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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mayor of New York City

Bill de Blasio (born Warren Wilhelm, Jr., May 8, 1961) is an American politician who is serving as the 109th Mayor of New York City. From 2010 to 2013, he held the citywide office of New York City Public Advocate, serving as an ombudsman between the electorate and the city government. He formerly served as a New York City Council member, representing the 39th District in Brooklyn, which contains Borough Park, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Kensington, Park Slope, and Windsor Terrace. De Blasio, the Democratic Party nominee for mayor of New York City in the 2013 election, defeated Republican Joe Lhota with more than 73 percent of the vote. De Blasio is the first Democratic mayor of the city since David Dinkins from 1990 to 1993.


Together with his wife Chirlane, Bill is the proud parent of Chiara, a college senior, and Dante, a college freshman. Having raised their children in Brooklyn and sent them to New York City public schools, Bill and Chirlane understand firsthand the fundamental role parents and teachers share in educating the next generation - and of the importance of providing equal educational opportunities in all neighborhoods.

After graduating from NYU, Bill studied at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He began his career in public service as a junior staffer for New York City's first African-American mayor, David N. Dinkins, and later became an assistant for community affairs at City Hall.

In 1997, Bill moved to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, working as Regional Director under then-Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo, as New York and New Jersey's highest-ranking official in the department. At HUD, he crisscrossed the Tri-State region, gaining a critical understanding of the diverse communities that make up the New York metropolitan area. As regional director, Bill fought for increased federal funding for affordable homes and expanded housing services for senior citizens.

In 1999, Bill joined District 15's School Board in Brooklyn, where he championed early childhood education and parental involvement and expanded pre-K programs, helping his district become the first to cap first grade class sizes.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton asked Bill to manage her historic campaign for the U.S. Senate. Working at the head of a vast grassroots operation, he helped re-introduce Mrs. Clinton to New Yorkers and deliver her message about prioritizing children and families, securing her a decisive victory in a highly competitive campaign.

Two years later, Bill started his service on the New York City Council, representing the diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Sunset Park, Boro Park, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Windsor Terrace, Red Hook, and Kensington.

In his eight years on the City Council, Bill focused his efforts on improving public education, engaging parents, expanding affordable housing, and protecting New York's middle-class and working poor. He wrote landmark tenants' rights legislation to protect affordable housing and end landlord discrimination for everyday New Yorkers. Bill also was a vocal advocate for services designed to support fragile families and vulnerable children. After the tragic death of seven-year-old Nixzmary Brown in 2006, he investigated the case as Chair of the Council's General Welfare Committee, holding four hearings examining the City's role in fighting child abuse.

In 2010, Bill was sworn in as New York City Public Advocate, the second-highest citywide elected office. As Public Advocate, Bill launched the "NYC Worst Landlords Watchlist" to publicly identify landlords who took advantage of everyday New Yorkers, pressing them to improve building maintenance and upkeep. Bill made his voice heard across our city as a forceful advocate for stronger representation and services for the millions of workers who are the foundation of New York City's economy.

As mayor, Bill is committed to making sure every child gets a great education, protecting our streets and our communities, and building a city where New Yorkers from all five boroughs can start businesses, raise their families, and afford to live in their own neighborhoods.

He ran for mayor promising to end stop and frisk and improve relations between the New York Police Department and many New Yorkers, especially African Americans. His tenure has seen a spike in anti-police protests and disaffection with law enforcement, and he has been charged by the NYPD union with putting the interests of protesters above those of the police. He initiated new de-escalation training for officers, reduced prosecutions for cannabis possession, and oversaw the beginning of body cameras worn by police. De Blasio approved a $41 million settlement for the five men whose convictions in the 1989 Central Park jogger case were overturned and ended a post-9/11 surveillance program to monitor Muslim residents in New York.

DeBlasio ran for mayor touting himself as a populist concerned with the stark level of economic inequality in New York, which he called the "tale of two cities". Towards that end, he passed free universal pre-K in the city, although his effort to start a millionaire tax was rejected by Governor Andrew Cuomo. He also advocated for the Rent Act of 2015, which created an unprecedented rent freeze city-wide for rent-stabilized apartments. DeBlasio proposed a multi-year plan to boost the supply of affordable housing in the city, and will seek approval by the City Council in early 2016. His plan would allow developers to gain favorable zoning ordinances and build taller buildings in exchange for constructing affordable units.

