Houston Political Culture

Houston Political Culture

Houston was the first major city in the United States to elect an openly lesbian mayor. Annise Parker was elected city-wide nine times in a row over 18 years – drawing votes from a wide range of Houstonians. Interestingly, her sexual orientation was never a campaign issue for her or any of her opponents. Houstonians – even in the early 1990s – didn’t seem to care. By the early 2000s, Houston had elected at least five gay men and women to city council, and a transgender candidate for city council – Jenifer Rene Pool – was considered a serious contender.

Liberal Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis got a majority of the Houston vote in 2014, despite losing by a huge margin – drawing less than 39 percent of the vote statewide.

Then, in 2015, Houston voters overwhelmingly voted to repeal a recently-adopted “Equal Rights Ordinance,” which was designed to create special protections for people with any of 15 “protected characteristics,” including gay and transgender individuals. The campaign to repeal the ordinance was focused on the transgender issue – tagged by social conservatives as an ordinance to let guys dress up as women and hang out in women’s’ restrooms. Earlier this month, Houston elected a conservative mayor over a well-known Democratic political veteran.

Your text discusses Daniel Elazar’s political cultures theory, contending that Texas is a mix of traditionalistic and individualistic cultures. I would contend that Houston is perhaps the most individualistic city (we don’t even have zoning!) in Texas.

Write a college-level, 3– 5 page essay about;

  1. The political culture of Houston.
  2. What do you think is important to Houstonians?
  3. How would you explain a city that voted for Wendy Davis, then voted to overturn an “equal rights ordinance?”

Submit in Word. Cite your sources.


This Rice University study shows how Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the world.