In 1981, Kathy Whitmire was elected Houston's first female mayor. She was inaugurated as the 48th mayor in 1982 and, after holding office until 1991 (five consecutive two-year terms), was defeated by Bob Lanier. During her tenure, Whitmire led the campaign to diversify Houston's economy and market the city worldwide, resulting in economic growth. She helped triple Houston's park space and expand cultural resources while reducing government cost by consolidating city departments, restructuring employee benefit programs, and privatizing many functions. Furthermore, she experienced widespread voter approval for more than $1 billion in bonds for capital improvements, spawning major improvements in the city's public transportation, emergency medical services, police services and wastewater treatment. To combat drug abuse, Whitmire established and chaired the Houston Crackdown, which has attracted millions of dollars in federal and state anti-drug grants to Houston. Whitmire was a professor at the University of Maryland where she taught government classes in the Burns Leadership Academy. She was the first mayor to appoint an African-American (Lee P. Brown) as Houston's police chief and the first Hispanic as the presiding Houston Municipal Court Judge Sylvia R. Garcia, who later ran for city controller and Harris County Commissioner. Whitmire drafted a Monorail mass transit plan, which was quickly abandoned by her successor. The series contains documentation from Whitmire's ten year tenure as Houston's mayor, with campaign efforts and official city business grouped respectively.
- Other: 1985
Conditions Governing Access
Open for research.
From the Collection: 9.0 linear feet
Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
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