On January 27, 2013, de Blasio announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York City in the fall election.

The Democratic primary race included nine candidates, among them Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, and former New York City Comptroller and 2009 mayoral nominee Bill Thompson. After Weiner joined the race in April, early polls showed de Blasio in fourth or fifth among the candidates.


Bill de Blasio with his wife, Chirlane, (left) and children Chiara and Dante at a rally in New York City in 2013
Despite his poor starting rank in the primary race, de Blasio was able to gain the endorsements of major Democratic clubs such as the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan as well as New York City's largest trade union, SEIU Local 1199. Celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker endorsed him, as did prominent politicians such as former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. By August, singer Harry Belafonte and actress Susan Sarandon had endorsed de Blasio.

De Blasio gained media attention during the campaign when he and a dozen others, including city councillor Stephen Levin, were arrested while protesting the closing of Long Island College Hospital. De Blasio and Levin were released a few hours later with disorderly conduct summonses. Fellow Democratic mayoral hopefuls Anthony Weiner and City Comptroller John Liu were also at the protest but were not arrested.

De Blasio moved up in the polls and by mid-August he emerged as the new leader among the Democrats. He reached 43 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released a week before the primary.

Preliminary results of the September 11 primary election showed de Blasio taking 40.1 percent of the votes, slightly more than the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

On September 16, second-place finisher Bill Thompson conceded, citing the unlikelihood of winning a runoff, even if uncounted absentee and military ballots pushed de Blasio below the 40 percent threshold. Thompson's withdrawal cleared the way for de Blasio to become the Democratic nominee against Republican Joe Lhota in the general election. Exit polls showed that the issue that most aided de Blasio's primary victory was his unequivocal opposition to "stop and frisk."

After the primary, de Blasio was announced as the nominee on the Working Families Party line.

In the general election, de Blasio defeated Lhota in a landslide, winning 72.2 percent to 24 percent.Voter turnout for the 2013 election set a new record low of only 24 percent of registered voters, which the The New York Times attributed to the expectation of a landslide in the heavily Democratic city.




City of New York

The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the State of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. A global power city, New York City exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, its fast pace defining the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.

Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of New York State. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. With a U.S. Census Bureau-estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. The city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States, and as many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. By 2015 estimates, the New York City metropolitan region remains by a significant margin the most populous in the United States, as defined by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (20.2 million residents) and the Combined Statistical Area (23.7 million residents). In 2013, the MSA produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of nearly US$1.39 trillion, while in 2012, the CSA generated a GMP of over US$1.55 trillion, both ranking first nationally by a wide margin and behind the GDP of only twelve and eleven countries, respectively.

New York City traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a symbol of the United States and its democracy. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, and environmental sustainability.
Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known, and the city received a record of nearly 60 million tourists in 2015, hosting three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world. Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart" and its "Crossroads", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. The names of many of the city's bridges, skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world. Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 469 stations in operation. New York City's higher education network comprises over 120 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world.

Mayor of Los Angeles

Eric Michael Garcetti (born February 4, 1971) is the current Mayor of Los Angeles of and a former member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 13th District. He served as Council President from 2006 to 2012.
A member of the Democratic Party, Garcetti won in a nonpartisan election for Mayor on May 21, 2013, defeating city Controller Wendy Greuel; Garcetti is the city's first elected Jewish mayor and its youngest in more than a century.

Garcetti was elected four times by his peers to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 until taking office as Mayor, he served as the Councilmember representing the 13th District which includes Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village -- all of which were dramatically revitalized under Garcetti's leadership.

Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics and taught at Occidental College and USC. A fourth generation Angeleno, he and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, have a young daughter. He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve and is an avid jazz pianist and photographer.

On May 21, 2013, Eric Garcetti was elected Mayor of Los Angeles with 53.9% of votes, defeating Wendy Greuel. The next day, May 22, Garcetti met with incumbent Antonio Villaraigosa, who worked with him over the remainder of his own tenure to better the transition. His term began on July 1, 2013. During Garcetti's campaign, he pledged to end chronic and veteran homelessness. On his first full day as mayor, Garcetti proclaimed that Los Angeles was beginning to leave behind its culture of car ownership. After taking office, he had interviews with each of the city's department heads and began making changes.

