Meet Mayor-Elect Annise Parker
December 13, 2009

Mayor-elect Annise Parker is keeping a busy schedule the day after she won a very divisive and historic runoff  race.

UPDATE: A source told 2 On The Beat that Parker began her day attending praise and worship service at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston’s third ward.

Pastor D.Z. Cofield presides over the predominately African-American congregation.  The source told me that Parker and Cofield have a twelve-year  friendship and working relationship.

 She was invited to attend the 10 a.m. service by some of   her supporters who are also church  members.

Parker spoke briefly at the end of  the service and Pastor Cofield asked that everyone pray for her,  even if they didn’t vote for her in the runoff election.

Later in the day it was back to official business.

Parker was surrounded by  a handful of  her campaign staff, including campaign manager Adam Harris and communications director Jeri Brooks,   who helped her juggle a news conference and sitdown interviews with local and national members of the media.

It seems the whole world wants to know more about Houston’s first openly gay mayor-elect.  On January 1st, Parker will officially become the first openly gay woman to lead the nation’s 4th  largest city,

During the news conference, the mayor-elect announced  that State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) will be one of the key players on  her transition team.

In addition to starting  work on the city finances and finding ways to cut spending, Parker plans to begin  meeting with city department heads.

Her priority is to start making changes at the Houston Police and Fire Departments.

Parker made no secret during the campaign that she plans  to replace HPD  Chief  Harold  Hurtt. “I want to have my own police chief,” she told the media.

She also told reporters that she believes there is an urgent  need for significant change in the fire department.  She plans to meet with HFD Chief Phil Borieski in the coming days.

Parker says she’s concerned the department has not properly handled complaints of racism and sexism, and that it doesn’t have enough women within the ranks for a department of  its size.