Get Your Bill White For Governor Yard Sign
January 28, 2010

(CAMPAIGN NEWS RELEASE)

Yard Signs in HoustonDear Friend,

Our first round of yard signs has just arrived! With the March 2 primary quickly approaching, we have a lot to do so that we can spread the word about Bill White’s run for governor.

To pick up a yard sign, come visit our statewide headquarters at 2100 West Loop South, 7th floor. We’re here Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you need to have one delivered, let us know.

While you’re here, find out how you can help bring new leadership to Texas. We hold phone banks every evening and block walks every weekend. We have thousands of doors to knock on and calls to make before the primary, and we need your help.

Thanks for spreading the word about Bill White!

Robert Nnake
State Volunteer Coordinator
http://www.billwhitefortexas.com/volunteer

P.S. Don’t keep this message to yourself. Please forward it to your friends and family.

Mayor Bill White’s Farewell Message to Houstonians
December 31, 2009

Saturday, January 2, 2010,  is Houston Mayor Bill White’s last day in office. After six years working on behalf of  Houstonians at city hall the mayor is being forced out by term limits.  But before he hits the campaign trail fulltime in the race for Governor, White is saying goodbye to the city and reflecting on his time in office.

You can read the full message below, and if you want to follow White on the campaign trail visit his website at www.billwhitefortexas.com.

Dear Fellow Houstonians,

 

It has been the honor of my life to work for you as Mayor these last six years. Together we got Houston moving. We’ve led the nation in job growth, cut major crime rates to the lowest levels in decades, cleaned the air, improved our parks and libraries, made more efficient use of energy, tripled the number of neighborhood health clinics, revitalized some of most neglected neighborhoods, assisted returning veterans, invested over $300 million in drainage improvements, improved recycling, and so much more.

 

We have done this all with disciplined, business-like management at City Hall, cutting property tax rates while raising senior and disabled exemptions. We reformed our public employee pensions. We amended our City Charter to limit the growth in property taxes. Even after natural disasters and recession, we have managed disciplined budgets, and for years built up budget surpluses. That has allowed us to double the cash on the City’s balance sheet and weather this economic downturn without cutting services, raising taxes, or borrowing money to finance deficits.

 

We’ve done all this with a City Council that works as a team, largely free from partisan posturing. We have viewed diversity as a strength, not a liability, in this great city of opportunity.

 

 We have been through good times-major sporting events, celebrations at our new Discovery Green, and numerous national recognitions as America’s best city for economic opportunity. We have also been through tough times-Hurricanes Ike, Katrina  and Rita, departing soldiers, the loss of  firefighters and police officers, and now global recession.

 

Of course there is still much to do, and Houston will always have differences of opinion. But we can respect our neighbor’s views, even when we disagree. 

Andrea and I wish you and your loved ones a great New Year. Please keep in your prayers our

City’s new leadership, members of our Armed Forces, and all those who serve this community whose jobs put them in harm’s way.

 

Respectfully,

 

Bill White

Mayor

Houston’s Popular Outgoing Mayor Appoints Commission to Study Term Limits
December 29, 2009

Let’s be honest. There are plenty of voters in the city of Houston who wouldn’t  mind seeing Mayor Bill White stick around for another six years.

But according to current city rules, council members, the controller and Mayor can serve a maximum of  six years in office.

As he prepares to leave office on December 31, 2009, the Mayor has announced the appointment of a commission to review the city’s term limit provisions.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 29, 2009

Mayor Bill White Announces the Appointment of a Commission to

Review the City’s Term Limit Provisions                                                                      

Mayor Bill White today announced the appointment of a blue-ribbon Commission on term limits.  This Commission was created by an ordinance adopted unanimously by City Council.  The commission will prepare a report analyzing the impact of term limitations adopted as part of Houston’s City Charter in 1993.  This commission will make recommendations concerning any changes to the length of the terms that an individual could serve.  The commission is not authorized by the ordinance to recommend an abolition of term limits.

 According to Mayor White, “We need to examine whether the city of Houston has the right length of terms and number of terms based on the experiences of citizens in this community.  There is a balance between wanting to prevent incumbents from becoming too entrenched and the need to maintain some experience in the elected leadership so that a career official in city government is accountable to informed elected officials.  The members of this commission reflect a diverse leadership group within our city.” 

The Commission shall make its recommendations and report by July 1, 2010, and shall be disbanded after this time.  Any changes in term limits recommended by the Term Limits Commission would have to be voted on by the public in order to be effective.  According to the commission proposed by Mayor White, Mayor White would not be eligible for any service as Mayor, regardless of changes recommended by the Commission for any other City officials.