In a memo in October 2013, Garcetti instructed department heads to develop a "starting point" budget based on the 5 percent cut from the previous year. In January 2014, Garcetti announced a new plan to tackle earthquake safety, marking the 20th anniversary of the destructive Northridge earthquake.

On April 15, 2014, Garcetti signed into law a new waste franchise agreement, which was planned to expanded recycling to businesses and apartments. Garcetti first proposed the program three years earlier, when he was serving on the City Council. “What we have done with our residential program is create a clean environment, with good jobs and people making enough to support a family," Garcetti said. “What we have had on the commercial and apartment side has been the Wild West, with multiple trucks on the same street, with no standards." Garcetti stated that his goal was to have 90 percent of all trash recycled by 2025.

On April 16, 2014, Garcetti was joined by Jay Z in announcing during a news conference to announce the Made in America festival, scheduled to take place in the upcoming summer. “On Labor Day weekend, we’re going to celebrate our golden state of mind right here in L.A. with a sellout crowd, right here on the steps of City Hall and into Grand Park," Garcetti said during the news conference. Jay Z, addressing the city of Los Angeles as a whole, said "you all should be very proud of this incredible mayor you have".

Garcetti is an avid photographer, jazz pianist, and composer. In January 2009, he married Amy Elaine Wakeland, also a Rhodes scholar whom he met while at Oxford. They have a daughter, Maya Juanita. Wakeland was brought up in small towns in Indiana and her mother worked three jobs to support Wakeland, her younger brother and sister and stepbrother and stepsister. The family's frequent moving caused Wakeland to attend 12 schools and live in 15 homes. Wakeland's mother took in two runaways and all four of her grandparents were active in raising her. Garcetti and his wife have fostered seven children. He also serves as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve Information Dominance Corps. He attends services at IKAR, a post-denominational Jewish congregation founded by Rabbi Sharon Brous, a charismatic figure in L.A.’s Jewish community.





Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Spanish for "The Angels"), officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the second-largest city in the United States after New York City, the most populous city in the state of California, and the county seat of Los Angeles County. Situated in Southern California, Los Angeles is known for its mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, sprawling metropolis, and as a major center of the American entertainment industry. Los Angeles lies in a large coastal basin surrounded on three sides by mountains reaching up to and over 10,000 feet (3,000 m).

Historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The city experienced rapid growth with the discovery of oil.

The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contains 13 million and over 18 million people, respectively, as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world as well as the second-largest in the United States. Los Angeles is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the United States. The city's inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.

Nicknamed the "City of Angels", Los Angeles is a global city with a diverse economy in entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research. It has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production. Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984, and is currently bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Mayor of Chicago; Illinois

Rahm Israel Emanuel,born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who serves as the 55th Mayor of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Emanuel was elected in 2011, becoming Chicago's first Jewish mayor. He was reelected on April 7, 2015.

On September 30, 2010, Emanuel left his post as chief of staff to run for the Chicago mayorship. He was replaced in the interim by political consultant Peter Rouse. On February 22, 2011, Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago.

Emanuel was the topic of several Chicago new reports in 2012, following claims by the Chicago Teachers Union that the mayor had been withholding resources from Chicago Public Schools. Emanuel also received flak for his decision to leave Chicago amidst plans of a Chicago-wide teachers' strike in order to speak at the Democratic National Convention.

Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration, where he served as the Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy before resigning in 1998. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 for 2 1/2 years and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac.

In 2002, Emanuel ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who resigned to become Governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure in the House, Emanuel held two Democratic leadership positions, serving as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007 and as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus from 2007 to 2009. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House Chief of Staff.

In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago's 2011 mayoral election. Because of questions over his eligibility to run for mayor, Emanuel's candidacy was initially rejected by the Illinois First District Appellate Court, though he was later found eligible to run in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the nonpartisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. Although Emanuel did not obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election, he defeated Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García in the April 7 runoff election.

Since November 2015 Emanuel's approval rating has plunged in response to a series of scandals, most directly the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the city's subsequent attempts to withhold a video of the shooting, and the lack of an investigation into the matter. In early December the federal Justice Department announced an investigation into the operations of the Chicago Police Department, a move which Emanuel initially opposed. By December over half of Chicagoans favored Emanuel's resignation, with highly critical evaluations of the mayor appearing in such sources as The New York Times and The New Yorker, and coming from such figures as the Reverend Al Sharpton.

