Bill While, former Mayor of Houston

Site Search
About us |
Quiénes somos |
A propos de nous | Über uns |
Mayor Monitor

US Mayors

World Mayor
World index of mayors
Mayors from Africa
Mayors from Asia & Australia
Mayors from The Americas
Mayors from Europe
Mayors and political parties
World's largest cities
and their mayors 2011

Elected US mayors

Mayors from Canada and the US (Former mayors in italics)
Akron | Albuquerque | Atlanta (Franklin) | Atlanta (Reed) | Baltimore | Boston | Calgary | Chicago Emanuel | Chicago Daley | Columbus | Dayton | Denver | Detroit (Bing) | Detroit (Kilpatrick) | Edmonton | Harrisburg | Honolulu | Houston (Parker) | Houston (White) | London (Ontario) | Los Angeles | Louisville | Memphis | Miami | Minneapolis | Mississauga | News Orleans (Landrieu) | New Orleans (Nagin) | Newark | New York | Oakland | Oklahoma City | Phoenix | Philiadelphia | Pittsburgh | Pomona | Portland (Adams) | Portland (Potter) | Providence | Salt Lake City (Anderson) | Salt Lake City (Becker) | San Francisco | Seattle (McGinn) | Seattle (Nickels) | South Bay | Southfield | Stamford | Surrey BC | Toronto | Trenton | Tulsa | Washington DC | Winnipeg |

City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More

City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More

City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More

City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More

City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More

City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More

City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More

City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More

City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More

City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More

City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More

City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More

City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More

City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More

City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More

City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More

City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More

City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

Bill White
Mayor of Houston
By Andrew Stevens, Deputy Editor

11 November 2007: The Texan city of Houston is noted for its oil wealth, social conservatism and cosmopolitan appearance. Its city chief Bill White was re-elected for a third term with massive support in 2007 and is even rumoured to be seeking the state or a national political office after, due to term limits, he will have to step down as mayor in 2009.

Update December 2009: Annise Parker elected as Houston's new mayor.

Mayor White was born in San Antonio in 1954, the child of schoolteachers. He then attended Harvard on a scholarship, where he graduated in economics. After studying law at the University of Texas at Austin, where he edited the college law review, White joined the Houston practice of Susman Godfrey LLP, eventually becoming partner. After 14 years with the firm, he joined the Clinton administration in 1993 as Deputy Secretary of Energy, leaving two years later to take on boardroom duties in the private sector. He also served as state chairman of the Democratic Party in Texas during this time.

Immediately prior to running for mayor, White was serving as Chairman and CEO of the WEDGE Group, a Texan real estate developer. In 2003, the Democrat Lee Brown stood down as mayor, prevented by the city charter from seeking a fourth term. A former New York Police Commissioner, Dr Brown was Houston’s first Afro-American mayor and also served in the Clinton administration as ‘Drug Czar’. In his 2003 election bid, White stood as a moderate Democrat, winning against the Cuban American Orlando Sanchez, who had received President Bush’s endorsement in the previous election against Brown. White was then handsomely re-elected on the first round in 2005, with 91% of the vote.

Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and the largest without zoning restrictions. In 2004, its METRORail system went into service, ending Houston’s status as the largest US city without a rapid transit system. While in city hall, Mayor Brown oversaw the completion of the system, despite originally campaigning against it. In 2003, a city referendum was held on the further expansion of the system, with 52% voting in favour. Critics argued that the campaign for expansion had been bankrolled by contractors who stood to benefit from the planned works. The system will connect the city centre with the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, as well as the suburbs.

White’s record at city hall has been praised for the expansion of council-run leisure facilities and the introduction of performance monitoring. Most importantly, he has presided over stable finances and sought to promote consensus on the city council. The mayor was also praised for his leadership in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, providing resources for the housing of the many* displaced New Orleans residents who had come to the city fleeing disaster. He also took a robust line against the incompetence of the Federal Emergency Management Agency officials’ recovery efforts. The mayor’s work has marked him as a potential future governor in the eyes of many party officials and local observers.

Under its city charter, Houston is governed by the mayor-council model, with 14 city councillors elected from either nine districts on an at-large basis. All elections to the city council are held on a non-partisan basis. Houston’s mayors are limited to three two-year terms, as are city councillors. In the last election, some candidates spoke out against the term limits and called for either a doubling of terms or scrapping them altogether.

Comment by Toni Mack: “Many” understates the matter.  Houston took in 250,000 Katrina evacuees — creating a 6% increase in Houston’s 4 million population in a matter of days — of whom some 100,000 remain. This was a massive relocation. Mayor White deserves credit for handling this influx in as orderly a manner as can be imagined.

World Mayor 2023