Arthur Schechter, a former Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, was designated by Mayor White as Chair.  Claudia Williamson was nominated by Controller Annise Parker as as Vice-Chair.  Williamson was the founding Chair of Blue Print Houston.  She has served on many business and non-profit boards including the Houston Read Commission and the Houston Area Water Corporation.

The commission is composed of six members nominated by Mayor White, including the Chair, a Vice-Chair (nominated by the City Controller); and the balance of 15 members nominated by City Council.  Those members are:  Frumencio Reyes, Council Member Toni Lawrence, Christina Cabral, Sylvia K. Brooks, John L. Nau, Jane Cahill West, Kathryn Chace-McNiel, Ed Wulfe, Thomas Jones, Jr., Ester King, Dorothy Miller, William A. Jordan, Robert M. Stein, Theodore L. Deaver, Carrol G. Robinson, Anan Qaddumi, Edward J. Cummins, Jr., James S. Bowie, and Diana Davila Martinez.

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Senator Hutchison Attacks “Slick Rick Perry”
December 14, 2009

U.S. Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Kay Bailey Hutchison has released a new political ad that uses both  the images of  Houston Mayor Bill White and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The ad starts out looking like an attack on Mayor White, but then turns into more of  an assault against Governor Perry’s record in office. 

It’s an interesting approach. 

The ad uses the same themes against Perry that were used against Mayor White by the Texas Republican Party. 

I don’t know if the political ad is only being used on the Senator’s campaign website and you tube, or whether she has any plans to air it on cable or network television.

Both Perry and Hutchison have launched TV and radio ads leading up to the March 2010 GOP primary.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post recently published an insightful story that examines the matchup.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/12/AR2009121202630.html?hpid=topnews

Mayor White Hosts A Holiday Reception For The Media
December 11, 2009

Members of   the Houston area media had a final opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with Mayor Bill White.

After six years in the top job at Houston city hall,  the term limited White is about to hit the campaign trail fulltime in the race for the democratic party primary nomination for Governor.

The party room at the House   Blues  was packed with dozens of   media representatives, elected officials, senior city hall staff, and department heads.

It gave everyone a chance to let down their guard and get better acquainted.

 The hot topics of the evening?  The runoff race for mayor to replace White at city hall, and  whether media coverage of the candidates has really been fair and balanced. 

Inquiring minds also wanted to know which staff members would move to jobs on White’s political team, stay at city hall under a new mayor, or seek employment opportunities in the private sector.

My favorite moment of the evening happened when Mayor White took the stage to welcome everyone.  He also challenged people in the room to use the holiday season as an opportunity to reach out to someone who we don’t always like or agree with on issues.

These events are always fun, but the elected leaders and members of the media who attended  realize that the next morning we go back to being friendly and respectful, but not always in agreement about the role of  politics/governance and media coverage. 

We’re still going to ask the tough questions, and they’ll decide to either answer, dodge or try to explain why we are going down the wrong trail.

During my time working in the Houston media, I’ve had the pleasure to attend holiday parties hosted by former Mayor Bob Lanier, and one year I scored an invitation to the Capital Press Corp media party hosted by Governor Rick Perry.  (Perry would never pose for pictures that night)

History and The Houston Parks and Recreation Department
December 9, 2009

It is  an important part of  Houston’s past that has been preserved for future generations.

On Tuesday evening,  Mayor Bill White and the city of  Houston Parks and Recreation Department unveiled the newly renovated Gragg Building in Southeast Houston.

Years ago the same building served as the headquarters for NASA’s manned spacecraft center.

Today the  spacious  building  serves as the headquarters for HPARD  Director Joe Turner and countless other employees who help  keep our city facilities looking nice and well-maintained throughout the year.

Beginning  in 2010,   Houstonians will have the opportunity to rent some of the  indoor and outdoor  space to hold weddings and other special events.

Few people realize that the Gragg Building’s connection to NASA from 1962 to 1964,  In fact, there are several really cool photographs hanging in the lobby to remind city employees and visitors that the building has special significance, and is more than just brick  and mortar.

You can read more about the building’s history on the city of  Houston website: http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/graggpark.html

The building recently underwent a $16 million renovation that preserved its character and historic significance, according to Turner.

The Gragg Building is a city landmark and is on the National Register of  Historical Places. 

 It will also be designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Commission.

Meanwhile, dozens of  Houstonians attended the unveiling Tuesday  night, including Houston’s first Lady Andrea White, newly elected city council member Oliver Pennington and his wife,  HPARD staff member Gail Brown, Mayoral candidate Gene Locke and Mrs. Locke, the architects and many others who had an opportunity to tour the building.