On September 30, 2010, it was announced that Emanuel would leave his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago. He was replaced by Pete Rouse on October 2, 2010.

Emanuel's eligibility for office was challenged on the basis of his lack of residency in Chicago for one year prior to the election. The Board of Elections and the Cook County Circuit Court affirmed his eligibility. A divided Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court, holding on January 24, 2011, that residency for purposes of a candidate is different from residency for purposes of being a voter.[90] A further appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court resulted in a unanimous decision reversing the Court of Appeals and affirming Emanuel's eligibility.

Emanuel's mayoral campaign was the inspiration for a satirical Twitter account called MayorEmanuel, which received over 43,000 followers, more popular than Emanuel's actual Twitter account. Emanuel announced on February 28 that if the author would reveal himself, he would donate $5,000 to the charity of the author's choice. When Chicago journalist Dan Sinker revealed himself, Emanuel donated the money to Young Chicago Authors, a community organization which helps young people with writing and publishing skills.

Emanuel was elected on February 22, 2011 with 55% of the vote and was sworn in as the 55th Mayor of Chicago on May 16, 2011 at the Pritzker Pavilion. At his inauguration were outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and William M. Daley, brother of the outgoing mayor and who would later serve as White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel is Chicago's first Jewish mayor.

In August 2014, the Chicago Tribune conducted a polling and reported that 35% of voters felt that Mayor Emanuel was doing a fine job as mayor of Chicago.

In 2015, Emanuel won 56 percent of the vote in the run-off election against Jesús "Chuy" García held on April 7, 2015. He had been hurt by sharp neighborhood criticism of his decision to shut down 50 public schools in black and Latino neighborhoods and his installation of red light cameras, together with anger at the high level of gun violence on the streets. On the other hand, he was supported by the business community and most elements of the Democratic party.


Emanuel and his wife, Amy Merritt Rule, have a son and two daughters and the family lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago's north side. Rule converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding. Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign, and Axelrod signed the ketuba, the Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding. The Emanuels are members of the Chicago synagogue Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel. Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the congregation described Emanuel's family as "a very involved Jewish family," adding that "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago." Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me." Emanuel's children attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago's south side.

Each year during the winter holidays, Emanuel takes a family trip where his children can be exposed to other cultures and parts of the world. Prior family trips have been to Vietnam, India, Kenya, Zambia, and South America. His 2015 holiday trip was scheduled for the island of Cuba.

Emanuel trains for and participates in triathlons. In 2011, he scored 9th out of 80 competitors in his age group. A passionate cyclist, he rides a custom-built, state-of-the-art Parlee road bike.

Emanuel, Rahm; Reed, Bruce (August 2006). The Plan: Big Ideas for America. New York: PublicAffairs Books of Perseus Books Group. ISBN 1-58648-412-5.
Emanuel, Rahm (May 10, 2011). "CHICAGO 2011 TRANSITION PLAN" . Chicago 2011.






Chicago

Chicago, is the third most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the U.S.

Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation: O'Hare International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic; the region also has the largest number of U.S. highways and rail road freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $630.3 billion according to 2014-2016 estimates. The Chicago metropolitan area is also home to several universities, including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2014, Chicago had 50.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, gospel and house music. It also has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues. Chicago has many nicknames, the best-known being the Windy City.

Mayor of Houston; Texas

Annise Danette Parker (born May 17, 1956) is an American politician who was Mayor of Houston, Texas from 2010 until 2016. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to 2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010.

Parker was Houston's second female mayor (after Kathy Whitmire), and one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, with Houston being the most populous U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor.

Following the voter-approval of Proposition 2 on November 3, 2015, which extended the terms of the Mayor, City Controller, and City Councilmembers to two four-year terms, Parker became the last Houston Mayor to be limited to serving three two-year terms.


Remember when Houston's lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, tried to subpoena five pastors' sermons in a case over the controversial transgender rights ordinance there? This same lesbian mayor is trying her level best to deny these pastors the right to a jury trial. She wants a "special master" to review the evidence. 

Here's the backstory, as Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) explains it: City officials got upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the City Council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other's restrooms. 


ADF attorneys jumped into the fray, contending the city illegitimately demanded that the pastors, who are not party to the lawsuit, turn over their constitutionally protected sermons and other communications simply so the city could see if the pastors have ever opposed or criticized the city. 

