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In today's special edidtion of my ongoing community-building diary series, "Houston, Texas news you can use," I highlight reactions from Mayor Annise Parker, Houston's first openly lesbian mayor to be elected to the highest office in the nation's fourth largest city.

From her personal facebook page she said this:

Putting all the day-after politics aside, the President's announcement yesterday is a major step for equality for all Americans.

From the Houston Chronicle's Diana Carlton/Hearst Newspapers, there's the headline,
"Obama reversal on gay marriage is a joyous surprise for Annise Parker, a bitter pill for Rick Perry."

The dramatic election-year conversion evoked joyous surprise from gay-marriage advocates including Houston Mayor Annise Parker and predictable condemnation from prominent social conservatives such as
 Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally,’’ Obama told ABC.

After talking to friends, his daughters, members of his staff, and gay and lesbian members of the military, Obama said, “it is important for me to go ahead and confirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

In Texas, which in 2005 approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex civil unions and marriages, Obama’s announcement shocked gay-rights supporters including Houston Mayor Parker.

“Wow! I was wrong. Call from White House. The President has stepped up and stated his support for recognizing relationships…like mine!” Houston’s first openly gay mayor tweeted just after 3 p.m.

That phone call came from Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, according to the mayor’s spokeswoman Janice Evans.

Now of course, this being Texas, we have to check-in to see what Governor Rick "Good Hair" Perry is up to. Guess what? He trusts in God.

Jack Plunkett/AP says,"Texas Gov. Perry dismissed Obama’s announcement as a campaign gimmick.

“Election year politics will never change,” said Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “Gov. Perry’s unwavering commitment is to the sanctity of marriage, defined as a union between one man and one woman.

“He is proud of North Carolina voters who (Tuesday night) elected to enshrine that definition in their constitution, joining Texas and an increasing number of states in the ongoing effort to defend marriage. Once again, it’s clear that President Obama’s political ideology doesn’t line up with the will of the voters.”

What follows is information from various news sites.

‘It only takes one’: Sullivan town hall addresses hurricane preparation
June 1 is the beginning of the hurricane season, and like every year, residents of the Clear Lake area are asked to prepare for the worst case scenario. He invited representatives from several agencies, including the city of Houston’s Office of Emergency Management, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, TranStar, Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department, and United Way.

City aiming $151M in Ike funds at neighborhood renewal
More than 3½ years after Hurricane Ike, a high-ranking federal housing official and Mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday that $151 million in federal disaster relief money is on the way to four areas of Houston to rebuild or repair homes and apartments. Houston housing officials scattered the previous $87 million in Ike housing money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development across the city. This time, they have chosen to channel the money to Acres Homes, Independence Heights, a northeast Houston crescent centered around the Fifth Ward, and Sunnyside/South Park/South Union in hopes of contributing to neighborhood redevelopment, as well as fixing individual homes.

Debt Bootcamp From An Unexpected Place — Church
With some economists saying the economy is improving, there's still a lot of people trying to climb out of financial trouble. Covenant Community Capitol is involved in the program, helping those who are low income learn to save by supplying matching funds. But while Windsor Village isn’t known for having a low income congregation,  Covenant  CEO Steven Fairfield says saving is a skill everyone needs to learn regardless of their income level.

Health Officials Tell Senate Panel of Gaps in Mental Health Services
Officials said Wednesday at a state Senate committee hearing that Texas' mental health system remains underfunded and that waits for care are getting longer for many in the state. Overall, nearly 10,000 Texans who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder are waiting for access to treatment, though the number has decreased slightly since demand reached its peak in 2010.

Semantics confusion led to HISD students eating ‘pink slime’ burgers for months
A Houston ISD spokesman is now blaming confusion over food industry terminology for the district buying more than $500,000 in ground beef patties containing so-called “pink slime” and serving about 13,000 cases of them in school cafeterias.

Mayor Parker Presents Volunteer Houston Awards
Annual Awards Recognize Exceptional Public Service. Houston Mayor Annise Parker honored 14 volunteers for exceptional public service at the 2012 Mayor’s Volunteer Houston Awards ceremony.  The awards were sponsored by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership Volunteer Houston and underwritten by Shell Oil Company.

New CEO says ConocoPhillips to focus on shale
Leading his first shareholders meeting since ConocoPhillips split from its refineries last week, new CEO Ryan Lance said he's focused on expanding the company's position in North American shale and other unconventional fossil fuels. Much of the $15 billion in capital investment that ConocoPhillips plans each year will target production of oil and natural gas liquids in the United States and Canada, Lance said, primarily in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Bakken shale in North Dakota.

KUHF Conversations: BBVA Compass Stadium GM Doug Hall
On Saturday, the Houston Dynamo will play its first game in a brand-new stadium built specifically for soccer. It's called the BBVA Compass Stadium. The 22,000 seat venue was built in less than a year-and-a-half on a plot of land just east of downtown Houston. The $95 million price tag was split between the City of Houston, Harris County, and the team, with Dynamo owners picking up about two-thirds of the cost.

Registration Open For Upcoming Aussie Job Fair
If you've always wanted to work "down under," you might have a chance to do just that in less than two weeks. Australian oil, gas and mining industries will be here recruiting skilled Houston workers. It's the first-ever Aussie job fair here in Houston May 19th and 20th, with the Australian government and thirty leading companies looking to fill 650 jobs in the oil, gas and mining industries.

College Grads Struggle To Gain Financial Footing
A new Rutgers University survey finds just half of those who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 are working full time. Burdened by student loan debt, and with wages depressed even for those with jobs, many say they no longer believe that education and hard work will necessarily lead to success.

To Focus Attention on Poverty, Nonprofit Workers Live on $1.50 a Day
Donors are providing money to honor people who are learning how tens of millions of people around the world eat every day. A five-day campaign to call attention to global poverty and raise money for groups fighting it. Participants, including employees of more than a dozen nonprofits, pledge to spend just $1.50 a day, the amount that the world’s poorest people—about 1.4 billion—survive on.

Obama Says He Supports Gay Marriage
The president reversed his position on a controversial social issue just six months before the November election and adopted a stance fraught with political implications.

Why All Nonprofits Should Periodically Assess Their Risk
The notion of performing a comprehensive risk assessment may seem daunting to some nonprofits, but it is an integral responsibility of the stewards of any organization. This article provides a framework that all not-for-profit organizations can use as a starting point to implement a periodic risk assessment.[i] It describes the goals of a risk assessment, identifies the nature of the broad risks facing many organizations, suggests a proposed approach, and offers suggested steps to mitigate and control the risks.

Philanthropy Mindset Hampers Sustainability Efforts
It is no secret -- in fact many take pride in knowing -- that altruistic endeavors traditionally pay less. Those working for not-for-profits accept that part of their income is psychological. However, the sustainability concept is not based on one of philanthropy. Sustainability is a business model that, to quote from the mission statement of the Sustainable Business Network of Washington recognizes and seeks to "transform the ways businesses appraise, engage, and enhance human, ecological, and financial resources" as a means to long term value creation and success.

Originally posted to fab 3 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Southern Action.

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