Pictures From Mayor White’s Big Political Announcement
December 4, 2009

Freezing weather and snow flurries did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that gathered at noon Friday to hear Mayor Bill White announce that he is running for Governor of  Texas. 

Dozens of  people, including city hall staffers, community leaders, elected officials and grassroots supporters packed into the Hilton of Americas Hotel Ballroom to hear the Mayor’s speech.

The term limited Mayor White leaves city hall at the end of  December.  He already has $4 Million in the bank to help him campaign for the Governor’s Mansion.

Mayor Bill White Considers Run For Governor of Texas
November 23, 2009

Monday afternoon Mayor Bill White held a news conference at Houston City Hall to discuss the possibility that he will enter the race for Governor Texas.

This is the context of  his entire statement: 

Since Friday a week ago Texans from all backgrounds and all regions have asked me to consider running to be our next Governor of Texas. Today I agree to consider running for Governor, and shall make a decision by Friday, December 4th.

Before then I invite the citizens of Texas to weigh in on this decision by visiting this page and emailing me at billwhite@billwhitefortexas.com.

Both our next Governor and Senator should bring new energy to the task of moving our state forward. In both positions, we need leadership that can bring our state together and reduce the strident partisanship in both Austin and Washington.

Texans know we can do better than ranking dead last in the nation in the percentage of our population with a high school diploma. Texans know we can do better than the last decade of soaring electricity and insurance costs, and skyrocketing college tuition.

Sen. Hutchison has postponed her departure from the Senate and acknowledged that her continued service limits her ability to campaign in our state. I share her belief, and that of her supporters, that we need a new Governor.

I thank many thousands of Texans who have supported my campaign with their volunteer hours and dollars. I will listen to your views on how we can best work together to do what is right for Texas. I especially welcome advice from the citizens of Texas’ largest city, who know me best and have supported leadership by solutions, not just soundbites. You have been my partners in moving Houston forward by finding common ground, and running our City Hall with integrity, in a business-like, financially sound, and inclusive manner.

Politics aside, Texans should enjoy their friends and family during this week of Thanksgiving and say a prayer for those who cannot be home with their loved ones because they are serving us abroad.

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Big Money For Mayor Bill White
October 14, 2009

He’s been travelling around the state, getting to know voters while  campaigning for the U.S. Senate. 

Houston Mayor Bill White is apparently impressing enough people who are willing to open their checkbooks and contribute to his campaign.

The date of the election depends on when, or if, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison steps down to challenge Governor Rick Perry in the 2010 GOP March Primary.

Below is a copy of a news release that his campaign proudly sent to the media:

HOUSTON, TEXAS — To date, more than 5,000 supporters have contributed more than $6 million to Houston Mayor Bill White’s campaign since he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in December.

The contributions for the filing period ending Sept. 30 totaled more than $1.5 million. In the last week of the quarter alone, supporters contributed $400,000, about half through the internet. The candidate pledged to match contributions during that week.

As of the second quarter filing period, the Bill White for Texas team had raised more dollars from more people than all other Senate candidates combined. With nearly 2000 first-time contributors, the third quarter filing period attracted significantly more new contributors to the campaign than any other quarter.

“With each report, it becomes increasingly clear that Texans across the state trust Bill White to be their voice in the U.S. Senate,” said Campaign Finance Chair Scott Atlas. “Bill is the right leader to move our state forward and protect the future of our children and grandchildren.”

“Getting funds early on is critical to the success of a statewide campaign,” Field Director J.D. Gins said. “I’m particularly proud that 5000 people have given their hard-earned cash to help elect Bill White, and even more have volunteered. Texans are serious about electing someone who will fight for them in Washington.”

The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. Since then, he’s been re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than sixteen states combined. At the same time, he cut property taxes five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative that gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized an effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For the compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.

Mayor White Honored
October 8, 2009

Mayor  Bill White was honored with the Allen Award for Civic Enhancement during a luncheon on Thursday.

Today in the news 002

The award is handed out annually by the Central Houston Board of  Directors.

President Robert Eury said, “the Mayor has done so much to enhance the lives of Houstonians,” during his years in office.

It was five years ago when Mayor White first announced his vision for Discovery Green in the heart of  downtown.  This month Discovery Green welcomed its one millionth visitor!

Mayor White, who is term limited and running for the U.S. Senate, says he  believes that it will take more green space, jobs, commuter rail and housing to entice more people to live and work downtown.