In 2009, Parker announced her candidacy for the office of Mayor of Houston in a video posted online to her campaign website. She was endorsed by several organizations and campaigned on a platform of better city security and financial efficiency. Other people who were in the running for mayor included Houston City Council Member Peter Hoyt Brown and Harris County school board trustee Roy Morales; they were eliminated from the race on November 3, 2009. She entered the run-off election with the most votes to face former Houston City Attorney Gene Locke who garnered the second most votes. In the general election, the city's primary newspaper endorsed both Parker and Locke.

During the run-off election, Parker was endorsed by former rival Peter Hoyt Brown. The city's primary newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, endorsed Parker over Locke citing her experience. Parker was elected mayor on December 12, 2009, and assumed office on January 2, 2010. Houston became the largest U.S. city ever to have an openly gay individual serve as mayor. After the election, Parker declared that the top priorities of her administration would be improving transportation, balancing the city's budget, and selecting a new police chief.

Main article: Houston mayoral election, 2011
In the 2011 election, Parker won a second term as Houston's Mayor, by defeating Fernando Herrera, Jack O'Connor, Dave Wilson, Kevin Simms, and Amanda Ulman, without a runoff.

Main article: Houston mayoral election, 2013
In November 2013, Parker won a third term as Houston's Mayor by winning over 57% of the vote, making a runoff unnecessary. She was succeeded on January 2, 2016 by state legislator Sylvester Turner, who is the city's second African American mayor.

Parker and her partner, Kathy Hubbard, have been together since 1990. On January 16, 2014, Parker and Hubbard were married in Palm Springs, California. They have three foster children.

Parker resides in East Montrose as of 2002; she had lived there since around 1991.





Houston

Houston, is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, following New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago respectively. With a census-estimated 2014 population of 2.239 million within a land area of 599.6 square miles (1,553 km2), it also is the largest city in the Southern United States, as well as the seat of Harris County. It is the principal city of Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, which is the fifth-most populated metropolitan area in the United States.

Houston was founded in 1836 near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen's Landing)and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-20th century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse city in Texas and has been described as the most diverse in the United States. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mayor of Philadelphia; Pennsylvania

James Francis "Jim" Kenney (born August 7, 1958) is an American Democratic politician, former member of the City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. He was the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia in the 2015 election, having won the crowded primary election by a landslide on May 19, 2015. On November 3, 2015 he was elected Mayor of Philadelphia, defeating his Republican rival Melissa Murray Bailey.

Kenney, who was first elected to the Philadelphia City Council in 1991, held his At-Large Council seat for 23 years from January 1992 until January 29, 2015, when he resigned from the City Council to launch his candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia.

Jim Kenney was the heavy favorite in a largely Democratic city so it comes as no surprise his election as the city's new mayor turned out to be a cakewalk.

Throughout his campaign, mayor-elect Kenney emphasized some of his priorities for the city: education, community policing and building the city's economy.

The at-large city councilman has long prided himself in building a consensus to getting things done, and he is hoping to continue that philosophy as the city's mayor.

After delivering his victory speech on Tuesday night, Kenney spoke with Action News about the type of administration he wants to build.

"In the end, I'm confident that the people of the city will like the way our government looks from a diversity standpoint, from a gender standpoint, an ethnicity standpoint and an ability standpoint," said Kenney.

When asked what his top priority is, Kenney answered, "Poverty, it's no doubt about it, and everything hinges on it. Pre-K, jobs that pay living wages, people returning from prison - all those issues are tied up in our poverty problem.

"And, again, the largest poverty number in the country as far as big cities are concerned, and we should be embarrassed about that and work every day as best we can to fix it," he added.

Kenney's challenger, Melissa Murray Bailey, was very upbeat and smiling during her concession speech.

Bailey said she's proud she put a new face on Philadelphia's Republican Party talking about real issues to build a better city.

Incumbent Democratic party Mayor Michael Nutter could not run for re-election to a third consecutive term due to term limits in the city's home rule charter. Registered Democrats hold a formidable 7-to-1 ratio over registered Republicans in Philadelphia, giving Democratic candidates a distinct advantage in citywide elections. The mayoral primary elections were held on May 19, 2015. Democrats nominated Jim Kenney as their party's nominee. Kenney won the primary in a landslide with 55.83% of the vote, defeating a crowded field of five other Democratic candidates, including Anthony H. Williams and former District Attorney Lynn Abraham. Republican Melissa Murray Bailey, a business executive, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. Kenney won a whopping 85.1% of the vote. Kenney was inaugurated as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia on January 4th, 2016.

