annise Parker wins election November 2013
3 Pride Parade Houston June 2014 Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has made the official short list for the 2014 World Mayor Prize, an international contest for the best mayor in the world.

Parker is just one of three United States mayors to make the cut. Her North American counterparts Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson are also up for award.

The organization requests voters to email reasons why she should win, using “Houston Parker” in the subject line and provide your name and city, to Houston@worldmayor.com.

The global honor is given to mayors who exemplify a host of leadership qualities such as honesty, leadership, vision, integrity, social and economic awareness and fostering good relations among different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. Parker has been elected Houston's mayor three times and garnered national attention for being the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city.

“I’m flattered to be nominated. It’s wonderful to see that Houston is receiving world-wide attention. Our team is committed to taking a stand on significant issues,” Parker said via email.

The 2014 World Mayor Prize, which is sponsored by City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank based in London, is truly global with a total of 26 nominees from Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa up for the prize. The winner receives the World Mayor trophy and the runner-up is given the World Mayor Commendation.

The long list of nominees was a bit curious considering it also included former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who built a reputation as crack-smoking, drunk driver rather than an integrity-fueled city leader. Ford was later cut from the list as it was whittled down to the finalists.

The World Mayor Prize is encouraging each city’s residents to vote for their respective mayor through the end of October. The organization requests voters to email reasons why she should win, using “Houston Parker” in the subject line and provide your name and city at the end of the email. Use the address Houston@worldmayor.com.

The prize is given every two years. The 2012 winner was Iñaki Azkuna from Bilbao, Spain and the runners-up were Lisa Scaffidi from Perth, Australia and Joko Widodo from Surakarta, Indonesia.