Kenney proposed the a city-wide soda tax that would raise the price of soda at three cents per ounce.At the time, it was the biggest soda tax proposal in the United States. Kenney promoted using tax revenue to fund universal pre-K, jobs, and development projects, which he expected would raise $400 million over five years, all the while reducing sugar intake by decreasing the demand for sugary beverages Kenney's soda tax proposal was brought to the national spotlight and divided key members of the Democratic Party. The idea of a soda tax quickly became a national issue. Candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election gave their take. Senator Bernie Sanders said that the tax would hurt the poor. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, said that she was "very supportive" of the idea.The lobbying organization American Beverage Association took a stand against Kenney's proposal. The trade organization, funded by soda companies and distributers, ran local television, radio, and newspaper advertisements against the idea, claiming that the tax would disproportionately hurt the poor. The American Heart Association, on the other hand, has supported Kenney's efforts. On June 16, 2016, the soda tax passed with a 13-4 vote from City Council. The initial proposal of three cents per ounce was lowered to 1.5 cents per ounce. The tax will be implemented at the start of the 2017 calendar year.




Philadelphia

Philadelphia, is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous in the United States, with an estimated population in 2014 of 1,560,297. In the Northeastern United States, at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley, a metropolitan area home to 7.2 million people and the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

In 1682, William Penn founded the city to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony.Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals in the Revolutionary War, and served as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African-Americans in the Great Migration and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.

Based on the similar shifts underway the nation's economy in the late 1960s Philadelphia experienced a loss of manufacturing companies and jobs to lower taxed regions of the USA and often overseas. As a result, the economic base of Philadelphia, which had historically been manufacturing, declined significantly. In addition, consolidation in several American industries (retailing, financial services and health care in particular) reduced the number of companies headquartered in Philadelphia. The economic impact of these changes would reduce Philadelphia's tax base and the resources of local government. Philadelphia struggled through a long period of adjustment to these economic changes, coupled with significant demographic change as wealthier residents moved into the nearby suburbs and more immigrants moved into the city. The city in fact approached bankruptcy in the late 1980s. Revitalization began in the late 1990s, with gentrification turning around many neighborhoods and reversing its decades-long trend of population loss.

The area's many universities and colleges make Philadelphia a top international study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. With a gross domestic product of $388 billion, Philadelphia ranks ninth among world cities and fourth in the nation. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is growing, with several nationally prominent skyscrapers. The city is known for its arts, culture, and history, attracting over 39 million domestic tourists in 2013. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city, and Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world. The 67 National Historic Landmarks in the city helped account for the $10 billion generated by tourism. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, and is also the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library (1731), first hospital  and medical school (1765), first Capitol (1777), first stock exchange (1790), first zoo (1874), and first business school (1881). Philadelphia is the only World Heritage City in the United States.

Mayor of Phoenix; Arizona

Gregory John "Greg" Stanton (born March 8, 1970) is an American politician who serves as Mayor of Phoenix. He won the November 8, 2011 runoff election to succeed term-limited mayor Phil Gordon. Stanton, a Democrat and former Phoenix City Council member who represented areas of north Phoenix, defeated Republican political consultant/lobbyist Wes Gullett after a contentious campaign that resulted in large election turnout. Stanton was sworn in as 59th Mayor of Phoenix in January 2012. Under his leadership, Phoenix became the first community in the country to end homelessness among military veterans.

Since taking office in 2012, Mayor Greg Stanton has worked tirelessly to build a modern economy that works for every Phoenix family. By boosting trade with Mexico, investing in the biosciences, and lifting up local small business, Stanton is leading the way to create an innovation-based, export economy built to last.

Stanton is committed to making our community a more welcoming and open place. Under his leadership, Phoenix became the  first U.S. city to  end chronic homelessness among veterans.  Phoenix also earned national recognition as a leader on LGBT issues, and became the first Arizona city to earn a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's municipal equality index.

Stanton attended Marquette University on the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan. Before he was elected to his first term mayor in 2011, Stanton served nine years on the City Council and as Arizona's Deputy Attorney General.

In 2015, Stanton won reelection and also successfully led one of the most ambitious transportation initiatives in the country – a plan that will triple Phoenix's light rail system over the next 35 years. In his second term, Stanton will 

During his 2011 campaign for mayor, questions arose of the legality of near $70,000 in contributions from Stanton's former treasurer Mindy Shields. Stanton opposed the embezzlement prosecution of Shields and fired her in October 2010.

On August 30, 2011, Stanton and Republican candidate Wes Gullett were the top two candidates in the Phoenix mayoral primary, with Stanton getting about 38% of the vote and Gullett 20%.

Greg Stanton briefs reporters at a press conference at City Hall.
Stanton advocated against the 2013 federal budget sequestration by meeting with members of Congress multiple times.
Mayor Stanton was re-elected on August 25, 2015.

In an interview a few weeks after the November 2011 election, Stanton stated his support for repealing the city food tax. Stanton also supported public pension reforms including more employee contributions to their own retirement funds and longer work experience before retirement benefits.However, in March 2013, Stanton decided against repealing the food tax due to projections that ending the tax would cause layoffs of nearly 99 police officers and 300 other city employees.





Phoenix

Phoenix,is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,563,025 people (as of 2015), Phoenix is the sixth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than 1 million residents.

Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people as of 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.

Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). In fact, the "Five C's" (Cotton, Cattle, Citrus, Climate, and Copper), remained the driving forces of Phoenix's economy until after World War II, when high-tech industries began to move into the valley and air conditioning made residences much more comfortable in the very hot summers.

The city averaged a 4 percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, and has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the Valley of the Sun, as well as the entire state.

Mayor of San Antonio; Texas

Ivy Ruth Taylor (born June 17, 1970) is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. She is a nonpartisan officeholder, although she is registered as a Democrat. She is also the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in the position. In addition, Taylor is the first female African American mayor of a city with a population of over 1 million, making San Antonio the largest city in the U.S. to have a female African American mayor.

Ivy R. Taylor was elected Mayor of San Antonio on June 13, 2015, and prior to that, she was appointed to the office of Mayor in July, 2014. Mayor Taylor had served as the District 2 City Council Representative for a total of five years beginning with her election in June, 2009.

Mayor Taylor led the community through a series of “Eastside Summit” activities that paved the way for the current Eastside Promise Neighborhood and Wheatley Choice Neighborhood grants as well as the Federal Promise Zone designation for the Eastside. Through her leadership, the Eastside has been awarded close to $100 million in grants for its revitalization efforts.

During her time representing District 2, Mayor Taylor earned the respect of both her colleagues and the business community. When then-Mayor Julian Castro resigned in the summer of 2014, her stature among her colleagues led to her appointment as Mayor of San Antonio, per the charter’s requirements following a vacancy of the mayor’s office.

That appointment singled her out as the first African American woman to serve as Mayor of San Antonio. It also made San Antonio the largest city in the United States to have an African American woman serving as mayor.

candidacy for re-election on February 16, 2015. In the San Antonio mayoral election held on May 9, 2015, no candidate received a majority of the vote. A runoff election was held on June 13 between Taylor and her remaining rival, Leticia Van de Putte, a liberal Democratic former member of the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. Though Van de Putte narrowly led the field in the first round of balloting, Taylor went on to win, 51.7%–48.3%, and hence retain her position as mayor for a full two-year term.

In 2013, while on the city council, Taylor voted against a nondiscrimination ordinance approved by the council that would expand the city’s then current nondiscrimination policy to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status. Upon taking office as mayor in 2014, Taylor developed and created the city's Office of Diversity and Inclusion to handle complaints under the city's non-discrimination regulations and to facilitate resolution of these disputes. She also helped to kill a streetcar system for downtown San Antonio, which many fiscal conservatives had opposed.

On January 14, 2016, the city council voted to enact an ordinance which gives Taylor immunity from any of her actions that may have been in violation of the city ethics code. The council majority said that Taylor had technical violations but did not intend to break the code. She and her husband, Rodney, accepted Section 8 vouchers through the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA), even though she is forbidden from receiving the vouchers because the mayor has direct control over SAHA.

In April 2016, Taylor voiced backing for a proposed downtown baseball stadium to house a Triple-A team, now the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Team owner David G. Elmore plans to relocate in 2019. The proposed stadium would be financed in part with public funds. No cost amount has been finalized.

On June 16, 2016, Taylor was booed in San Antonio as she attempted to lead a prayer for families of the forty-nine victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, which occurred the preceding weekend. A sign held by an LGBT activist, read, “You can’t use your religion to oppress us and then use your prayers to console us."

Taylor received the San Antonio Business Journal's "40 under 40" Rising Star award in 2004.

Taylor's husband, Rodney Taylor, operates a bail bonds business in San Antonio and has one daughter, Morgan.The Taylors live in the Dignowity Hill neighborhood on the east side of the city.
Since 2009, Taylor has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Public Policy.





San Antonio

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh most populated city in the United States of America and the second most populated city in the state of Texas, with a population of 1,409,019. It was the fastest growing of the top 10 largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the second from 1990 to 2000. The city straddles Central Texas and South Texas and is on the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion known as the Texas Triangle.

San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Recent annexations have extended the city's boundaries into Medina County and, though for only a very tiny area near the city of Garden Ridge, into Comal County.The city has characteristics of other western urban centers in which there are sparsely populated areas and a low density rate outside of the city limits. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area. Commonly referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.4 million based on the 2015 US Census estimate, making it the 25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north, west and east make it likely that the metropolitan area will continue to expand.

San Antonio was named for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, by a 1691 Spanish expedition in the area. It is notable for Spanish colonial missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, the Alamo Bowl, and Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, and according to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. The city is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the country.

The US armed forces have numerous facilities in San Antonio: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base (which constitute Joint Base San Antonio), and Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley located outside the city. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB. The remaining portions of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region.

The missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park along with the Alamo, became part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites on July 5, 2015. The San Antonio Missions became the 23rd U.S. site on the World Heritage List, which includes the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.

Mayor of San Diego; California

Kevin Faulconer (born January 24, 1967) is the mayor of San Diego, California. He was elected in a special election in February 2014 and is serving the balance of his predecessor's term, through the end of 2016. He was sworn in as mayor on March 3, 2014. On June 7, 2016, he won re-election to a second term.

Prior to his election as mayor, Faulconer served as a San Diego City Council member representing City Council District 2. He served on the council from January 2006 to March 2014, including two years as the council president pro tem, the number two leadership position on the council.He is a Republican, although local government positions are officially nonpartisan per California state law.

Faulconer was born and raised in Oxnard, California, where he learned to speak Spanish in grade school. Graduating from San Diego State University in 1990, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and served one year as Student Body President of Associated Students. He and his wife Katherine, a small business owner, live in Point Loma with their two children. Before running for office he was an executive with the public relations firm NCG Porter Novelli and volunteered on the Mission Bay Park Committee.

In September 2013 Faulconer entered the race to succeed mayor Bob Filner in the special election. He was endorsed by the local Republican Party and by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, now president of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Faulconer was also endorsed by former San Diego city attorney and mayoral candidate Mike Aguirre, a Democrat. He campaigned both in English and Spanish.

In the election held November 19, 2013 he received 43.58 percent of the vote and advanced to a runoff election against fellow city councilmember David Alvarez in February 2014. He was elected mayor on February 11 with 54.5% of the vote. He was sworn in on March 3, 2014.

In August 2014 he vetoed a measure passed by the City Council which would increase the minimum wage in San Diego. The Council overrode his veto by a vote of 6 to 2. However, implementation of the measure was delayed by a successful signature drive led by business groups, forcing a public referendum on the issue in June 2016.

A major issue during his first term has been a bid by the San Diego Chargers to move to the Los Angeles area. Faulconer has campaigned strongly to keep the Chargers in San Diego and has proposed that the city build a new stadium, financed in part by the city and county governments.

In 2015 he declared his intention to run for a second term in 2016. There will be a primary election in June 2016; if no one receives a majority of the votes, a runoff will be held in November. In January 2016, former state assemblywoman Lori Saldaña announced she would run against Faulconer.





San Diego

San Diego, is a major city in California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

With an estimated population of 1,394,928 as of July 1, 2015, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-largest transborder agglomeration between the US and a bordering country after Detroit–Windsor, with a population of 4,922,723 people. San Diego is the birthplace of California and is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, San Diego was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the entire area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of the newly-independent Mexico, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. In 1850, it became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War and the admission of California to the union.

The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has helped make the area a center of research in biotechnology.